Thousands of animals who are too young or too sick to be adopted arrive at the city’s animal control shelter each year. Temporary foster care gives them a chance at life, something the shelter cannot offer. The need for foster care is great throughout the year, but it is particularly urgent during “kitten season” (April – October) when hundreds of cats and kittens can arrive at the shelter on any given day. Here are answers to some of the most common questions about fostering:
What Does It Mean to Foster?
Fostering gets animals out of the shelter and into safe, loving, homes where they can grow or heal until they are ready for permanent adoption. Our biggest need for foster care is for kittens under 3 pounds, when they can be spayed/neutered. Foster homes are also needed for adult cats, some of whom are sick or injured, or others who simply need to get out of the shelter to create space for other homeless animals.
How Do I Start?
Just fill out an application form and you will be contacted shortly by Rescue Kitty. You can also send us an email and we’ll help you find an animal who suits your needs, abilities, and lifestyle. There are always animals who need foster care.
How Long Will I Keep Foster Kitties?
Length of stay generally ranges anywhere from 2-8 weeks depending on the needs of the particular animal.
Will Fostering Put My Other Pets At Risk?
All foster cats and kittens must be kept indoors. A small room that is separate from the rest of your living space, such as a bathroom, is the perfect place for them. So even if you have pets of your own, you can still take in kittens and give them the chance they deserve. Sick or injured animals may or may not need to be kept separate from other pets in the house; we can tell you about animals’ specific needs and precautions you’ll need to take to keep your pets healthy and safe.
What Do I Need to Provide?
Foster parents are responsible for providing the basics: food, water, a litter box, litter, bedding and toys. If you need help with the start-up supplies, please ask; we may have donations we can provide to you. Daily care required for foster kittens depends on their age. If a foster animal has a condition we are unable to treat, the foster parent may choose to have the condition treated at a private veterinary practice at their own expense or they may return the animal to Rescue Kitty.
Do I have to foster a mom with kittens? Can I just foster kittens?
Kittens are sometimes with their mom, and sometimes they are orphaned. Litters come in all sizes, but even if you can only foster two kittens, you will be making a tremendous difference. (We typically do not send single kittens into foster care, since they need companionship and socialization of at least one other kitten as they grow.)
I don’t know very much about cats, do you have any information to give foster parents?
We have a starter packet to send home with new foster parents. It discusses in detail what you will need and what to do, and also provides information on the developmental stages of the animal.