Feral cats and stray cats are not one and the same. Feral cats are those born and raised in the wild, or those cats that have been abandoned or lost and turned to a feral lifestyle in order to survive. Feral cats are often too wild to be handled, and many live in groups known as colonies, taking refuge wherever they can find food. While this may sound similar to stray cats, pet adoption professionals make a distinction between feral and stray cats. Unlike feral cats, the ASPCA defines stray cats as those that have been abandoned or become lost, tend to be tame and can be comfortable around people. Such cats may purr, meow and rub against legs of humans who come into contact with them. Stray cats often rely on humans for food, whereas colonies of feral cats will typically feed on garbage, rodents and other small animals. The life expectancy of a stray cat depends on when it was lost or abandoned and how effective it is at find a reliable food source, while many feral cats do not survive kittenhood. The average lifespan for those feral cats that do is less than two years outside of a colony but can be as long as 10 years when living in a colony with an established caretaker. Such caretakers may be an individual or a group of individuals who provide feral cats with their basic needs, such as food, shelter and even emergency medical care.