Abandoned smelly home in Niskayuna causing concern

NISKAYUNA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A home once overrun by feral cats is becoming a smelly eyesore in one Niskayuna neighborhood.

On this well-manicured street, there’s one property that stands out. It’s condemned and neighbors want it gone.

Two houses away, Jeff Ferguson sits on his porch, something he doesn’t do often

“Well the odor, of course, is the worst thing. When you have 20 to 30 cats in the front yard doing their thing, it’s unbearable.”

He says the woman who used to live in the home for years lured in feral cats.

“She put cans of cat food out in the driveway; she’d walk around the yard with a bag of dry food.”

The homeowner recently passed away and shortly after, the home was condemned. Most of the cats are gone but the odor remains and the home has become an eyesore.

“There are leaves, there are garbage cans, and no one seems to care.”

Niskayuna Town Supervisor Joe Landry says he does care but there’s not a whole lot he can do.

“Our code enforcement officer decided it was not inhabitable so now it is closed however it’s still private property it’s still in the estate,” Landry said.

He says the town had been working with the homeowner in the years before her death. The complaints aren’t new.

“Different groups had gone in and trapped some cats and taken them out of the area so those are some of the complaints, there’s a smell complaint.”

Ferguson describes the former homeowner as unstable and says he wishes she had accepted help.

“She came over once with a handful of money to our house ‘pay my electric bill’ and then she would pass out on our front step,” Ferguson said.

Things are better now that cats aren’t being attracted to the neighborhood, but he worries about the future of the building and what it means for his property value.

Landry says the town will continue to keep an eye on the property and do as much as they can while respecting that it is private property.

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