Why We Hesitated To Adopt And Decided To Foster
First, we discussed the massive commitment of adopting a cat. If we got a kitten, it could potentially live 14-18 years. That means I would be in my mid-40s and still responsible for its wellbeing!;
Secondly, we know we want to travel a lot and potentially move internationally in the future, which would make pet ownership complicated, even if we did adopt an older cat.
Finally, in the short term, we were concerned about pet unfriendly apartments as renters.; It might be difficult to find a place to live when we move cross-country in 6 months.
However, even though our lifestyle doesnt accommodate a pet very well, we both;really appreciate the joys of a pet in the house. Our envisioned futures always included a big dog and a cat. We decided on a compromise: we could foster!
This way, we could help the local shelter out by temporarily caring for foster animals while simultaneously scratching our pet-lovers itch. We decided to start with a cat because they tend to be easier to care for, and I figured it would be an interesting new experience.
We Dont Plan On Being Foster Fails
A volunteer helped me carry out the crate and supplies and as I carefully placed him on the back seat she said, I know this might not be the right thing to say, but I hope hes a foster fail!
Friends, I had obviously not done my research, because I didnt know what a foster fail was. I thought that as a foster, you were committed to caring for the animal for a set period, and then would be required to return it to the shelter.
I never considered that you would get first dibs on adoption and could fail by taking them home! Unfortunately, it would be irresponsible to adopt him because of the reasons I listed before, but he has won our hearts regardless.
Let me introduce you to Muse, the latest Mechanic in the house.;
Thinking About Fostering A Cat From Your Local Shelter Read This First
When my husband and I decided that we didnt want to have any more childrenwe already have three kids, ages 2, 4, and 6I became obsessed with the idea of getting a dog. My husband balkeddont you think youre busy enough?I still really wanted to get a dog. We decided to compromise by fostering pets from the Oregon Humane Society.
After signing up, I realized my husband was probably right. Ive always been a cat person , and the thought of getting a dogeven temporarilyseemed daunting. So instead we started fostering cats. Heres what weve learned so far after pet fostering seven cats and kittens.
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Section 2: Preparing For Your Foster Cat
When you take your foster cat home, he may be frightened or unsure about whats happening, so its important not to overwhelm him. Prepare a special area for the foster cat to help ease his adjustment into a new home environment. Sometimes it is better to confine the foster cat to a small room, such as a bathroom, at first, to let him adjust before giving him free rein in your home. Equip the room with food and water dishes and a litter box.
Another reason that we recommend a small room is because cats will typically hide in new environments. It is not uncommon for a foster cat to hide underneath a bed or in a dark, quiet place for the first couple of days. Isolating your foster cat when you first take her home allows you to know what room she is in and helps you to monitor her eating, drinking and potty habits more closely.
We request that all foster cats be housed indoors only. A garage, backyard or outdoor enclosure is not a suitable accommodation for a foster cat.
During the first couple of weeks, minimize the people and pet introductions to your foster cat, so that she is only meeting immediate family and your personal pets. If you have other pets at home, it is especially important to give your foster cat a space of her own where she can stay while getting used to all the new sounds and smells. Dont leave your foster cat unattended in your home with your personal pets until you are comfortable that all of the animals can interact safely.
How Long Can A Cat Stray In A Crate
How long can a cat stray in a crate? Experts recommend that you should not keep an adult cat in a crate for more than six hours.
If you need to keep it locked inside a cat carrier for a longer duration, you need to make sure that the cat has sufficient food and water, and it can use a litter box at that time.
Crates can be a crucial part of the cats carriage, but keeping a cat caged for a long time can induce aggressive behavior in them.
So, you can keep the cat in a cage for the bare minimum amount of time.
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Find Out About Your Foster Cats History
Sometimes, there isnt much history available for a rescued animal. But I suggest finding out anything you can. This really helps you better understand your foster cats behavior. Their past experiences may be influencing their current behavior and can give you insights into where they might need special attention and how you avoid causing them undue stress or anxiety.
I have a foster cat who is only 12 months old. He spent the last eight months in the rescue facility, with medical issues and on bedrest most of the time. I constantly need to remind myself that most of the things hes seeing, hearing, smelling, and doing are things that he hasnt done since he was a three-month-old kitten. Knowing this, its easy to understand why he gets overwhelmed so quickly and can act out aggressively.
Its also believed that he was previously injured by a person, which helps me understand why he overreacts to movements I might make that seem harmless to me. Knowing his history has made me more empathetic to his challenges and has been vital in helping me be a better foster guardian for him.
Can You Keep The Cat In A Crate During The Day
Keeping a cat inside a crate for the entire day may not be a good idea for most cats. Cats do not like the idea of spending time inside a cage as they get irritated quickly.
However, you can keep a cat inside the cage for as long as 6/7 hours. If you need to keep a cat in a cage for a lengthier period, you need to be attentive to its needs during the period.
We can conclude that restricting the cat inside a crate is not a bad idea. However, you should not keep the cat in the cage for more than 6 hours to avoid any mental stress and behavioral changes.
If you have no other choice and need to carry the cat for a longer duration, you should make sure that the cat is comfortable in the cage.
Cats remember when they had a bad experience, and it will be difficult for you to get the cat into a crate if you do not take proper care.
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Where To Obtain Foster Kittens
There are several ways you might obtain a foster kitten.;If you are interested in fostering kittens, here are a few ways you might begin:
Contact your local shelter and let them know you’re interested in fostering kittens. Many shelters have foster programs and will be thrilled to have your help. If your shelter doesn’t have a foster program…
Contact a local rescue group about fostering. Rescue groups can’t pull animals out of shelters unless they have somewhere for them to go, so offering up your home will allow them to rescue animals from the shelter.
You may find kittens outside and decide you want to help them. If this is the case, please make sure the kittens are truly orphaned before moving them. No one will be a better caregiver for kittens than the mama cat, so make sure that you’re giving them a chance to stay with their mom.
When to leave the kittens: if they are clean and plump, the mama is likely nearby. Watch for her and make sure they are being cared for. If so, leave them with her.
When to take the kittens: if they are dirty, soiled, crying, or thin, they are likely orphaned and in need of rescue. If they are in an unsafe situation, such as being exposed to harsh weather or elements, it is appropriate to rescue them. Use your best judgment.
Foster Program Frequently Asked Questions
How old must I be to foster?Fosters must be at least 18 years or older to foster an HSFC pet.
How much does it cost?We do not charge anything to our foster parents. We cover all approved medical costs and we will even supply the food if you are unable.
How long does a foster pet stay with me?As little as a few days to as long as several months. Most animals in our program find their fur-ever home within 30 days. You can help find their home faster by making sure to bring them to our off-site adoption events. If you have had a foster for a while and need to return them, we make it easy. Just contact the shelter staff and we will make the arrangements.
Oh no, I fell in love with my foster and I want to keep him/her, what do I do?Dont worry, this does happen. If you decide that you want to adopt your foster, you will join the exclusive FOSTER FAILURE club. Contact the adoption center at 770-887-6480 and they will help you complete your adoption.
How do I register my current foster for an adoption event?First, check with the shelter staff to ensure your foster animal is ready for an adoption event. Your foster coordinator will guide you in signing up your foster through our foster portal on FaceBook.
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What If I Want To Adopt My Foster Cat
If you want to adopt a foster cat, you will need to complete an adoption application and follow the full adoption process. If youve already returned the cat to the Best Friends Pet Adoption Center, please contact the foster coordinator right away because once the cat is up for adoption, we cannot hold him/her for anyone, including the foster parent.
How Often Does My Foster Cat Need To Go To The Best Friends Pet Adoption Center
Our pet adoption center has a wonderful success rate for finding homes for cats, so cats who are ready for adoption dont usually need to go into foster homes first. As mentioned above, the cats available for fostering will be those with medical or behavioral conditions that need to be overcome before adoption. This means that foster cats should only need to come to the pet adoption center once they are ready for adoption or if a quick medical checkup is required.
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Are Foster Cats Ever Euthanized
Much energy, love, time and vet care is devoted to our foster cats, and the shelter is committed to finding homes for ALL the adoptable cats within its care. Some cats are in foster care because they’re seriously ill or injured. If, after medical attention, these cats are too young or too weak to heal and are suffering, then the shelter staff will humanely euthanize these animals. Fortunately, most cats in foster care heal beautifully. Your safety is our #1 priority. You must always inform the shelter staff and your case manager if your foster cat exhibits any aggressive behavior.
How Long Does It Take For A Cat To Adjust To A New Owner
It usually takes 1 to 6 months for a cat to adjust to a new owner. Making the rehoming process as comfortable as possible for the cat shortens the amount of time needed.
Older cats have a much harder time adjusting to change. Research from the New Zealand Veterinary Journal presented how well kittens and adult cats adjust to their homes after adoption. About 1 month after adoption, 95% of kittens had settled well into their new home. Meanwhile, only 75% of adult cats had adjusted.
After that, 47% of kittens and 49% of adult cats presented behavioral problems within a month after adoption. There is only a 2% difference between the two age groups. However, its no surprise that the statistics are higher in adult cats, even if only slightly.
Another variable to consider is the cats personality. Some cats are naturally more trusting than others. Thats especially true if they were raised in a good home from the moment they were born. Domestic cats that were weaned at the right time are a lot less aggressive and anxious.
Remember, when a cat is rehomed, it believes it will lack all the good things its previous owner used to provide. Allow the cat space and time to familiarize itself with its surroundings and its new routine. Low voices, places for the cat to hide, and surrounding it with its old toys will help a cat feel safer in a new environment.
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What Fostering Involves
As a foster parent, you will be responsible for feeding, cleaning, socializing, and cuddling your kittens. In some cases, you may need to bottle feed, give medications or take the kittens to the veterinarian. Some groups provide you with cat food and litter, while others require foster parents to provide these necessities.
In terms of space, you don’t need much. A laundry room, bathroom, or extra bedroom is helpful, but a cage set up in the corner of your bedroom or den can work just fine. Depending on how old the kittens are, you’ll be caring for them for one to eight weeks.
Finally, unless you adopt them, you must be prepared to let your foster kittens go. It can be sad to say goodbye, but remember, you have given them a great start on life. Thanks to you, they will have a loving, permanent home with some very lucky adopters.
How To Foster Kittens
This article was co-authored by Deanne Pawlisch, CVT, MA. Deanne Pawlisch is a Certified Veterinary Technician, who does corporate training for veterinary practices and has taught at the NAVTA-approved Veterinary Assistant Program at the Harper College in Illinois and in 2011 was elected to the board of the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Foundation. Deanne has been a Board Member of the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Foundation in San Antonio, Texas since 2011. She holds a BS in Anthropology from Loyola University and an MA in Anthropology from Northern Illinois University.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 88% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 77,535 times.
Fostering kittens is a wonderful and helpful thing to do. Your local animal shelter probably has small kittens in need of temporary homes before they are old enough to adopt. There may also be rescue organizations in your area that need help fostering kittens before they are adopted. Doing this takes time, effort, and motivation, as well as the strength to let the kitties go to their forever homes eventually. However, it will all be worth it when you see your kittens living happily in their new homes.
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What Does It Mean To Foster A Cat
The following was originally published on the Petfinder Blog.
What does fostering a cat involve?When you foster, you agree to take a homeless cat into your home and give him or her love, care and attention, either for a predetermined period of time or until the cat is adopted.
Why do adoption groups need foster homes?There are many reasons a cat might need foster care. Some of the most common include:
- A rescue group doesnt have a physical shelter and depends on foster homes to care for cats until suitable homes are found.
- A kitten is too young to be adopted and needs a safe place to stay until he or she is old enough to go to a forever home.
- A cat is recovering from surgery, illness or injury and needs a safe place to recuperate.
- A cat is showing signs of stress such as pacing or hiding in the shelter.
- A cat has not lived in a home before or has not had much contact with people and needs to be socialized.
- The shelter is running out of room for adoptable cats.
Why should I foster a cat?Fostering a cat is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have . By taking an animal in need temporarily into your home youre:
Will I Need To Give Medicine To My Foster Cat
Almost all of the cats that we have in our foster program are rescued from shelters and have been exposed to shelter illnesses. While we do our best to ensure that we are aware of all the conditions that a foster cat may have prior to going home, many illnesses have incubation periods, meaning symptoms can arise after you take a cat home. So while some cats do not require any medicine, others may. If your foster cat needs medications, we can show you how to administer them before you take the animal home.
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Can I Adopt My Foster Dog Or Cat
Absolutely, Feldman says. Fostering-to-adopt is the norm at Shelter Chic, so if a foster parent is interested in finding a long-term companion, the shelter will place them with a foster dog or cat that matches what they are looking for. The trial run shouldnt last too long, though, in case another family might be a better fit. After a week they should know, Feldman says. If they dont know after a week, well kindly explain that there may be a family that desperately wants this animal, and if theyre on the fence, its probably not meant to be.
If a foster parent decides they want to adopt their foster pet they can submit an application. But if there is already an adoption going on, and someone has applied and been approved, then its done, Feldman notes.