There are three different types of fostering you can do. Short, medium and long-term. The most popular out of all three would be short-term fostering which may involve you fostering kittens quite young and feeding them every few hours. Some kitties can be very sick or poorly and need medication so sometimes fostering may not always suit; especially if you already have animals in your home.
People who like taking several holidays in a year would suit medium-term adoption. Perhaps you are dealing with the loss of a pet and decide to foster medium-term to help with the grief. It may even suit business people who spend a couple of months a year away from home but when they get back they like the companionship.
Long-term fostering is very rare and usually consists of a period no less than 12 months. This can be due to an owner relocating for a set period or indefinitely.
The first time you foster can be bitter-sweet. By taking in an animal, you are responsible for its well being and it can be very difficult not to get too attached. You can be happy in the realisation that you have most likely saved the animal and it will end up in a good home. .
Most animal shelters will provide all you need to take care of our furry friends this includes bedding, food, litter trays, advice etc. and if kitty needs the vet, they will cover that too. The only thing you will need to provide is your time, energy and your love of cats.
All kittens or cats that are fostered must be stay indoors. It is imperative that you secure you home so that kitty cannot get out. You must be living in accommodation that is animal friendly and you may need to seek permission if you are in rented accommodation from your landlord.
Fostering mom and babies:
Fostering mom and her babies requires a little extra effort but to me would be more rewarding as you get to see mom look after her little furballs. Your going to be supporting mom cat but also keeping an eye on all her little babies. It is important you have a clean, comfortable, secluded room in your home.. ideally without dogs. Try and set up two or three different nesting areas as mother cats move their kittens if they feel it isn’t safe, giving them a couple of options both high and low will help. Mom cat will look after the cleaning and feeding of her kittens for the first 2-4 weeks, then after that you will be teaching them how to use the litter tray and you will also be getting them used to being handled.
If you would like more information regarding Fostering Cats please contact your local vet or animal shelter. Currently Cats Friends Rescue in Dublin are looking for foster homes, if you can provide one then please log on to their website catsfriendsrescue.com