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Feral cats are thought to be challenging to tame, as they grow up in the wild with little to no human interactions. These cats have a heightened self-preservation instinct and assume any bigger animal to be a predator, which makes it challenging, as a human, to interact with them. These cats are either born in the wild or have been abandoned by their owners. So, don’t be surprised if they try to scratch or bite you if you try to pet them. Trying to domesticate a feral cat is not for the faint of heart – it will need patience and time. If you think you have these resources to spare, we provide you with tips on how you can go about the process of taming it below.
Steps to follow when trying to domesticate a feral cat
- Before you go about the procedure of trying to domesticate a feral cat, assess the expectations you have. Do you want a lap cat who will be content to snuggle with you as you watch your favorite sitcom? Then, a feral cat may not be the right fit. You can feed and take care of a feral cat as much as you want to, but a feral cat may never feel safe enough to perch on your lap. It’s usually because of their past history with humans or lack of it. If you sheltered the feral cat at a young age, there might still be a possibility that it will one day feel safe enough to curl up with you. However, this is only rarely true and would not be a healthy expectation to keep, if you don’t want to be disappointed.
- If you have decided to pet a feral cat, prepare a room to welcome it. The room should be well enclosed, so the cat cannot escape. Place a litter box, feeding bowls and perhaps, a toy in it, for the cat to make itself comfortable in its new environs. A dark and quiet room will make your cat feel more at home than anything. You could also leave a couple of your used clothing to familiarize it with your scent.
- Place a cat carrier with a warm blanket and attractive treats inside. You will need the cat to become comfortable with going inside the carrier so that you can carry it to the vet for a checkup. The vet will check for any diseases that your cat might have as well as any vaccinations that it might need.
- Come up with a feeding schedule. Feeding your cat will allow you to gain its trust. Cats are creatures of habit, so try to put out their meals at the same time every day.
Follow these steps shared above and don’t try to handle the feral cat unless it exhibits signs that it is okay with you doing so, to prevent any injuries to yourself. Soon, you will notice how your feral cat has transformed into an indoor cat.