There are millions of feral cats in the world yet, of the much fewer number of people looking to adopt a cat, few are interested in taking in a feral cat. There are some good reasons for that. First, I should probably define what a feral cat is because a lot of people confuse stay cats with feral cats. Quite simply, a stray cat is one who was once a pet but who either strayed from home, got lost, or was dumped by some heartless bastard who viewed his cat as a property that could be discarded. On the other hand, a feral cat is one who has never lived in a home. In other words, if a cat strays from her home, gets pregnant, and has kittens in the wild, the mom would be a stray while her kittens would be feral. Stray cats were socialized while they were young, and most had once had positive experiences with people. They view us as a source of food and protection. Strays were once someone’s pet but were later abandoned or otherwise separated from their homes. Feral cats have never had such a home, and tend to be fearful and unwilling to allow anyone to pet or come near them. In some places, there are colonies of feral cats living together, sometimes being fed by caring people, but they tend to be viewed by most as pests. These colonies are often a mixture of stray and feral cats, and it can be hard to tell the difference. A stray cat who has been away from home for a long time will develop many of the same fears that the feral cat is born with. If the cat seems to want to trust you and to make contact with you, it could be that someone has been feeding the cats in the feral colony, or it might be that this is a stray who is still looking for a home. Strays can usually readjust to living in a home, and can quickly become loving and grateful pets. But I don’t want to travel too far down a tangent, as this thread is about taking in a feral cat. Feral cats are certainly not for everyone. Taking in a feral cat can be dangerous and difficult, and you may never have a cat who is entirely adjusted to living with a human family. Human children who have not been handled by a loving mother during the first days, weeks, and months of life may develop a condition known as Reactive Attachment Disorder. That’s another tangent that I won’t travel down here but, briefly, children with RAD are very difficult. While most children with RAD do not grow up to be sociopaths or serial killers, most sociopaths and serial killers suffered from reactive attachment disorder as children. That’s similar to what’s going on in the mind of a feral cat, at least when it comes to their relationships with people. A comparison might also be made with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In most cases, feral cats have not had good relationships with human beings. In the town where I adopted a feral cat, children would hunt cats with dogs and pellet guns, and they were encouraged to do so by the adults around them, who viewed stray and feral cats as being a nuisance. Even those whose nature is compassionate often don’t want to encourage stray or feral cat colonies to develop in their neighborhoods. So, while a feral cat might eagerly take a handout from you, it is not particularly interested in establishing a relationship that doesn’t involve food. More in my next post. Please, you should feel perfectly free to comment here, and I encourage you to do so, but only if the comments are on-topic. This is not the place for all of your cat pictures, memes, or jokes. Thanks.