Fostering is a great way to help out your local cat adoption organization. Taking a cat into your home can reduce the burden on shelters and help socialize the kitty for a better chance at getting adopted.
While inviting in a furry guest might seem like a fun activity, it takes work and isn’t right for everyone. Follow these five tips to make sure you’re ready to foster.
Get Ready for Kittenhood
If it’s been a while since you’ve had a kitten in your home, you might not remember how involved they are. Just like human babies, kittens require a lot of care. Make sure you can handle regular bottle feedings, poopy paws, and round-the-clock care for the first few weeks.
If you’re not up for that, consider fostering a senior cat or abused cat in recovery instead.
Consider Your Own Pets Before You Foster
While you might want to offer a helping hand to kitties in need, your other pets might not be as excited to meet the newest family member. Test whether your pets are OK around cats, like Lilo the Husky is, to make sure everyone feels comfortable under your roof.
Even if you keep your pets and your foster cat in separate rooms, the stress and scent of the foreign animals can lead to behavioral and even health problems in all your animals.
Meet New Kitty’s Diet and Litter Needs
If you already own a cat or multiple cats, you might think adding another member to the brood is easy. However, foster cats have unique needs. They might need a specific brand of kitty litter or be on a special diet.
Follow the organization’s guidelines for care closely for your foster kitty. This will prevent health problems and behavioral issues while making the cat’s transition into your home easier.
Schedule Adoption Events on Your Calendar
You may be responsible for driving your foster cat to adoption events around town or at the organization you’re fostering for. Additionally, potential adopters might need to visit your home to meet the cat. Make sure you have enough room in your schedule to accommodate these appointments to help your new furry friend get adopted.
Prepare for the Attachment That Comes With Fostering
Even if you’re only watching a kitten for a few weeks, you’re likely to develop feelings for it and grow attached to having it in your home. It’s not uncommon for some families to have “foster fails” and decide to adopt the cat or kitten for the long run after a short test. This is great, but the number of cats you have can quickly add up if you keep adopting!
Saying goodbye is an important part of being a foster parent. You’re sending the kitty to their fur-ever home where they will be loved. If you can’t embrace this joy and instead find the loss too painful, fostering might not be right for you.
Many foster parents give kittens and cats a loving home before they settle in with their fur-ever families. If fostering is right for you, you could make a difference in the lives of dozens of cats!