Does anyone else consider ferals/strays as their pets? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-31-2014, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
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Does anyone else consider ferals/strays as their pets?

Does anyone else consider the feral/strays they regularly feed as their "pets," in a way? Whenever anyone asks me how many cats I have, I'm tempted to run down the list of seven ferals I feed consistently. I mean, I even have them listened in my signature lol. Six of the seven I have been feeding for well over a year (along with the help of a very sweet older woman, who has become a very close friend!), and I am very attached. I know all their personalities and quirks and, while they're definitely *not* my pets, I cannot help thinking of them as *mine*, in a way.

Anyone else feel this way about the cats they feed?

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-31-2014, 07:23 AM
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Me - I'm guilty!
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-31-2014, 07:35 AM
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I know exactly what you mean. I have four cats that live in my house and I have one feral girl, my Arwen, who lives outside. But I feed her regularly and she even started sleeping in my garage at night during the very cold winter months. But I don't say I have five cats. I feel guilty about it sometimes. She is a TNR, she has lived in my neighborhood for possibly 8 years or longer, but I have fed her for a little over three years now. My street is very quiet, and everyone knows who she is. I don't really consider her mine because she loves my neighbor and her dog as much as me. She waits for them every night when they get home from work and they walk their lab, and she waits for them, and they pet her and love on her, and she LOVES their dog. She rubs against the dog and throws herself in front of the dogs path as they are walking, it is hilarious. There is no other dog on our street that she acts like this towards. She spends almost as much time in their yard as she does mine, so I don't really consider her mine, but I adore her as if she were mine. I am the one who tamed her. For a few years before I managed to get her to take food from me, I tried and tried, but she would run. We would only see her at night on trash days, when you put the trash out, she'd be there. But you could leave cat food next to the trash, and she wouldn't touch it. When she finally did start taking food from me, she would belly crawl up to the food, hiss at me, inhale the food in 4 bites, and run away. We have come a long, LONG way since then. But she still has no desire to be inside, she continues to live in the 3-4 yards on my street and everyone knows her.

That is so sweet that you and your friend care for these ferals. I'm sure many of them would not be around any longer if it were not for you. This is a wonderful thing you all are doing for these cats.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-31-2014, 10:50 AM
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I had a feral cat, Spook, who was MY pet. He grew to trust me and would come to me...but absolutely insisted on staying outdoors. We had him for about 12 years...he even moved houses with us! Once he ran away for a couple years but, one day, suddenly reappeared at the back door.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-31-2014, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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Awww, all the stories are so cute! It's nice to read how some of the semi-ferals have grown more trusting of us.

It's sad, though, because now that I read through my original post I realize I was still counting one of them that has recently disappeared (Carson). So really, there are only six now. Although I'm keeping my fingers crossed for him to return -- him and five others are the ones I feed with the friend I mentioned at my university. I'm happy to hear others love their wildcats as much as I do!

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[
edgar | michonne | novalee | oliver | kosmo | pumpkin ] <--- my cats
[ grumpy | big poppa | lily | cj | peanut ] <--- my ferals
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-31-2014, 11:19 PM
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I feed 3 ferals, one is sleeping in my garage right now and another in my basement because he got hurt. I'm trying to find a home for those 2 since they let me pet them but it's difficult.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-31-2014, 11:49 PM
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If I was feeding a feral cat (which I'm not at the moment) it wouldn't take long to start feeling responsible for them. I would - at least at first - have little to no interaction or control over their life so doubt I'd consider them "mine", a really feral cat wouldn't let you get anywhere near it. That's if you happen to see one at all since they'll be running away/hiding long before you get anywhere near them.

However I'd certainly come to care for them and be invested in them... as noted by both Jasper and Blacky; I didn't stop until they were tamed.


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-01-2014, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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True, the most "feral" cat I feed could barely even actually be considered semi-feral as far as nature goes. But the ones I feed at my university were all born in the wild, even if they are relatively used to humans. They all come running to my friend when she makes a whistling noise, but they barely tolerate my presence and immediately take off running if they see any other human.

Pumpkin (whom I have a thread going on about), was actually an abandoned stray, and I am in the process of "taming" him and getting him a forever home. (Which, if I have my way, will be with me... I doubt it, but he's my baby.)

☆ ☆ ☆
"time spent with cats is never wasted."
[
edgar | michonne | novalee | oliver | kosmo | pumpkin ] <--- my cats
[ grumpy | big poppa | lily | cj | peanut ] <--- my ferals
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-02-2014, 03:33 AM
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yes! I know how you feel. I feed around 40 every day downtown in three different spots within 3 blocks, as well as single females I feed at two other locations in my city... Plus we have 9 at home, 4 inside, 5 outside, all fixed except for 1 at home. I have fixed 3 so far of the ferals downtown. My life, besides work and sleep is all my furbabies. I plan my day around them when not at work. Luckily I am single with no kids.


(so a total of about 50 cats.) I "think" I have the most on this board

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-04-2014, 07:18 PM
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OMG it's just amazing how many people there are here who care so much about cats that very few other people care about. catlover, I most definitely think you take the cake - although there are some who come close!

struckers, I don't feed any ferals, but I have been taking care of a stray for 4 years. I think it's a little different with strays who are friendly, because you can spend time and develop a relationship with them. For so long, I resisted getting attached to him, but resistance has been futile. Like Mochas Mommy, I took him with me when I moved last summer (just a couple of blocks away). So really, he's now my outdoor-only kitty, and when people ask how many cats I have, I say 2.5.
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