Sure, kittens are cute, cuddly, and a great addition to any family. But, they are also a lot of work. Just like bringing home a baby, when you foster kittens you must learn exactly what goes into helping them thrive in your home. Regardless of whether you have other pets or not, there are some steps to take before picking out the purr-fect kitten for your family. If you’re ready to increase your family size by four paws, take a look at some of the things you need to know and remember before you decide to take the plunge into fostering
Cats Can Live a Very Long Time
Kittens are cute and small, but they eventually grow into cats. If you’re more interested in keeping them small, maybe try volunteering at your local animal shelter to get your kitty fix instead of adopting. However, if bringing home a pet is the direction you’re going, keep in mind that indoor cats can live up to 20 years in the right circumstances and with proper care. Think of fostering a kitten the same as raising a child. Make sure you’re ready for the time and monetary investment that goes into it.
Set Up a Kitten Preparedness Station
Most people make impulse decisions when it comes to getting a new pet. However, it can be difficult to get everything ready when you’re a spur-of-the-moment person. If you already know you’re going to be fostering a new kitten, make sure you have everything you’ll need before you arrive home. Start preparing a few days in advance before you make the big step. Find the right litter box, bed, crate, toys, and set up a veterinarian appointment. If you already have pets, make sure you create a safe room before you foster kittens to ease them into the family.
Kittens Need Nurturing and Guidance
You may have experience with cats, but kittens are another beast all together! Most cats are already out of the playful stage and are litter box trained. Kittens, however, will need some extra guidance. Teaching your kitten where to relieve themselves, where to look for food, and what is and isn’t a scratching post takes time, energy, and patience. When you foster kittens, you’ll also need to give them nurturing and care in order to help them thrive and grow within your home. If you don’t have time to put into the nurturing process, adopting an established, older cat may be a better option.
Kittens Are Not a “Free” Pet
Unlike some pets that require very little or minimal care, kittens need more work and money. When you foster kittens, be aware that you’ll need to have it in your budget to do so. Like a child, kittens all have daily needs that will require you to dip into your wallet. Litter, toys, food, and extras are all necessary for your kitten to survive and thrive. Vet fees and vaccinations also cost money. Because kittens and cats can live for quite a while, you’ll also need to factor in elderly cat costs and preventative treatments for diseases as well. Make sure you also check with your landlord if renting to see if there are additional deposit fees or rent for having a pet.