Cats and kittens make their way to Paws 4 Life for many reasons. Some are stray, some are abandoned, others have been part of a trapping project, or they’re simply unwanted by their owners. Every year we see in excess of 1500 animals come through our doors needing help of some sort.
Many of the animals that come into our care are not able to be adopted into their new ‘forever homes’ straight away. They may be too young, unwell, or they may need rehabilitation. Space in the shelter is extremely limited and cats and kittens do better when they’ve been in a loving family environment prior to being adopted. That’s where our amazing foster families come in!
A foster home is a temporary home for animals who are not yet ready for adoption. You love them as if they’re your own, and we pay all of their bills.
We utilise foster families for cats and kittens, especially during the summer months. With as many as 500 animals in care at a time, we couldn’t do it without them!
When you sign up to foster you can select what sort of cats or kittens you are comfortable fostering and we do our best to match you appropriately.
It depends completely on the individual animal. Some just need a foster home for a short time, and some will need somewhere for a month or two. Many of our foster homes jump in and out as they’re able to and may only be able to help a week or two a year. Others will foster dozens of animals a year.
There’s no one right way to be a foster family and we’re pretty good at shuffling animals around if you’re feeling overwhelmed or life is getting in the way.
Only if you want it to! Paws 4 Life will provide all food, litter, a carry cage if needed, and any prescribed medications.
Some foster families choose to provide their own food and litter. It that’s the case, our Foster Care Handbook outlines what the appropriate supplies are.
There are many things to consider before fostering. Foster carers must:
- Be at least 18 years old, or have the full support of their guardians.
- Complete and sign a Foster Care Agreement, or have their guardians do it.
- Have their landlord or property manager’s permission to foster if the home is rented.
- Have reliable transport and be able to bring their foster animals into Paws 4 Life on a fortnightly basis for scheduled check-ups.
- Let Paws 4 Life know if you, or a member or your household, are pregnant or immunocompromised
- Be able to keep foster animals separated from existing pets within the home (e.g. in the bathroom or a spare bedroom), at least initially.
- Be able to quarantine foster animals to prevent the spread of disease if needed.
- Provide an environment suitable for their foster animals. This will involve ensuring their safety in the home and spending quality time with them for socialisation.
- Keep foster cats and kittens indoors at all times.
- Maintain communication with the Paws 4 Life team.
All members of your household should be on board with fostering. It will involve having destructive furry hurricanes in your home, a lot of poo, and occasionally it will involve heartbreak. Returning animals that your family have fallen in love with to Paws 4 Life is often hard for foster families so this should be taken into consideration prior to fostering.
Additionally, your own cats will need to be up to date with their core vaccinations. If they’re not, we can vaccinate your cats at cost for you.