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How Fostering Cats Makes a Difference

Why fostering cats helps homeless felines.

Fostering means taking in one or more cats or kittens from a shelter or rescue organization for a limited time. Sometimes it means hand-feeding kittens until they're big enough to be weaned. Other times, it means sheltering an older cat that doesn't get along with other cats until a home can be found. It could mean keeping a young cat until he gets over an upper respiratory virus and can go to his permanent home, where there are other cats.

Why Does Fostering Cats Make a Difference?

Shelters and rescue organizations are overrun with cats and kittens needing homes. Some shelters euthanize cats routinely when they don't find homes right away because there just isn't room for all of the stray, abandoned, and relinquished cats.

When these organizations have a network of foster families that can take in cats or kittens and care for them in their homes for short or long time periods, it relieves the burden on their facilities and allows them to take in more cats. Also, fostering allows the cats and kittens to be in a home environment, which can be less stressful for them. It means kittens can be properly handled and socialized instead of left with less human interaction in a cage. It means that sick cats can be given better individual attention than they may be able to receive in the shelter.

Cats and kittens that are fostered may be adopted more easily because they tend to be more relaxed and better socialized. That shows through when potential adoptive families visit with them.

While in their foster home, more information can be learned about a cat's personality. For instance, depending on the foster home, people might learn whether the cat gets along well with children, other cats, or dogs. This information is crucial to finding the right home for the cat, where he will be most likely to thrive and less likely to be given up again.

How Can You Become a Cat Foster Parent?

Before you begin fostering cats, it's important to make sure you understand what will be expected of you and determine whether you're ready and able to do it. You can take a look at this article for some information and questions to ask yourself: "4 Things to Consider Before Becoming a Foster Family for Cats."

Once you've determined that you're ready to foster, contact your local cat shelters and rescue organizations and ask them what their needs and requirements are for foster families. Here are some specific questions to ask:

  • Will I be responsible for taking the cat to the veterinarian for routine or sick visits?
  • Can I choose to foster only adults or only kittens?
  • Can I ask to foster only well cats?
  • Am I responsible for hosting visits with potential adopters or taking the cat to adoption events?
  • How long do cats from your organization typically stay with foster families?
  • What requirements do you have for families fostering cats with you?
  • What requirements do you have for families adopting cats from you?

Make sure the organization you choose to work with represents values that you are comfortable upholding. You will be representing this group when you foster for them, so you will want to be sure that is acceptable to you.

Fostering cats can be tremendously rewarding and fun work to do, and it truly makes a big difference in the lives of the cats involved.

You May Also Like These Articles:

Why Do Cats Love Small Spaces?

How to Ease Introductions Between Dogs and Cats

4 Things to Consider Before Becoming a Foster Family for Cats

How to Teach Kids How to Behave with Cats

Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Information at CatScratching.com is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.