4 Steps To Tame A Feral Cat

Found a feral kitten alone in the street? Do you want to help it, but you're not sure how? Feral and semi-feral cats become harder to tame as they get older, but it's possible to tame them while they're still young. Here are some methods to help tame a feral kitten, to help guarantee its survival. 

What Is A Feral Cat?  

You might be wondering what a feral cat is, and the difference between a feral, semi-feral, and stray cat. Feral cats are the hardest to tame, because they were born in the wild, and have continued to thrive there. Semi-feral cats are similar because they've lived in the wild for a good part of their lives. However, they were likely born into a domestic environment and then abandoned to live as a feral cat for most of their lives. Stray cats are cats that have also been abandoned, but they generally remain domesticated, unlike semi-feral cats. 

Feral cats are the hardest to tame because they aren't used to human contact, and they generally shy away from it. They're very close to wild animals. To tame a feral cat, you'll need to take it in at a young age. This can be beneficial to feral kittens, due to the fact that the survival rate of feral kittens is moderately low. However, a fully grown feral cat should be left alone.

How To Tame A Feral Kitten

Here are some steps to tame a feral kitten:

1. Keep Them In Captivity

This might seem hard at first, but ultimately it's best for the kitten. Once a feral cat is brought into the house, it will be tempted to run and hide. If this happens, it will make it difficult to feed them and give them medical care when necessary. Give them a dog cage or a cat condo with a small litter box and something soft to cuddle and sleep in.

2. Associate Yourself With Food

A feral kitten will have an easier time warming up to you if they begin to associate your presence with food. Start by feeding them baby food or soft cat food with a spoon through the cage. Once they begin to warm up to you a little more, try feeding them some soft cat food directly from your hand.

3. Get Kittens Accustomed to Your Presence

Start out by sitting near them. Soon, you'll be able to play with them too. Try purchasing an interactive toy that has some reach to it. This way, they'll be able to associate the toy with your presence, and you won't have to get clawed in the process.

4. Be Patient, And Move Slowly

Get the kitten accustomed to being petted before you try to pick it up. Once it allows you to hold it, you might be able to start doing things like grooming the kitten. When you pet the kitten, try massaging the skin near the shoulders and on the top of the kittens neck. This gentle massage will release endorphin's and make the kitten feel more relaxed in your presence.

By following these steps and being gentle to the kitten, you'll be well on your way to having a friendly companion. Now, the kitten can be adopted or integrated safely into your home as a pet. The important thing is, it can now live a long and healthy life. 

Jun 30, 2012
by Anonymous
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Don't forget to neuter/spay

Don't forget to neuter/spay your new kitten!

Jun 30, 2012
by Savanna Y Lujan
Savanna Y Lujan's picture
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That's very true! Any time

That's very true! Any time you pick up a kitten, whether it's a feral, semi-feral, a stray, or none of the above, you should always get it spayed or neutered. 

Thank you for bringing that up! : ) 

Dec 8, 2012
by Anonymous
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Thanks. I used your tips in

Thanks. I used your tips in conjunction with other things I found. I was able to let my kitten out free in the house after only 2 nights. Now she's so comfortable in my house and loves to cuddle... and REALLY loves to play. With EVERYTHING! <3

Dec 16, 2012
by Anonymous
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Awesome! There are some

Awesome! There are some feral cats at the us post office that I would love to trap and tame.

Mar 6, 2014
by Anonymous
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This also works for older

This also works for older feral cats it just takes more time. My own feral cat was about a year and a half when I brought him home. It took six months to get him to trust me enough to safely trap and transport him. First trip to the vet for spay and shots, then home where he could recover from surgery and get acclimated to his new life.
Bearing in mind he'll never act 100% domesticated, he has a fantastic relationship with my dog and LOVES to cuddle up on the bed. :) No regrets taking a chance on him.

Feb 7, 2015
by Anonymous
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I rescued a feral kitten

I rescued a feral kitten almost 2 years ago, it was tough at first but once he knew I wasn't going to hurt him he became very dependant on me. I had to walk around doing things with one hand because I couldn't put him down or he would cry. He took showers/baths with me and I could never be out of his sight...so we saw this little cute loving female that needed a home so we took the chance, it worked out perfectly, I had a break and he and her fell in love it is the cutest thing ever. She taught him cat things I couldn't like jumping and playing. I still can't close a door on him but it is way better than before. He now weights 13-15lbs..shocking cause he fit in my hand...and her owners said the father was a very large breed and mom was a mix..she looks like a munchkin she is so small framed but has huge paws...weird. so thanks for letting me share

Feb 7, 2015
by Anonymous
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Oh and I taught them both to

Oh and I taught them both to walk on a leash outside, how to high five for a treat and give kisses for treats...people are amazed by the things I have taught them to do...it is pretty awesome

Apr 3, 2015
by Anonymous
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We have (2) feral cats, got

We have (2) feral cats, got them when they were just 6 weeks old. They are 9 yrs old now and still
afraid of people. If in the house they will run under the bed, if someone knocks on the door. I want to get a dog but they have never been up close to one. At their age now would I do the wrong thing to bring a dog home? Would they accept it, or run away? I want a dog now more than ever for protection. It would never get any easier than right now to bring one home. What do you think?

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