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9 Reasons To Foster A Cat: Amazing Benefits Explained

Written by: Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Last Updated on June 20, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team


9 Reasons To Foster A Cat: Amazing Benefits Explained

More than 3 million cats in the United States live in shelters, just waiting for loving companions to take them home. About 40% of the cats that find themselves in shelters are euthanized, about 37% are adopted, and less than 5% are reunited with their human companions.

If these statistics concern you, consider making a difference by fostering a cat. There are several reasons to become a cat foster family!

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The Top 9 Reasons to Foster a Cat

1. Help More Cats Find Forever Homes

When you foster a cat, it creates more space in the shelter for another cat in need to get help when they wouldn’t otherwise get it due to a lack of resources. While a cat is in your home waiting to be adopted out, multiple cats could take their place in the shelter while they get medical care and find homes. So, while you are only taking in one foster cat, you could be helping several cats get help and find forever homes, which is something to feel extremely good about and proud of!

cat resting withowner on sofa at home
Image Credit: U_Photo, Shutterstock

2. Prepare Cats So They Can Stay in Their New Homes

While fostering a cat, you will have the opportunity to see how they get along in a home environment and provide them with the support and encouragement that they need to get used to such an environment if necessary. You can spot behavioral issues so they can be worked out, and you can get them used to the things in a household that typically make noise, such as the vacuum and dishwasher.

You can also see how they get along with children. All the knowledge that you learn and the support that you provide will help ensure that the cat gets placed in the right adopted home so it’s less likely that they will end up back at a shelter again in the future.

3. Save the Lives of Young Kittens

Kittens under 8 weeks of age are extremely vulnerable and have a hard time thriving in a shelter environment. Fostering young kittens can provide them with the environment that they need to survive and thrive so they can go on to live happy, healthy lives in permanent homes. Many shelters cannot even take in such young kittens unless they have foster homes to rely on for round-the-clock care.

4. Help Improve Cats’ Lives

Fostering cats can improve their lives in big ways. Cats that are fostered typically get more attention than those that live in shelters while waiting for families to adopt them and take them home forever. The comfort, quiet, and safety of a foster home can also help alleviate signs of stress, anxiety, and depression, which can improve the overall quality of a foster cat’s life. So, you can feel confident that any cat that you foster will have an improved life overall.

cat playing with woman owner
Image Credit: Oleg Ivanov,Unsplash

5. Help Reduce the Reproduction Rate of Unwanted Cats

It is extremely rare for a cat or kitten to be fostered without first being spayed or neutered. So, when you agree to foster, a shelter or rescue organization will ensure that the cat or kitten that you care for cannot reproduce. So, if they get outside or adopted out, they will not be able to mate and have more babies that can’t be taken care of.

6. Learn If You Have What It Takes to Adopt

If you are thinking of adopting a cat but are not sure whether you have the time, resources, or inclination to care for one permanently, fostering a cat temporarily can help you determine whether the commitment is something that you can handle. Even just a few weeks of fostering a cat can provide you with insight into whether you can handle caring for your own cat in the coming years. Fostering will give you the opportunity to experience budgeting for cat supplies and healthcare needs while showing you what it would be like to share your life with a cat every day.

7. Be a Good Role Model

Fostering a cat is a great way to showcase kindness, compassion, and responsibility to your children. Kids can learn a great deal about caring for an animal that relies on them for everything from food and water to love and a clean place to use the bathroom. They can learn about the plight of unwanted cats and those that are in need for one reason or another, and they will be more likely to help out their communities by fostering cats, dogs, or other animals as adults.

cat following owner to the kitchen seeking for attention

8. Enable Community Resources to Stretch Further

By taking in a foster cat, you can help free up resources at the shelter that can be stretched to help even more cats within your community. The food and litter that you provide the foster cat are resources the shelter won’t have to worry about, so it can take in an additional cat and provide proper care without having to find more donations or resources in the community to do so.

9. Become a Hero of Sorts

You can be sure that you will be a hero to any cat that you commit to fostering, whether you care for them for just a day or several months. You will also likely be considered a hero by the shelters that you work with as a foster caretaker!

Image Credit: Gordana Sermek, Shutterstock

How to Foster a Cat in Your Community

There is no one right or wrong way to foster a cat that is in need within your community. The easiest way to go about it is to contact a local shelter or humane society and simply offer your fostering services. It likely has an entire program set up to ensure that the process is as easy and streamlined as possible, and the staff can walk you through it step by step. You can also foster cats or kittens that neighbors can no longer care for or even bring a stray cat into your home and foster them while getting them medical care and finding them a forever home.

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There are many good reasons to foster a cat in your community, and even if just one is enough for you, it can still make a big difference when all is said and done. You don’t need much to foster—just a bit of space and patience and plenty of love.

Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

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