To foster kittens means that you agree to take a homeless kitten or kittens into your home and provide them with love, care, and attention. This may be for a particular period of time or until the kitten is adopted.
Foster homes are needed for a variety of reasons including kittens being too young to be adopted and need a safe place to stay until they are old enough to go to a forever home, or the rescue group depends on foster homes to care for cats until suitable homes are found.
To Foster Kittens Or Not?
The decision to foster kittens will have an impact on your entire household. It requires a commitment from everyone and should be carefully considered. You should think about the following questions:
- Am I prepared for the costs involved to foster kittens? More than likely you will need to purchase the necessities and accessories (unless you work with a cat rescue organization that furnishes the supplies) that go along with kittens. This may include the formula, kitten food, litter boxes, bed, a crate, scratching post, bottles, and toys. In some cases, you may be asked to take care of their vaccinations and the cost of surgery to spay or neuter.
- Am I prepared physically and emotionally to foster kittens? You should have enough room in your home for the active foster kittens (or kitten) to be comfortable and safe. You need to be physically capable of tending to their physical needs. This may include bottle-feeding the newborn kittens every two to three hours around the clock. You must be emotionally prepared to say goodbye if the kitten dies or finds a forever home. It is easy to get attached and saying goodbye is not always easy.
- Are there other pets in the home? It is always a good practice to keep the kitten or litter of kittens, along with the mother cat (if she came with the package) in a safe room until you know how your other pets will react to the newcomers.
- Is my family in agreement with the idea to foster kittens? Much of your time may be consumed as you foster kittens. It may cause conflict with your family if they are not as committed as you are. Most children are excited about having kittens in the house, and enjoy the responsibility of feeding and playing with them. More questions you and your family should ask before you agree to foster kittens.
Steps To Foster Kittens
To Foster Kittens Step 1: Contact a local shelter to see if there are kittens that need a foster home. Before you can become a foster parent, you will need to fill out an application that must be approved by the shelter. You may be required to attend an orientation class and receive any required training from the shelter staff. Shelters are often overcrowded during the spring and need help.
To Foster Kittens Step 2: Decide on the types of kittens you want. Do you want an orphaned kitten or kittens with their mother? You will want to consider the age of the kittens. Very young kittens without a mother face a high death rate and require a greater amount of time and care. Ask the shelter for their advice based on your experience and availability. They will help you to feel comfortable, and most importantly don’t ask for more than you can handle.
To Foster Kittens Step 3: Decide where the kittens will stay in your home. Do you have a separate, quiet room that is away from other pets? Can the room be kitten-proofed? Are there lots of areas where the kittens could hide? (you will be spending a lot of time enticing the kitten to come out!)
To Foster Kittens Step 4: Purchase kitten-friendly supplies including an enclosed crate, towels or blankets, shallow food/water bowls, toys, training pads, food, kitty litter, and a litter box. Check with the shelter, if the kittens are being bottle-fed, to see if you can get bottles and milk formula. You may also order online or purchase from a pet store.
When you have all the paperwork signed, supplies purchased, and everyone on board with the decision, then you are ready to pick up the kittens from the shelter. Make sure you have a pet carrier or ask to borrow one from the shelter. When you arrive home, take the kittens to their room and get them settled in.