Feral cats are descended from domestic cats, but are born and live without human contact. These are the ones you see running through your backyard. Sometimes you can hear them fighting and making a crying sound like a baby.
Feral cats are homeless cats, some consider them as wild animals. They are often confused with pets who were abandoned or have become lost.
The moms usually give birth in quiet, unseen spots where the kittens will not be visible for several weeks. They will hide during the day and come out at night. Since there is no human contact, they will be totally wild. When the kittens begin to romp and play, they are usually noticed by humans, but are not easily captured.
They are usually terrified of humans, and a feral kitten may hiss and "spit" at humans.
The feral kitten is capable of giving you a nasty scratch or bite and will probably try to escape if given the chance. To the kitten you may be seen as a predator; the kitten may think it is fighting for its life.
Feral diet: small mammals (rabbits, mice), birds and carrion.
A domestic cat, or house cat is a small furry domesticated carnivorous mammal that is valued by humans for its companionship.
A stray cat is one that has possibly become separated from it's owner. It may have become lost, dumped, or even abandoned when the owner moved or died. These are cats that are used to people, and tend to be somewhat approachable.
Sometimes stray cats will have on collars with tags indicating that the are a pet.
Domestic Cat Diet:
Dry foods are very helpful with matters of oral hygiene. Dry food, unlike moist, requires chewing and gnawing of kibble to be swallowed.
Typically, moist food is higher in fat and calories, and therefore more palatable. Many cats that are ill or debilitated will eat moist food because of its taste and ease of digestion.
Failure to control the breeding of pet cats by spaying and neutering and the abandonment of former household pets has resulted in large numbers of feral cats worldwide, with a population of up to 60 million of these animals in the United States alone.
For more information on Feral and Domestic Cats, please visit the following websites:
Domestic Cat – National Geographic
The History of the Domestic Cat
Feral Cat Information
ASPCA - Feral Cats FAQ