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Hey everyone :) I am in desperate need of advice on what to do about feral kittens born beneath my back deck. I've been feeding their mommy, who's been sheltering beneath the deck, for a few months now and she's been very good about keeping them a secret. I had no idea they were there until late last night when I noticed a little gray fuzzball scamper across the deck! I looked outside and saw two gray fuzzballs cuddling with momma, and then a third, orange and white, running around the back yard. I've been outside every single day and never saw hide nor hair of them before. I tried to approach them and momma growled at me- she's never done that before- and the babies ran away and hid :-( I snuck back inside and watched all three babies tag after mom as she left on her nightly hunting trip.

This has come as a complete shock since I've seen momma cat out and about very recently without the kittens. They must be just now starting to hunt. I always put momma cat's food on a table so racoons and possums won't get to it- we've had trouble with critters before- and now I'm wondering how I can get some nutritious food into the kitties' bellies without attracting other animals. I don't think they can jump very high just yet, so I doubt putting a chair beside the table would be of much help.

I think it's probably a good time to find homes for them, too, but I can't even get near them. I have no idea how to round them up, and especially with such a protective momma cat hovering over them. She's never let me approach her, she's certainly not going to willingly let me near the kittens.

I will gladly accept any advice!
 

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I would try to trap them so they can have a chance at a life as a companion for someone. Since Momcat growls at you despite your providing food, the kittens will quickly learn that is the correct response to people. If you can, place the kittens food in something that has a small opening that only they can enter. You might just catch them as well.
 

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It sounds to me like mom is a true feral - meaning she's not comfortable being around people. That means if the kittens stay with her they'll learn to do the same thing.

I agree that trapping the kittens is the best thing, but what to do once you've caught them depends on your local resources.

Feral kittens aren't really adoptable right off the bat, they'll need to be socialized and that can be quick and painless, or a long term process. It depends on how old they are mostly.

If you've just started to see them they'll probably be between 4-6 weeks, but maybe as much as 12 weeks. If their eyes are blue it'll be closer to 4 weeks, green and they're 6 weeks and up. The younger they are the easier it is to socialize them (although socializing older ferals is possible, it takes a TON of patience).

If you don't have the capability to foster them and tame them yourself (an empty room you can dedicate to them and time you can use to socialize them, as well as other normal cat supplies) Then you could try calling the local rescues to see if they know a group that can handle feral kittens.

If you have no luck then the best thing my be to TNR them, and mum. TNR stands for Trap-Neuter-Release. So they would (likely) stay wild, but be unable to make more little wild ones. If there's no way you can socialize them then this is the next best thing.
 

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How old do you think these kittens are? Do you have any pictures so we could help you assessment the age if you are not sure? How friendly was the mom with you before you saw the kittens? Would she let you near her? Could you sit near her. Could you touch her?

Mother cats can get pregnant when still nursing kittens. You need to formulate a plan on getting her spayed along with her kittens. I would start feeding her in opening of a wired open trap for now till you decide how to proceed.
 
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