HomeAnimal RescueThings To Consider Before Fostering Cats


Things To Consider Before Fostering Cats — 5 Comments

  1. Hi Elisa,

    Cute foster cat collage 🙂

    I can tell by your article that you’ve had a lot of experience fostering cats.

    I think a lot of people don’t know the scope of what they are getting into the first time around. They don’t realize how important it is to hook up with an organization that will cover expenses, especially medical bills.

    It takes a lot of time, effort, and money to raise a group of foster cats. If they have medical issues, even more so.

    It’s hard to part with a cat after you’ve nursed him back to health and had him a while. The bond can get very strong in a short amount of time.

    Your article is great for preparing a person who would like to become a foster cat parent.

    =^-^= Hairless Cat Girl =^-^=

  2. I was shocked and surprised to learn that workers in the shelter don’t wear disposable gowns when working with sick animals. For humans this is a very basic standard of care. You protect yourself and other patients by wearing a gown, gloves and maybe a mask when working with a patient in isolation. I think Michael is right when he says that our killing of so many cats diminishes our respect for the cat. If you saw a nurse move from a patient in isolation directly to your loved one’s room without having worn a gown in the infected patient’s room, you’d be upset and rightly so. Sure, she washed her hands, but what about the germs clinging to her scrubs? You’d be horrified. But workers do it with cats and it’s no big deal. It’s like the cat doesn’t matter very much. I suppose gowns are too expensive. But these poor infection control practices are terribly expensive to the cats who lose their lives from diseases being spread all around the shelter. That lack of an extra gown or smock costs some cats everything they had. But it just doesn’t matter very much since the same cat would probably eventually have been put down for lack of space anyway. That fact is so shocking that we fail to be shocked at the crappy standard of care the animals get prior to that point. The medical care animals get should whenever possible mirror care for human patients. I’m not talking about heroic measures here. I’m talkiung about a few disposable or even washable gowns. Shelter workers could bring a few old shirts from home and put them over their clothing when working with sick animals. Used gowns get shoved in a plastic bag and washed either at the shelter or at the worker’s home. It’s a bit of extra wash, but it would be considered a bare minimum of infection control for humans.

  3. Its very important to foster cats because it means there are more that can be put in the shelters. I fostered about 16 kittens with Cats Protection. They paid for food, litter and vets trips. Some of the kittens were feral and some were older ones that got overlooked for adoption in favour of smaller cuter ones. It was hard work socialising them but they all found good homes.
    I would never have been able to keep any because they had to go to homes with safe gardens which I didn’t have, but there was one feral kitten with a lovely nature, smooth black fur, and one eye, that really tugged at my heart.

  4. Great article, Eliza. I started fostering for my local shelter in October, after being a volunteer there since February. All the kittens have to be approved by a vet before they can go into foster care, and the shelter provides everything, blankets, food, bowls, litter, litter boxes, even litter scoops! Literally everything! I lost a kitten from my first litter, and it was heart breaking, this kitten was a bit slow to begin with, but I’d managed to bring him back to health twice, so the third time I thought we would be okay. He was dead within hours, despite my best efforts. I spent that night on the phone to an emergency vet, so I know I’d done the right thing, his death was inevitable. They believe he had heart or organ problems, and he was just a ticking time bomb. I didn’t have the heart to send his body in for an autopsy, instead I made him his own little garden, and laid my precious baby to rest. Fostering is great, but it can come with a devastating downside, and it can be dangerous if the foster carer doesn’t have any background knowledge/experience in caring for baby animals. A baby will go downhill FAST and you need to know how to deal with that, and how to bring him back to health. My kitten wouldn’t have lasted 3 days with an inexperienced foster carer, yet he remained my special baby for 4 weeks. He was 8 weeks when he died. I think about him every day, and still love him so much.

    I am now fostering a litter who almost died after being transported to the shelter in an insulator bag, on a scorching day! They are so traumatised that they hate everything, even each other, so for the past week I’ve been working on socialising them and turning them into someone’s future loving companion, I have been having wonderful success, they are turning into gorgeous little smoochers!

    I hope people read this article before fostering, it isn’t as simple as taking home a litter, feeding them, picking up their poop and cuddling them until they’re big enough to find their new homes. In can involve extremely intense work and care.

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