You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink
I just spoke to a woman who said that she was sponsoring money for people who are sterilising the cats. She wanted to know if someone could help to trap the cats for sterilisation - she was willing to pay. She seems like a kind woman, but she said that it seems troublesome for people to trap the cats when they're already carrying food.
I mentioned that if they trap the cats quickly, they won't need to carry the trap hopefully for too long, or at least not every time they feed. In addition they'll be carrying more and more food if they don't sterilise. As everyone knows, food isn't particularly light either.
In addition, she said that the feeders complained their cats were caught. I told her we'd be happy to help them set up a TNRM programme, but they must be willing to do more than just feed. I told her we'd be happy to show them what needs to be done but they must be involved. Otherwise, it does make it very difficult to protect the cats. She said that it was very difficult as most of them did not want to do anything additional.
Sterilisation is the first step, but management will continue for the rest of the life of the colony. Most days, that doesn't involve much more than ensuring your cats are well, but at times, you may have to mediate or speak up for the cats.
Looking at the case I mentioned a few days ago, some feeders had been given free sterilisations for the last 5 years either by CWS, AVA or later on the caregivers in the area. I believe the caregivers even provided transport. Yet the number of cats remains as large as ever because they never really went all out to sterilise and let it slide. Now they're asking for more free slots. As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.