How To Be A Better Foster Cat Parent

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Being a foster parent for homeless cats is a great experience for both you and cats. It's highly rewarding to you, and it's a life-changing experience for cats. Read on to learn more about fostering cats.

RELATED: Welcome to the Family - Introducing a New Cat or Kitten to Your Home

In this article

  1. Fostering Cats
  2. How To Start Fostering Cats
  3. Orphaned Kittens
  4. Adult Cats
  5. Nursing Mom Cats

Fostering Cats

Close up of a little kitty in the house showing its tongue | Fostering cats | How To Be A Better Foster Cat Parent

Fostering cats is a gratifying experience that requires love, patience, and compassion. It can save the lives of cats and give them a nurturing environment to feel safe.

Being in a foster home is much better than being in an animal shelter for cats because the shelters are crowded and noisy, which could traumatize adult and baby cats more. Some shelters are overpopulated, which is why some cats can go into depression, shock, or catch different diseases from other animals there.

Fostering homeless cats can change their lives drastically by making them feel loved and cared for.

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The right choice, for your kitty and the earth.

How To Start Fostering Cats

First of all, potential foster parents should remember that fostering cats is a short-term commitment, and you'll have to say goodbye to your foster babies eventually. As they get adopted one by one, you will feel sad, but you can always have more foster cats or adopt some fur babies yourself!

You'll need a loving heart, at least basic information on cat care, and some free time to care for foster cats. You will also need litter boxes, food bowls, toys, stretching posts, a carrier for vet visits, and nutritious cat food!

Cats require different care depending on their situation, whether they are nursing moms, orphaned kittens, or adults.

Orphaned Kittens

Orphaned kittens will need more attention and care than adult cats, so we recommend you to foster kittens only if you can spend most of your day at home.

  • Newborn kittens need to be fed every 3 hours.
  • They open their eyes at about 2 weeks old and start walking at about 3 weeks old.
  • They may need defecating and urinating until 3 weeks old, and you can use a damp washcloth to clean kittens after each feeding session.
  • Feed kittens while they lay on their stomach and use commercially available formula and a syringe to feed them.
  • Do not heat the formula in the microwave. It makes it too hot for kittens, instead add warm water into it.
  • Solid food can be introduced to kittens once they are one month old.
  • Once they can eat solid food, make sure to have food and water available at all times.
  • Keep the kittens warm. You can provide a heating pad on one side of their box to give them the freedom to walk away if they get too hot. Make sure to set it on the low setting.

Adult Cats

Adult cats can be easier to take care of than kittens, but most homeless adult cats have been through a trauma, which means they may not trust people or be unfriendly.

  • Adult cats should be introduced to a foster home slowly.
  • They may have some trauma, so give them some space that they can be alone when they want to, start with one room, and as you get used to each other, you can let it explore your house room by room.
  • Always provide food, water, and a cozy place to sleep and rest.
  • Make sure you give your foster cat its litter box.
  • Approach your foster cat in a cautious, non-threatening, and caring way to make them feel safe and comfortable.

Nursing Mom Cats

A nursing mom cat breast feeding its baby | Nursing Mom Cats | How To Be A Better Foster Cat Parent

Fostering a nursing mom cat with her kittens is like a supporting role. The mom cat has given birth, and now she needs a safe place for herself and her babies. You may want to keep your distance with the kittens until you earn the trust of mama cat.

  • If you're fostering a nursing mom and her kittens, make sure you have enough space for all of them.
  • If you're providing a box, choose a box with high sides so that the kittens won't fall off but low enough to let the mom get out easily because mom cats might want some alone time from the kittens between feedings.
  • Let the mom take care of the kittens herself, do not interfere unless she's refusing to take care of her kittens.
  • You can use multiple layers of bedding to make it easier for you to clean as the kittens will make a mess.
  • Make sure that the mom cat feels comfortable and safe. Approach her and her kittens in a non-threatening way.

If you are fostering cats with the help of a shelter, they can guide you through the process and answer your questions.

With the information provided in this article, you can now understand the process of fostering cats. There are many examples of foster parents who have eventually decided to adopt their foster babies because they simply could not say goodbye. Maybe you'll find your forever feline friend through the fostering system.

Share your thoughts with us in the comments section! Why do you think fostering cats is important?

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