The usual four categories of non-adoptable cats are ferals, semi-ferals, behaviour problems and health problems, and on this basis, many of our cats would be killed by the typical animal control system.
The definition of feral is usually a cat that is born wild, or a stray that has had minimal socialization with humans, and has reverted to wild state. It does not include the typical “lost” cat, who may have many of the feral behaviours, but can sometimes be reminded that humans are friends.
There’s not much question about the true ferals – the majority of them want nothing to do with humans, and they are much happier living in a pen at the back of the sanctuary where people will let them be.
Coming up in the Adoptable – or not? series:
Health problems / Behaviour problems / Semi-ferals and strays.
Blogger: Brigid Coult
Photos by Claire Fossey and Michele Wright