Let's restore a greater percentage of semi-feral cats to their rightful place in society: the working cat. Wasn't that meant to be what they were at the beginning, when first domesticated?
Not all feral cats run a mile at the sight of people. There is a wide spectrum of types of feral cat and some are quite domesticated but live outside. For instance, there is a lady in the UK who looks after "allotment cats" (allotments in the UK are gardens in a different place to where you live). These are semi-feral cats.
Cats Protection in the UK ask people to contact them if they know of cats that would suit the working cat environment such as farms, stables, smallholdings etc.
In America, the Arizona Humane Society have a page on their website where they say cats will work for mice. I like that. They ask people to give them their stray and feral cats. They say there is a waiting list of potential homes for working-cat candidates. I presume this to mean there are more people seeking working cats than there are available cats.
Arizona Humane Society provides a great start up pack to a person who'd like a working cats (applicants for cats have to take a minimum of cats).
The Society supplies:
- an enclosure
- and litter box and litter to get you started.
They make the good point that working cats are an environmentally friendly form of pest control. The benefits are enormous. The lives of two cats are saved and there is no need to put down poisons to control pests, plus you have the fun of looking after a cat which will probably be friendly as well as able to live semi-wild.
There may be some difficulties with relocating cats but if those risks are outweighed by the benefits I believe and these sorts of programs also raise the profile of feral cats in the eyes of others. We need that because too many people see feral cats as pests.