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Discouraged about fostering

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I guess I'm just looking to hear some positive stories about fostering kitties since I've had a really discouraging experience.

I decided last fall to foster a cat (I have two of my own) so I rescued an adult girl Bonnie from the local high-kill shelter through a rescue organization. I VERY SLOWLY introduced her to my 2 cats and things seemed to be going well. I even bought some Feliway with my own money to help ease the introductions.

Unfortunately Bonnie took a disliking to my boy and would start attacking him for no apparent reason. Needless to say this upset us very much so we separated them. Well now she has started attacking my girl as well, whom she had gotten along with very well up to this point. So now we have to keep Bonnie separated from our cats all the time. She's living in the laundry room which she doesn't like since she's had run of the place a lot of the time until recently. She's been up for adoption for a few months but there hasn't been any interest in her, I guess it's harder to find the adults a home.

I'm just very discouraged about this I don't want to be a quitter and abandon Bonnie but I didn't anticipate that taking her in would disrupt my own cats so much--maybe I was naive. I've told the rescue organization that I don't think I can keep her here any longer but unfortunately there aren't any foster spots available right now and she would likely have to be in a house without other cats or in a separate room somewhere. I guess I could keep her in the laundry room indefinitely which doesn't seem like much of a life for her, but I guess it's better than the alternative if I hadn't rescued her. She cries most of the time when she is in there which upsets my kitties.

Have other people had similar experiences? I thought I was doing a good thing but now I'm not so sure since I have 3 unhappy cats on my hands.
post #2 of 14
Discouraging stories? After 9 months of fostering, I adopted Damita & Dorian.

I've had PJ & Punky for 9 months now, too. Bea? She'll be here until she dies I imagine. Same with Molly, & Squishy.

I suck at fostering. Almost none of my cats get along.

I wouldn't have it any other way.
post #3 of 14
I guess I would have to know what you meant by "attacking" your other cats. If you saw some of the wrestling matches my guys put on, you'd swear they were killing each other, but they always go back for more and seem to enjoy it.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well she growls and hisses whenever she sees Oliver even after several months. If she is around him she will stalk him, tail swishing, and jump on him, growling and crying, she scratched him quite badly above the eye before I kept them separated. She would seek him out if he was asleep and attack him in his bed. She can't seem to be in the same room with him and just leave him alone. She goes crazy if she catches a glimspe of him so we've had to cover up the glass window into the laundry room.

She hasn't got that bad with my girl, I didn't witness it but my husband told me Bonnie had cornered her in the laundry room and there was a lot of growling and fur flying. I didn't want it to escalate so I've been keeping them separated as well.
post #5 of 14
Are they all fixed?
Tried Feliway? Rescue Remedy?

I discovered the hard way keeping Ophelia (my attacker) seperated from other kitties made her worse, only I discovered it too late. She still attacks the other cats 2 years later.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
Are they all fixed?
Tried Feliway? Rescue Remedy?
Yes, yes and yes I think the Feliway has helped a bit but unfortunately I've not had good results with Rescue Remedy.

I think this girl just doesn't like other cats, maybe she had a bad experience in the past and doesn't trust them. She seems to want to be dominant and I think that's why she's had such a problem with Oliver from day one since he's the dominant cat here.

The more I think about it and read other people's experiences on this site I think I will keep her here, I don't want the poor thing to be shuttled from one house to another. I guess life in the laundry room isn't that bad considering at a shelter she would be in a cage.
post #7 of 14
And at the shelter if she doesn't like other kitties, trust me, she will not do well.

I hate it when people surrender cat aggressive cats here, because they go ballistic. A lot end up euthanized because they stop eating, or they flip out in the cage, or they bite people.
post #8 of 14
Sending calming vibes out to Bonnie
My cat Cinders was rescued from a rest area, so she wasn't well socialized when young. She fights with other cats except for all black ones (that look like her ) and TommyScott, the former feral - they adore each other.
Maybe you could add some shelves and hidey-boxes to the laundry room for Bonnie, to make her isolation more comfortable. The risk is that she will get frustrated and unsocialble. And some cats do seem to be loners
post #9 of 14
We fostered once.. and thats the last time... we took in 3 cats ((2 seniors of 7+ yrs and one young about 1 1/2 yrs)) and the older female hid and no one ever saw her but me, the older male hated everyone and hid in the closet most the time or with the female, the younger female was annoying.. our other cat ((a 4yr old male we've had)) doesnt like other cats... he keeps his distance though.. and the younger female always liked to "play fight" with him.. that usually ended in a scuffle.
We ended up adopting all of them.. well they were more dumped on us but we didnt mind.. the senior male was gonna be put to sleep anyway. Well we rehomed the females and kept the male and him and King hate each other to death.. but they keep there distances and if the do get to close they usually just hiss, smack each other and walk away.
I guess you cant make cats like each other.. what happens, happens
We cant foster EVER cause we end up keeping the animals
post #10 of 14
I wanted to commend you for giving fostering a shot. You obviously love cats and are very generous with your time. We all wish there were more people like you!

I have no experience with fostering, but just thinking about your situation in general terms:

(1) Some cats simply prefer to be, or need to be, the only cat in the house. Their personalities are such that they simply do not get along with most other cats. There are plenty of humans who have the same issues, so this doesn't strike me as being all that strange. It is not a reflection on you, or your own cats. We humans can only influence things to a certain degree. And for what it's worth, because of your kindness at least now Bonnie's profile will indicate that she must be an only cat, or only animal. If she had been adopted out, the family would have likely been unprepared for something like this, and they might not have been willing to deal with it. You can guess what the result would have been for Bonnie.

(2) It's perfectly understandable that you feel discouraged after your initial fostering experience. And maybe you should take a short-term break from it, especially while Bonnie is still in your care, since it sounds like you have more to deal with than you bargained for. But just because you had a difficult first experience doesn't mean that future ones will be as disappointing. Think of it like dating, or gambling in Las Vegas. The first time you do something significant it is often an underwhelming experience, but you learn from it and get better at it with practice.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the encouragement and shared experiences, it has helped to put my situation in perspective
The rescue organization I am working with is having an adoptathon in a couple of weeks and I will be taking Bonnie, hopefully someone will fall in love and give her a good home
post #12 of 14
You know without people like you these babies wouldn't survive I really want to do fostering at some point myself, so stick with it, you all do a fantastic job with giving them a home and some love
post #13 of 14
I suck at fostering,too. I have kept almost every cat I rescued and was going to keep "until I could find a good home for them." I have found homes for 3, one of which declawed the cat, causing me to pitch a huge fit and get tossed out of a vet's office, who promptly fired her when he found out she had promised me she would not do it. The other went to a nice family after being tossed out, unspayed, after her owner died, and she took refuge in my garage, and I had her spayed before rehoming her. The third was accepted by the local rescue and one of their volunteers fell in love with her and adopted her before she ever went into a cage. The rest have either lived out their days with me, 2 rehomed themselves, (I tracked those down and made sure) or I still have them. I now have a big tuxedo cat hanging around outside. I think he may be the semi-feral that a friend brought here as a kitten, and he escaped from the carrier and headed for the woods. They were trapping and doing God knows what with them where lives. He wanted to protect it until they got bored with finding empty traps that we released the cats from. They are the same people that were going to try to see if you could flush a kitten down the toilet and I had to take Scooter away from them. The 3 of the 4 I have now were all supposed to be fosters.
post #14 of 14
I have never fostered from a shelter, but I have rescued cats off the street, and got them proper medical testing, spay/neuter, and vaccinations. I have lived with them for many years now. I am down to 2 of my rescues over the years, they are now 13. The other ones have lived their natural course of life and have passed on to the rainbow bridge. My house at times was a semi warzone. They all learned to live together eventually.
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