If you’ve decided to become a foster for cats, you’re a blessing and you’re a special type of person. Fostering animals for rescues, in general, can be a huge blessing and give you plenty of cherished memories. However, it’s a good idea to read up on the best things to know before fostering cats. As someone who has done plenty of fostering, I’m here to help prepare you to be the best kitty foster you can possibly me.
It Could Affect Your Current Pets
If you have other pets in your home when you decide to foster, then bringing in a cat, even if it’s for a short time, can change the “setup” of your home. If you have dogs or other cats, their demeanor may change due to the new presence. Animals rely on scent and a new cat brings in quite a few new scents. This could cause all your current pets to be on edge, fights to break out, and aggression to pop up towards owners.
Be sure your current pets would be able to handle fostering and the changes it will involve. If the foster has a sickness that wasn’t caught, this could also be spread to your pets along with fleas and parasites. This is usually avoided for the most time and isn’t often a huge concern. This is why it’s recommended that you always keep foster cats separate from your household pets.
You Have to Be Approved
Most rescues or humane societies aren’t just going to let anyone come in and start fostering animals. Your home and your current pets will have to be approved first. This sometimes can entail them coming to look over your home and observing your pets. They will likely also expect your pets to be up to date on shots and will require verification of this.
You’ll Be Asked A Lot
One of the best things to know before fostering a cat is that rescues may contact you a lot to foster, depending on the season and demand. Don’t feel pressured to say yes. They will go down the list of available fosters until they find someone who says yes.
This means you might get a call often and you don’t have to say yes, every time. Know your limits and don’t overwhelm yourself. Take what you can and then say no until a spot opens up in your home for you to take more. You have to remember you’re not the only foster and it’s ok to pass it on to the next person.
Know What’s Expected
Be sure that you know the details of the rescue you’re being asked to foster and what the rescue is expecting. Some rescues will expect fosters to cover all expenses of the cat in their care while other rescues won’t expect this. Further, some rescues may not prep the foster first which means you could be bringing a random cat into your home that could infect your other cats with Lord only knows what. This could be dangerous for the pets you already have. It’s ok to ask questions.
Be sure to partner up with a foster that fits your parameters. This will often make the fostering process a seamless and enjoyable one instead of overly stressful. This makes it more helpful for you to foster effectively as well as keep things in line and easy for the rescue.
It’s Harder to Let Them Go Than You Think
There’s no guarantee you know how long you’re going to have a cat with you if you end up fostering. Often times, you have a very short warning before they just take them from your home and place them in their forever home. Of course, it’s always wonderful when they find a forever home.
However, one of the best things to know before fostering a cat is that it’s very difficult to say goodbye. Cats can get strong emotional connections even with their fosters and humans get the same connection back. It takes only a short time for both human and feline to gain these emotions and connections. You fall in love with them and they fall in love with you. It feels like a piece of your heart is missing when they’re placed in a forever home. It’s ok to be sad when they’re gone but, be prepared because it’s usually a bit of an emotional roller coaster when it comes to fostering because of this part specifically. Overall, it’s a rewarding process to foster and the bittersweet moments are worth it.
Of course you could be like me and never say goodbye to your fosters. When our three amigos didn’t get adopted after 3 months they were a part of the family. They needed to get spayed and neutered and that’s when my husband and I talked it over and decided to keep our love bugs. It’s a lot to take on extra pets in your house be sure your ready if they stick around for awhile.
It was a such a rewarding experience to get involved with the non profit we fostered with and give back to the community. These cats otherwise would have been left out on the streets. Let us know in the comment section below if you are up for fostering!