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Cat Fostering: What You Need to Know to Foster Cats

Fostering means you agree to take a homeless or unhealthy kitten or cat into your home and give it cuddles and care until he or she is adopted. Before you bring home a foster cat, understand your cat care responsibilities. Buy supplies and make sure your home is cat-proofed and cozy for kitty.

Kitty's place

When a cat comes from a shelter, it's hard to know how it will react to a new home. Your cat may become uneasy and want to hide. Start him or her off in a small space, like a bathroom, set with food, water and a litter box. Spend time with your cat there until it seeks to explore. Fostered cats are often required to stay indoors, so take extra precautions to make sure windows and outside doors are closed.

Kitty's health

Shelter cats may have been exposed to illnesses or have medical conditions that require extra attention. The shelter or rescue group will show you how to administer any medications. Report any aggressive behavior as well as bites and scratches that break the skin. Develop a daily routine for feeding and play. Let the shelter know if kitty becomes listless or stops eating. These may be signs of cat illness.

Kitty's playmates

When a foster cat joins your household it's important to limit the number of introductions to humans and other pets. A security gate lets animals smell each other before meeting in the same space. Exchanging blankets can introduce scents. Small children should be supervised until they learn about cat behavior and cat training.

Your goal as a foster parent is to reward desirable cat behavior and prepare kitty for a successful life in a permanent home. Don't forget to take lots of cute cat pictures to remember your foster kitty.