What are the differences between feral and stray cats?
Feral cats are descendents of domesticated cats which have been born in the wild. Stray cats on the otherhand are cats that have been abandoned or lost. The term ‘feral’ basically means beastly or unfriendly. Feral cats usually have had little or no contact at all with humans since birth which results in them developing self defense behaviors such as hissing and growling. If a cat in the wild is approachable, friendly and tame, it is most probably a stray cat which has lost his or her owner.
Feral cats can be seen in large colonies or ‘clowders’ and fighting among themselves. Thus the term ‘cat fight’ has emerged.
Threats of feral cats in neighborhoods
Feral cats overturn garbage cans and mess up rubbish bags, thus littering the house compound and roads while they search for food.
This can be extremely frustrating to residents as they have to clean up after the cats.
Feral cats also urinate and excrete faeces wherever and whenever they want to, be it in the garden or at one’s doorstep. Many complain of cats urinating on their cars.
When feral cats get involved in a fight, they give out piercing wails when they attack one another that disturb the neighbourhood.
How to control feral and stray cats
One of the more effective ways is to eliminate the food source.
Garbage cans should be closed properly and securely at all times and we should not feed either feral or stray cats as this will encourage them to return.
Trying to domesticate a feral cat is not a wise idea as it is almost similar to trying to tame a squirrel or rat.
Moreover, you would not be permitting the animal to live in a manner that suits them best.
Most residents upon encountering a feral or stray cat in their garden would grab the garden hose and release a dose of spraying water at the cat. This usually sends the cat scampering out the compound.
Once the cats are captured, they will be released or handed over to the proper authorities and they will be taken care of in a proper manner.