I’ve been working with and for cats for 30 years, but fostering was never something I did consistently. Maybe I felt I was too busy, didn’t have the bandwidth to commit…or maybe I was just scared to commit. When I finally got through the excuses, my life totally changed. Being a foster parent is one of the most joyful experiences in my life, and I want to share that journey with you!
The video on his page is about 10 minutes long. He explains how he went from thinking that he could not foster because he would “keep them all”, to understanding and being comfortable knowing that goodbye is the goal.
What is Fostering
A foster home is a bridge from a cat’s former life to their new life with a forever family.
Fostering a cat means that you work with a shelter or rescue organization as a volunteer and you open your heart and home to a cat in need. As a foster parent, you bring a cat into your home for a limited amount of time and play a major role in helping that cat to be ready for adoption.
An environment that feels like home instead of a shelter, is usually best for cats. Cats, like people, need a place to feel safe; a place where they can let their guard down and relax, where they don’t have to worry about where the next meal will come from, what other animal might challenge them in the night, or if they will be warm and dry.
Many cats have been neglected or abused and don’t know what a loving home feels like. Foster families help them learn what it’s like to eat, sleep and play in a safe space.
How Do I Apply to Foster?
Complete and submit our Foster Application online and our foster coordinator will contact you. You must be at least 18 years of age. Existing pets must be up to date on vaccinations.
You can opt to foster any cat or kitten in need, or foster specific circumstances (e.g. single, friendly adult) or for a specific time frame (e.g. only short term).
The foster coordinator will maintain contact with you and will be available for support.
Please note: While any Home at Last Rescue cats/kittens are in your care, you must NOT foster any cats/kittens from another rescue/shelter. This is necessary for animal health reasons.
What is the Cost to Me?
We will cover the cost of all veterinary care. It is the expectation that the foster parent will purchase/provide supplies, food and litter, however, the Rescue regularly receives donations of litter, wet food and kibble, available free of charge to any foster parent. Cats need toys but a Dollar Store wand toy, a ball and even home made toys are good.
Ideally, the foster will have available transportation, (to take the cat to a vet appointment, if needed). If not, we appeal to other volunteers to do the transport. Cats must be transported in a carrier.
We have an active social media presence on FB and Instagram. If you are able to take photos (cell phone is fine) that helps promote our cats.
What Setup Do I Need in My Home?
You will need to have time every day to socialize with your fosters(s).
If you have pets of your own, initially you will need an area in which you can isolate/quarantine the new foster for a short period of time. If you do not have a spare room then a bathroom works too. If you are fostering a pregnant mama and a future litter of kittens, then a nesting setup is needed. Cats need a safe space and a simple cardboard box with a towel or blanket is perfect.
Preventive Vet offers advice on setting up your foster space. If you foster for us, we too can provide guidance.