I had a long conversation with a feeder I haven't spoken to in a while this morning. She was calling because a condominium that she feeds near to has set up traps. Apparently, the cats she has been feeding have been running into the condominium and the condo has decided it cannot handle all the complaints anymore.
I outlined the TNRM programme to her and asked if she knew any residents who lived there. She did not. I asked if she could feed away from the condominium but she said it would be a bit difficult as the condo went along the entire length of the road. I told her we could mention how sterilisation was more effective and to allow the sterilised cats to stay. I asked her if the cats were sterilised - they weren't. That's when I knew we had a real problem. It turns out there are more than 20 unsterilised cats in the vicinity.
The feeder said there are another two feeders - but no one is sterilising. The condo has been facing a problem for a while, and the residents have been complaining about cauterwauling at night.
The feeder is upset because they have put out traps. I asked if she can start up a TNRM programme and she said she can't. She said she may be able to do some cats, but it's very difficult to trap the cats and send them for sterilisation. She does not live in the area as well so she cannot handle complaints.
I told her that if she intends to start a programme, she needs to see it through, but the feeder does not think she can do that. She said the other feeders cannot do it either. She said she's very stressed with her other colonies and she cannot manage on her own.
This makes it very difficult to come up with an effective management programme for the condominium. The management does not care if the cats are sterilised or not, most of the time - they want to know how the problem is solved for their residents. While the solution involves sterilisation as an integral part of it, selling it as just a sterilisation programme to the management is unlikely to work.
I told the feeder it was better to concentrate on doing one colony and doing it 100% then to do a number of colonies and maybe do 30% on each. The remaining cats will multiply and all the sterilisations done will be negated in the face of the growing population.
Here's the problem - the feeder feeds on the back of a condominium where the cats run in and out. All the feeders don't sterilise but the cats are constantly fed. Due to the fact that they are fed, they're more friendly and thus more visible. Residents start to notice the cats because of the increasing numbers and complain. It all adds up to a disaster. So please, please, PLEASE sterilise.