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Fostering Kitties

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#1 DylJayBen's Mum

Posted 27 December 2012 - 12:05 PM

So I have just emailed a cat rescue group to look at fostering cats, we have been thinking about it for a little while, but I was just looking at how many poor cats/kittens out there are in need of care.

It's heartbreaking that these animals may lose their lives because people are just plain irresponsible.

We already have 3 kidlets, 1 dog and 2 cats(around 10months old),I'm so excited original.gif .

Was just hoping for some feedback from peeps that are already fostering about how good it is to help out these little munchkins and your experiences.


#2 DylJayBen's Mum

Posted 28 December 2012 - 09:30 PM


#3 mewsings

Posted 29 December 2012 - 06:36 PM

Was just hoping for some feedback from peeps that are already fostering about how good it is to help out these little munchkins and your experiences.

It's both really rewarding and terribly frustrating, and often incredibly sad.  

Since you already have two cats of your own,  have you got the ability to keep them seperate from your fosters/rescues as an infection control measure ?  If you can't do this easily, I'd seriously reconsider fostering -  the health and vaxx status of the cats coming in can't be guaranteed.  No point making your cats ill.

I have a rescue girl and her five babies at the moment -  Mum and bubs' story is on here in another thread - and I am spending around 2 hours a day handling just Mum.  We had to trap her to catch her,  she was so frightened and thin,  but almost 4 weeks later I can pick her up and cuddle her easily, and she wraps herself around my feet.  If I take anyone else in the kitten room,  she still hides, but she's a work in progress and I'm quite happy with how far she's come for now.  Ideally I'd like to handle her three hours a day,  but with kids and my other cats and life in general, 2 is it.  Foster/rescue is time consuming.

Sometimes,  depending on what life has handed out before you get them,  no matter how you try they can't become good, re-homable pets.  There is more than one foster carer out there with at least one of these cats that has moved from the "just visiting' to the "permanent resident' category - myself included (her name is Mercedes and she's 7 years old now).  You have to have strategies in place to cope if the cat can't be helped or if medically it's deemed that euthanising is the only answer.

I find the most frustrating part is dealing with the people who come to look at the kittens - I've done a fair bit of pedigree rescue and there is a type of person out there who want a 'bargain price' cat but expect 'top show cat' looks and personality.  You have to be good at weeding out those people who would be crap homes from those who would actually be ok homes (even if not your own expectations ) and mostly you get really great homes.  But be prepared with a list of excuses as to why a kitten is now unavailable if you want to avoid the drama that comes with refusing an applicant - the crap homes tend to have the market cornered when it comes to chucking tanties of momumental proportions.  

The sad bit is that no matter how hard we work, there is always another cat urgently needed fostering or rescuing.  The queue is always lengthening, particularly now that rental homes seem hell-bent on preventing people being pet owners at all.

And then you get those great times - when the owner sends you a photo of a big fat housecat that you first saw as a scrawny, ill baby on the knife edge between making it or not.  Or the photo of the little girl pushing her cat in a pram when you know in it's previous life it was abused.  And the bittersweet ones when you get a photo of the cat that has died after 15 years in it's purr-ever home and them asking you to keep an eye out for the next rescue that looks like Fluffy as they want to do it all over again.

Feel free to PM if you have any specific questions, happy to add my 2 cents worth if you like.

#4 la di dah

Posted 30 December 2012 - 12:22 AM

I only did real rescue once, and then I did an "intentional failure" where what I really wanted was to adopt the cat but the rescue would not count him as rehomed until he was desexed and he was sooo frail and sick he needed a long time before he was fit to be so we "fostered" him for six months but had no intent to give him away to anybody.

I never had to tame anybody! I got into my first foster because this poor scrawny starving cat was DESPERATELY friendly and showed up at my house. She let us pat her within a couple hours and rub her tummy within a day. Then... she had kittens! (showed up thirsty and tired on one Saturday, had babies the next Saturday, so no chance to plan some non-parenthood...) And that was a huge process and both really cute and really exhausting/trying/horrible/wonderful and I cried a lot but it was amazing. I got her a new home after I rehomed the kittens to EBers. biggrin.gif

If you aren't necessarily up to the more drastic cases there are tons of cats that are homeless but not un-re-homable. Some just need time the regular shelters can't give, to find the right home.

My foster-mummy-cat had giardia and that was revolting but antibiotics put her right.

My 2nd foster failure, Nimbus, is my little boy. and because I love him and I ain't advertising him for a new home - good lord he's been disgusting. Got him at five weeks old (orphaned) and he has had every health drama that he can get his paws on and he DID give my pre-existing cat ringworm and probably tried to give her other things as well (she's fit as a fiddle and fully vaxed so she only got that). He never had a temperment issue and has always been completely trusting but physically he's only now starting to come right.

My first foster cat had four cheeky babies that were roly-poly fit little things that did all the cute things kittens are supposed to do. Nimbus didn't do anything. He slept next to his food bowl so he didn't have to walk. He didn't wash himself, we washed him or our other cat did. He didn't get much of a kittenhood but now he acts a bit dopey, we think because he spent his formative weeks and months sitting being a pet rock.

I had a hard time fostering the first litter but there were enjoyable things about it and I think if I had planned it, it would have been easier. At times I cried for it being too hard, but when it came time to go to new homes I cried about that too. I am not sorry I did it, and now in hindsight my DH says it wasn't all completely awful, but if I were going into it I would plan carefully how to do it.

And since you have pets/kids I would think carefully about the disease thing. Or what will happen if they die. I lost one kitten in the first litter, one out of five but the oher four were healthy, and reversing that, Nimbus is the only one doing well out of his litter.

#5 *Flower*

Posted 01 January 2013 - 07:14 PM

Hi there

I foster for the RSPCA.  

It is very rewarding, the kittens are typically around 6 weeks old when I get them, and I need to look after them, socialise them, feed and care for them until they are over 1kg in weight, then I return them to be desexed, chipped and adopted out

It can also be hard work as some may not be litter trained, they may get sick and I need to give them medication, or take them back to the shelter's vet.  They may have sad stories. They may not eat and need lots of effort, mixing various combinations of food until they eat.

I do get very attached to them and typically have a little cry when I hand them back.

I have a young family and a cat of my own, and I keep the kittens in a separate part of the house to my  own cat. My children know how  to handle the kittens and play a big role in helping to socialise them.

I find the RSPCA very supportive to its forster carers, they provide litter and food, (although I do supplement the  dry food they give me with wet food or fresh chicken) .  You can also say 'no' if you are busy or want a break from foster caring

Feel free to PM me if you want more info


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