Feral cats live on the streets and usually do not venture near humans. It takes work to garner the trust of a feral cat. However, the bond between the cat and its dedicated caretaker is quite strong.
Contrary to the popular opinion that cats are aloof, they can be loyal, affectionate, and caring about you if you earn their trust. They generally depict it through sure signs as well as symbols.
Hence, in this article, we will talk about signs that a feral cat displays, which signals that it trusts you.
Signs That A Feral Cat Trusts You
Unlike domestic cats, ferals can be dangerous to approach if they are in a pissed-off mood. As a result of which, they can exhibit aggressiveness. So, you should only approach a feral cat if it shows signs of trusting you. Below are some actions that feral cats take around humans they trust.
1. Greets You Excitedly
Have you ever been greeted by a stray cat? Cats are curious creatures, and they love to investigate new things. So, despite staying aloof most of the time, if you see that the cat comes to greet you when it sees you outside, the feline trusts you. It’s always beautiful when a feral cat comes running to you when you reach where it usually lives. So, the next time a feral greets you, you should know it wants to befriend you!
2. Loves Spending Time with You
Although feral cats are known to be violent sometimes, they can still exhibit love for their desired people. However, they can still form a strong bond with their chosen caretaker. Seeing that a feral cat loves spending time with you means it trusts and appreciates you.
It can run to you and ask for pets or jump around and ask for a fun playtime. It might also curl up in your lap and enjoy comfort and warmth. Also, if you see that it loves sleeping close to you, it is a sign that the cat trusts you.
Besides, you can get some toys to play with it. One of the best options is the Petstages Interactive Cat Puzzle, one of the best toys for your favorite cat! Besides strengthening your bond with the feral, it keeps the cat excited and active with the toy while searching for food.
3. Bites and Kneads You
Sometimes, feral cats might be over-enthusiastic with their love. Generally, cats start biting other cats from a young age, when they learn the difference between an affectionate bite and a hunting bite. So, a feral cat biting you indicates that it trusts you. Similarly, cats can knead their front paws at you, which shows their trust and love for you.
4. Slow Blinks at You
Similar to humans, cats communicate to a great extent with their eyes. Since eye contact plays a significant role when communicating with a feral cat. Observing their eyes can be an excellent method to learn how a cat feels about you. They can stare or blink to depict various emotions to the humans around them.
A cat holding eye contact and blinking when relaxed indicates a profound trust and affection for you. Moreover, this blink can also be considered the love blink, which means the cat finds you a safe person to relax around.
5. Headbutts You
Have you seen a feral cat giving you a head butt or rubbing its cheek on you? Well, it is a sign of trust and love. Generally, cats have certain scent glands on their forehead, chins, and cheek, which release specific pheromones. Are you aware of the concept of cat pheromones? The pheromones are chemical messages that signal different things to your cat.
These pheromones are also responsible for expressing safety as well as familiarity. Thus, if a cat gives you head butts, it is quite a relevant indication that it trusts you with its safety and comfort. However, you will be unable to smell cat pheromones since humans lack a stronger sense of smell than cats.
It may also be signaling to other feral cats that it trusts you. So, the next time you encounter a stray cat giving you head bumps, you can rest assured that the cat likes you!
6. Brings You Gifts
Gifts are indeed always a love language! Not just for humans, cats also exhibit their love for humans through gifts! Feral cats can give you innovative things that they find throughout their day. Feral cats are majorly lone hunters, and they bring back the hunted gifts for the rest of their group.
You might not be amused with a dead mouse as a gift, but you should genuinely appreciate the present if a cat tries to hunt things and show them to you. They trust you as their own and believe in offering you the gift they hunted. Hence, if you find random such things showing up at your front porch brought by a feral, you should know that it likes you!
7. Asks You for Belly Rubs
The stomach of a cat is its vulnerable area. If a cat is lying on its back, exposing the belly, it indicates it is pretty relaxed around you. It also means the feral cat is eager for belly rubs, which suggests their affection for you.
8. Chats with You
Generally, feral cats tend to reserve their meows for communicating with humans. Hence, they like to meow at you. If you see that a feral cat loves chatting, which means meowing at you, it indicates that they loves spending time communicating with and trusting you. However, excessive meowing can indicate other issues, such as sickness, injury, pain, etc. So, if you find a random cat meowing a lot, calling the vet can benefit its well-being.
9. Makes Trilling Sounds
Though people unfamiliar with cats might find it weird, feral cats make a high-pitched trilling sound when they are friendly and pleasant. This sound is distinct from their meowing and indicates they feel comfortable around you.
Since the cat trusts you, you need to ensure that you keep their trust and bond with them better.
How Do You Know If a Feral is Uncomfortable with You?
Unlike domestic cats, ferals cannot be petted anytime you wish to. Due to their inborn aggressive instinct, it is essential to check whether or not a feral is comfortable with you. Here’s how you can learn if a feral is not comfortable with you:
Hissing is one of the biggest negative signs a cat exhibits when it wants to display its dislike or discomfort for someone. If you find a feral hissing at you, leaving them for the time being would be best, as going near it may cause them to become highly aggressive.
2. Low Posture
Low posture generally indicates that someone threatens the feral. When you go near a feral and find it crouching on the ground, maintaining a low posture, it suggests that the cat does not like your presence and is uncomfortable with you. So, always back off from your position if you spot a cat behaving this way.
3. Back Arching
Cats usually back-arch when they desire to play. However, the friendly back arch of a feral will always be accompanied by frequent head bumps, purring, and meowing. If you find a feral simply back arching without exhibiting any other signs, it implies that your presence threatens the cat. Approaching the cat when its back arches can be dangerous.
4. Flat Ears
Another significant sign that indicates that a feral is uncomfortable is flat ears. By displaying flat ears, the ferals convey that they are not favoring your presence and want to be left alone. If you encounter a feral with flat ears, leave them alone and provide them with the space they require to feel safe. However, once they calm down, you can approach them later.
How Long Does It Take for a Feral to Trust You?
Unlike dogs, cats require time to bond and trust humans. However, the time ferals need to trust you depends mainly on their personality, traits, and previous experiences. For instance, if a feral is accustomed to staying in the presence of humans, they might not feel too uncomfortable when you approach them. Staying in the presence of humans implies getting fed, adorned, etc. So, if you encounter such a feral who’s familiar with the human approach, the cat can easily trust you.
However, when a feral has had bad experiences with humans, such as being hit, teased, etc., it might be tough for them to trust someone due to their bitter experiences of human encounters in the past. In such a situation, you should be patient and allow the cat to take time to trust you. To make a feral trust you, it is essential to maintain a non-threatening body language.
Always maintain a low stance to help the cat find you safe. Besides being mindful of your body language, speaking in a soft, comforting tone can help the feral cat build trust. Building a cat shelter near your house can also help you develop a deeper level of trust for yourself. But, since cats are sensitive animals, they will need time to trust an individual entirely. So, avoid inducing forceful encounters, as pressurizing them would only worsen the situation.
How to Bond with a Feral Cat?
There are multiple ways in which you can bond with a feral cat. The following are some ways to bond with a feral cat that trusts you.
|Ways To Bond
|Actions To Take
|Feeding a feral cat is an excellent way by which you can establish and garner their trust and bond. Since most cats are motivated by food, you can use this to your advantage. However, make sure that there is a consistency to it and that you feed them regularly.
|Treats are an excellent way through which you can pamper a feral cat. In this way, not only would they feel affectionate around you but also spend time with you.
|Many cats like being brushed. It makes them feel protected and secure. In addition to reducing shedding, brushing helps disperse the skin’s natural oils, giving your cat’s coat a gorgeous, lustrous appearance. Feral cats will appreciate how the brushing cleans their fur.
|Just like humans, feral cats also love cuddles, especially from their caretakers, as it gives them a sign of protection and love. Thus, make sure to cuddle with them sometimes to deepen their trust.
Cats are affectionate and loving creatures, and despite the popular opinion that feral cats are solitary animals, they genuinely love and trust a few chosen humans. So, understand the signs and deepen the bond with your feline neighbors.