Kitten season starts early this year – Animals in Need Donegal

The 2022 kitten season has begun, with the first heavily pregnant cat of the year arriving at Animals In Need (AIN).

There was no real end to “kitten season” last year, with kittens being rescued across the county throughout the year.

It is unusual to find small kittens during the winter as the majority are born from April to October, but the prolonged mild weather we had in the fall meant that the cats continued to breed.

Kittens born outside in winter are unlikely to survive without help. Cold nights often lead to sickness or hypothermia and many will perish if not brought inside.


This young pregnant cat is now settled in the warmth of the AIN cattery, where she will have her kittens any day now.

Last week an extremely ill kitten was found in a dumpster behind a hotel in Letterkenny by a member of the public.

The kitten was taken to the vet by its discoverer, who then decided to keep it because their own cat had been missing for some time.

Out of the blue, the missing cat appeared two days later, so now there are two cats in the house.

There is good news about a big kitten called Alice.

She was rescued recently, along with her mother Kendall, after they were dumped in a remote area.

Alice clearly had something wrong with her eyes and it was feared that they had been damaged by an untreated eye infection and that she was in pain and would need to have her eyes removed.


However, further tests by a veterinarian determined that his eye condition was a birth defect that caused him no pain or discomfort, which had been the primary concern.

Alice has limited vision but her other senses are fully operational and she doesn’t let anything stop her from living her best life.

She is still just a kitten, born last summer, she has been neutered and is ready to find a special home, indoors only. Her mother Kendall is a beautiful long-haired black cat and Alice has semi-long hair.

The two cats are very docile, calm and gentle and would ideally like to be rehomed together. If you can afford this house, please contact the Cat Helpline.

AIN will provide veterinary coverage for any future issues resulting from Alice’s eye condition for her new owners.

When animals go missing, it’s heartbreaking for their owners, as was the case when a young tabby disappeared from his Ramelton home earlier this year.


Twenty-six days later, AIN was contacted about the same cat who had ended up on the Donegal Town side of Ballybofey as a stray.

Luckily for him, his finder took him to the vet to have him scanned for a microchip, which unfortunately was not registered, but then continued to ring around local rescue in an attempt to reunite him with his family.

AIN recognized the cat and is now back home in Ramelton. How he ended up 40 km from his home remains a mystery and he does not say it!

Meanwhile, AIN’s dog foster homes are full. Many of the dogs in their care are elderly or sick and cannot yet be rehomed, meaning foster homes are at bursting point.

Volunteers continue to collect all dogs who have completed their mandatory five days in Letterkenny Pound each week and have an extremely long list of dogs waiting to be released by their owners when there is room for them.

After a quiet period for dog rescues during the various restrictions, when so many people were buying dogs and there was such demand that puppy breeders went into overdrive, producing puppies for sale at sky-high, as predicted by Rescues, there is an avalanche of unwanted young dogs now that things are getting back to normal.

The charity asks people who want to return their dog to be patient. Pound dogs should have priority, but they will help relocate your dog as soon as possible.

To help AIN’s animals, please donate €2 to AIN’s ‘Help Us Help Them’ fundraising appeal via your phone by texting the word ‘KITTEN’ to 50300. Each penny goes directly to rescued animals for their food, bedding and vet bills. , deworming and vaccinations.

For further information on adoption, placement, volunteering etc please contact the main helpline on 087 1356188. For cat/kitten inquiries please call 087 7644420. Animals In Need Donegal is also on Facebook and has a website at

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