BECOME A FOSTERER
15 January 2015
INTERESTED IN BECOMING A CAT FOSTER CARER
Over the last five years Cats Protection has helped over one million cats, fosterers have played a huge role in achieving this fantastic milestone, can you help us help more cats?
Unfortunately thousands of cats each year rely on the help of animal charities because of a change in their owner's circumstances, they have been abandoned or have strayed. Volunteers at Cats Protection give these cats and kittens a second chance in life and help to create happy endings for cats across the UK.
Fostering is just one way you can be part of these happy endings for cats in your community! As a fosterer you take a cat into your home temporarily and provide the care and TLC it needs until it finds its new forever home. Some fosterers 'house' their foster cats in a cat pen in their garden or yard while others prefer to provide a spare room in their house for their foster cats.
Fostering not only benefits cats and kittens, it provides cat lovers with an opportunity to give back and help cats in the best way they can. Some volunteers can't commit to owning a cat 365 days a year, others foster because they can't guarantee that they will lead a cat-friendly lifestyle for the life span of a pet cat, others prefer doing something practical rather than donating money to the charity; all love cats and others do it for the joy it brings them every day...
Whatever your reasons for getting involved we welcome those with cats in their hearts as fosterers. Almost anyone can foster, you just need spare time to care for cats, be confident around cats, have a caring but practical personality, enjoy interacting with people and are happy to follow our cat care standards and charity policies. A thirst for knowledge around all things cat and happy to keep up to date information and complete paperwork for cats in care are also key for this role.
In return for your time, commitment and all the TLC you can offer cats we provide everything that you and your foster cat will require.
- Cat accommodation eg a cat cabin or equipment to adapt a spare room
- Food, litter, bedding, bowls, litter trays and toys for your foster cat
- Veterinary treatment for Cats Protection cats/kittens in your care
- Help, support and training so you feel confident and happy as a fosterer.
Please get in touch with us if you like to find out more about becoming a fosterer or volunteering with Cats Protection.
These common questions we get asked from potential fosterers so who else is better to answer them than people who already volunteer to help cats in their area:
ASK OUR FOSTERERS.
Which is best, fostering accommodation inside or outside?
This really depends on your and the branch's or adoption centre's circumstances; in some circumstances only one particular way of fostering will be available. Both ways of fostering has its benefits for you and the cats - other volunteers and staff at Cats Protection can help you decide which is best for you, the organisation and the cat.
What are cat care standards?
These are Cats Protection polic
ies and guidelines which have been developed with vets, staff and volunteers to ensure the welfare of cats and people. They refer to the general care of a cat while they are with the fosterer, they are straight forward and there is plenty of guidance and training to help fosterers maintain great standards of care.
What if I have other pets?
You can foster if you have other pets but all foster cats must be kept separately. This is to protect the foster cat as well as the fosterer's own pets. As rescued cats' backgrounds are often unknown it's important that all pets in the household remain healthy and we would recommend that a fosterer's own pets are fully vaccinated and boosters are kept up-to-date.
Can I decide on what type of cat I want to foster and who decides which cat comes into care?
Sometimes it is possible to specialise in the type of cat you want to care for; some fosterers prefer caring for older or nervous cats while others like lively kittens. However this may not always be possible. other volunteers or staff will discuss the range of cats that are in need of help with you and decide on the best foster cat for you and the best foster home for that cat at that time
How do the cats get homes?
We advertise the cats throughout the local community and beyond, and there are a number of way we can match the right cat with the right person. if you foster with a branch and the cat in your care has been matched with a new owner you will be contacted to liaise with the potential adopter to arrange a suitable time for them to meet the cat(s). If you foster with an adoption centre (AC) you may bring the cat to the AC to be rehomed or liaise with staff and volunteers at the AC to meet the potential adopter. We always carefully match the right people with the right cat by asking a series of questions so you can rest assured that once you have cared for the cat or kitten it will be very well taken care of in their new home.
What if I get too attached to the cat?
We know it is easy to fall for the cats, but fosterers remember that they are temporary carers. If you do want to adopt a cat you can talk to volunteers or staff and discuss what would be best for that particular cat. Most fosterers know that if they adopt cats their ability to help more cats decreases so are more than happy to be the temporary carers which are much needed.
What about holidays/breaks?
Fosterers liaise directly with other volunteers and staff to plan and arrange holidays and breaks. We can make arrangements for cats to be moved to another fosterer, to keep your space free until you come back or are ready for another cutie!
What do I do next?
If you are interested please contact us on the details below - we would love to chat with you about how you can join the team and the UK's biggest cat community!
- You are welcome to contact our Branch, Tain & District on 0845 3712737 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone Cats Protection Helpline on 03000 12 12 12 (open Monday-Friday 9am-12.30pm and 2.5pm)
- Email Cats Protection at helpline@ cats.org.uk
- Visit Cats Protection website at www.cats.org.uk
- Write to us at Cats Protection, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT