Instead, feral cats are common domestic cats that differ from pet cats only because they have had little or no positive interaction with humans. They are wary and will resist contact.
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Kittens born to an abandoned, unsprayed pet will grow up to be feral. However, if brought into human care and socialized at a young age, these kittens will become ordinary household pets, trusting, companionable and able to be handled.
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Cats that grow up feral or abandoned pet cats that acquire feral behaviors are usually poor candidates for successful adoption into homes. Feral cats cannot be picked up or handled. Shelters must use their limited space for adoptable animals.
However, if spayed or neutered, ferals can live healthy and contented lives in a supported colony environment. Feral cats do not have the necessary skills to fend for themselves and survive without human help.
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Most ferals live fewer than two or three years in unsupported environments, but by this time have produced many offspring who will also become feral. A colony is simply a group of free-roaming cats living together. The colony site may be a city street or suburban neighborhood, a farm or rural property, a junk or salvage yard, an industrial site, an empty lot or abandoned building, a municipal garbage dump, a university campus — wherever food often garbage, rodents and shelter can be found.
Feral colonies form wherever homeless or free-roaming cats find food and shelter. Cats become sexually mature between four and five months of age and multiply at an astonishing rate.
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In some circumstances, they can be deadly. So in early November Martin's office and the Kingwood Services Association laid down the money to hire a professional trapper through a competitive bidding process. He is now at work rounding the critters up.
It's a repeat of , when a hog infestation stirred widespread complaints, until authorities hired a trapper who took dozens of animals from the area. The hogs can reproduce at just six months old. Martin said he thought enough time had passed since the last removal effort for the population to regenerate in local woods, growing to the problematic levels the community is seeing today. On an online forum for the Kingwood community, residents posted their own experiences with feral hogs.