what's the difference between a free-roaming domesticated cat and a feral cat?

Philippines
August 26, 2008 10:11am CST
i've always wanted to know. are they the same or not? i've read the term "feral cats" so many times, but i don't understand their difference from domesticated cats. where i live, cats aren't generally regarded as good pets. people feed them but they wander around a lot and so it's like you can't really say that you "keep" them as yours. they may come by your house for food regularly for a time and then they disappear and then reappear again. i believe they also hunt small animals for food just like in the wild. between a dog and a cat, stray dogs are more often adopted and when it comes to being let into the house, dogs are more often given this privilege. some people even consider stray cats as nuisances and drive them away. i wonder if the cats we have wandering around are what you consider as "feral cats".
2 people like this
5 responses
@deebomb (15323)
• United States
26 Aug 08
The feral cats are the same breed as the domestic ones. The difference is that the freal cats don't belong to any one and are often wild. Domestic cats are the pets, The ones that people own? as much as you can own a cat. They usually are the ones that you can pick up and pet and have a real home. If the cats around your place aren't let into the houses and have a owner I would say they are feral cats.
• Philippines
26 Aug 08
thanks for the info. i guess since a lot of people here don't really like cats and usually drive them away, a lot of cats here are feral cats.
2 people like this
@deebomb (15323)
• United States
27 Aug 08
That would be my thought too
1 person likes this
@snowy22315 (42156)
• United States
26 Aug 08
Feral cats are wild in that they havent had contact with people and will not allow handling. Domesticated cats are those who are habituated to people and have a regular home and are allowed outside. Some true feral cats will probbly never be domesticated. My cat was sort of half and half. He was used to people and had some contact with them, so he is pretty tame today. He's not a lap kitty but likes people, especially me and will sit beside me. He would prefer to be outside but I dont let him. I'd hate it if anything happened to him. he's allowed to sit in the window.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
27 Aug 08
thanks for the info! our next door neighbor with a tame cat that isn't allowed outside, but some time after they moved in, the cat escaped ran away! :(
@shiloh_222 (5480)
• Philippines
26 Aug 08
hi there... this is good information because i really dunno.. hehehe... happy mylotting!
1 person likes this
@Ldyjarhead (10159)
• United States
27 Aug 08
Feral cats are those that have been born wild with no human interaction at all, or have been in the wild too long to remember being handled at all. They normally will avoid coming anywhere close to people. Domestic cats that just happen to be outside cats aren't wild, and most will not be scared of humans, even if they shy away from them. A true feral cat is basically a wild animal.
• Philippines
27 Aug 08
thanks! to be honest, i'm still not sure if i can really tell when i see a cat here if it's feral or not. i guess most cats here are wandering outdoors that it's become kinda hard to draw the line between the two. i also think feral and non-feral cats have also interbred here.
@Ldyjarhead (10159)
• United States
27 Aug 08
What difference does it make which they are? Feral cats normally stay hidden pretty well, though.
• Philippines
28 Aug 08
actually it's more just out of curiosity...
@MOMMASAM (1004)
• United States
26 Aug 08
feral cats are undomesticated cats. feral are wild and basically untameable. now, i have a friend who captures takes feral cats to be neutered and returned to the wild. if a cat has had no social contact with humans, born in the wild so to speak, it is feral. it won't make friends with you. it may come and eat if you feed stray cats. but they generally run away when they see humans.
• Philippines
26 Aug 08
thank you very much! i get it now. there really are cats who scamper away the moment i try to approach them which are probable feral, but there are those that answer when i call out "kitty" and try to take a tentative step forward. hm i really want a cat!
1 person likes this
@MOMMASAM (1004)
• United States
27 Aug 08
aw, i can't blame you for wanting a cat. i would go to your homeless shelter and chose one who "speaks" to you. you know, instant chemistry. then the fun part: chosing a name !
• Philippines
27 Aug 08
you know, we don't have animal shelters here, just people who take in unwanted pets, and those are usually dogs. but i like dogs too but i already have one. actually i want a cat so much that i keep telling my mom "you know if i had this kind of cat, i'd name him this and if i have this kind i'd name him this" hehehe i will get a cat someday hehehe