What Does It Mean to Foster a Cat?

Why Foster a Cat?

Fostering cats can be beneficial for both you and the cat. While a fostered cats benefit from the care they receive, a foster will always benefit from the unique experience of every cat they foster. Fostering isn’t just for mama cats and kittens. Many cats of varying ages and medical/ psychological issues benefit greatly from a foster home, as they receive one-on-one care that would be limited in a shelter environment. From shy to the medically intensive, cats of all types need a home to grow in health, maturity, and love.

Cats Needing Foster

Mama Cats & Kittens

Most mama cats and their kittens come into the shelter after having been found by good Samaritans. Catching mama and her kittens as a whole allow mama to raise her kittens in a very comfortable, yet safe environment with supervised nutrition and care. Upon arriving at a shelter, Intake procedures are performed to both properly medicate and analyze their health for any other health-related concerns. If all goes to plan, a foster associated with the shelter is assigned to the family of cats taking them into their care. Along the way, the foster supervises their development until the kittens are ready for adoption and the cycle continues.

Non-socialized Cats

Fostering can also be extremely beneficial towards a cat’s socialization and maturity. All cats, at the very least, require 15 minutes of socialization in a shelter setting. However, some cats require heavy socialization which can rarely be accomplished at a shelter with limited staff. Cats of this nature, for one reason or another, lacked the nurture and socialization during their early developmental stages which left them a little scared of the world around them. Foster homes allow regressed cats to receive full undivided attention from their foster and experience the wonderful life of a house-cat, enabling them to come out of their shells and eventually into their own. However, the pace of their socialization depends both on the foster and the cat, so patience is key.

Medically Intensive Cats

Sadly, many adopters forget about the medically intensive cat population currently in shelter care. These cats also vary in age, breed, and size. Medically intensive implies that a cat’s routine in the shelter revolves around scheduled daily medications and consistent health observations. Many cats like these usually get overlooked and spend a longer period of time in the shelter causing them to be unhappy or stressed. Partnering these cats to foster homes allows shelters to focus more on their other medically intensive cats or take in more cats of this nature while allowing cats to experience a home life which eases their stress and can be beneficial to their health.

How do I start Fostering cats?

Is Fostering Cats For You?

Fostering cats may sound fun and exciting, but it is important to understand the situation at hand. In many cases, you will have to revolve your  schedule on your foster cat, set up regular checkups with a veterinarian, detail observations from your day to day interactions, maintain set routines of socialization and grooming, and prepare for any surprises that might pop up. However, having a strong support system from your local community of shelters and clinics can lead to a perfect foster situation.

Reach Out & Get Educated!

Reaching out to your local rescues and city shelters for support is key in preparing yourself to foster cats. With the amount of educational content free on the internet, anyone can access the basics of becoming a foster and eventually mastering the art of fostering cats. While some communities are achieving lower levels of stray cat populations through Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) work, shelters will continue receiving cats that require care who would benefit strongly from your love and home. 

If you are interested in fostering for Town Cats, please read more about our program and fill out an application online. We look forward to partnering with people who are willing to share in our mission of saving more lives.