The Complete Guide To Fostering Cats

It’s pretty obvious that AllAboutCats has some great pieces. This one is by Michael Vogelsang He is an animal lover, writer, musician and voice actor. Michael has always loved having animals in his life. he and his wife enjoy their involvement with local shelters and the rescue community. They also have a family of animals.

a complete guide to fostering cats

Fostering cats can be a very enjoyable and fulfilling experience. Whether you take in a newborn kitten or an adult cat, there is always the opportunity to provide them with a loving and healthy home. It also can provide a lot of happiness along the way.

The need for fostering can be due to several different factors. There’s the overpopulation at animal shelters, a rescue group that doesn’t have access to a physical shelter, or stray and orphaned cats that simply need basic care.

Ultimately, the goal of fostering is to provide these cats with a safe and nurturing environment. But the goal is for them to be adopted into their forever homes. With kittens, this can mean keeping them quarantined until they are old enough to get fixed and vaccinated. With adult cats, it can mean rehabilitating them and keeping them safe until they are healthy and well-adjusted enough to be adopted.

What To Know When Fostering Cats?

the basics of fostering cats

Providing fostered cats with personal space and a safe environment is key to making them feel at ease. It also prevents harm to them and to your home.

Foster cats can sometimes be emotionally traumatized after being relocated. So, make certain to be respectful of their mental health, and don’t force any unwanted interactions upon them. Give them their space until they become comfortable in their new surroundings.

If you already have cats or other animals in your home, it’s important to keep your fosters isolated until they have received their vaccinations and booster shots. This will help to prevent your pre-existing animals from contracting any viruses that your fosters might unknowingly have.

Before bringing a foster into your home, have all of your supplies set up beforehand. These supplies include food and water, and a litter box. Having a scratching post or scratching pad, a comfy bed area, grooming supplies, and some toys to play with is also helpful.

6 Things To Keep In Mind When Fostering Cats

#1 Foster Cats Need Their Personal Space

Brown and white tabby cat looking at camera

Fostering cats is a significant responsibility, so it’s important to be prepared.

When bringing home a foster cat, it’s important to recognize that they are being relocated into a new and potentially confusing environment. New sights, sounds, and smells can be potentially traumatic to them. And forced interactions may lead to increased emotional unhealthiness.

So, it’s a good idea to give them their own, dedicated space so that they can gradually become comfortable in their new environment. Set up a simple, dedicated space. Set their food, water, a litter box, and a bed or cozy spot just for them. Then, that they can get used to the new environment. Doing so will help with their emotional health over time.

#2 Keeping Your Foster Cats Quarantined

how to help cats get along two cats lying on a bed

Whether you’re planning to bring home a new cat or want to keep the peace in your feline family, there are a few tips that will help you to create a harmonious, happy feline household.

Foster cats can unknowingly bring home fleas, ticks, and infectious diseases from the shelter where they had been living. If you have other animals, it can potentially lead to an outbreak. Additionally the fosters may not have received all of their necessary vaccinations prior to you bringing them home.

Whether your fosters are kittens or adults, keeping them quarantined for the first 7-10 days will help to prevent unwanted health issues for any pre-existing animals that you may have. Before you bring home the new fosters, make sure that you have a dedicated space for them. Make certain your other animals don’t have access.

#3 Foster Cats Need Basic Supplies

Cats require some basic supplies. Make sure that you have everything that they will need before you bring home your fosters. These supplies include food and water (and food and water bowls), a litter box and litter, a cat bed or cozy spot, a scratching post or scratching pad, grooming supplies, and some toys for them to play with.

Some experimenting to find out what kind of food, litter, and other supplies work best for your fosters may be in order. Once you figure out what makes them happy, it will contribute to their overall happiness and well-being. Also, knowing what food, litter, and other items make your foster cat happy will be very useful information to pass on when they are ready to be adopted.

#4 Provide Your Fosters With A Safe Home

the essence of providing a foster cat with a safe home

Cords, cables, and blind cords alongside houseplants should be hidden and secured for safety reasons. These are some of the first items a curious cat will start exploring.


We know cats are very curious by nature. Even if they might seem shy at first, foster cats will eventually become comfortable with their new environment. That’s when they;ll start exploring your home. So, it’s important to make sure that your home is free from any potential dangers that could be hazardous to them.

Cords, cables, and blind cords should be hidden and secured. It also is important that there are no potentially poisonous plants or flowers within reach. Also, put away cleaning supplies, toiletry items, cosmetics, and medications, and make sure that your toilet lids are closed. Keeping windows closed, and keeping fosters indoors will help prevent injuries and infections.

#5 Be Prepared For Veterinarian Visits

Even if your foster cats may appear to be healthy, there is a chance that they may have an infection or illness that was not detected while they were at their shelter. Foster cats typically will be examined prior to their release. But potentially they can carry unknown illnesses of which you are not aware.

So, before you bring your foster cats home, check to make sure that there is a veterinarian or an emergency animal hospital in your neighborhood that treats cats. In most cases, you may never need to take your fosters to a vet while you are taking care of them, but it’s extremely important to be prepared if you see any signs of illness or injury.

#6 Fostering Cats Is A Commitment

In short taking care of foster cats is a commitment. It’s a decision that should not be taken lightly. Depending on the situation, you may be fostering for a few weeks or possibly for a few months. In either case it’s important to prepare beforehand.

It can be emotionally draining for you and for your fosters if you aren’t properly prepared ahead of time. Even though cats are generally very independent, fosters require the right amount of attention on a daily basis in order for them to be happy and healthy, and for them to eventually be adoptable. And, again, making your fosters adoptable is your ultimate goal.

Final Thoughts

Fostering cats can be an incredibly rewarding experience for you, as well as being a wonderful and nurturing experience for the cats themselves. However, there are many things to consider and prepare for before you make the decision to become a foster parent.

That being said, if you properly prepare yourself, properly prepare your home, and know what you are getting into beforehand, you can help your foster cats to thrive and become happy additions to their eventual forever homes. Good luck with your fostering!