I am a part-time lecturer of Business Ethics at the University of Cape Town and a freelance researcher and writer.
Thanks so much for reading the article. I'm glad you found it interesting! I'm also concerned about the costliness of more humane alternatives, but perhaps there is some hope that some of the costs could be driven down if there was enough adoption to scale production. Some of the interventions may also be more costly in the short-term but prove less expensive than ARs in the long-term. In this case I have in mind things like rodent-proofing and deterrence.
I agree with you too that from an advocacy perspective, alternatives to ARs are more likely to gain public support by appealing to the welfare costs of ARs to non-target beings like pets, children, and wild animals that aren't considered pests.
I don't have a definite answer about domestic cats, unfortunately. As a cat companion, I am often disturbed by the way they slowly hunt and kill their prey, but this may still be better than dying from ARs. On a more serious note, from what I've read and heard, one of the complications regarding domestic cats is their impact on non-target wildlife. Some of these costs could be mitigated using bell-collars and keeping cats indoors, although especially in informal settlements this would not be easy to regulate.
Thanks for taking the time to read our article. You raise some good questions.