The following was first published on the Catfoodsite Blog.
Written by Jane Harrell
Since it has been one of my most satisfying life experiences, I wholeheartedly urge everyone I know to foster a cat. But I’ve learned some crucial things along the way.
For the experience to be successful for the foster parent, the rescue organization, and, most importantly, the cat, it is imperative that all parties communicate and are clear about their expectations and commitments.
Ask the rescue group or shelter the following questions before registering to foster: (The group will probably also want you to complete a foster-home application). Do not be afraid if the group is unable to answer all your inquiries. Each organization has its own set of rules and regulations.
Worries over the cat
- How long has he been in the shelter or rescue group, and what brought him there?
- Why does he need foster care right now?
- Does he have any medical conditions or do they require medication?
- Has he had neutering, or spaying if the cat is a female? If not right now, when will he be?
- Is he up to date on his vaccines, and has he had a test for conditions like FELV and FIV?
- In light of the fact that diseases like upper respiratory infections cannot be checked for, how long should I keep him separate from my own dogs?
- Does he behave in a troublesome way at all? How do you handle them?
- Do you know how he acts around kids, animals, dogs, and/or strangers? Can my children or pets meet him before I agree to foster him?
- Do you understand how he behaves when left alone with this person?
- He is he potty trained?
Having issues with the nurturing process
- How long should I look after this cat? If so, how long do you think it will take to find a suitable home?
- What happens if I’m no longer able to care for the cat?
- Who will pay for any future medical expenses? In the event that my cats get a disease from my foster cat, will that also cover their medical care?
- What should I do if there is a medical emergency?
- Who will be responsible for making contact with, speaking with, and introducing the cat to potential adopters?
- When and where will I be required to take him to adoption-related events?
- Will you require me to bring my own food, litter, supplies (such a litter box), medications, etc.?
- Who can I get in touch with if I need help? How soon will that person answer if I leave a message?
- What would happen if it was discovered that my foster cat couldn’t be adopted?
- If I want to, may I take him in?
Every foster parent, no matter how well-prepared they are, must be ready for the unexpected. But it’s worthwhile. Similar to Marge, the cat with cerebellar hypoplasia, who I had only intended to keep for two weeks while she recovered from an upper respiratory virus but who ended up remaining for four months once it became apparent that she wouldn’t do well in the shelter.
Marge needed consistent physical care, enrichment activities, and seclusion. She was one of my hardest challenges, but it was even more rewarding when she found the perfect home with a kind couple who continued her physical therapy. When Marge initially entered the shelter, we never thought she’d be able to ascend and descend stairs, but the last I heard, she’s a pro at it.
Wondering about Adopting the Right Cat For You? Check it out on our latest post!