Current approaches to un-owned cats across the country have not resulted in communities free of roaming cats. Rather, the scale of the intake and euthanasia is far too small to actually impact the overall population. Shelters, for example those in California, only deal with around 5 percent of the estimated un-owned cat population in a given year, while studies have shown that over 50 percent of the population must be removed year after year, in order to have a sustained decrease in overall numbers. No community would support such a massive increase in euthanasia.
Despite wishes to the contrary, un-owned cats are living in our communities all over the country. We can decide to manage them effectively or not. By rethinking our approach and putting time, energy and other resources into proactive approaches, we can have a far greater impact on cat populations, wildlife predation and community safety. Read more about the synergy between the Million Cat Challenge and programs to reduce the number of free-roaming cats in communities here.