Animal shelters must screen their cats for health and temperament, whereas pet adoption ads posted on the Web or in newspapers by individuals are usually unregulated. Adopting a new cat from a shelter is therefore often the best, safest option.read more
Fostering a cat is a great way to help your local animal shelter and make a cat’s life a little better until it is adopted. Every shelter has different requirements for fostering, so it’s best to contact your local shelter in advance to ask questions. There are also many organizations that do not have buildings to house the animals, forcing all of the cats to be in foster homes.
According to Abbi Collins, adoptions manager of the Cat Care Society in Lakewood, Colo., there are different types of cats that need fostering. Kittens that are too young to adopt out, feral kittens that need socializing, and injured cats that need time to heal may need to spend time in a foster home, says Collins. Depending on the individual cat’s needs, fostering can range from two to 10 weeks.
As a foster parent, you will be required to provide transportation to bring the cat to and from the shelter. Depending on the organization, you may be asked to provide the pet supplies while the cat is in your home. If you are able, you can offer to help with some of the financial burden to aid the shelter.
When you first bring the foster cat home, Collins suggests confining it to a room without access to your other pets. “Animals from shelters may have illnesses that could pass on to others. Precautions should be taken to limit exposure between shelter animals and resident pets. Your pets may be required to be vaccinated and spayed/neutered,” says Collins.
Stacey Brecher is a freelance writer. She has contributed to Animal Fair magazine, and her blogs have previously appeared on The Dog Daily.