Feral Cat Socialization: Can It Be Done?

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Feral cats are mostly found on the outskirts of a town, where humans do not roam frequently. Owing to their wild living, they might involuntarily pose a health risk for both humans and their pets. But there are several methods to stop that from happening, and the best way is socialization.

Socializing feral cats is not easy and can depend on several factors, like the cat’s age, personality, or genetics. Socialization cannot be done just in one go. It takes time and effort. There are several steps to socialize feral cats, like creating a bond with them and making them feel comfortable with you.

In this article, we will explain all the factors and the steps for the socialization of feral cats.

What is Socialization in Feral Cats?

Socialization concerning feral cats means that these cats are either used to the company of humans or enjoy companionship. In a typical scenario, a wild cat will run away at the sight of a human, or if it is uncomfortable, it might attack the person.

As far as a feral cat is in question, socialization is challenging and needs patience.

Is It Possible to Socialize Feral Cats?

Socialization of a feral cat is not impossible. It is tough but can be achieved if a constant effort is made to help the little creature. It takes time and patience to convert a feral cat into a socialized one.

Factors on Which the Socialization of Feral Cats Depend

There are 4 major factors on which the socialization of a wild cat depends. They are explained below.

  • Age

As feral cats grow and get old, they start getting more fierce. The younger the feral cat is, the higher the chances of socializing it. It happens as a younger feral cat is not entirely accustomed to living in the wild and can be socialized with minimum effort.

However, an adult will take much time to respond positively to any approach.

  • Personality

Not all feral cats have the same personality. Some are more stubborn than others. Thus, a wild cat with an amicable personality is easier to socialize with as it might react positively earlier.

On the contrary, a stubborn feral cat takes a lot of time or may not at all get socialized.

  • Genetics

Genes play a crucial role in determining whether a feral cat will socialize. If any wild cat’s colony has been aggressive or stubborn generation after generation, it can become a difficult task to socialize a member of that family.

  • Time Invested in Socializing

The socializing of feral cats does not just depend on the feline and their attributes. It can also depend on the humans trying to socialize with them. Since socializing with a feral cat is tough, people often give up midway.

The more time invested into socializing a feral cat, the better the chances it finally becomes socialized.

Steps to Socialize a Feral Cat

Apart from time and patience, there are various steps one needs to keep in mind while socializing a feral cat. The approach can only reap fruitful results if a step-by-step process is followed.

So, here are the basic steps you can implement for feral cat socialization.

  • Offer Food

Offering them food is the first step to attracting feral cats’ attention. You can provide them with both solid food and water. However, it is essential to know that the climatic condition may ruin the feed if kept open. Hence it is wise to use a suitable cat food feeder. One option is Van Ness Small Auto Feeder. It is cost-effective and sturdy to withstand outdoor conditions. Since it comes at a great price, you can buy multiple feeders and set them at different places to serve many feral cats.

  • Make Them Comfortable

Feral cats are not used to humans. Thus, they will not be comfortable being around you even when you offer them food regularly. It’s recommended to keep the food and leave. Once they understand that you are not a threat to them and are here for their good, they will start becoming comfortable with you.

  • Get TNR and Vaccinations Done

Next, you’ll have to trap them to get them neutered. Neutering or spaying them will not only control their population but also prevent them from being exposed to deadly diseases and health hazards. Plus, the vaccines will keep them healthy and fit.

  • Get Them a Shelter

Lastly, you need to work on getting them a shelter. A safe and comfortable shelter is vital so that the changing climatic conditions do not become too harsh on them.

If you can perform these steps without receiving any resistance from the feral cats, it’s to be understood that they have become socialized to some extent. After that, you can make more effort and make them adoptable to give them a permanent home.


Socializing feral cats is possible if done correctly. But if you force it, they will get startled and run away. So, you must cautiously follow all the steps mentioned above to socialize feral cats faster and more effectively.

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