Kitten Fostering

Kitten Fostering – Many Options Available

Fostering kittens is now a passion of mine!  I left an office job after 27 years to start my own Pet Sitting Company and felt it was important to study for a Certificate in Pet Sitting.  While I was working on that, I found myself with some extra time and did volunteer work for two local Animal Shelters.  From there, I saw the need for fostering kittens to not only improve their health, but their chance for a good adoption. Socialized kittens find homes faster. There are several fostering options available depending on your time and availability.

 

Newborn Kittens

Just learning to eat

Just learning to eat

Newborn kittens with no mother are the hardest to foster.  The time commitment is usually feeding every few hours, helping the kitten with elimination after feeding and keeping the kitten warm and clean.  I spent some time helping a Foster Mom that specializes in newborns and had great admiration for her.  I helped her out by taking three of the older newborns when she needed to go out of town and that was my first foster experience.  The three I took were starting to eat on their own but needed bottle feeding every four hours.  They were so little!  And entertaining!  But, I got no sleep!  If you’re a person who can lay their head down and fall asleep these babies could be for you.  If you’re like me and take 40 minutes or so to wind down before sleeping, I would advise you to foster kittens a little older.  If you can take these little ones you will have the joy of experiencing the world through their eyes.

Mama Cat and Kittens

Fostering a mother cat with her kittens is an easier way to experience newborns because the mother cat does most of the work.  The mother and her babies will need to be monitored to be sure that she is producing milk for the kittens and as long as she stays healthy, she should be able to bring the kittens up fine.  In this situation you get to experience both the shenanigans of the kittens and the interaction between the kittensMama cat and kittens and their mother.

 

Weaned Kittens

Kittens that are weaned and old enough to eat on their own are my preference.  Sometimes they backslide a little and need some syringe feeding but not the time commitment of a newborn.  Very often they either come with an upper respiratory virus or develop one within the time they are with me and require antibiotics.  Cats and kittens need to be able to smell their food or they won’t eat, which is why some kittens with a cold need syringe feeding until they can smell again.  They often have the typical worms you’d see with kittens and sometimes smelly poop.  I bought a Litter Genie to help with the smelly poop and it helped clear the air!  Kittens are a blast!  They are constantly learning by playing and investigating everything in their world.  Every batch of kittens has been different.  Each with their own little personalities and quirks. Spending time with a few kittens is the best therapy in the world!

Scaredy Cats

Kittens that have been found and are either feral or for whatever reason are terrified of people need special handing and care to become adoptable.  This group has been my favorite.  When you first meet these tiny little tigers they use everything they have to keep you away.  They hiss, they spit, they puff up as big as they can.  They are adorable.  Really they’re just scared.  It takes time and patience to convince these little ones that people are good.  People have food, people have toys and people treat you with caressing touches and soft voices.  The first time one of these tiger babies purrs, it will melt your heart!

Reformed feral kitten

A reformed scaredy cat!

 

But, I’ll Keep Them All

Adoption time.  You’ve done your job. You’ve raised these babies and watched them grow into confident, curious and loving kittens.  You think it will break your heart to return them to the shelter for adoption.  Yes, it is hard. Yes, I’ve wanted to keep every single one of them. But, I have to remember that if I keep a foster baby I won’t have the room to foster any others.  I might save one today but would sacrifice the hundreds I hope to help in the future.  And, every single one of my fosters has been adopted and found their forever home!

If you have a little space and some time I encourage you explore this wonderful experience.

For more local information on fostering kittens contact:

The Asheville Humane Society

Brother Wolf Animal Rescue

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