Cat rescue authorities give varying advice on the issue of adopting feral cats. Under normal circumstances, kittens develop trust in humans early, in the first two or three weeks of life. Some believe that even at six weeks the window for socialising kittens is closing fast. In practice, it depends heavily on the individual cat. Some may resist taming even at a young age, whereas there are many success stories with domesticating older ferals. It is true, however, that the older the cat the longer it may take to become accustomed to people and domestic life.
The viciousness of a tiny ball of fur (and the damage small claws can do) can be truly astonishing, but is a measure of a kitten or cat's fear, not a sign of a malicious disposition. Many ferals are afraid of hands and handling. Hand feeding helps them to develop positive associations. Though it may take years of small steps, rehabilitated ferals can be transformed into loving pets and amiable companions. It's not a task for the novice or the impatient, but when a former tiger insists you provide a scratch and tickle, the hard work all becomes infinitely worthwhile.