Feral cats are often thought of as wild, dangerous, and unlovable. Outcasts of society, many feel they should not be fed or in any way encouraged to live among us. What many don’t know is these forgotten felines can bring joy to those who understand them.
Feral cats are domesticated cats that live in the wild in families, or colonies, that rarely allow newcomers to join. Observe their lifestyle and you will find that they have a hierarchy within their group that dictates the rules, like who is allowed to eat from the food bowls first. These groups can stay together for life, form friendships, and care and look after each other. Although these cats will not attack you, they are unsocialized and may react harshly to human touch and contact. This doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate a kind voice and a daily meal. Over time, at their discretion, you are likely to discover that they will begin to trust and come tout to visit you, though probably still at a distance.
As a pet sitter I am often asked to feed and look after outdoor cats, and I am always happy to. Sometimes I never see these furry friends but the empty bowls let me know that they have been by to enjoy a hearty meal. Other times I see them, peeking out from under bushes, chairs, or other outdoor hiding spots, timidly waiting for me to leave before venturing out for a bite to eat. Although they don’t want to interact with me I can see the appreciation in their eyes that a caring person is looking after them.