The following was initially posted on the Blog at Catfoodsite.com.
How does letting go work? is a question that foster parents who take in cats commonly ask. I frequently hear this justification from people who don’t foster cats: “I could never give them back.”
As a result, I’m going to share with you my top five pieces of advice for letting go after a foster placement. These suggestions have assisted me let go of well over 20 foster cats and dogs and place them in loving, content homes other than my own, even though they are not fully infallible (we recently made the decision to adopt our last foster cat, Wes).
- Purchase a foster cat that won’t suit your needs in the long run.
When I choose to adopt a new foster cat, I begin to let go. I choose foster cats that I feel comfortable taking care of but wouldn’t want to adopt for my own cat. Given this, kittens with Cerebellar Hypoplasia, such as my former foster Peekaboo, are typically a fantastic fit for my home. I enjoy working with them since they are fantastic with my animals, especially my CH cat Wes. However, adding another CH kitty to my already hectic schedule is challenging in the long run.
Choose a foster child who doesn’t quite fit your lifestyle if you want to keep everyone safe, but don’t take on more than you can handle. Do you detest washing dishes? Foster a long-haired cat.
Do you like to stay home? Foster kittens that are active. When your foster children are adopted, you will be sad, but you will also feel relieved when things return to normal.
2. Include your loved ones or close friends.
Even though my family participates in fostering, I made sure to include my roommates. (It should go without saying that fostering a cat requires the support of your entire home.
Fostering a cat can assist you in maintaining the emotional distance you need to let go since you won’t regard the cat as “your own” and you won’t be worried that it won’t ever be content without you.
Cats adore it as well. Your foster cat will be held, loved, and played with by your friends and family while it becomes acclimated to meeting and interacting with people. This is a life skill that every cat should learn because it will make him look good to potential adopters.
- Assist in locating and vetting potential adopters.
You’ll keep in mind that your foster cat won’t be with you forever if you assist him in finding a new home. To find out how you may contribute, speak with the shelter or rescue group. You might do this if your foster cat has a stellar Petfinder profile with lovely pictures and an excellent description. As an alternative, you may request that they spread the word about a link to his Facebook page on Petfinder.com.
Find out if you can assist in choosing potential adoptive parents by asking the rescue organization or shelter. While some organizations largely rely on you, others don’t even require foster parents to meet prospective adoptive parents.
Knowing that your foster cat will have a lovely permanent home and that your efforts will increase the likelihood that he will find one may make it easier for you to say goodbye.
- Keep in mind that by letting go of this one, you’ll be able to help someone else.
You might be missing out if taking care of this foster cat prevents you from adopting another cat that is in need.) Of course, the other needy cats are also ignored.
A fantastic foster parent may help save many lives by sheltering and fostering cats who might not otherwise find homes, so keep in mind that while every adoption helps save a life, you can also do your part to help.
- Request updates and photos from the person who adopted your foster cat.
Dropping a cat off at his new home is without a doubt my favorite part of fostering one. Teary? Quite often, indeed. I get to see how much better his life will get in the future, so it’s still the best.
If you have already met the person who will be adopting your cat, ask them for an email update and some pictures. You won’t always get them, but when you do, you’ll be happy.
Find out as much as you can about the adopters from the shelter personnel who handled the adoption if you are fostering in a group and won’t get to meet them. (But take care to move quickly so they can have time to grow.)
It’s clear that neither of these suggestions will totally take away your pain over having to say goodbye to your foster cat or stop you from feeling attached. But is it really so bad if the worst that occurs is that you fall in love with your foster cat and gain a new family member? Wes, my most recent “failed” foster, and I don’t agree with him.
Wondering about Preventing Lost Cats? Check it out on our latest post!