Wednesday, June 15 2022
Fostering cats is such an amazing and rewarding experience. There is nothing more gratifying and wonderful than watching small kittens grow up into big kitties! As a foster, knowing that I helped save them, give them love and shelter is the best feeling ever. There are so many cats and kittens that need our help and as a foster you can pick your passion such as; kittens, adult cats, special needs, socialization of feral kittens, emergency placement fosters, or fosters that provide the kittens a break from the adoption centers. The need is endless.
During COVID while my family was in quarantine, my mom wanted to foster kittens. We contacted Nancie with Community Cat Angels and she had a litter of three-week-old kittens that had been trapped in a rock wall and were in need of a foster family. There were three kittens, all sisters, and each had different coloring. They were so tiny! We decided to name them after gemstones as they had come from a rock wall and my mom and I were currently working in the jewelry industry. We named them Ruby, (a black tabby), Sapphire, (long haired dark tabby), and Emerald, (a lighter tabby).
After much research on what to do with young kittens, we took them home and introduced them to our family. Kittens are messy, just like human toddlers and take a bit of effort and clean up. The have to learn about the litter box, as well as kitten food rather than momma’s milk. Watching the kittens learn how to explore their world was my favorite part.
All three kittens survived after their initial challenges with being trapped as babies without their mom. Emerald had some medical problems early on that we had to go to the vet for multiple times. Her body was too small for her colon. We were worried for a bit that she might not make it. With great medical care from our trusted vet and us looking after her, she did make it and eventually her body grew into her colon.
Instead of putting the kittens into adoption once they reached age and weight goals, my family foster failed. We call if foster WIN as we decided to keep these kittens that we fell in love with. All three kittens are currently leading very happy lives with lots of love and lots of treats If you are interested in watching their journey, she runs an Instagram page for them @the_gemstone_kittens.
Fostering not only is a personally rewarding experience but it has a lot of other benefits, especially to shelters and your local rescues. Animal shelters and rescues can only take so many cats. Without fosters, these animal organizations have to turn animals in need away due to space and manpower constraints. Some organizations like Community Cat Angels depend entirely on fosters as they do not have a brick and motor building to house the animals. There are also certain cats that don’t thrive in shelters, are too timid or scared and don’t show well for adoption. Some cats are better off as the only feline and prefer humans, or they may have medical conditions that require more attention than a shelter can provide. Some just need to grow into big kitties and need some extra TLC like our gemstone kittens.
Stray cats that are looking to be adopted need to be around people to promote positive relationships. Often when stray cats are living outdoors, they may have been abandoned or simply do not know what it’s like to have a positive relationship with humans. In this instance, it is vital for this type of cat to be fostered so they can get used to what it’s like living in a house again and learn that there are people who want them around and want to have positive interactions with them. It is unfortunate that some cats are abandoned to fend for themselves when most communities have resources to prevent this. If you cannot care for your cat any longer, there are plenty of resources to reach out to for help without discarding them on the streets. Plenty of people are out there who would love to help and can give you solid advice for your specific situation. Please see the bottom of this article for those resources.
There is a time in a cat’s life between when they are kittens and when they are full grown cats that these cats can be socialized. This is a great time to foster so that these kittens can have a positive relationship with people and become fantastic house cats. If cats are not socialized at this point, then they are called unsocialized or feral cats and sometimes their only option is to live life outdoors with the hope that some kind soul will provide food and fresh water for them. Our goal at Community Cat Angels is to get more stray cats off the street and those cats who cannot be socialized are spayed or neutered so that they will not have any more kittens who will live that life cycle. These unsocialized cats are released back into their outdoor homes where they will struggle to live in the elements and the threats of coyotes, the harsh elements, cars and sometimes mean people.
As you can see, fostering saves lives. Please consider becoming a foster parent! There are many types and ages of cats that need to be fostered and we can help match the best cat for you. If you cannot foster cats, please consider donating or volunteering in other ways such as fundraising events, administrative tasks, transporting animals, or even social media and marketing.
To Foster, volunteer or donate: