My husband shared an article with me awhile back that shared what I thought was an excellent situation for feral cats.
Many ferals that end up in shelters get euthanized. They’re frequently not spayed, they’re not adoptable, and they can repopulate at a crazy rate. It’s only been recently that TNR is spreading throughout animal shelter programs.
However, even after a feral is spayed, they may not be wanted in the area they were living in. Feral colonies do exist, but you can’t just plop another feral into the colony and expect that everyone will get along.
The article, in summary, discusses the bad rat problem in Chicago and the money spent trying to exterminate them. The Humane Society there began a program to place ferals in areas with rat problems, and sure enough, the rat population in those feral-habited locations went down better than any chemical option could’ve offered.
The example given in the article is a brewery that had rats eating their grain supplies and costing them money in wasted ingredients. Having feral cats around saved them money, because they had less wasted open bags of grain.
In my mind, there’s so many wins in this scenario. Ferals aren’t euthanized as frequently because they’re actually desired. Rat population decreases without the use of chemicals that can also be harmful to other animals (say, a curious dog), and it’s sustaining rather than having to constantly apply something.
Here is the article: