Help needed with 2 groups of feral kittens: Queens NYC

MikeNYCer

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Hi. I‘m Michael and I need some advice regarding 2 families of feral kittens that have recently shown up all at once around my home.

Background: I live in a row house in Queens, NY with a small backyard. I have 2 indoor cats and for the past year I’ve been caring for 3 feral cats in my backyard. I feed them daily and I’ve set up an area for them to live under my back porch. It has a few insulated enclosures as well as a couple of heaters for the winter.

Situation 1:
So, I recently went away for 5 days and when I came home (on April 26th) I heard meows coming from under my porch and I found 3 new born kittens inside one of the insulated enclosures. The kittens fit in my hand, have their eyes shut and can’t walk. Since then I’ve seen a neighborhood feral cat go inside: which I assume is the mother.
I’ve checked on the kittens a couple of times. But based on a few articles I’ve read, I’ve basically just left them alone and let the mother care for them.
So I have a few question both for now and in the future:
  1. There haven't been any fights so far. But my cats generally consider my backyard as their territory. Should I be concerned that they will act aggressively towards the mother or the kittens when they become more mobile and start exploring?
  2. Long term I don’t want these kittens to make a permanent home on my property. I don’t see my cats really sharing the space with them and I don’t want that kind of cat fighting. Will the kittens eventually just move somewhere else? I can’t foster them at all: So should I take them to a shelter? But I know they’re all at capacity: so who would take them? I’m just not sure what to do long term. What do you suggest I do?

Situation 2:
A couple of days ago I also noticed a different feral cat in a shed in my next door neighbor's backyard. Then I saw 4 kittens come out. They're definitely not newborns as they were running around their mom and playing before they began nursing from her. I realize it's not on my property so technically it’s not my business. But I do have some concerns.
  1. I’m concerned that’s not a safe place for the kittens. My neighbor has a small dog and it’s come out and barked at the mother and the kittens. Also my neighbor is not exactly a cat person. I’m not sure what he’s going to do when he realizes they’re on his property.
  2. On the flip side. I’m also concerned those kittens will move into my property. There is a low wire fence separating our backyards. But my backyard is still the most accessible area to them as all the other yards have high solid wood or plastic fencing. If that were to happen it would further compound and complicate the issue I’m currently having with the newborn kittens already here! What do you think I should do?
 

catsknowme

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:wave3: Welcome to TCS! I applaud your compassion. If you could get both litters into your yard, you will have more control over your situation. I believe that there are TNR groups in NY and they probably have the best advice for local solutions. I would ask your pet stores and vet offices for advice - they may have good ideas. I understand that these 2 situations are NOT your problems but they are your COMMUNITY's problems with too few people will be willing to "step up to the plate". You could join and post on Nextdoor or FB but I urge extraordinary caution as vile people, women included, are charming & cunning in their quest to obtain kittens and small breed puppies for nefarious purposes.
 
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MikeNYCer

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Thanks. I'll contact some shelters in my area and see if they'll help.
 

catsknowme

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Bravo! Sometimes the small rescue groups can respond more quickly. I sometimes find them by doing a search for "cat rescue in XXXX area" or through FB groups.
 

fionasmom

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Alley Cat Allies has a Feral Friends section on their website which can be utilized by specific location. Theoretically, they have lists of cat rescuers and those who are well informed about cat behavior and lifestyle who can help. It is quick and easy to post your information.

Feral Friends Network® Connect

One disclaimer though....sometimes they do not respond as I don't think it is possible for ACA to really maintain a comprehensive up to date list. When you post, which I still think is a very good step as you may get responses, ask for advice but make it clear that you cannot handle 9 new cats. Don't demand that someone come to get them all from you immediately as that might be off-putting. Mention the possibly unfriendly neighbor as well.
 
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MikeNYCer

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Okay...I'll try contacting them. Thanks!
 
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