So you want to help kittens? Fostering is a very rewarding experience.
When you become a foster parent to a kitten, it means that you agree to look after a kitten and give them the love, care and attention they need until they get adopted. With the right tools and information, anyone can become fosters. Here are some tips for successful fostering of kittens.
Why Should You Become A Foster?
Some kittens are too small or even too sick to be adopted when they arrive at a shelter. They require constant care and attention. Shelters must look after a lot of animals and they simply cannot provide the attention and do not have the time, or even the resources to look after these kittens.
By becoming a foster, you not only free up valuable space and resources allowing shelters to welcome even more animals in need, but you will also mostly save the lives of many kittens.
Before You Commit
- Before you commit to becoming a kitten foster, it is very important to remember that the goal is adoption. If you know that you will have a hard time letting go of the kitten and get too attached, then fostering is not for you.
- Fostering kittens also require a lot of time and energy. You will be responsible for kittens who are ill or very small. Depending on the age of the kittens you are looking after, you may need to be available as often as every 2 hours. Will you be able to bring kittens to work, or will there be other care options available for them if you are unavailable?
- You will most likely be responsible for the cost of food and medical care. Some shelters will help, but most of the costs come down to you.
How to Get Started?
The best way to get started as a kitten foster is to contact your local shelter and inform them that you are interested in becoming a kitten foster. They will inform you of their own fostering program or know of foster programs that they can refer you to.
You can look for local kitten rescue groups online or on social media. Some examples include:
You might also find abandoned kittens and decide to take them in.
What will you need?
There are several things you need to have before you bring the kittens home.
It is important that you create a space for the kittens that is separated from other animals, is save and can be made kitten proof. Kittens can get into trouble when they get older so items such as curtains, bins and potted plants can get destroyed or hurt them. This will serve as the base for the kittens.
When you are satisfied that you have the perfect space you can start to prepare other essential items.
- A heating pad.
- Soft blankets.
- A litter box with a small amount of litter.
- A shallow water dish.
- A food bowl and food for kittens.
- Bottle and special kitten formula.
- Baby wipes.
Make sure to take the kittens to the vet before bringing them home. The vet will help to assess their condition and will also provide them necessary care regarding vaccines, flea treatments, deworming and test them for FIV.
The goal is always adoption.
The Kitten Lady on Youtube is a great source of information and inspiration for anyone who wants to foster kittens. Go and watch her videos for a more detailed guide.