Fostering a pet means taking a homeless pet under your roof and providing it with care, love, and attention until it finds your own family. Each year, millions of animals get abandoned, and to rescue them from life at a shelter, people decide to become foster parents. However, if you’ve never fostered a pet, you may wonder what happens between the rescue and the adoption.
Why fostering a cat is a good idea?
Fostering a cat is a wonderful idea, and we’ll give you four reasons why!
1. It’s easy to get started. Even if you don’t know how to foster a cat, many shelters, organizations, and rescue groups will be more than happy to give you invaluable advice and answer your questions. Some of them will even provide you with the necessary supplies.
2. You’re actively saving lives. Shelters are already overpopulated, and many have to euthanize animals because they lack space and resources. Taking in a cat, even for a short period of time, can make a whole world of a difference.
3. Your family will love it. A new, fluffy, four-legged addition to the family is a whole lot of responsibility, but also a great deal of love and fun. If you’re sure everyone is on board with your idea, they’re going to be over the moon!
4. Because you can! Have you ever wanted to have a cat on your own or thought about fostering one but you kept finding excuses? There are so many reasons you can do it, even if you think it’s impossible. When there’s a will, there’s a way, and your foster cats will be forever grateful for your selfless act of kindness.
How to foster a cat?
Fostering a cat is often fun and games, but it also requires a lot of effort. As for your responsibilities, you’ll be required to provide the new family member with food, shelter, attention, exercise, and regular litter box maintenance. Aim to feed your cat with high-quality food from reputable brands, for example, Sheba wet cat food. Don’t go the easy way and resort to dry kibble!
What’s more, make sure your foster cat socializes with other pets if you have them and gets used to living with humans at home. The ultimate goal is to her/him for a happy life with their forever families, so make sure they’ll learn everything they need to know - from litter training to friendly interactions with other family members!
Where to foster a cat?
If you’re wondering where to start, the easiest way is to contact your local shelter or a rescue group. Most shelters have foster programs, and they’ll be grateful for your help. What’s more, rescue groups often act as a middle party between you and the shelter. They can’t rescue cats from the shelter without having a place to stay, so your help will be of great value to them.
However, if you decide to foster a cat, you must have the space to accommodate your new feline friend. You may let her/him run free, but if you have other animals that may be hostile towards a new pet, you can set up a room with only the new kitty. Don’t forget to make that space as cozy as possible - give your foster cat a comfy cat bed, some toys, and unrestricted access to a litter box and a bowl full of quality cat food. Later on, make sure you supervise interactions between your pets and learn how to play with your cat!
How long will my foster cat stay with me?
Fostering a cat is, by definition, a temporary deal. As such, it’s quite flexible, and many people find it very convenient. However, it all comes down to the type of organization and what kind of cat will be under your care.
Most organizations claim that, ideally, foster families should take care of a cat for as long as possible, until the pet gets adopted. Nevertheless, they are also very understanding of various personal circumstances that may require the stay to be cut short. However, the minimum stay is usually two weeks.
Remember, some animals get adopted quickly, while others may take a longer time to adopt, even up to a couple of months. It all depends on the condition, and sometimes the age as well. Usually, younger and unproblematic pets find their forever families sooner. Sickly or elderly cats can be more demanding - some of them may need cat diapers, while others might have pre-existing medical conditions - but they too are bound to find them forever homes.
How much is it to foster a cat?
Fostering a cat is a good idea, even if you’re on a fixed income. You may be worried about possible veterinary expenses, but the rescue organizations got you covered! Before you start fostering a cat, you’re going to sign an agreement. Make sure it specifies what the rescue is going to cover. Usually, shelters and rescue groups will want you to go to a particular veterinarian. Ensure you get all the visits approved and keep the receipts, for example, whenever you’re buying cat supplies or cat furniture. You may even take a tax deduction.
What kind of supplies will I need?
If you want a happy and well-behaved pet, you have to help your cat fight boredom and burn off energy. Games are the way to go. They strengthen the human-animal bond and help kittens develop many skills, like coordination, balance, and agility. Through play, young cats also learn how to respect boundaries and become better hunters.
Besides quality cat food and a litter box, you should make your foster cat feel as cozy as possible! Get a carrier for transporting purposes, some cat toys, and a cat bed. To make the space more cat-friendly, you can also install a cat shelf or a cat hammock. If you want to protect your furniture from those tiny claws, don’t forget about a cat scratching post
Without a shadow of a doubt, being a cat foster parent requires responsibility, but it’s also extremely rewarding. Remember that it’s a process and you’ll learn many things about cats and their care along the way.
You’re not alone! You can reach out for support to many organizations, rescue groups, and forums. When you decide to foster a cat, you become a part of a great community. Give it a try and be a life-saving superhero!