Feral cats are unacquainted with a human touch from the start. It poses a barrier for people to reach out for their aid. But feral cats are not afraid of humans by birth. Their years of harsh encounters with other animals in the wild make them aggressive toward humans. However, we can still reach them safely with the right approach.
You need to approach feral cats quietly from the side so that it doesn’t frighten them. For safety purposes, wearing protective clothing is essential. You can also use food to attract the cat and help it overcome its fear. Once the cat recognizes you as its well-wisher, use a towel and carrier to hold it and carry it to a safe shelter to stay peacefully without hazards and risks.
So, in this article, we will discuss the psychology behind the instincts of feral cats in detail and, step by step, find out how to approach them successfully on your first go. So, let’s get started.
How to Approach and Handle Feral Cats?
Approaching a feral cat without scaring them away is a challenging task. You need to know their behavioral patterns and the right way to take your first step. With an informative conscious on every step toward a feral cat, you can cover the journey to approaching and handling them safely.
We have paved the path for you and composed the procedure into 8 essential steps. Follow them to approach a feral cat in need and give them the love they deserve.
1. Approach Slowly and Quietly
The first step is not to rush. Make a slow motion and let the feral cat analyze your intent of approach. These wild cats have great instincts and can sense threats from a mile away. Let them know that you mean no harm by slowly closing on to them with a non-hostile intent. Remember that feral cats fear humans; making loud noises will fuel the fire. Keep it quiet and slowly approach the cat.
2. Wear Protective Clothing
Wearing protective clothing is vital for two reasons. First, feral cats can carry diseases and parasites, so wearing gloves and long sleeves is essential. Second, the cat might not have a good mood and, despite your efforts, attack you as an enemy. Thus, wearing a protective kit will prevent you from scratches and bites. Either way, you must show the feral cat a good gesture that takes you to the next point.
3. Bring Food
A feral cat may not like you, but it can never hate a good meal. Cats love to play, and they love to eat. On top of that, a feral cat might have to live many days hungry if it cannot catch prey, so a good meal will always help build a relationship. Use strong-smelling, moist food such as canned tuna or chicken to attract them. The meal needs to be fresh and hot if possible. Hot meal aroma will attack the cat to overcome the fear of approaching you. Try Purina ONE Salmon-Based Dry Cat Food; the feral cat will love its flavor and taste. However, give it a little space to open up and approach the food you bring.
4. Use a Carrier or Trap
Now that you have established a relationship, you should have something in hand to carry the feral cat to a safe place. Using a carrier or trap is best for transporting the wild cat safely. Place the food inside the carrier or trap to lure the cat in.
5. Be Patient
Being patient is important. Otherwise, you might never see that feral cat again. Remember that the cat has lived in the wild, and overcoming a life worthy of fear will not take minutes. Give the cat time to decide whose side you are on and contemplate its situation. Don’t force the cat to do anything it doesn’t want to do.
6. Don’t Make Direct Eye Contact
Don’t make direct eye contact with the feral cat. It might consider you a potential predator if you do so. On the other hand, it can scare the cat and force it to activate the fight or flight mode on. Direct eye contact can be seen as a threat by feral cats, so it’s best to avoid looking directly at them. Instead, look at them from the corner of your eye.
7. Approach from the Side
To avoid eye contact, try to approach the feral cat from the side. Even if the cat faces you, approach from the side rather than from the front when you need to get close to it. This can make the cat feel less threatened.
8. Use a Towel or Blanket
Using a blanket to pick up a feral cat will provide comfort to the creature as well as you. You can also use a towel. However, support the cat’s body and avoid squeezing it too tightly.
Congratulations, you have safely approached a feral cat and pitched it up without hassle! Feral cats are hostile to those who it considers a threat. So, follow these steps and confidently approach feral cats to render the help they need.