Cat Fostering Chesterfield VA
Is Fostering a Cat Right for Me?
Becoming a foster provider to homeless cats or kittens can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience, and may be an ideal situation for families that are unwilling or unable to make a long-term commitment to a pet cat.
For many cat rescue groups, finding cat foster homes is an important part of the work they do. Sometimes these groups, which rescue cats and kittens from high-kill shelters, don't actually own a facility or shelter of their own. The foster home becomes an important stepping stone from the time the cat or kittens are rescued until they can be permanently placed for adoption.
Before you decide to become a foster provider, it's a good idea to take stock of your situation and decide if fostering a cat is really right for you. If you have young children or dogs, or if you work long hours, you may not be able to provide a suitable home for some cats, and fostering a kitten may be nearly impossible. It helps if the whole family is committed to the process of fostering a cat, because each cat might be with you for several months. If you have a cat of your own, you should make sure its vaccinations are up to date, to guard against exposing it to infectious diseases. It may also be wise to quarantine incoming foster pets until their health can be adequately assessed and they can be tested for infectious diseases like feline leukemia.
Keep in mind that the cats coming to you may have been abandoned by previous owners or may have spent several weeks caged at a shelter. These cats may be frightened, stressed, or poorly nourished and will need love and attention to help them become socialized. Some may need to be re-trained in using a litter pan or may need to be coaxed to eat. You may also be called upon to administer medicine to a cat with a health problem, or care for an older, special needs cat with diminished eyesight or hearing.
Before you decide to become a foster provider, find out which costs you will be asked to cover. Some rescue groups work only with people who can afford to "donate" the food and kitty litter used by the foster cat, while others will give you monthly stipend to cover these costs. Most groups will reimburse you for the cost of any veterinary care that is needed.
In some cases you may be asked to provide a foster home to a mother cat with a litter of very young kittens. This is not as much effort as it may seem to be, because for the first month of the kittens' life, the mom will do most of the work, nursing and grooming her offspring. Kittens can generally be weaned at four to six weeks, and separated from their mother by the age of four weeks.
One of the greatest challenges is taking in unweaned or orphaned kittens. Not only are newborn kittens fragile and vulnerable, but they'll be depending on you to take the place of their missing mother. For the first two weeks of life, before kittens even open their eyes, they are completely helpless. You'll have to keep the kittens very warm, and feed them ...
Tips for Being a Good Kitty Foster Parent
Many people find that becoming a foster provider to homeless cats or kittens is a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Foster care for cats basically requires patience, a compassionate nature, a flexible lifestyle, and some experience with and knowledge of cat behavior. Below are some general tips that may ease your transition into foster care.
Tips For Fostering Adult Cats:
Tips For Fostering Nursing Mother Cats With A Litter Of Kittens:
Tips For Fostering Orphaned kittens: