Be upfront about your feral cat’s background

It's important to explain that your cat has an unusual background.

Jacqueline is available for adoption

Gesine Lohr, one of the moderators of the Yahoo Feral Cats Group, recommends being upfront that this isn’t a normal cat and they’ve had to be tamed.

‘The more you convey BEFORE THEY MEET THE CAT, that yep, you’re not kidding, this is a feature not a bug, and this cat DID have to be tamed, and therefore WILL hide when meeting new people — the better.

We teach to really go into detail about this — both about the taming process, and about how a had-to-be-tamed kib tends to act.

And tell people, “these are not instant cats”, “these are not Hallmark-calendar cats” — these are had-to-be-tamed cats, and they are very interesting, and they are NOT for just any human!’

Things to mention

  • They’re likely to always be wary of strangers. This can be a bonus – they won’t want to go home with dinner guests or decide they love someone else!
  • They’ve shown enormous courage and have learnt to trust people
  • They’ll be happiest in a quiet, stable home
  • They probably won’t suit a home with children
  • They’re likely to get on extremely well with other cats, as their first ‘language’ is cat
  • They’re often fine with dogs, too
  • They won’t be thrilled about staying at a cattery when their family is on holidays; having a pet sitter will be better

A caveat

We have had the experience where, when we told a potential adopter that the cat grew up without much human contact and had to be tamed, they deemed the cat unacceptable for adoption. It seemed that they had ‘feral’ in their minds and were perhaps expecting them to be aggressive.

They adopted the daughter of a ‘feral’ cat instead, who was born and raised in a foster home.

Consider foster with a view to adopt

If you feel they’re the right person for your cat and they’ll give them the extra time they need to settle, consider inviting the person to foster them, with a view to adopting them.

They can then gauge just how timid Kitty is in a new home and whether they’re comfortable with that. Hopefully, they’ll fall in love with them once they move in and the adoption will go ahead.

Having this arrangement may allay any concerns the person has about what their new cat will be like.
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