Being a foster parent is one of the greatest things you can do for all those felines out there who don’t have stable homes. For those who still aren’t sure what fostering entails – you’re basically providing a temporary home and lots and lots of love and care to cats that aren’t ready to be adopted yet. The great bit about fostering is that you help take the load off animal shelters that are teeming with rescues. While it sounds like fun, (and it is), it’s also a huge responsibility. If you’re thinking about being a foster parent, here are some things you should know beforehand:
1. They should have their own space:
Foster cats usually take a while to get familiar with their new surroundings. Making sure they have their own space reduces their nervousness and can help settle them into your home quicker. Also, if you already have a resident cat, separating the two is important to ensure there’s no aggression between the newbie and your pet.
2. Keep your hands clean:
If you decide to foster a cat, you’ll be in charge of a sweet little kitten that needs your help. Keeping sanitizer handy will ensure that germs don’t spread from you to them or vice versa.
3. Make sure your resident cats are up-to-date on their healthcare:
Kittens, being the tiny balls of fluff that they are, don’t have very good immune systems. They should only be around other cats if their shots and vaccinations are complete to ensure you don’t have to do a midnight sprint to the vet for an emergency check-up.
4. Be mindful about your resident cat/s:
You might be super excited to be a foster parent but always remember you’re already a parent to your own cat/s. If having an unfamiliar cat is going to stress them out, then maybe it’s a good idea to put off fostering another cat, till they’re ready. They were here first and should be your priority.
5. Letting go is hard but you must:
You knew this day was going to come but it’s hard anyway. You should be proud of your efforts and know that the kitty you fostered is being adopted into a great home. And maybe after they’ve settled in with their new family, you could visit them from time to time.