What Is Fostering a Cat?

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The following was originally published on the Petfinder Blog.

By Jane Harrell, Petfinder.com senior producer

What does fostering a cat involve?
When you foster, you agree to take a homeless cat into your home and give him or her love, care and attention, either for a predetermined period of time or until the cat is adopted.

What is Fostering a Cat?

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Why do adoption groups need foster homes?
There are many reasons a cat might need foster care. Some of the most common include:

  • A rescue group doesn’t have a physical shelter and depends on foster homes to care for cats until suitable homes are found.
  • A kitten is too young to be adopted and needs a safe place to stay until he or she is old enough to go to a forever home.
  • A cat is recovering from surgery, illness or injury and needs a safe place to recuperate.
  • A cat is showing signs of stress such as pacing or hiding in the shelter.
  • A cat has not lived in a home before or has not had much contact with people and needs to be socialized.
  • The shelter is running out of room for adoptable cats.

Why should I foster a cat?
Fostering a cat is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have (other than adopting, of course). By taking an animal in need temporarily into your home you’re:

  • freeing up a spot so the shelter or rescue can take in another cat.
  • giving your foster cat the time he needs to be ready for adoption.
  • helping the shelter or rescue learn more about the cat so he can end up in the best home possible.
  • socializing the cat to a home environment and possibly getting him used to being around other pets and different types of people.

Not sure you can foster a cat? We know eight reasons you can, even if you think you can’t.

How do I sign up to foster a cat?
Find a rescue group or shelter near you and contact them. They’ll likely have you fill out a foster application and, if you are approved, they will work with you to figure out the right foster cat for your household.

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