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Fostering

This is a special section for cats needing new homes and for inspiring stories of cats that have found their furever home through Catster or through the love and energy of rescuers. This is also the place to discuss shelters, rescue organizations, rescue strategies, issues, solutions, etc. and how we can all help in this critical endeavor. Remember that we are all here for the love of cat! If you are posting about a cat that needs a new home, please put your location in the topic of your thread so those close by can find you! Make sure to check out Catster's cat adoption center!

  
Gleshka

1058603
 
 
Purred: Thu Dec 23, '10 6:23pm PST 
Hello. I'm thinking about volunteering my time to foster cats for a local shelter and I'm interested to hear from you experienced foster parents about the experience.

A few concerns I have:

1) I work long and sometimes chaotic hours and I worry that I might not have the time to devote myself to the task of fostering a cat with special needs, though, I do have some experience with caring for cats with sppecial needs.

2) I'm worried that Gleshka will find the experience of having strange new kitties in and out of his house all the time distressing and confusing.

3) How on earth do you not end up getting attached and wind up adopting someting like sixteen cats??

Thanks in advance for your consideration
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My Ferals & Fosters

Saving lives one- kitty at a time
 
 
Purred: Thu Dec 30, '10 12:15am PST 
Well first of all God Bless you for considering fostering. I have fostered both for shelters (in the past) and recently strays and ferals. I have a spare room that I call the cat room. When I first get the new cats they stay 100% in the cat room in their cat house

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until I am certain they are free from parasites fleas and any diseases. Once they have a thoural vet health check we slowly introduce the new cat to our existing cats by sent (i.e. exchanging toys towels and blankets) once they can be in visual without causing trouble they are allowed to be slowly introduced to each other then they are allowed free roam until they find their new homes.

Your cat will get used to it as long as it is cat friendly. And there will be times you feel you cant part with a special kitty. I just had that recently with my Oliver he really grabbed a special place in my heart and I cried for days after he went to his new family. But I knew it was not only best for him but giving him up opened up another spot for a new foster to be saved from death. Good luck in whatever you decide and we can help with the overpopulation problem and God creatures by spaying/neutering spreading the word about rescuing and responsibile pet ownership. wave hug
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Gleshka

1058603
 
 
Purred: Thu Dec 30, '10 1:26pm PST 
Thanks for your response MFF!

I got my first foster with Forgotten Felines this past Tuesday, a little calico called Isabella. I have a spare bedroom I've set up as a cat room with a cat tree by the window, food, water, litter box and some cat toys. Since I've got the week off from work I can supervise the progress she's making settling in. So far she's a bit shy as to be expected but I think she'll come out of her shell eventually. Every couple of hours I go into her room and spend some time with her and she's happy to come out and visit when I do, though she's not ready to jump up on my lap yet. She's happy being petted, though. Not too interested in her toys. Her former foster mom told me she's never shown much interest in toys. She's a momcat who's been a long term foster. She's very sweet.

Gleshka and she had a brief introduction the other day. She's curious about the rest of the house and Gleshka was curious about what was going on in the room I kept disappearing into. He kept looking around with this look like, "Something's different. I just don't quite know what it is..."

As I was headed out of the cat room yesterday afternoon, Isabella was hanging around the door looking to make an exit and Gleshka was hanging outside the room trying to figure out what was going on... and there they were, face to face right at my feet! Well, there was a little hissy fit but both of them seemed to be equally scared of each other. If i were put to it, though, I'd have to say that Isabella is most likely the less dominant of the two. I can't quite put my finger on why I say that, but that's just the way it appears to me.

I like the idea of a cat crate for the future but it's not needed right now. Isabella is flea free and had her shots, etc so I'm not worried about any quarantining issues right yet. Just keeping them separate so they can acclimate. Plus I just bought a Litter Robot and I'm a bit strapped for cash at the moment. I hope a new cat AND a new litterbox isn't too much at once for poor Gleshka but he seems to be okay for the moment.

Thanks again for your post. I'll post again when updates are available!

I don't know when I'm going to let Isabella free roam yet. I'm still working on the scent exchange as you mentioned. Maybe give it a shot this weekend and see how it goes, but will still keep her in the cat room while I'm gone at work next week.
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BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Thu Dec 30, '10 2:59pm PST 
I just wanted to weigh in here real quick. I've been fostering for about 2 1/2 years and I've found it to be the most rewarding thing I've ever done.

1. I think you'll find time for some of the special needs kitties. Maybe not nursing litters or severely handicapped ones, but I work full time and have had quite a few SN cats. I may not read as much as I used to and I definitely have less "down" time but I've found time to take care of what needs to be done!

2. BK is an extraordinary cat and doesn't blink an eye when so many kitties come in and out, but not every cat can handle it. You and Gleshka will find his limits as you go. If he's bothered by it you may want to do more long term fosters than the revolving door method!

3. I don't find it hard to give up the "normal" cats. You know their quirks and can make suggestions that will help them get adopted to the right home (ones that want to be "only" cats, ones that are too high-strung for children, etc.). It's the special needs ones that I do have trouble giving up and in fact the most special ones have lived here until they died. But in general you know that your foster is going to make a family really happy and that makes it easier. And for every one that leaves you, there's room for another. That really helps.

We do things kind of unorthodox here - it's a one bedroom apt. in NYC so I don't isolate. My rescue knows the situation though and besides the fact that all their cats have been tested, they try to be careful and give me ones that are just coming out of the vet or that they've had at their adoption center and aren't showing any symptoms of illness. Stuff happens, of course, but in general it's worked for us.

Please keep us posted on your foster and all your adventures!
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Dodger

Rescue cat- manager Power of- the Purr
 
 
Purred: Sat Jan 1, '11 9:43am PST 
Bless you many foster homes are needed and no matter how little time you have it is better than the alternative
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Gleshka

1058603
 
 
Purred: Mon Jan 3, '11 4:35pm PST 
Wow. I can't imagine trying to foster more than one cat in a one bedroom appt! How many cats do you foster at a time BK?

Also, thanks for your support, Dodger!

So far, things are progressing nicely. Tonight when I got home, Is and Gleshka touched noses! I think they're gonna be just fine together. I;m letting Is have the run of the house tonight just to see how it goes. Mr G has been very talkative tonight! But, you know, in a good way - not like all yowly or anything. Oh, what am I saying - you folks are cat people you know what I mean. Is came out in the living room and hid under the sofa, and then Gleshka starting rubbing up against the sofa meowing as if to say, "Come on. I'm friendly! I don't bite."

The only room I'm keeping her out of is my bedroom. Gleshka has managed to tear a hole in the liner of the boxspring and if she gets up in there there'll be no fishing her out!

I think Gleshka may be okay with us having other fosters. He's taken this a lot better than I thought he would. Of course, it also helps that Is, er, is such a sweetheart.
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BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Mon Jan 3, '11 4:58pm PST 
Well, it's a pretty big apartment. When Teddy was alive he was a "permanent" foster so we would usually only take one other one. But stuff happens and we've had as many as 4 or 5 at a time when some have overlapped or we've had kitten siblings. Now that Teddy's gone we usually take in two fosters at a time. There's never a dull moment over here! Keep us posted on your progress and feel free to post any questions or complications!
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Gleshka

1058603
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 4, '11 2:40pm PST 
I bet you have one of those studio appartments. Those are cool.

Yeah, so, since last night went so well I thought, "What the heck. I'll leave my bedroom door open."

Heh heh. Not such a good idea.

Not that there was any blood shed or anything. Is decided to burrow into the boxspring tight as a tick and she and Mr G had a hissing competition.

"Hey! That's MY hidey hole!"
"Is NOT..!"
"Is TOO..!"

Not conducive to slumber! I finally pursuaded her out and back into her room.

Kids! ...or should I say... Kits!

Edited by author Tue Jan 4, '11 2:49pm PST

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