Kittens born to feral cats can still be "purr"-fect pets
Posted June 07, 2018
Feral cats may look cute and cuddly, but they are a lot
different than a typical house cat.
While feral cats are considered wild animals and prefer to live
their lives outdoors, their kittens can be rescued from the streets
and put into loving homes.
Feral cats have never been socialized to humans. In fact, feral
cats are generally afraid of people and may even run away if
approached, according to Megan Arroyo, a veterinary student at the
Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical
Because feral cats live their entire lives independent from
humans, they may not be spayed or neutered by a veterinarian. This
can lead to an overpopulation of feral cats, as well as kittens
being born in unsafe areas.
However, local animal shelters, veterinarians, and other
programs may be able to help prevent the overpopulation of feral
cats by giving kittens born to feral cats a good home.
“If you find a potentially feral cat with a litter of kittens,
one of the best places to start is by contacting your local animal
shelter or animal control,” Arroyo said. “They should be able to
help you to decide the most appropriate action to take, which is
often trapping the mom and the kittens so that the mom can be
spayed and the kittens socialized and placed in homes.”
A properly socialized kitten is exposed to humans and other
species, such as dogs, between the ages of 2 to 7 weeks, Arroyo
said. Once they are weaned from their mother, at around 4 to 6
weeks, kittens can socialize even more in a foster home or their
“Socialization is basically what it sounds like—you want to
expose the kitten to experiences you would like it to be
comfortable with as an adult, such as gentle handling and petting,”
Socialization is beneficial because it gives kittens a better
chance at finding a loving home that can provide veterinary care,
which can help significantly increase the kitten’s lifespan, Arroyo
Since adult feral cats prefer to live out their life in the
wild, the mother feral cat will typically be re-released after she
is spayed and her kittens are weaned.
“This allows her to live out her life where she is happiest, but
keeps her from contributing to the feral cat population,” Arroyo
There are many benefits of rescuing kittens born to feral cats,
but the biggest reward is knowing that you saved a life.
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Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. Stories can be
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