Fostering a Cat
Foster volunteers are the heart of our organization, and are true heroes to animals in need. AFRP’s foster volunteers save lives every time they open their homes to a cat or kitten in need of a second chance. Cat foster homes are especially needed in spring and summer months, when our local shelters are overwhelmed with homeless cats and kittens; but we also need foster homes for adult cats, medical cats, senior cats and hospice cats year round. Our local animal shelters reach out to AFRP to take these cats when they become at risk of being put down. The simple truth is the more foster homes we have, the more lives we can save.
We ask that you take care of the basic care and feeding of your foster cats, as well as allowing enough time to make sure the cats are well socialized and loved. We ask that you set aside a special room or space so that your foster cats can be separated from your other pets. It is helpful if you are able to transport your foster cats to the vet when it is time for them to be altered, and to keep in touch with the AFRP staff about your foster cat’s progress.
No. Of course experience is helpful, especially with an orphan or a bottle-fed kitten, but advice is always just a phone call away. Our foster homes go through a one-on-one training session, receive written materials, and are encouraged to attend one of several foster care orientation meetings that are scheduled each year.
AFRP pays for all costs of food, litter, supplies and veterinary expenses for your foster cats. Some foster families choose to supply some of these items themselves, which is appreciated but not required.
You should expect to commit to between a few weeks to a few months--each circumstance is a little bit different. Most kittens are ready to be altered and adopted at about 8-9 weeks of age. If you are fostering a mother cat too, you can expect to add a few weeks to allow the mother’s milk to dry up, and for her to recover from her spay procedure. If you are fostering older kittens, you may only have them a few weeks until they are ready to go to the adoption center. We can help choose the foster situation that works best for your time schedule.
Most foster volunteers find that the hardest part of fostering is saying good-bye to the cats and kittens they nave nurtured and become so attached to. But all agree that the rewards of knowing that you have sent your foster cats and kittens off to wonderful new homes, far outweighs the heartache of seeing them go.