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The Difference Between Stray and Feral Cats

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You might think that stray and feral cats are the same thing, but there is one main difference. Stray cats become socialized to people while feral cats do not. What’s socialization? Cats who are friendly to and enjoy companionship with people are socialized. Socialized cats include both pets and strays. Feral cats either have never had contact with people or contact with people has diminished over time.

Why should I know the difference between stray and feral cats?

Since stray cats have social interaction with people, they can readjust to living with people. You can bring them into their homes and adopt them. Feral cats are not and cannot be socialized. They will not adjust to living with people, so you cannot adopt them. You can socialize kittens born to feral cats and adopt them into your home.

How do I tell the difference between stray and feral cats?

Observe cats outdoors to determine whether they’re stray or feral. Look for these signs to make your decision.

  • Stray cats may approach people or houses, but feral cats will avoid people and seek hiding places.
  • Stray cats usually live alone, but feral cats may belong to a colony.
  • Stray cats might walk like housecats with their tails up, but feral cats might crawl or crouch and protect their bodies with their tails.
  • Stray cats may meow or respond to your voice, but feral cats won’t meow or purr.
  • Stray cats are usually dirty, but feral cats keep their coats clean and well-kept.

Why do cats purr?


While everyone who has ever been around a cat knows that cats purr, what is less common knowledge is why they do so. While scientists have not been able to come to a concrete conclusion as to exactly why cats purr, they have found some interesting reasons behind this behavior.

Surprisingly, cats do not only purr when they are happy and content. They also purr when they are stressed out or in pain. Given this fact, some scientists believe that purring is a cat’s way of coping with problematic or difficult situation.

Purring is also clearly a form of communication. Mother cats purr to their kittens and the kittens purr back. This type of communications serves wild cats well, as predators are not able to detect the low, humming sound.

A cat’s purr also helps it to heal. Because purring is a low frequency sound, it eases muscle pain and enables broken bones to mend faster than they would have otherwise.

Purring is more than just a sound. It is a fascinating behavioral trait that is unique to cats and while science is not able to figure out all the reasons why cats purr, it is clear that doing so is of great benefit to cats and helps them express their feelings, deal with pain and discomfort and more.

Cats Take on Their Owner’s Habits and Personality


When humans adopt cats as a part of the family, the feline adapts to the way of life that the owner keeps. Extensive studies followed cats and families to discern how cats attempt to fit into a family situation by mirroring the owner’s habits.

Cats that are inside only adapt much more to an environment than cats that are allowed to be inside and outside. When an inside cat’s owner goes to work the feline rests and eventually can tell about when the owner will return. Food, of course, drives the cat through hunger to know when the owner will return and eat their dinner and feed them. Cats adapt to the feeding schedule of humans and often eat at the same time. A cat is smart enough to open a partially opened cabinet or closet door to access their food in the owner’s absence.

Inside only cats pick up the owners sleep schedule as well and rest at night at the same time the owner does. Pet owners that take naps on weekends or days off from work can expect a feline friend to nap at the same time as well.

Many cat owners place the litter box in the bathroom. Cats often have an uncanny sense of when their owner uses the restroom and goes to the litter box at the same time.

Felines that are both inside and outside cats and spend the night outside revert to a feral instinct. These cats will roam at night and not stay in their home environment all night long. This part of the study proves that if you want a feline companion to join your family it is best to keep it inside at all times so it can better adapt as a family member. After all, the companionship of a purring ball of fur is worth its weight in gold for a human.

Best Protein Sources for Cats

Cats are carnivores and require a lot of protein in their daily diet. It is important to ensure that you are feeding your cat a balanced diet that has enough protein and other nutrients that will keep his bones, joints and muscles healthy.

Protein Requirements for Cats

Cats require 22 different types of proteins and amino acids to be present in their regular diet. These proteins serve several purposes. Proteins strengthen your cat’s body, especially his muscles. Proteins are also used as fuel sources to give your cat the energy he needs to live a fulfilling, healthy life. If there is a deficiency in even one of these proteins and amino acids, your cat can suffer from serious health problems. Some cat owners worry that their cat may get too much protein in their diet. This should not be a concern, as too much protein will not hurt a healthy cat. If your cat has other kidney problems, you should consult your vet, as too much protein can exacerbate kidney issues in cats.

Best Sources of Proteins for Cats

The best way to ensure that your cat gets enough protein in his diet is to choose a cat food that is made of high-quality ingredients. Choose higher-end brands, and avoid generic or store brands that may use questionable ingredients. You can also choose an organic cat food or raw cat food from a specialty pet food store. These foods are slightly more expensive, but the health benefits for your cat are well worth any increased expense. You can also pick up a dietary supplement for your cat. Choose a supplement that is specifically formulated to meet the special dietary needs that cats have. And again, if you have any questions about your cat’s diet, always consult your vet.

What to do if your Cat Bites You

Even though cats are cute family pets, it is possible for them to bite. When you, a guest in your home or a family member is bit by a cat, it is important to take certain steps to ensure that the wound does not become infected.

Clean the Wound

As soon as the cat lets go, clean the wound thoroughly. Allow the blood to flow freely and wash it away so that the risk of infection reduces. Do not immediately try to stop the bleeding, since cats have potentially infectious bacteria in their mouths.

It is not necessary to scrub the wound, since that can further damage the skin and muscles in the area. Instead, allow fresh water to run over the wound for roughly five minutes or until it stops bleeding.

Disinfect the Wound

Due to the bacteria that is found in a cat’s mouth, use peroxide or a salt water solution to reduce the risk of infection. Salt is a natural disinfectant that can eliminate bacteria that causes infections.

Bandage the Injury

Wrap the injury in a bandage. Apply pressure to stop any further bleeding and wrap tightly. Go to the hospital after the wound is wrapped.

A cat bite is potentially dangerous due to the risk of infection. Cleaning out the wound is an important part of initial first aid, but you will need to visit a doctor. A doctor will take the appropriate steps to further reduce your risk of infections.

Keep Your Cat Happy While They’re Home Alone


If you’re one of the millions of American cat owners that just hates to leave your kitty home alone when you go to work or when you take a vacation, we’ve got some great tips to help you relieve that stress.

Easy Ideas to Keep You Cat Happy While You’re Away

  • Stick a Routine - Cats are a lot like children when it comes to a daily routine. They like to be fed at the same time each day and have regular attention from you. Set up feeding times to before or after you get home from work and make sure you have plenty of social time together each day as well.
  • Keep Them Busy - Give your kitty plenty of different activity choices to keep busy throughout the day. Invest in a good cat tree and fun toys to help keep them active and entertained while you’re out.
  • Secure the House - When you are rushing out the door for work or to make a last minute flight it can be very easy to leave a window open or door cracked. Before you head out try to take the time to make sure that all windows, screens and doors are secured so that curious kitties don’t find a way to escape.
  • Find a Sitter - If you’re going to be away on a trip be sure to find someone who can come by the house for at least a few hours each day to spend time with your cat. Aside from keeping up with feeding your cat and cleaning up after them, a pet sitter can provide important social interaction that every cat needs.
  • Stock Up on Kitty Supplies - It is always a good idea to have plenty of food, hygiene supplies and play options stocked up around the house for when you are away. That way if there are any changes in your travels or delays your cat will have everything they need to feel happy and secure.

Socializing Kids and Cats


When deciding to bring a new cat into a household where there are children, it is a common thought to choose a kitten for a new pet. Unfortunately, this isn’t the best idea as kittens are fragile and easily injured when treated roughly through play with children. Also, a cat may not have the preferred temperament to deal with kids, but you wouldn’t be able to determine this when he or she is only a kitten. In order to give your child the best opportunity to have a strong and happy relationship with a cat, opt for an adult. Look for a cat that is about 2 to 3 years old, which allows a pet owner to determine the type of personality of the cat.

In order to make the home environment safe and happy for both cat and child, set some boundaries and rules for playing with the kitty. Start by giving the cat its own toys and chew things, as well as its own sleeping space. As your child wants to play with the cat, make sure they use the toys provided rather than their own toys or hands. This helps to ensure that the child won’t be injured accidentally through play, while teaching the cat about the boundaries of playing with people. Always supervise play time with your child and cat, particularly until your child is over 6 years old. Teach your child the appropriate ways to handle the cat, such as never walking around while holding it and to stroke a cat in the direction in which its fur grows. By setting boundaries and giving some guidance for pet handling with a household with children, cats can become a great pet.

Bringing A New Cat Home


Don’t be intimidated at the prospect of bringing a new cat home. As long as you are prepared and willing to take the time to introduce them to their new surroundings, you should do just fine. Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • Other Animals Should Be Introduced Gradually

This depends on your pets, of course. Some animals hit it off right away, others not so much. To avoid territorial disputes right off the bat, it may be wise to leave your dog at a friend’s house until your new kitty is familiar with their new home.

  • Set Aside Some Space

Cats love high places, spots to nap, and a little bit of space to themselves. Leaving a shelf empty for them, getting a new cat bed or just placing their food in one of the low-traffic areas of the home can be a big help.

  • Be There For Them

As they explore their new home, they’ll want a comforting presence so they don’t get spooked. You don’t want to drop the cat off and then take off for work. Wait until you have time to show them around before bringing them home.

  • Cat-Proofing

Make sure that your favorite vase isn’t sitting precariously on the edge of a shelf. Some homes are like a house of cards to a cat, and you need to ensure that you’re not leaving them with a playground of fun things to break. Give them their own scratching post and toys to keep them from wanting to scratch up your curtains.

More than anything, it simply takes time for a cat to get comfortable in new surroundings. Be patient with your new feline friend and they’ll grow accustomed to their new home.

Foods Your Cat Should Never Eat

Feeding your furry feline friend may be the highlight of your day as you bond with your pet. Certain human foods, however, could make your kitty very sick. Protect your cat when you avoid feeding him five human foods.


It serves as a tasty treat for you, so naturally you want to share with your pet. Unfortunately, a toxin known as theobromine is found in chocolate, and it can cause irregular heartbeat, tremors or death for your cat. Enjoy chocolate whenever you want, but don’t let your kitty eat it.

Onions, Garlic and Chives

Rich in allium components, onions, garlic and chives taste good in your recipes. In raw, cooked or powder form, however, these foods can damage your cat’s red blood cells and produce anemia, weight loss and inhibited appetite. Since your kitty is twice as susceptible than dogs to damage from these foods, never give your cat access to onion, garlic or chives.

Raw Fish

Your weekly sushi is safe for you to eat, but it contains thiaminase that breaks down vitamin B. A deficiency of this vitamin could cause weight loss, decreased coat condition or convulsions for your kitty. Protect your feline and always cook fish thoroughly before serving it to your cat.

Dairy Products

Adult cats typically develop lactose intolerance. If you feed your kitty milk or cheese, he could develop diarrhea and other digestive problems. Enjoy as much milk and cheese as you can tolerate, but keep it away from your cat.

Grapes and Raisins

Bite-sized grapes and raisins make fun toys for your playful cat. However, these two foods can lead to kidney failure and death. Never allow your feline to play with or eat grapes and raisins.

Meal times keep your kitty happy and help you bond. Just don’t feed your feline five human foods as you keep your pet healthy.


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