If you love cats you can literally become a life saver!
If you answer yes to any of these questions then foster caring or cat socialising may be for you.. Do you:
- Love cats but unable to commit to a forever home?
- Travel a lot and miss having a cat around when you’re home?
- Live off a low income and feel concerned about the costs of permanently owning a cat?
- Move house a lot or can’t guarantee the next rental will allow cats?
- Have your own pets but want to help others too?
- Feel unsure about committing to owning a pet – wondering if this is the right decision for you?
- Want to help abandoned and/or neglected cats find their perfect home?
What exactly is a foster carer?
Foster caring involves taking in a cat, kitten or family of cats in need and caring for them until a permanent home can be found. Foster carers offer a temporary home environment and open up room for another rescue (that may have otherwise been on death row at a pound for example) to take the space they once filled as they waited. Sitting within four walls is no fun and cats too can become depressed. Cats may require foster care if: – they are recovering from an illness – are expecting kittens – nursing mum and her babies until they are old enough to leave mum – need hand raising like orphaned kittens – they are sick or injured and require nursing and time to recover. – orphaned kittens require frequent (around the clock) bottle feeding. But a great many foster cats and kittens simply need a place to stay until a permanent home can be found.
What is a cat socialiser?
A cat socialiser takes in cats or kittens in temporarily as they adjust to a new life. A socialiser allows the cats to experience the loving bond with a human given they may have come from a neglected background. Others may have not had much contact with humans in their past. Socialisers facilitate the building of trust like for a shy or nervous cat or kitten. Becoming socialised allows the cat to adjust to a home environment, other pets, children, etc. and it enables them to adjust to becoming the ideal pet people are searching for. Scared or unsocialised cats can learn to trust and build up confidence so patience is required for this to take place. A kitten growing with regular loving handling accustoms them to receiving human kindness, affection and attention. Time needs to be spent giving cuddles and playing with the babies or older pets.
Would you like to be involved in fostering or socialising?
Being a foster carer or a socialiser is ideal for those that want to have a hand in helping cats without needing to provide a home forever. Some cats can be stuck in cages for several months and even years until they find their home. This work enables more organisations like us to offer no kill shelters otherwise they just wouldn’t have the room to keep all of the abandoned animals. If you are unsure we can speak to you in more detail about what’s involved.
What are the responsibilities and requirements?
- You will need to offer a safe environment for the cat. If you have a cat or kitten they must be kept indoors at all times and you must ensure your house is cat proofed (windows and doors not left open for cats to leave your house, etc.)
- You will need to be able to offer the time needed to properly provide care and be willing to offer love and affection.
- You will need to be willing to administer medication if it is required and keep the cat up-to-date with flea, worm and tick treatments (if you live in an area where ticks are found).
- Grooming is required regularly for long haired cats to avoid any matted hair.
- If you have other pets, you will need to isolate the fostered cat initially until they can be slowly integrated and accepted by your other pet/pets. This also allows them the time to adjust to a new environment and become accustomed to other pet smells, noises, etc. Introductions should be well supervised.
- A sick cat will need to be isolated from your other pets with the use of and proper hygiene precautions taken to avoid transmitting disease.
How long do I mind the cat?
The length of your foster care or socialising care depends on many factors. You may be available for the short-term to foster or you may be more flexible. Saving Cats will work with you on pairing you with the right catt depending on your availability and experience. Generally fosters can range from just one weekend, to weeks or even months depending on the circumstances of each pet. Kitten season is a difficult time. Throughout kitten season many mother cats and her kittens may need care while her cats are still reliant on her. Shelters and rescue organisations often don’t have the time or the resources to care for a mother cat and her kittens.
What is the cost to you?
Saving Cats will cover vet bills (provided you take the pet to our vet). We will also cover medication, bottles/formula and in some cases food. You maybe required to provide a safe shelter including a bed, toys and a litter tray and cat litter.
Becoming attached to cats in your care
Providing a temporary home means it’s only natural that you might become truly attached to your visitor. Remember that you are doing such a good deed offering a loving short-term home until the cat can be offered a permanent forever home. By letting go of your foster cat when they get their home means that another abandoned darling has a new life. Once the cat has found its new family this will allow you to help yet another pet in need.
Foster carers speak of the satisfaction they experience by being a major part of the rehoming process for cats that may have been given up on – with many otherwise euthanized.
We advertise our cats for permanent adoptions on reputable sites such as Pet Rescue.
If you would like to discuss becoming a foster carer, please do not hesitate to contact us!