Becoming a Fosterer
The reasons cats come into a rescue are many and varied. Mostly it is due to an owner's change in circumstances - the owner has moved to somewhere that doesn't allow pets, the family is emigrating, relationship breakdowns and divorce, a family member has an allergy, or the owner has died or gone into a care home. Some cats are just simply 'unwanted', some are found wandering (strays) some kittens have been born outside to an unneutered lost cat
Each cat has a different personality, and a different history, and will react differently to being fostered. Sometimes they have been through ordeals that you may never know about, other times you know exactly what they've been through, and yet others will simply have come from a loving home, and just be bewildered as to why they have lost their family. There can sometimes be medical or behavioural problems to overcome
Fostering is just one way you can be part of these happy endings for cats in your community! You will have the satisfaction of restoring a little cat’s faith in the world. And even though it is sometimes sad to say goodbye when a cat leaves for its new life, you know that you have given it a chance it wouldn’t otherwise have had
Becoming a Fosterer
This is a very rewarding role that requires commitment. The satisfaction you get from helping a cat that has fallen on hard times towards a better future is immense
As a fosterer you take a cat into your home temporarily and provide the care and TLC it needs until it finds its new forever home. Some fosterers 'house' their foster cats in a cat pen in their garden while others prefer to provide a spare room in their house for their foster cats
Fostering not only benefits cats and kittens, it provides cat lovers with an opportunity to give back and help cats in the best way they can. Some volunteers can't commit to owning a cat 365 days a year, others foster because they can't guarantee that they will lead a cat-friendly lifestyle for the life span of a pet cat, others prefer doing something practical rather than donating money to the charity; all love cats and others do it for the joy it brings them every day...Whatever your reasons for getting involved we welcome those with cats in their hearts as fosterers
Who Can Foster?
Almost anyone can foster, you just need spare time to care for cats, be confident around cats, and have a caring but practical personality, enjoy interacting with people and are happy to follow our cat care standards and charity policies. A thirst for knowledge around all things cat and happy to keep up to date information and complete paperwork for cats in care are also key for this role
If you go out to work, or have other pets, you can still become a fosterer. You don't need to have a garden to foster. If you have other commitments or plans in the future, that's fine too - fostering can be as long or as short term as you like
Older people can make excellent foster parents; so if an older person has resisted getting a cat because they are worried that it may outlive them - then fostering could be the answer. Perhaps we may be able to arrange 'permanent fostering' of ‘Senior Kittizens to Senior Citizens, meaning they never have to give the pet up, and there are no worries about vets bills.
People who take several holidays in the year often resist getting a cat as a result. However, short-term fostering can work well in such situations. Co-ordinating with the rescue, becoming a short-term fosterer allows you the company of cats when you are home, and gives cats in need that vital halfway-house before they are permanently homed.
If people who find it hard to cope with the grief when a pet dies, and so decide not to have pets at all, then fostering allows you to enjoy the company of cats again, but without the grief of bereavement... and instead experiencing the joy when they go off to a permanent, loving home, knowing that you helped them in their time of need.
People with more time on their hands, might consider a fostering/socialising role, particularly during the summer 'kitten season' period. This is when the branch takes in kittens born outside, who have not been used to human contact. Such kittens may start out terrified of humans, but if rescued young enough they can be successfully 'socialised' and then rehomed to a normal, domestic environment. This is an extremely rewarding volunteer role. Click here to read about fostering Feral Kittens
What Support Can You Expect From the Branch?
Provisions: the branch provides all the essentials for your foster cat; litter, food, litter tray, beds etc.
Veterinary Bills: Any veterinary bills will be met by the branch. You will have to use the branch’s nominated vet.
Backup & Advice: At the end of a phone from the Welfare and Fostering Officers and also from the team of fosterers.
If you ever felt you wanted to make a real difference to an animal’s life, then please consider fostering. One of our fosterers once said, “I don’t know what it is, they can be any colour, temperament, age and size but I just look at them and they melt into my heart”. This sums up what it is to be a fosterer, a big-hearted person, full of care and affection that makes the world an OK place for a frightened little cat and enables it to go on its way to a better life
If you feel this role is for you and would like more information about becoming a fosterer, please contact us for an informal chat
You can read more about becoming a cat fosterer here and watch a video about what is involved here