Feral cats have either never had any contact with humans or their contacts with humans have diminished over time. They are the same species as pet cats but usually too fearful to be handled or adopted; feral cats are truly wild animals.
These cats often live in colonies and usually congregate near landfills and garbage bins, cafes, shops, parks, or in rural areas where they can scavenge food or are fed by one or more people. Kittens are born neutral. The sooner they have human contact, the easier it will be to tame them.
Do homeless cats live a good life? No, they live short, hard lives on the streets. Almost half of the kittens born outdoors die from diseases, exposure, or parasites before their first year. If a homeless cat survives kittenhood, its average lifespan is less than two years if living on its own.
The best way to help feral cats is through Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). TNR programs aim to humanely reduce feral cat populations by trapping, vaccinating, spaying, or neutering them, and then releasing back into the site where they were captured.
In Spain, the number of domestic cats is estimated at three million, although this is a very difficult figure to count as many of them are in a semi-feral state, to which we must add completely wild ones.
Here are some photos of feral cats I took at a beach in Barcelona.
While traveling in Europe, I often saw stray cats in big cities, especially in Spain. When I lived in Tenerife, the largest island of the Canary Islands, for half a year, I even managed to “tame” a few wild cats, because I fed them every day. They never let me get closer than 10 steps: either hissed aggressively or immediately ran away.
I love dogs, especially German shepherds (they are more or less like wolves), but still, I love cats more. Cats prefer independence and live like yogis as they are mysterious, flexible, and able to fully relax. For me, the most beautiful cat breed is the blue-eyed Siamese.
I neutrally look at stray cats. Yes, they contribute to the reduction of local fauna (especially birds), but their own life is cruel and not on a soft couch. By the way, no one causes such tragic and catastrophic damage to fauna and flora as a modern human.
I hope you enjoyed my Wildlife: Cautious feral cats in Spain post. If you like nature, here are a few more posts that I recommend you read next:
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase or sign up for a program, I get a small commission at no additional cost to you.