Have you always dreamed of having a cat, but don’t have the possibility of adopting one at the moment? Would you like to adopt a second cat, or have a cat in addition to your other animals, but would prefer to test the reaction of your current pets to a newcomer? Perhaps you would simply like to do a good deed and get involved in the feline cause. If so, you may be interested in fostering one or more cats on a temporary basis from a cat rescue association.
What exactly is a foster family? Everywhere you look, associations are doing great work to rescue and care for abandoned or abused animals. Many of these associations don’t have physical premises and are fully reliant on volunteers to host the animals they have rescued while they wait for them to be adopted. Sometimes shelters also need foster families for certain animals who are either too sick or too old and are therefore not suited to community life.
The use of foster families for economic and/or practical reasons also helps address other issues. In particular, it makes it possible to socialise the rescued animals and to better understand their character and needs. This will help increase their chances of adoption
Am I eligible to become a foster family? You can become a foster family regardless of whether you live by yourself, with your partner or in shared accommodation. Cat protection associations are simply looking for people who are motivated and ready to get involved with the cats that will be entrusted to them. You can of course work, but you must be prepared to spend time every day playing with the cat, educating them and pampering them!
You must be of legal age and, of course, have a place to live. You don’t need to have a large house with a garden: you can be a foster parent even if you live in a bedsit. Lastly, you can have other animals. On the contrary, your other pets may even be a bonus in some cases, especially when it comes to socialising the cat. However, if you are entrusted with an animal that needs to be quarantined, you will be requested to have a room where they can remain isolated.
So, how exactly does it work? To become a foster family, you can reply to an ad or contact an animal protection association directly. The association will then ask you to fill out a questionnaire about your situation (type of home, whether you have children, other pets, etc.) the number of cats you would like to host and, in some cases, their characteristics (kitten or older cat, sick cat, etc.). Veterinary expenses are always covered by the association and some also cover the cost of food.
For your part, you will be asked to keep the association informed of the needs and character of your foster cat. In general, you will also be expected to welcome potential adoption families who, if everything goes well, will agree to offer the cat a new home. This can be difficult as you will have to be willing to say goodbye, after having spent every day with the cat for several weeks, months or even longer. But there is also the satisfaction of knowing that have helped give them a second chance in life. And, of course, you can always choose to adopt your foster cat!