What It’s Like to Foster a Cat
Has it every crossed your mind what it would be like to foster a cat or kitten? If you have visited the Rescue to adopt or visit, or if you follow us on social media, you are only seeing part of the story of cat rescue. Each of these cats and kittens were brought into the Rescue after careful consideration. We have only so much room and only so much staff to give each one the care they need to be ready for adoption. Every time a cat or kitten moves into a foster home, another space opens up for an animal in need.
I foster, and as a matter of fact, I think I just reached #40. Believe it or not, that pales in comparison to some of our most dedicated foster parents. Some of these 40 felines were kittens that went into foster care because they were too young and small to be adopted. Fosters like these just need a warm confined area to grow a bit and practice being a cat. Once they are 2 lbs, they are spayed or neutered and are ready for adoption. I have also fostered grown cats that have lost owners and are confused and scared. These just need to have a quiet place away from the Rescue to calm down and realize there are other people they can love. Then there are the semi-ferals: older kittens that may have lived outside with little or no human contact. They’re hissy little things that do everything they can to hide. You touch them and feed them, and then one day you realize they are purring.
The Rescue has a program called Adoption Ambassadors. If you find an adopter for your foster, you can adopt out of your home. All the paperwork and payment is done online. This is not required with fostering, but it is surprising how easy asking around work or on Facebook works for finding someone that is looking to adopt. I have done this several times.
People always ask me the same question, how can I give up these cats and kittens? Well, no doubt it is hard, I do get attached. But then I get the photos and emails and see how loved and happy these cats and kittens are in their new homes. I also have two older cats that are not interested in a new kitten, so I also keep that in mind.
Why this post? Stopping by the Rescue one night last week, I found Amy, the Rescue’s Operations Manager, working late making sure each cat and kitten had everything it needed before she went home. All the enclosures were full. When I asked about new foster families, she said only one person had shown up for the latest orientation.
What is the greatest need right now?
- Foster homes willing to take in ringworm
- Foster homes with experience giving sub-cutaneous fluids
- Foster homes with experience feeding bottle babies
- Foster homes with experience socializing semi-feral kittens
That said, don’t be discouraged if you can’t give this specialized care. Start slow and see how fostering works in your home. I had to work up to semi-feral kittens, but they are now the most rewarding. And frankly, I love cats and love spending the one on one time with cats and kittens in need.
Seattle Area Feline Rescue will supply food, litter and all medical care. All you need to in order to foster a cat is a secure place in your home; a bathroom is a great space if you don’t have an extra room. Please visit our Foster page for more information and to fill out the “Foster Information” form to get started.
SAFe Rescue Board Member and volunteer
Authored by SAFe Rescue
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