How to tell the difference between stray and feral cats
07 April 2021
Lots of cats have gone unneutered over the past year due to the stay-at-home guidelines. This means that we are expecting to see more stray and feral cats than usual this spring.
Stray cats are socialised domestic cats who don't have an owner. However, neighbourhood cats sometimes work out that if they look hungry they can get themselves an extra meal. So, if you find one, make sure to ask your neighbours if they recognise the cat or check out local newspapers and Facebook groups for listed missing pets.
On the other hand, feral cats are not socialised to humans or the domestic environment. This means they behave like wild animals and aren't very friendly.
If you find a cat that doesn't seem to have a home, the first thing to do is try and work out if it's a stray or feral. They can look very similar, but this handy guide will help you tell the difference
If you belive the cat is a stray and it is friendly to approach, check the collar for ID tags. If there are no visible signs of ownership, take the animal to your nearest vet to scan for a microchip, or call your local Cats Protection branch for help.
You can find more information about what to do if you find a stray or feral cat on the Cats Protection website