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Fostering Kittens

Thank you so much for your interest in fostering kittens for Standish Humane Society. By opening up your home to foster pets, you’re not only helping to save lives, you’re providing the individual attention and care these kittens desperately need.


Kittens are some of the most at-risk pets in shelters because they require intensive around-the-clock care, and many shelters don’t have the resources or staff to provide that level of care. That’s why the focus of our kitten foster program is to rescue kittens and socialize kittens in foster homes. Not only does fostering help kittens find forever families, it saves their lives and greatly decreases the number of cats and kittens who are killed in Massachusetts shelters each year.

Feeding Newborn Kitten

Once you have completed your foster application online, our foster coordinator will get in touch with you to schedule a home visit and to go over this manual and answer any questions you have about the program.

Foster homes are asked to provide care for the kittens and provide transportation to and from veterinary appointments as needed. Once the kittens are old enough and weigh enough to be spayed or neutered (typically two pounds), you’ll bring them to the Standish Humane Society to be fixed while our adoption coordinators continues to look for homes. Care for foster kittens includes a strict feeding schedule, cleaning, and lots of snuggling and play time.

Although fostering kittens is a lot of work, it is a very rewarding experience. By participating in this program, you are saving lives and helping kittens find families. Through fostering, we can work together to Save Them All®.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do foster families need to provide?

Foster families need to provide:

  • A healthy and safe environment for their foster kittens

  • Transportation to and from Standish Humane Society and all vet appointments as needed

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

How much time do I need to spend with the kittens?

As much time as you can. The more time you spend with your foster kittens, the more socialized they will be to people. The amount of time required for feeding will vary depending on the age of the kittens you are fostering. Very young kittens need to be bottle-fed every two to three hours, while older ones may be eating on their own and needing to be fed just a couple times a day.

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

Yes. The foster coordinator will match you with kittens appropriate for your schedule. We will need you to be available, however, to take the kittens to a vet appointment if they are sick.

How many kittens will I be fostering?

We like to have at least two kittens in a foster home so they can socialize with and learn from each other. Sometimes there are special circumstances in which a kitten goes to a foster home alone, but it’s usually for a medical or behavioral reason. The decision is made by the foster coordinator.

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

Once a kitten weighs three pounds, he/she can be spayed or neutered and then put up for adoption. If you are fostering a litter of kittens, we will try to keep at least two of the kittens together for the surgery, but we want to get everyone spayed or neutered and ready for adoption as early as possible.

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

Kittens are very susceptible to illness and can carry or catch dangerous ailments easily. For this reason, we require that foster parents isolate foster kittens with their own supplies for at least two weeks to try and ensure that the kittens are healthy prior to exposing them to your personal pets. We also 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. If, for any reason, your personal pet becomes ill while you are fostering a Standish Humane Society pet, 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 kittens. Kittens are very vulnerable to illness and we want to limit their risk by not exposing them to anything from the outdoors.

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