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Fostering Adult Cats

What’s a pet foster parent?

By being a pet foster parent, you provide a temporary home for an animal prior to adoption. Fostering animals is a wonderful and personal way to contribute to saving homeless pets.

Why do animals need foster care?

There are several possible reasons:

  • Foster care can help save an animal’s life when a shelter is full.

  • Some animals don’t do well in a shelter environment because they are frightened or need a little extra care.

  • Some animals need time to recover from an illness or injury before adoption.

Whatever the reason, these animals need some extra love and care before they can be adopted. Providing foster care for a few days, weeks, or months can be a lifesaving gift for an animal.

cat resting

Would I be a good pet foster parent?

If you want to do something to help the animals, fostering can be flexible, fun and rewarding volunteer job. Here’s why:

  • It’s more flexible than volunteer jobs that require you to show up at a specific time for a certain number of hours.

  • It’s a great way to enjoy a pet if you are not in a position to make that lifetime commitment right now. Fostering can be an excellent option for college students or military families.

  • Would you like to add a dog or cat to your household, but you’re not sure? Fostering can be a great way to find out.

Taking animals into your home, loving them, and then letting them go requires a special kind of person. Your role as a foster parent is to prepare the animal for adoption into a loving home.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do foster families need to provide?

Foster families need to provide:

  • A healthy and safe environment for their foster cats

  • Transportation to and from the adoption center and all vet appointments as needed

  • Socialization and cuddle time to help teach the cats about positive family and pet relationships

  • Lots of exercise and positive stimulation to help them develop into great cats

How much time do I need to spend with a foster cat?

As much time as you can. With that said, the amount of time will vary depending on the energy level and needs of the cat you are fostering. It is ideal to spend around two hours a day socializing and playing with your foster cat to ensure that he or she receives adequate attention and stimulation.

Can I foster cats even if I have a full-time job?

Yes. The foster application is designed as a survey to help the foster coordinator match you with the best animal for your needs and your current schedule. If you have a full-time job, the foster coordinator will match you with a cat who may be OK alone during the workday. You would then just need to provide ample attention to the cat before and/or after your workday.

Can I foster a cat if I don’t have a fenced yard?

Yes. We require that all foster cats be kept indoors for the duration of their stay in foster homes, so a fenced yard is irrelevant.

How long will the cat need to be in foster care?

It varies, depending on the condition of the foster cat. Foster homes are generally needed for cats with medical or behavioral issues that are best resolved in a home setting rather than a shelter environment. Different special needs require different amounts of time for healing.

Will I need to give medicine to my foster cat?

Almost all of the cats that we have in our foster program are rescued from shelters and have been exposed to shelter illnesses. While we do our best to ensure that we are aware of all the conditions that a foster cat may have prior to going home, many illnesses have incubation periods, meaning symptoms can arise after you take a cat home. So while some cats do not require any medicine, others may. If your foster cat needs medications, we can show you how to administer them before you take the animal home.

Can I let my foster cat play with my personal pets?

There are a few guidelines that we ask foster families to adhere to regarding their personal pets. While foster cats playing with other pets is often fine, we advise that you consult with your veterinarian before fostering to ensure that all of your personal pets are healthy and up-to-date on all vaccines. Cats in shelters are very susceptible to illness and can carry or catch different diseases. If, for any reason, your personal pet becomes ill while you are fostering a Standish Humane cat, we cannot provide medical care for your personal pet.

Important note: If your personal cat is allowed outdoors, he or she cannot interact with your foster cat. Foster cats are typically more at risk of illness and we want to limit that risk by not exposing them to anything from the outdoors.

What if I want to adopt my foster cat?

If you want to adopt a foster cat, you will need to complete an adoption application and follow the full adoption process.

Will it be hard to say goodbye to my foster cat?

Saying goodbye can be the most difficult part of fostering, but keep in mind that many more cats in Massachusetts  shelters need wonderful foster homes like yours. Remember, you are playing a crucial role in helping to Save Them All.

What if my foster cat is not working out?

You are not required to continue to foster a cat if you feel it’s not working out. However, we may not have an immediate alternate foster home or space for the cat at our adoption center. We will work on moving your foster cat out as soon as possible, but ask for your understanding and patience.

Can I foster a cat to fulfill a community service obligation?

Unfortunately, Standish cannot sign off on community service hours for fostering. Community service is supposed to be supervised work, and fostering is unsupervised, since it takes place in your home. If you need community service hours, on-site volunteering is an option.

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