Give a Cat a Home

Fostering For Cats Aid2

Cats’ Aid is a registered charity in Ballsbridge that rescues, rehabilitates, and homes unwanted cats. It also promotes neutering and spaying as a means of controlling feral colonies.

Cats’ Aid receives some funding from the Department of Agriculture but does not have a shelter, an office or paid staff so any money that comes in goes directly to benefit the cats. The entire running of Cats’ Aid is voluntary, with over 400 people supporting it with a dedicated committee that calls itself the Core Group.

NewsFour spoke with Cyrileen Power, one of the people behind the organisation of the charity, “Most people don’t realise the day-to-day work that is involved which is often stressful and tiring. We have very limited resources, therefore we can’t always provide the answers and instant fixes that are requested and often demanded.”

During the eight years between 2005 and 2012, Cats’ Aid took in 1,969 cats and rehomed 1,671.

On occasion, Cats’ Aid has had to remove kittens from youths who were using them as footballs, thrown from cars, being shot or deliberately injured. Every Halloween there is deliberate cruelty inflicted on cats by people with bonfires and fireworks and unfortunately many of these incidents end with the cat being put to sleep.

Some cats are dumped because a woman is pregnant, or a baby has arrived but Cyrileen tells NewsFour, “these aren’t reasons for getting rid of an animal. We can provide advice about how babies and cats can co-exist perfectly happily together.”

Cats’ Aid relies on fosterers to help these cats who have been traumatised and for young kittens to be socialised to gain confidence before going to permanent homes. At the moment they have 19 foster carers and are always looking for more.

Valerie O’Sullivan, who is among those fosterers, tells NewsFour, “I had a female cat handed into me a few months ago that was dumped with a litter of kittens. She was completely emaciated, she wasn’t able to produce milk for the kittens, she was left to starve and her fur was all matted. The kittens were given to other fosterers and I got the cat. I had to syringe-feed her.”

Cats’ Aid has put in 25 years of commitment and hard work but they need new people to help take the organisation forward. They don’t have a shelter or sanctuary, so the cats that are rescued are taken into the homes of foster volunteers until a permanent home can be found.

Cyrileen told NewsFour if anyone wishes to become a fosterer all they need is “a love of cats, of course, and also some free time and the willingness to spend time interacting with the cat or kitten.”

Pictured above: Cyrileen Power’s cat Fredrick. She fostered Frederick but kept him in the end.
Photo courtesy Cyrileen Power.

By Donna Dunne