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Foster home questions

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well, a couple weeks ago I started reading on the forums here about all the street cats and feral cats needing a foster home to go to. I started to think that this may be right for me to do, as we live on a small acreage a ways from the city, and gas is too expensive to drive back and forth to the shelter all the time to volunteer there on a daily or even weekly basis.

I do have two rooms that I could put up foster cats in, a laundry room and if needed a mud room, both can be easily equipped for cats, as that is where i initially set up all of the cats I have adopted. However, I am a teenager, and have to have permission from my parents to go ahead with helping these cats in need, so I decided it would probably be best to set up a place where I can ask a bunch of questions on the subject.

As I do have cats of my own, right now adopting cats isnt a good option. How long does a foster usually go for? Would it just be kittens needing a place to be socialized, weaned, etc before the adoption, or older cats too? If there are people from the Saskatoon area (in Saskatchewan, Canada) who can help me, that would be great, but anyone who is a foster or has done that route before can advise that would be great. What is the usual process for a foster home?

I know there are a lot of questions there (and there will most likely be a lot more as they come up, what with trying to convince parents and all ) but if anyone can tell me more about it, that would be great!
post #2 of 12
It depends.

I've had PJ & Punky (my fosters) for...10 months now? Bea's been here 4 months, the 3 kittens a little over a month.

I've known some fosters to go for years, some are gone right away.

Your local shelter's needs will depend on what you foster. I take home the ones to foster who would otherwise be euthanized.
post #3 of 12
The best way to set up as a foster is to work with the local shelter. As long as your parents are a go it can be a wonderful experience. I used to do it, but with all of my feral that I have accumulated I just don't have the extra room anymore. A couple of things to remember and really think about, both you and your parents.
Fostering can go for any amount of time, a couple of weeks to forever.
The hardest part is giving them back up when a forever home is found.
I know this sounds simple, but some people are afraid to get to know them too much only to have to give them up. A good foster parent will treat them as their own as far as playing, grooming, loving in hopes that they will be sociable and reach their potential in their new homes. I am not trying to discourage you, but I know many foster parents that ended up not being able to give them up. Not a terrible thing, but takes the foster out of it. Good luck and please let us know how you do.
post #4 of 12
Depends. I am new to it but would prefer pregnant Queens and kittens. Just because my cats accept kittens easier.
It would be great for you as a teenager to do this. I have my 9 year old helping and she loves doing it. She loves caring for the kittens and she is learning responsibility. I give her age appropriate duties. As a teenager you would need minimal help from your parents. Start out with a short term if you can to see if you like it.

I have been to Saskatoon and thought it was a cute college town.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Just so everyone knows, this would be with a Saskatoon street cat shelter (SCAT). They have a website saying they needed volunteers to foster, so I was thinking I would contact them to get involved.

I agree, the hardest part would probably be seeing them go. That is one of the reasons that I have to convince my parents (lol) because I tend to get very attached to pets. I believe though, that If a good forever home is found for the cat, I would be able to stand to see them go. Its also nice, because the shelter organizes a follow up for every cat that gets adopted, just to make sure they have everything they need in their new home.

Another thing I am wondering about is we go away for a couple days every long weekend in the summer, and have one small vacation planned that will go for 10-12 days. Would a foster cat be ok with someone coming over every other day to pet/feed/water/clean? Opinions? The cats I own are all okay with it (dont enjoy it, but will stand it) but we adopted them all in the fall and through the winter, meaning we would have 6 uninterrupted months with them before we started the summer rush.
post #6 of 12
Fosters *should* do OK with a pet sitter/someone stopping, so long as they've had ample time to adjust to your home. You'll have to take into consideration what you are willing to foster, a pregnant cat, leaving her on vacation isn't a good idea. A kitty who needs meds regualarly would be hard. A feral/super scared kitty the pet sitter likely would not see at all.
post #7 of 12
I agree about them going to a good home making it easier. At the shelter where I volunteer(new) they have cats that have been given back for temperament issues so sometimes they give them to someone to foster. To try to socialize the cat better. Sometimes they send them to a foster care just for a shelter break. Maybe you could get one that needs some time away from the shelter.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Oh wow, you guys are all so helpful! haha, I love this forum.

Ok, another couple questions, pretty much straight from parents: Are all the cats going from a shelter to a foster s/n already? Or do they wait for someone to adopt. Aaaand, if it is kittens, or a pregnant queen, is it up to the foster to make sure they get s/n, or do the shelters usually pay for, or help pay for, a foster cat? Also, if it is a cat who is sick or needs special meds (ex. diabetes) does the shelter help pay for those so long as the cat is in the care of a foster? I know lots of this is probably due to the shelter in question, but what is the usual method?

All these are pretty much due to us being a bit stretched at the moment, the acreage is (finally) going to be getting city water from Saskatoon, but it will cost us a fortune, plus all the money we will have to cough up for us to make the requirements needed to get the water piped in. I do not yet have a part-time job either, and will be gone for part of the day basically every day even during the summer, working with horses and paying off my debts there. So I believe I can still find the time to care for the foster(s) but until next year will not be able to get that part time job to help pay for the cats' many expenses.
post #9 of 12
All those questions pretty much depend on the group.

For our group, we simply cannot afford to spay/neuter all animals prior to adoption. Yes, it royally sucks. But the fact of the matter is we apply for grants, etc until we're blue in the face & get next to nothing.

Our group pays for food/litter/etc. Foster animals are usually altered, just because they are in foster care. I pay for most everything for mine, whatever I can because I can.
post #10 of 12
The group I am with is AWESOME. They are a cat only shelter with a vet clinic that spays and neuters ALL of the pets before they go out. They get all of their vet care there. The cost for the foster family is minimal.
If you are stretched, I would look for a group that is well funded or look for a vet that will work with you by giving you a discount.
However I found this link for you:

If you click on the volunteer link it will give you a pdf about fostering. I read through it and the shelter pays for vet care. They have an emergency number as well for 24 hour help.
You should call and ask questions. I looked at the SCAT website and bless them they are doing some good work. They have a clinic and strongly believe in s/n so I would think that would be done before you foster.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
CC! your are such an !!!!

I feel kinda dumb, as I didnt even try to find the SPCA's page yet, and it cleared up so many questions!

I will definitely be giving them a call, as soon as I can find a free minute I just really hope this works out, I am really hoping that I can do my part for the strays, though sadly my parents are still pretty strongly against having more pets in the house At least I know its for a good reason, as they think we wouldn't have enough time to give the fosters the attention they need.

I disagree though, as not too long ago we used to have three (Miss ya Oreo ) and I think we can do it again. But, we'll see how it goes. Thanks so much guys for all your help! Can't thank you enough!
post #12 of 12
SCAT believe in the mass spay/neutering of even ferals so I am sure they would have animals speutered for fostering when possible.

Usually with our fosters (in Ontario), they are in need of socialisation (always speutered), getting over surgery (speutered as soon as medically possible) or mothers with kittens, and the mothers are spayed as soon as they finish lactating.

On their website they seem to be asking for foster homes for kittens that would probably be too young for speuters.

There is a foster package there that explains what you will be responsible for, they clearly state they pay all vet bills. Food and litter they say they can supply or you can buy and they will give you a tax receipt (not money) for it.
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