We have more cats than dogs in our homes today. But for every pet cat curled up in our laps, there’s another one roaming our alleyways, parks and other places around the country: 80 million of them. If you don’t see many of them, it’s because several are feral and avoid human contact.

Right now, the question of how to best control these cats is sparking a lot of controversy. At issue is whether they are pets gone astray that we should be protecting or invasive predators that are decimating local wildlife.

For generations, animal shelters have tried to curb the wildcat population in two ways: adoption or euthanasia. Conservation groups want animal control agencies to limit the population because cats kill lots of native wildlife. But cat lovers say they have a more humane and effective way to reduce the number of feral cats – and their message is catching on.

Producer Adithya Sambamurthy takes us deep inside the feral cat movement to examine what this cat fight is all about.

DIG DEEPER

  • Watch: A sneak peek at our upcoming documentary about feral cats
  • Read: What do you do when America’s favorite pet – the cat – goes feral?

Julia B. Chan worked at The Center for Investigative Reporting until June, 2017. Julia B. Chan is a producer and the digital editor for Reveal's national public radio program. She’s the voice of Reveal online and manages the production and curation of digital story assets that are sent to more than 200 stations across the country. Previously, Chan helped The Center for Investigative Reporting launch YouTube’s first investigative news channel, The I Files, and led engagement strategies – online and off – for multimedia projects. She oversaw communications, worked to better connect CIR’s work with a bigger audience and developed creative content and collaborations to garner conversation and impact.

Before joining CIR, Chan worked as a Web editor and reporter at the San Francisco Examiner. She managed the newspaper’s digital strategy and orchestrated its first foray into social media and online engagement. A rare San Francisco native, she studied broadcasting at San Francisco State University, focusing on audio production and recording. Chan is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.