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How Far Does a Feral Cat Roam? The Interesting Answer & FAQ

Patricia Dickson

By Patricia Dickson

two feral cat on rocks

Everyone has come across a feral cat at some point. However, many people think that a feral cat is the same as a stray cat, which is not true. A stray cat is one that has been domesticated and somehow becomes lost, living on its own. A feral cat was born in the wild and is perfectly capable of hunting and feeding itself.

Some pet owners try to give feral cats shelter and forever homes. However, if a feral cat gets out and begins roaming, they can stay around 1,500 feet for males and 75 yards for females. Let’s discuss that and more facts below.

How Far Do Feral Cats Roam?

Surprisingly, the male feral cat tends to roam within a territory of 150 acres, while the female feral cat will roam closer to home at about 40 acres. This means that the average male feral cat won’t stray but stays around 1,500 feet from what it considers home, and the female will stay within 75 yards of your door.

That’s much less than experts thought, so maybe it is possible to make a feral cat into a loyal, domesticated pet without fear that the cat will run off.

two feral cats
Image Credit: Martin Fowler, Shutterstock

Does a Feral Cat Sleep in the Same Place?

If you adopted a feral cat and managed to domesticate it, it will generally sleep in the same area outside near your home. However, feral cats usually sleep wherever they can find a spot. You can usually find them in crawl spaces, vacant lots, and even on or under the porches of some homes.

It’s best never to force a feral cat to sleep in the same spot if it doesn’t want to. Any cat will attack if it feels threatened, and feral cats do spread rabies, so you don’t want to be bitten or clawed by one that thinks you’re a threat.

Where Do Feral Cats Go When It Rains?

Cats don’t like water, so when it starts to rain, they will seek warm, cozy, and dry shelters. Feral cats are no exception, but they don’t have a home to run into. Instead, you can usually find them hiding from the rain under cars, beneath decks and porches, under houses, in garages, and anywhere they can get out of the wet until the weather clears.

You can build a shelter for feral cats to get out of the rain and the frigid winter cold. However, don’t try to force the cats to get into the shelter. They will enter it whenever they feel comfortable and safe from predators.

a feral cat sitting near metal pipes
Image Credit: museumsmaus, Pixabay

What Is the Average Lifespan of a Feral Cat?

Because of the dangers they face, including speeding vehicles, unethical humans, diseases, and parasites, feral cats typically only live 2 to 3 years without human assistance.

Final Thoughts

Feral cats don’t roam as far from home as you might think. However, they will roam farther if they don’t have surrogate human families or a reliable source of food. As with any cat, feral cats can be domesticated to become pets, but it takes a lot of time, patience, and love.

If you decide to give a feral cat a forever home, make sure to have the cat checked out by a vet, and then give it the space and love it needs to get used to having a home. Eventually, the cat will give you that love back in spades for several years.

Featured Image Credit: Piqsels

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