The Cultural Significance of Feral Cats in Different Parts of the World

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The genesis of cats in any region has a similar history. Cats were brought into a region to keep a check on the rodent and pest population to save agricultural produce. In Australia especially, they were brought by the English settlers. Thus, feral cats were once domesticated cats as well. However, with time, they were abandoned and left in the wild. Thus, today there are visible differences between the characteristics of feral cats and domesticated cats. Feral cats are much more aggressive and hostile toward humans. This is because these cats have lived most of their lives in the wild with less or no human interaction. They also have predator-like instincts and feed on other wild species found in the wild.

Feral cats are found in many regions of the world. All these regions have a different history pertaining to their cultural significance. Moreover, the way they were viewed or treated in history has also changed significantly over time. For instance, in Australia and the U.S., these cats were adopted to kill rodents. This article is written with the intention of laying bare the cultural significance of feral cats in different parts of the world.

Cultural Significance of Feral Cats in Different Parts of the World

Listed below are accounts of some countries that are home to feral cat populations:

1. Australia

Feral cats in Australia are most likely to have descended from European settlers back in the 19th century. These cats were transported in sailing vessels in order to control rodent populations. Thus, feral cats were a medium for controlling infections or diseases spread by rodents. However, over the years, these cats were abandoned and had to find a recluse in the wild. Since then, these cats have successfully established their habitat in every region of the country, be it grasslands, woodlands, wetlands, or arid areas.

Today, the population of feral cats in Australia is increasing drastically. These cats have also come out as a threat to the extinction of other wild species in the region. Reports have claimed that close to 100 native species of Australia are currently threatened by feral cats. This has forced people to take drastic measures to control their upsurge. The safest and most humane method adopted by people troubled with feral cats in Australia is the TNR (trap, neuter, and release) program.

2. United States

The introduction of feral cats in the United States is accounted to Egyptian travelers or sailors. These travelers brought feral cats to the region in order to kill rodents and venomous snakes that harmed crop production. However, similar to the case in Australia, these cats have established their habitat in most regions of the United States, posing a threat to both animals and humans.

Feral cats often search for food in unsanitary environments such as garbage cans, dumpsters, and more. While doing so, they scatter and spread the content of the trash can all around the surrounding areas. This is one of the primary reasons behind the spread of infectious and viral diseases. The best way to control this risk is by feeding feral cats quality food. In this way, they will not have to go search around for food in dumpsters. You can buy the INABA Natural Hand-Cut Grilled Tuna Fillet. It can suffice the dietary needs of feral cats effectively.

Just like in Australia, the overgrowing population of feral cats in the United States also pose a threat to the survival of other wild species. The American Bird Conservancy reported that feral cats are one of the main contributors to the death of millions of birds and small mammals every year. TNR is the only way of controlling their population and thereby saving the lives of other species. 

3. Italy

Feral cats have been protected since 1991. It is also illegal to kill these cats in Italy. It is also illegal to deliberately remove a stray cat from its home grounds and relocate it somewhere else. The only way adopted to control their population is by getting them surgically neutered by veterinarians of the Veterinary Public Services.

In history, cats were companions to the wealthy Romans. They also played a huge role in ensuring pest control. History also accounts that these cats were considered sacred by the Goddess Diana. They were believed to have special powers. Today, most cat colonies in Italy are found in Rome, Sicily, and Venice. It is mandatory for the citizens to feed and offer shelter if feral cats are found in their area.


The outlook on feral cats is diverse in different counties. While in some places, like Australia and U.S., these cats are viewed as a threat, in other places, like Italy and Egypt, cats are considered sacred. In any case, taking extreme measures to control their population is not the right solution. The best way to live in harming with these cats is by considering the TNR program. In this way, the feral cat population will be kept under control, and the risk to humans and other species will be reduced drastically.

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