Categories: fostering

Fostering cats as a form of temporary ownership

During the coronavirus pandemic applications to foster cats has gone up at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home (the charity reports). There is also an increase in adoption applications. The two are linked. The surge in desire to foster reflects a need to temporarily live with a cat during the coronavirus lockdown which is what is happening in the UK at present.

Fostering cats. Picture: Cats Protection. Collage: PoC.

To use the vernacular, UK citizens are banged up in their homes with nothing to do and no where to go. They can watch so much television and read the papers from cover to cover but there comes a time when the symptoms of stir crazy kick in which is where a pet cat might help to entertain the army of people sat at home.

But these people are arguably not true cat guardians who are in it for the longterm – life of the cat. They are just finding ways to survive three months or more of being forced under government diktat to STAY AT HOME. The words are in capitals because that is what has been drummed into us on the tele for the past few days.

The government is dismayed at the number of people going to the park to enjoy themselves in the middle of the week because work has stopped for many. They seem to have forgotten that the human race is in the middle of a pandemic. The weather was good though! It pulled people out of their homes. A lot of people don’t feel the danger and think the government is overdoing it.

As a consequence the UK government is on the edge of making emergency orders to force people to behave more responsibly. Is it right that there is an increase in cat fostering applications during the Covid-19 outbreak? Are they the right people to foster? Will they stop fostering when the pandemic is over? I guess Battersea Dogs & Cats Home have asked all these questions and dealt with it professionally.

But fostering cats is a form of temporary ‘ownership’. You have the cat until a new home is found. You work with the shelter. You can stop doing it whenever you like (subject to the contract) as it is voluntary work whereas proper cat guardianship is a fixed term contract for about 15 years – the life of the cat. That said some people abandon cats which makes them temporary cat owners. These people struggle with the length of time that is part of good cat caretaking.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in a many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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