I was just speaking with a very frustrated woman who moved into an area in June. She had spoken with me once before and I can see she's getting more frustrated as time goes by. She said that she had three cats urinating outside her door. She also said the number is increasing and that the caterwauling at night is getting pretty bad. She said she did not want the cats killed - but that it is getting so bad she is considering moving out altogether.
I have been down to this area several times myself. The problem is that there are a lot of people feeding, and that there are no really good caregivers there. There is a woman who likes to leave the cat food partway up the staircase and the cats run up all the time.
The woman said to me that she can't really be sure the vacuum effect works - she says that she's not asking for no cats but that there are areas where they don't really have problems.
The difference really I am convinced boils down to two really important factors. One, whether the area has good caregivers and two, whether there is a lot of dumping. If either or both are not present, the whole programme will flop.
How else can two pretty similar estates, which aren't very far apart have such different levels of complaints? In one, the caregiver there works really well, gets the cats sterilised, and very importantly, helps handle complaints. In the other, just across the road, which is where today's complaint came from again, I am sure to have the TC or a resident call fairly regularly with pretty valid complaints.
This can make a huge difference - the cats are less obvious, they are less visible, and people are therefore happier. People with complaints are less likely to be frustrated because caregivers are on hand to help them - not yell at them, or dismiss their complaints as pointless before checking.