Classifying Feral Vs Stray Cats

There are many types of cats and to distinguish them, there are certain classifications. Previously we covered the differences between domestic and tame cats. Now, we’re tackling how feral and stray cats are not the same. This is to help people especially cat lovers know how to approach a cat appropriately.

classifying feral vs tame cats

Feral Cats

As mentioned previously, many types of cats have free-roaming lifestyle. Tamed cats are among these but for their tougher and more instinctual counterparts are the feral cats. Feral cats more rightly refers to cats born outdoors or in the wild with little to no human interaction. These cats can be born from other ferals or from stray ones.

It is not safe to approach feral felines spontaneously as they can view a person as a predator or simply a danger. These kitties are in their natural animal state so they hunt for food and avoid people or other animals that can pose as danger. Feral cats however can be tamed and domesticated with the correct approach and patience.

Stray Cats

Most people are used to interchangeably classifying stray cats as feral cats and vice versa. It’s not a surprise as it is hard to tell with one look if the cat you see on a street is a stray or a feral. Supposedly, stray cats refer to felines who were previously tamed or domesticated then had to live outdoors again and attempt to revert back to their natural state. Simply put, stray felines were once pet cats but for some reasons like either getting abandoned or lost, these felines have to adapt and live in their new outdoor environment.

Most stray cats are quite tamed unlike feral cats that are more aligned to their wild state. However, despite being more tolerant to people’s presence, these felines tend to be fearful and avoid close contact. Since they are still adapting to their environment and learn to survive on their own, stray felines need their space. So, if a stray cat was being friendly to you one day and ignore you the next, don’t get hurt.  Don’t try to force your friendship to stray cats especially if you don’t have plans of adopting one.

classifying feral vs tame cats

Feral vs Stray Cats: Approaching them

As you may already know, approaching stray cats is easier than with feral cats. With stray felines having more tolerance to people and feral ones more inclined to their wild state, it’s safer to approach the first. However, these two types of cats can both be dangerous especially when you interact carelessly. It’s not impossible to become friends with a stray or even a feral cat but it will be difficult. When you successfully do, it also means they’re turning into tamed cats and are finally able to control their instincts well.

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