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First time foster - need advice

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Ok, so, I have fallen in love. I mean how could you not when this cute little face comes running everyday for love and scratches?


Here is the help I need: How do you deal with following in love, and not being trusting with somebody else taking your foster babies?
I am having a hard time thinking about letting her go... She is skittish, and I know for a fact she would require a real cat lover to accept and nurture her.
She is great with the other kitties, as long as she has soft paws, as she scratches a lot... She also gives love/playful bites... Doesn't like to be picked up, afraid of anyone who approaches her, etc... On the other hand, the sweetest thing ever. If you are sitting down she will come and lay on your lap, and give these little tiny meows that beeegs petting.
She is not mean at all, but she is definitely scared of people...
Anyway, I am scared to death of giving her to a family that will not work out, or give her to a shelter...
She is not to the beginner either...
How do you guys deal with these situations? How, when do I know she is ready to go?
post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
How do you guys deal with these situations? How, when do I know she is ready to go?
I've only fostered a cat once, but got really good advice on similiar topics.
(I've fostered reptiles before too)

How do you know when she is ready to go? When she is healthy, and has been for a couple weeks.... But remember, the longer she stays, the more attached you will get.

About falling in love: it is our nature to do so. Yes, you will hurt when you let her go. BUT.... you need to think about this: She is a beautiful girl, and a wonderful pet. You have 2 beautiful wonderful pets, wouldn't it be nice to share that feeling with another family? Someone who may not know how nice it feels. Hope would be a wonderful addition to anyones home, she's a sweetie and her skittishness can be dealt with. She sounds like she needs a quiet home, one without younger children or dogs.

Do you find a home for her, or does the rescue you are fostering for do that?
post #3 of 12
Try fostering a pregnant momma who gave birth to the most precious 5 babies you've ever seen and thinking about them leaving?

I've just had to tell myself that I provided everything that they needed when they needed it and now its time for someone else to provide their furrever home. I've learned their purrsonalities and know that I can match that with the best home I'm able to find. My ultimate goal was to stop overpopulation and I have spay and neuter vouchers for all of my babies and the momma. They will not leave until they have an appt made.

It will be hard--I'm keeping one but I have 5 to say goodbye too--possibly in the next 5 days and I'm scared and worried but have faith that I can spot an animal lover when I see one.

Leslie
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake_Lady View Post
Do you find a home for her, or does the rescue you are fostering for do that?
They do... Of course I can help also, but it's mainly their "responsibility".
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
They do... Of course I can help also, but it's mainly their "responsibility".
Then Hope should be in good hands then. These are the people that picked you to foster her, so put some trust in them to help find her furrever home.

But definately, it needs to be noted that she needs a quiet home in order for her to thrive. she does not sound like the cat for a busy household, a household with young kids or dogs. I think she'd make a wonderful pet to a single person, just think about how much joy they would get out of having Hope, or a couple that have no children or older children, or an older person... that would be great. Hope has spread happiness and love into your home, she needs to spread those same feelings to someone else
post #6 of 12
I know exactly how you feel!! I have 4 babies right now, I took 4 to foster because Ithought it would be easier to return them. Wrong! I, too, am worried about them, will they go to good loving homes? I am heartsick that they will "miss" me. They are so happy here. I am just going to pray that they will wind up in great homes and have a wonderful life. If there was any way that I could keep them, I would in a minute.
post #7 of 12
Well, we found fostering really difficult too.

With the shelter being primarily responsible for adopting her out, the most important thing is to communicate with them to let them know what her requirements are in order to thrive in a new home.

...and there are a LOT of great meowmies and daddies and families for kitties out there - just look at TCS! You just have to keep reminding yourself that it's all about what is best for her.

If you're not at your "kitty limit," adopting her yourself is a consideration - but do you want to continue to foster? Would having three kitties prevent that? Because there's all the other kitties in need to consider, if continuing to foster is a goal.

For us, we found that fostering was just not our "calling" in kitty rescue. It was just too difficult for us. One of our kitties got an autoimmune disease and our vet recommended we stop fostering - it really was a relief. So we just never started again. Some people aren't comfortable with trapping, others have a really hard time releasing kitties.... some people feel more comfortable volunteering at a shelter. Each of us isn't cut out for all of it!

Laurie
post #8 of 12
Fostering is definitely bittersweet. It's so rewarding to see a stray kitty relaxing and playing, knowing he/she is safe and to watch a shy one blossom in a secure, loving environment. Then, there's hard part of letting a kitty you've come to love go and trusting his/her care to someone else.

I've been fostering for almost three years (with breaks between kitties ranging from a couple of days to several months) - kitties from different backgrounds and of varying ages - from 10-week-old feral kittens, to a beat up, 5-year-old orange tom cat with FIV. I've wrestled with the possibility of keeping each one of them and letting each one go has indeed been bittersweet.

One thing that helps me is knowing that my personal limit is 4 permanent cats. I can't responsibly care for fifth, so as much as tempting as it may be, I can't keep any of the kitties I foster. I just remind myself of that from the beginning and while I may be tempted to keep them, ultimately I know it's best for them to let them go.

I also remind myself of the joy that kitty will bring to another person's life and tell myself it would be selfish to keep that love all to myself. That helps too, as does knowing how many other cats are out there in need of a safe, loving foster home. There's such a critical need for foster homes, especially in the midst of kitten season and with so many folks having to give up their pets due to foreclosure. The shelters here are overflowing and begging for people to open their hearts and homes to foster. That's something else to consider.

Chances are the group you're fostering for screens potential adopters pretty carefully. The rescue I work with does, so if the cat is place through them, I feel confident in knowing the cat is going to a good home. When I do adoptions myself, I also screen carefully and require an application, vet reference and/or home visit and adoption fee. I've kept in contact with almost everyone who's adopted a foster kitty from me which helps too. Maybe you can do that with Hope?

Whatever you decide, we'll support you.
post #9 of 12
That's why PJ & Punky went to sharky. You must screen applicants carefully, I've had some who wouldn't answer certain questions - so they're nixed. Talk to them at great length, make sure they know she is to come back if it doesn't work out.

Keep in mind for everyone one you keep, that's how many fewer you can foster/save later on? I've taken in enough that I don't have the capabilities to foster much anymore.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
That's why PJ & Punky went to sharky. You must screen applicants carefully, I've had some who wouldn't answer certain questions - so they're nixed. Talk to them at great length, make sure they know she is to come back if it doesn't work out.

Keep in mind for everyone one you keep, that's how many fewer you can foster/save later on? I've taken in enough that I don't have the capabilities to foster much anymore.
lol... I can say Nat's screening process was through ... I have 3 of 5 who were fostered ... For Dahlia I have had job interviews with less ?? ing ..
post #11 of 12
Fostering, for me, is a way for me to do what little I can to make the lives of strays, ferals, and surrenders a little bit better. I only have 1 permanent cat because I live in an apartment. But I've found new homes for half a dozen little angels so far, and I'm working on TNR 'ing several of the area toms to keep the feral population down. I feel better knowing that by spending a little time and a little more money, I'm reducing the number of homeless furbabies. I wish I could take them all in, but by loving each one and finding them a great new home, I can move on to help the next one who needs me. It's hard to say goodbye to them, especially when you have to work really hard to rehab them or if they have just the most wonderful personality, but when I see the new owner's joy and the happiness that the kitties can bring to their new homes, I feel just a little bit relieved. Just take comfort in the idea that you have done everything you could to make that kitty's life wonderful.
post #12 of 12
I know your pain! I find it so hard to let go and I think the only way I can let go is the fact that by letting go of one baby to a good home I can open my arms to another in need.

What I find is the easiest to do is to make good friends with everyone who adopts one of your babies and make sure they all know that your arms are open for the kitty if they ever change their mind. (In my contract they have to give me the option of taking them back first)

Mandie
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