Did You Know?
Foster Cat Program
Foster Cat Orientation
Foster Cat Volunteer Orientations are held the first Sunday of each month at 2:00 PM (except on holidays when the shelter is closed). You must sign up by emailing email@example.com by 5:00 PM on Saturday, the day before the orientation. There are limited seats in the room, so please be sure to reserve your spot! After you’ve signed up, you will be emailed an orientation packet to bring with you. Orientation will be cancelled if there are no sign-ups by 5:00 PM on Saturday, the day before the orientation.
Reasons to foster
Fostering is a wonderful experience for you and your family; you can feel good knowing you have helped save a cat’s life. Even better, you’ve created space in the shelter to accommodate other homeless cats. Foster cats provide companionship and purpose. Your act of kindness is repaid in rewards that are beyond words.
Cats needing foster homes
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do foster cases last?
It completely depends on the cat and the situation. The average stay in a foster home is about 2 months. However, most kittens and some cats with great photos and stories on the web may stay only a few weeks. Others, recovering from an injury, senior cats, may stay much longer.
How much time does fostering take on a daily basis?
Daily Hours (estimate)
What supplies are needed to foster? How much will it cost?
Foster parents provide space, food and love for the cat. The shelter will provide you with all the other supplies, meds and equipment needed throughout your foster experience.
Do I need to have prior medical knowledge or expertise?
No, but you may be asked to dispense medicine to your foster cat so you will have to be comfortable following veterinarian’s instructions if fostering a sick or injured cat.
What if my foster cat becomes sick?
All veterinary costs are paid by the shelter through the generous donations to the Help the Animals Fund. If a foster cat becomes sick, foster parents must call the vet hotline to request an authorization for a vet visit. There is a selected list of veterinarian clinics which will bill the shelter directly.
If I have my own animals, can I foster cats?
Yes, but keep in mind that it’s always a health risk to expose your animal to other animals. The health risk is minimal if your animals are current on their vaccinations, maintains a healthy diet and lifestyle, and are not elderly or very young. If you or someone in your household is immune-compromised, consult your doctor before fostering since working or living with animals exposes humans to a group of zoonotic diseases.
What if I have children?
Fostering is a wonderful family experience and can build a foundation of philanthropy in your children. It’s important to select a cat that is “age” appropriate with your children. You must also be diligent about providing guidance, instructions and rules to your children about caring for an orphaned cat.
Can I adopt my foster cat?
YES! As long as foster parents meet the shelter requirements necessary for adoption, foster parents have first choice to adopt their foster cat.
How are foster cats promoted?
Photos and stories of all adoptable cats in foster homes are posted on Petfinder.com and at the shelter where the public can view them. Foster cats are also promoted at monthly events throughout the city. Foster parents can also help promote their foster cat to their family, friends, colleagues and the general public through a variety of means including flyers, emails and social networking sites.
How can I help my foster cat become more adoptable?
There are two ways to make a foster cat more adoptable. First and foremost is marketing. If no one knows about your foster cat, or how wonderful he is, then it will be next to impossible to find him a forever home. In addition to supplying great photos and a bio and updating these regularly, giving a foster cat additional exposure by telling friends and family about them will help create a “network effect” and will speed up the process of finding a forever home.
Can I return my foster cat to the shelter if I am unable to foster any longer?
We prefer that foster parents continue to foster until we find a permanent home for their foster cat. It’s extremely stressful for a cat to be returned to the shelter environment. However, we understand that situations change and it may become necessary to discontinue fostering a cat. We request that a foster parent provides as much notice as possible (minimum 1-2 weeks) so that we can find an alternative foster home to transfer the cat to. Of course, in an emergency a foster parent may always bring their cat back to the shelter.
What if I go on vacation or have a business trip?
If given enough notice, we can usually find volunteers that can foster sit for short durations. We ask that foster parents always keep their case managers aware of any temporary foster sitting situations.
Are foster cats ever euthanized?
Much energy, love, time and vet care is devoted to our foster cats, and the shelter is committed to finding homes for ALL the adoptable cats within its care. Some cats are in foster care because they’re seriously ill or injured. If, after medical attention, these cats are too young or too weak to heal and are suffering, then the shelter staff will humanely euthanize these animals. Fortunately, most cats in foster care heal beautifully. Your safety is our #1 priority. You must always inform the shelter staff and your case manager if your foster cat exhibits any aggressive behavior.
Requirements For All Foster Parents
In order to become a foster parent, you will need to complete the following:
Important Rules and Reminders
For Further Information
Foster Care Hotline: (206) 615-0737 (recorded message)