Maybe because we Americans root for the underdog many of us cheer on the efforts of homeless A.K.A. feral cats to survive. On the other hand there are also many of us who view those cats as a menace in general since they can carry diseases and as a threat specifically to songbirds which become their lunch.
That collision of points of view has been profiled in the cover story of THE NEW HAVEN ADVOCATE (not online) by Gregory Hladky. Here in Connecticut we might be unique in having a program which tries to resolve the conflict without putting the cats to sleep. Volunteers trap the ferals, then bring them to a vet to be neutered and vaccinated. The cats are brought back to their colonies, usually behind a dumpster or among abandoned cars. Even with that care they usually live about half of the 15-year lifespan of cats who are domestic pets.
The question is what will the powers that be in Connecticut, as well as other states, decide to do about the "feral problem." When humans don't feed them, they serve a community purpose by hunting mice and other rodents. Despite our good intentions, feeding wild animals reduces their ability to make it out there.
For about a decade I served as a volunteer in Fairfield County, Connecticut in the trapping projects. It really did keep down the population in that new kittens weren't added and the colonies didn't allow in other strays. Therefore, what some perceive as a problem was well under control.