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I am taking a foster!! Advices??

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi!
The rescue lady I got Bugsy and Lucky from is desperately needing foster homes - with the current economy, and kitty season, she needs more space to rescue kitties from the shelters.
Anyway - She had been contacting me about it, and I finally decided to take the plunge. She will pay for medical costs while the foster is with me, so I don't need to worry about that. I know that I will most likely be a failure foster, and will take her in... But if she fits well with Bugsy and Lucky... So be it!
She wants me to help her with the shy cats, as I have done this before with Lucky and Bugsy, and they have come around beautifully.
Well, next Saturday I am bringing Hope home - here she is. I am so excited !!!!
I never fostered before, so advices are definitely welcomed!!
post #2 of 10
As someone with a foster mom and babies. Try and not keep her. If you keep her you close the door on taking more and then you've only helped one when you could have helped many more.

good luck, she's beautiful.

Leslie
post #3 of 10
Oh she is beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CONGRATULATIONS! What a sweet thing you're doing!

Here is a great article, written by Heidi: http://www.straypetadvocacy.org/html...feral_cat.html

Obviously some of this is moot because she's not a claw-at-you kind of feral.

But here's another good thread: http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=195638

I know you live in a one bedroom apartment - I assume the other kitties sleep with you and normally have access to the bedroom, so it's not a good room to separate her? When Gary and I were fostering, we couldn't separate the cats - but we never fostered an older kitty, and that's more difficult if you can't separate her. But it will work out just fine, I'm sure.

I guess I'd recommend keeping her in the bathroom for at least a few days, if not more. I don't know how your cats are about other kitties. Again, we only fostered kittens and had enough coming and going that our cats weren't really bothered by it. You may or may not have read Billy's story. He was about 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 years old when we brought him inside last November. Our kitties were not particularly happy about it, though Tuxie, Shelly and Flowerbelle were fine... Spooky, Ming Loy, and Lazlo gave him problems at first. A LOT of hissing, growling, and head-batting. But we work from home, so we were here to intervene whenever there were issues and we could give all the cats a LOT of attention and play time. Play can really help diffuse that stress. Lazlo's still not happy about it, and it's been five months.

You'll have to work on two fronts at once - getting Hope to feel safe in your home - and kitty intros.

I would definitely purchase Feliway a few days before she comes home and get that going. Add at least one more litter box that's not in the bathroom and get one for the bathroom (if you're going to keep her in there).

Start with the scent-swapping right away to get them associating the other's smells with good things. Rub her all over with a couple of towels. Put one under your kitties' food dish. Keep one to put treats down on for after a good play session at least once a day.

Rub your kitties with a towel, and put it under Hope's dish.

The kittie intros may not end up being an issue at all - there's just no way to know, and the harder part might be just her socialization.

When you do let her out of the bathroom, I'd do it slow, one room at a time (if you can pick her up).

The only other thing I'd think to do is.... have lots of hidey places for her. Boxes on their sides with a flap hanging down in an out-of-the-way place. She needs places to feel safe until she makes whatever territory you offer to her her own.



Laurie
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack31 View Post
As someone with a foster mom and babies. Try and not keep her. If you keep her you close the door on taking more and then you've only helped one when you could have helped many more.

good luck, she's beautiful.

Leslie
Yes, I think she is gorgeous too! I have been thinking about that... if I adopt I wouldn't be able to foster anymore... I will see how it goes - I am open to both. There is no limit here in my apartment of how many kitties I can have - the owner of the building has 5 cats and a dog, and is a huge cat lover... Most of my building has cats.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
Oh she is beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CONGRATULATIONS! What a sweet thing you're doing!

Here is a great article, written by Heidi: http://www.straypetadvocacy.org/html...feral_cat.html

Obviously some of this is moot because she's not a claw-at-you kind of feral.

But here's another good thread: http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=195638

I know you live in a one bedroom apartment - I assume the other kitties sleep with you and normally have access to the bedroom, so it's not a good room to separate her? When Gary and I were fostering, we couldn't separate the cats - but we never fostered an older kitty, and that's more difficult if you can't separate her. But it will work out just fine, I'm sure.

I guess I'd recommend keeping her in the bathroom for at least a few days, if not more. I don't know how your cats are about other kitties. Again, we only fostered kittens and had enough coming and going that our cats weren't really bothered by it. You may or may not have read Billy's story. He was about 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 years old when we brought him inside last November. Our kitties were not particularly happy about it, though Tuxie, Shelly and Flowerbelle were fine... Spooky, Ming Loy, and Lazlo gave him problems at first. A LOT of hissing, growling, and head-batting. But we work from home, so we were here to intervene whenever there were issues and we could give all the cats a LOT of attention and play time. Play can really help diffuse that stress. Lazlo's still not happy about it, and it's been five months.

You'll have to work on two fronts at once - getting Hope to feel safe in your home - and kitty intros.

I would definitely purchase Feliway a few days before she comes home and get that going. Add at least one more litter box that's not in the bathroom and get one for the bathroom (if you're going to keep her in there).

Start with the scent-swapping right away to get them associating the other's smells with good things. Rub her all over with a couple of towels. Put one under your kitties' food dish. Keep one to put treats down on for after a good play session at least once a day.

Rub your kitties with a towel, and put it under Hope's dish.

The kittie intros may not end up being an issue at all - there's just no way to know, and the harder part might be just her socialization.

When you do let her out of the bathroom, I'd do it slow, one room at a time (if you can pick her up).

The only other thing I'd think to do is.... have lots of hidey places for her. Boxes on their sides with a flap hanging down in an out-of-the-way place. She needs places to feel safe until she makes whatever territory you offer to her her own.



Laurie
Thanks for the tips and the articles - I will work hard to make all of them comfortable.
I think they will all be fine - My rescue lady is great on matching personalities... I didn't do a proper information with Bugsy and Lucky, as they were screaming non stop to meet each other... There was no fighting, no hissing,and within 10 days they were grooming each other, and sleeping together. They are the best of friends now.
I do have three litter boxes, and will reserve one (that my kitties don't use) for Hope. I will leave her in the bathroom. I am also going to use Feliway. I am already "collecting" their scent for the scent exchange.
She is supposedly very sweet and somewhat shy - I told the rescuer "no alpha allowed", because of Lucky and Bugsy.
The only thing I am afraid of is falling completely in love with her and keeping her with me!
post #5 of 10
We hated fostering. It was soooooooo hard to let them go. Some people are just cut out for it, and others aren't. Just when I didn't think we could do it anymore, our Tuxie got so sick, and we had to stop fostering. Now with 7 in the RV, it's not possible.

You just never know how you'll handle it until you try!

And yeah, if you have "cat friendly" cats, it shouldn't be an issue.



Laurie
post #6 of 10
OMG!! She is stunning!!! Good luck fostering. I can't foster.... or even have a pet right now. I'm living with my mom and she HATES animals.
post #7 of 10
So... is your new foster at home with you?

Laurie
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
So... is your new foster at home with you?

Laurie
Hi Laurie -
No, she was going to come in this week, but the rescue lady postponed for next weekend... The good news is..... I think I already found a home for her! My neighbor put one of her cats to sleep a few weeks ago, and her other kitty is feeling sad and lonely - she said she is almost sure she wants to take her, but she will make the final decision once she sees how her kitty reacts to her. Her kitty is a very laid back ragdoll, 10 yr old - I think it will be a perfect match! She initially wanted a kitten, but I am discouraging her, since her cat is so much older and calmer, and since Betty, my neighbor, is also legally blind... I don't think a kitten running around the house would be good for anybody in that household.
Cross your fingers!!!! She is a great lady, and a true cat lover! I will talk to her about it tomorrow.
post #9 of 10
Wow, that is FABULOUS!

Sending lots of vibes it works out!

You are so right - if she's legally blind, the last thing she needs to be worrying about is a crazy young kitty. Oh I hope this works!



Laurie
post #10 of 10
Was bringing your new foster home put off again, or is she there with you?

Laurie
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