Being curious kitties, we asked Mom to tell us more about what fostering is and why she does it. Mom said she fosters because some cats need a home to feel better - physically, mentally and emotionally. Mom has fostered baby kittens in the past, but she mostly fosters adults. There are always plenty of people wanting to foster baby kittens, but not always the adults. Since we are adults, we didn't understand that reasoning at all! Mom said she thinks it's because baby kittens are so cute, which they are. But, so are the adults! To be fair, though, Mom said that adults needing foster care usually have a behavioral issue, and that can make it difficult to find the right person and home for the cat.
Our basement is not carpeted or furnished. None of us furkids are allowed down there, it's quiet, and there are no kids. It has a window, and even a ledge for the cat to enjoy the sun. Mom and Dad provide some nice shelves to sleep and play on, plenty of toys, food & water of course, a comfy bed, and even a water fountain. Hey, those fosters sound like they have it pretty good!
After fostering a litter of kittens, Mom said "no more kittens, they are crazy and messy!" We thought that was funny! Now the reason Mom fosters is if a cat is brought to the shelter because they housesoil or they have behavioral issues. So far, every "housesoiler" has not actually been a housesoiler. They just needed a quiet, calm, only pet, no kid home, and to her knowledge, all have done wonderfully in their adopted home.
Lately, most of the fosters have had behavioral issues - shy/scared or stressed from being in the shelter. When they are stressed at the shelter, they stay in foster care until the right adopter comes along. It can take longer, because that cat needs an experienced cat person. What does that mean? Mom says this person needs to be patient, understands cats and their body language, but also knows how to respond to their body language appropriately. Mom gives them a quiet place to de-stress, plenty of playtime or attention, whatever it is they need. And, then we all just wait. We wait until that purrfect person comes along.
So, that's what fostering is. But, why does Mom do it, what does SHE get out of it? She said that fostering is one of the most rewarding things she has ever experienced. She loves each and every cat, and absolutely loves to see them be themselves in the right environment. Sometimes it's like getting to know a whole new cat! The best part, of course, is when they get adopted. Mom misses them, but is happy for them! With some cats, the joy is seeing an adult cat learn to play. For some, it's giving them that extra attention they crave so badly. And, for others, it's just seeing them de-stress, looking relaxed, happy and enjoying themselves.
So, who should foster? Well, anyone that loves animals! It all depends on the person's level of experience, their home environment and commitment they can make. Some foster cats Mom has had for only 1 week, and others she has had up to 3 months. We hope that you might want to consider becoming a foster parent, too! If you do, please contact your local animal shelter for more information. Big kitty hugs to you if you do!
In the meantime, we want to show you just a few of the fosters that have stayed with us (downstairs remember, we pretend they don't exist!)
Evelyn - current foster, shelter stress
Mya had shelter stress
Alex has Wobbly Cat Syndrome (fostered to ensure he was potty trained)
Monkey - had a bad URI
Giselle (and look a like sis, Penelope) - supposed housesoilers (not)
Plenty (supposed housesoiler - not)
SnuggleKisses - health
Callie (and 2 other siblings) - "feral"
Gretchen - health issues; fostered to ensure use of litterbox
Harley - supposed housesoiler (not)
Jazz Man - supposed housesoiler - not
And, there have been many many more! Please foster, it's one of the best feelings in the world - for you and for the cat!!!!