Last week saw the arrival of three orphaned kittens at Kildare Animal Foundation.
They came to us after a gentleman was out walking and heard loud cries coming from a hedge.
After some investigating and much rooting around he came across three sets of eyes looking at him from the thick undergrowth.
The tiny creatures were clearly hungry and the man then recalled seeing a dead cat on the road close by only a day or two previously. This was most likely their mother.
He called us for advice to see if we could help. We made the decision it was a genuine case and got the man to drop them to the shelter.
The little kittens are no more than four weeks old and would be still depending on their mother.
Luckily we have a great fosterer in Elaine, who handrears kittens and takes care of them until they are ready for rehoming.
Elaine will bottle feed these little ones over the next few weeks and also start to wean them on to solid food.
Once old enough they will be fully vaccinated and then will go up for rehoming.
Sadly, we are finding it harder and harder to find good homes for kittens and cats. There are just so many unwanted ones out there.
People are not neutering their pets, leading to numerous litters being born every year and these kittens can then go on to have kittens from 5/6 months of age.
We also have a huge feral cat problem in the country.
These poor cats are left to fend for themselves, never knowing when their next meal is or never having somewhere warm to sleep.
Thankfully there are very kind people and rescues out there that feed colonies of ferals. Some rescues also run a Trap, Neuter and Release programme so that the cats cannot continue to breed out of control and will only have themselves to fend for.
The next few months will see rescues being flooded by unwanted kittens and cats.
Most do not have the space or funds to take in every one that is unwanted.
That is the case we find ourselves in - we still have a lot of the unwanted kittens from last year, which are now adults and even harder to re-home.
We can now only take in sick and injured cats and other animals at present as space and funds are an issue for us at present.
So if your pet cat or feral cat that you fed in your garden isn’t neutered, please get them done as soon as possible and save kittens the pain and suffering they will met when they find themselves alone with no homes to go to.
- Dan Donoher