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A Feral Cat is a descendant of a domesticated cat that has returned to the wild.

Behavior of "feral" catsEdit

Feral versus strayEdit

The term feral can apply to any domesticated animal without human contact. Hissing and growling are self-defense behaviors, which, over time, may change as the animal (whether "feral" or "stray") begins to trust humans that provide food, water, and care.

Feral cats that are born and living outdoors, without any human contact or care, have been shown to be adoptable and can be tamed by humans.

Life span and survivalEdit

The lifespan of feral cats is hard to determine accurately, although one study reported a median age of 4.7 years, with a range between 0 to 8.3 years, while another paper referenced a mean life span of 2 - 8 years. In contrast, a cat that lives indoors under proper human care has a life expectancy of 15–22 years.

Another threat to the life of a feral cat is weather. Cats are sensitive to conditions of cold and heat. A cat’s normal body temperature is between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (38.2 and 39.2 Celsius). Cats do not sweat as humans do, and they regulate their body temperature through panting and licking their fur in hot weather.

Diet and predatorsEdit

Feral cats prey on a variety of wildlife. They eat mostly European rabbits and house mice; in forests and urbanised areas, they eat mostly eat food scraps. In environments where rabbits do not occur, native rodents are taken. Birds form a smaller part of the diet.

Feral cats may be apex predators in some local ecosystems. In others, they may be preyed on by feral dogs,and birds of prey.

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