‼️Finding a scared cat outdoors does not automatically mean it’s feral‼️
“Feral” is based on the lack of human interaction the cat has encountered in its lifetime.
A stray cat is a pet who has been lost or abandoned and is used to contact with people. If they’ve been outside on their own for a while it will cause them to be scared or untrusting around new people. A stray cat left alone long enough can revert to a feral state. A feral cat is the offspring of stray or other feral cats and has had no human contact. True feral cats are usually too fearful to be handled or adopted.
Stray cats may be reunited with their families or adopted by new families, but feral cats will find it difficult or impossible to adapt to living as pets in close contact with people. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to improve feral cats’ health and quality of life.
TNR is so important to improving the lives of both unowned stray and feral cats. The whole point of TNR is stop the reproduction of outdoor cats to stop new kittens from entering the feral life.
*Text adapted from humanesociety.org