The neighborhood cat issue has become obscure and we must untangle it before solving the problems.
First is the blame game. Those who have complained and sought remedies were castigated as inhumane. Then, so-called "feral" cats were scapegoated.
The truth is "feral" cats are mostly kept cats, adopted if not owned, that harbor around specific residents while nuisancing the surrounding neighborhood. The adopters shrug off responsibility by claiming that these are "everybody's cat."
The problem should now be clearer some cat lovers profess their affection but do not follow through.
The list of nuisances gets longer each year: Cat crap in the yard; laying up in flower beds; spraying rose bushes and vegetables; leaving hair on lawn furniture cushions; loud late-night fights; fledgling bird kills; etc.
The solution is simple. Own your cat, rethink outdoor food and water, and consider your neighbor. Hint: The issue has evolved in like fashion to smoking folks are hesitant to complain to you, but they do not want the cats running wild.