Removing Community cats by adoption
A lady who fostered for CWS before emailed me to ask about fostering a cat for adoption. She saw a neighbourhood cat in her neighbourhood and thought it might have a good shot at adoption. She didn't want to leave it on the street, so thought it might be a good idea to find it a home, so she asked if she should take it in.
While I can understand the anxiety that every caregiver faces (or even people who see a cute cat whom they walk by every day) that the cat may not be there tomorrow, picking up cats for adoption really isn't the answer. Cats on the street are subject to abuse, accidents, fights and trapping by pest control, but at the same time, if they have caregivers, many cats on the street live a very good life indeed. Having seen some cats in foster/adoptive homes, I would be tempted to say that some of these cats have better lives then their counterparts who are sometimes kept in far from ideal conditions.
Also, removing the cat just means that another cat will move in because of the vacuum effect. It's an endless cycle then of picking up cats and putting them up for adoption.
If there were endless homes for adoption, again, this might be an option. However, the reality is that there are just far more cats than homes for the cats. If you want to adopt the cat yourself, then do take it in, but bear in mind that if you intend to look for an adoptive home, you may not find one and you may end up with the cat permanently. Also, not every adoptive home is a good one.
So what can you do? Start a TNRM programme in your estate. Make sure the cats are properly managed, that you work with the town council and handle complaints. This immediately improves the chances of your cat being safer. Explain to people what you are doing in the estate and get them involved if possible. A community that cares for its cats has safer, healthier and happier cats.