|Yeah my parents are big bird watchers now too... but they had an indoor/outdoor declawed cat who brought some birds and other creatures home in his day! I think there are folks who fall on both sides of the fence simultaneously. And now there are more cat households than dog households.
Ah...but there's the rub....see...mixing the issue with owned cats. Owned cats do kill birds...but we aren't talking about that...we are talking about unowned cats that are wild.
Most organizations in the USA promote indoor cat ownership.
And when you are talking about shelters pooling resources...I'm thinking you are again talking about owned cats...or people adopting cats.
Feral cats are a completely separate issue. Feral cats are more comparible with cougars in the sense that they provide for themselves and do not trust humans. Of course..even that comparison is a stretch because many ferals do rely on humans for feeding. My point was simply to say..they are not your domesticated tabby.
There are actually 3 subtype of cats:
Outdoor cats owned
Outdoor cats strays
Outdoor cats feral
Lumping them all together or saying they can be treated in the same manner is an inaccurate statement.
Also...due to the fact that there are 3 subtypes..and that ferals do a marvelous job of hiding from us...it is hard to gauge the actual number of ferals that there are....I choose not to say any figure because to me as a cat lover 40-70 million=cats that need fixing...to a bird lover that is 40-70 million=bird predators..and we simply do not know. Studies are also difficult to gauge as well....you never know from watching any one colony if those findings can be replicated elsewhere. What is true is that feral cats need our help...they need to be fixed...they need an advocate. They are trying to survive...just as their big counterparts are trying to do (cougars, lions etc.). When a group does TNR...they not only prevent the possibility of more ferals through litters...they also can provide good research. The controversy of how best to deal with feral cats will not end any time soon...but I can say this...I am grateful to all who do TNR work....because before the only option for a feral cat was death...and that really is no option at all.