Some people think that those who advocate caring for homeless animals are idealists and that feeding and caring for homeless cats simply makes the population problem worse. Research and experience shows this is not true.
Research shows that spay/neuter-trap-return is the single most successful long-term solution. The goal of this approach is not simply to feed animals and let them run wild; it is to actively monitor the population and take steps to neuter them to limit population growth as much as possible. Contrary to popular but uninformed opinion, completely removing the feral cat population actually costs more in the long run because other cats will always move in and create new colonies. Stabilizing and maintaining healthy feral cat colonies results in the least cost to local communities.
Moreover, other institutions such as Stanford, Cal Poly, the University of Texas, and many others have successfully adopted this approach. They demonstrate that the approach can be implemented and that it works.
The goal of the Caltech Animal Team is to promote the same approach to Caltech’s homeless animal population.