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Foster Questions...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure if I am putting this in the right forum, but...

Some of you may have read about Grissom's late night activities, and it has come to my attention that he may need a friend. As such, I think I am going to talk to my local shelter about fostering a cat. I can only take one at a time, but I thought it better than adopting and helping one cat. This way I can help several cats find better homes and have better chances of adoption. That being said... I really don't know much about fostering, so any tips, hints, ideas are welcome.

My main concern is that they won't be able to look past my age (21). Grissom is rather well adjusted, I have had cats my whole life, and I think I am an excellent cat mommy, judging by how Bobo turned out and Chaos too. (Grissom is still a work in progress ) Plus, I have this board which is really a great community for helping me along the way. What are some of the restrictions, guidelines, processes of fostering? Does the shelter pay for vet care? Would the potential adopters go through the shelter and then me or just the shelter? Do I get a say in who gets to adopt the kitty?

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 7
Amber, it is wonderful that you are considering fostering cats. Do you think Grissom would be OK with different cats entering and leaving your home, even if they are just one at a time?

I can't give you much advice about the process and costs, as things are different here in Australia but I don't think 21 is too young to be a kitty foster mom. I'm sure those in the know will come along to answer your questions soon.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
I should have added some more info. When I adopted Grissom, I was told he was a hit in the cat room, and I observed him as such. So I know he is good with other cats. I did want to ask how cats are about having other cats coming and going. Is he going to be upset becuase he will have to prove himself top cat over and over? Will he feel 'replaced'? I would hope he wouldn't, is there anything to keep him from feeling that way? How do cats adjust to having other kittys coming and going? I know my apartment isn't huge, but there are big windows and lots of room for 2 kittys I think. Will the shelter even come and check? I have no problems with a home check.

I am planning on waiting about 3 weeks, due to the B-U-G issue. So I want to get all the info I can before I approach the shelter about it.
post #4 of 7

Do you already have some contact with the shelter? If not it's probably not too soon to start the ball rolling. Most shelters take a while to get through the paperwork and it may take a while before they would get back to you. (Of course once they do they might have a cat for you immediately! )

When I first signed up I heard nothing for at least a month.

Most of my fosters have health issues and wouldn't be good out with my cats because they could get sick. If you can only take healthy cats you'd still be taking a risk that they have some hidden condition. Grissom ought to at the very least be up to date on shots.

Each system or shelter works differently. I have written up some info on how my shelter works and my thoughts on basic information for a beginning fosterer on my website...

foster answers

My cats do pretty well meeting new animals, but I know some fosterers have trouble with their cats spraying, etc. My cats are happier meeting adults than kittens.

post #5 of 7
Oh...I forgot to say that I think 21 isn't too young to foster. (Do you have some references, vet, etc., if they have qualms?) It may depend on the shelter policies and the attitude of the people working there.

post #6 of 7
Every foster program differs, and I'll share some of the responsibilities in our program. Hopefully that will trigger some questions you can ask your shelter.

Cats in our program are all fostered in home. We have no shelter per say, only a rented adoption center where cats are brought in on their Saturday and Sunday clinics. In the summer, we also have a Thursday night clinic. Foster parents are responsible for bringing them to the adoption center during their clinic hours. This is not mandatory, but if they don't, the chances of adoption drop. Petfinder.com only goes so far.

Foster parents are given Science Diet for their care. We use Science Diet as we have a contract with them and it is donated. Most have their own cats, and the Science Diet is shared among all of them. Foster parents can chose to buy their own food. We discourage any other food choice, as it is part of our literature that they are on Science Diet prior to adoption.

When litter is available from donations, that is provided to foster parents also. Since it is difficult to obtain litter donations, foster's more often than not have to provide their own.

Vet care is provided thru one of the shelter affiliated vets, and has to be arranged thru the coordinator at the center. Vet bills go back to the shelter as long as it was arranged in advance. Unless it is an emergency visit, the vet hours are somewhat constrained, as they only volunteer their time certain times during the week. The foster parent is responsible for bringing the cat up to the vet at the appointed time.

In home medicine is provided by the shelter, but the foster parent must administer per guidelines. Most typical it is intensive deworming treatments or ear mite treatments.

Any donations of toys, treats, litter boxes, carriers, cat scratch posts, etc, are distributed to the foster parents. Fosters with the most cats have top priority. If these are not donated, the fosters need to provide their own.

For behavior training, fosters are asked to teach the cat to use a scratch post and refrain from counters and tables. Also address any litter box issues. The shelter staff will provide training to foster parents as necessary to help out. Foster parents are also invited to attend seminars related to behavioral training.

I hope this helps!

And btw....I don't think 21 is too young, but do not be surprised if they call your landlord (or parents if you live at home) to verify that you can take a cat. They depend on fosters, and have a difficult time adjusting when a foster has to give a cat back.
post #7 of 7
I've just signed up for fostering, too, though I can't start till after our camping trip in July. The only thing that was required was that my own cats be UTD on shots and test negative for Leuk., FIP and FIV. They also came over to inspect the place and interview me. They wanted to know how/what I feed and what kind of time I can spend with each animal. For our shelter they don't allow grown fosters to intermingle with your own cats for 2 weeks. After that, they can roam the house free. Mama cats must be sequestered as must their kittens till they're at least 8 weeks old. All your own cats must be spayed/neutered.

The place I've volunteered for pays for everything, including vet, food, any special things like bottles for kittens, etc. You must use their vet...which is thankfully my vet too and literally right next door

I think you made a good choice with this and for much the same reasons I did! I could save one cat at the pound...or many cats from the shelter by fostering. I choose many

As for you age - heck, many of us were moms at 21. If I can be trusted with a child with special needs at 21 (I was 21 when she was born, turned 22 shortly after), then why not with a cat?
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