There isn’t an equal number of feral cats in NYC to the number of rats but there are a lot of them, about 500 separate colonies.
The boundless empathy that many New Yorkers have for those in need has extended to these cats and there is a whole army of volunteers that have looked after them, feeding them and making sure they are safe, especially in very cold weather.
But now these volunteers, Developers and new residents moving into gentrifying neighborhoods have resulted in a very NYC problem. The Developers and the new residents want them gone and the volunteers want them looked after. Large plastic rat traps have been noted, enlarged to allow cats to enter them. Right now it’s war.
It is the ongoing battle between what had been a settled and satisfying lifestyle being disrupted by the change which is taking place right across NYC. Apparently there are only 3 neighborhoods in NYC where rents aren’t increasing and therefore only 3 where the mix in neighborhoods isn’t changing.
It would be very good if everyone concerned could work out a solution. The cats can’t be legally killed but right now they are being forced away from the areas where they have lived and they are dying as a result. Or theya re being ‘accidently’ caught in large rat traps.
Given the inability to work out a solution to the pain of gentrification for humans in NYC let alone animals, it’s not likely the cats are going to get much of helping hand generally. How sad.