WHY DO WE NEED FOSTERS?
To provide individualized love and attention to our healthy growing kittens so they can experience all the happiness they have missed out on. Our kittens still in need of critical care only go out to our most experienced fosters. The kittens that are out of the woods need a loving environment until they are old enough to go to their forever homes - this allows Ellen and the team to focus even more time and attention to the kittens that need it most. Some animals may need fostering for only a few days, while others may need to be in your home for much longer. We will work with you to ensure that you are comfortable with the animal, its needs and the expected timeline for fostering. Your efforts will help prepare the animals for adoption in a comfortable atmosphere.
What do I need to know to raise a critical care neonate? | Our youngest kittens will need to be bottle fed every few hours, stimulated to urinate and defecate, and given lots of love. Our weaned kittens need love, attention, and the opportunity to grow into the best cats they can be. Every kitten in our care is unique, and many have very special needs - we'll help you!
What do I need to foster? | The usual cat stuff - toys, beds, bowls, etc. We will provide food, bedding, and toys if needed. But more importantly - patience. Our kittens have had a rough start to life, they are still learning, they have unique needs, and they are not perfect - but that will buff out.
Things to consider:
- Time. Foster kittens need a significant amount of time and attention. Socializing is incredibly important, especially as many may have had illness that required them to be isolated for extensive periods of time. Kitten socialization peaks around 12 weeks old, and it's incredibly important for their development and their future that they receive socialization with humans and other animal friends that will make them wonderful pets for all their years to come.
- Immunity. Do you have pets? Young animals have limited immunity and are more susceptible to possible infections, some carried by older animals. Given the critical cases that come through our care, our kittens are more often than not even more susceptible than the average healthy kitten. Their foster friends (any other pets in your care) should be fully vaccinated and healthy.
- Cleaning. Kittens are messy - they get food all over their feet and faces, they dance in the litter box and paint poopcassos. Keeping the kittens and their space clean is vitally important for their health.
- Vet Visits. Depending on the case, our kittens may need to come back frequently for medical treatments. If they are healthy and just waiting for adoption, they will need to return to NOVA Cat Clinic for vaccinations and spay/neuter (covered by CGMFF) as needed.
- Emotion. Will you be emotionally able to return the animal to the CGMFF after the foster period is completed? For some, this is the hardest thing to do. It’s easy to become very attached to your foster animal. The first few times, letting go can be emotionally draining, but it can get easier over time. The more you foster, the more you help us save lives.
Do you have room in your home to foster an adult cat? From time to time a CGMFF alumni will be returned to us - sometimes with significant behavioral problems, medical problems, or for personal reasons (financial, space, moving, newborn, etc). These cats need even more patience, love, and attention than our kittens. If you would prefer to foster an adult cat or are interested in learning more, please contact us!
If fostering may not be for you, that's ok! Check out these ways you can help.