What is a Foster Home?

A foster home is probably the most important part of a rescue.  We can only rescue as many cats and kittens as we have space in our fostering system.  Without dedicated people who open their homes to neglected, abandoned and sometimes abused kittens and cats we would be helpless.  While we do have cats in our shelter that environment cannot compare to a loving home.

The home provides the in-between time: The time between the rescue of a cat or kitten and its ultimate placement in a permanent home.  Many of the cats or kittens need rehabilitation.  Some have never had much human contact.  The  cat or kitten may need nursing to regain their health and vigor.  Animal outreach provides the food, medical help and consultation. You do the rest.

How do I become a foster parent?

Bring your dedication and commitment and we will help mix it with knowledge to provide the perfect recipe for caring for these wonderful animals.  Please open your heart and home and family to a rescued cat.  It takes a family.  That family may only be you, but it takes a commitment from the whole family to provide for the needs of the cat.

You must be willing to care for individual or multiple cats or kittens (it will be your choice along with our experience to determine how many) until it is adopted or possibly housed in our adoption centers. 

Sometimes these animals come from bad or overtly abusive environments and need patience and understanding to show them not all humans are bad.  Sometimes they have to be shown how to play.  Other times they fear loud noises or are scared to eat where they can be seen.

If the foster home is a family home then everyone must be dedicated to these goals.  Being a foster home can sometimes be hard but has so many rewards especially when you see. these animals blossom with love and attention.  Everyone who is involved in caring for the kitten or cat must be dedicated to these ideals and the cats well-being.

What are the responsibilities of a foster parent?

You are responsible for providing a loving home.  A clean environment (always inside), proper cat pans (for cats and kittens) and litter located in an appropriate space, and safe toys.  You will also be responsible for protecting your own cats and dogs by insuring that their vaccinations are up to date and by maintaing a quarantine until it is determined it is save to relax such safeguards.

You will be responsible for ongoing evaluation and record keeping for the cats or kittens.  If any of them need medical help you will be responsible for transporting them to our veterinarian or to one of our adoption coordinators. When kittens are old enough to be neutered (usually about 2 pounds or 7-9 weeks for cats) or adults are scheduled for neutering you would also need to provide the transportation to the veterinarian or to the coordinator.

Once the animals are healthy, have been neutered, and have had their vaccinations you will be responsible for transporting them to our Diamond Springs location or one of our adoption sites on Saturdays and Sundays.  If not adopted on one of these days you would be responsible for picking them up to return them to your home until the next adoption day.

You will be responsible for maintaining a health record and behavior record of the cats or kittens.  Knowledge of the foster parents is a critical part of the adoption process.  What you know about the cat or kitten can help place the animal in the right home and circumstances.

As a foster parent, what am I not responsible for?

Animal Outreach will provide the food.  A consistent diet is important as changes in diet can cause digestive problems.

If medications are necessary Animal Outreach will provide the training on how to administer medications to cats that may not be willing participants or to young kittens.

Animal Outreach will provide any further visits to the vet as necessary.  We have our own wonderful veterinarian who is easily reachable by our foster coordinators.

Is there any risk involved in fostering?

The biggest risk is the attachment you develop with  the animals you are caring for and giving your love to.  It can be hard to let some of them go once you have given your heart and time.

There can be risk to your existing cats if you do not adhere to the quarantine time when bringing in new animals and especially if your cats are not fully up to date on their vaccinations.  The quarantine time (in a quiet and separate location such as a bathroom) is critical.  During this time the cat or kitten can focus on getting healthy, learning to play and learning that attention is wonderful.  If this time is interrupted with other animals or environments that are not calm and quiet it can get the process of to the wrong start.

Knowing these few things should eliminate the problems.  Fostering is work but it should also be fun!

Just the facts......

Fostering is not always easy. It is rewarding but can be difficult at times.

Fostering does cost some money and time.  Litter, toys, and cleaning supplies are the major expenses.

It can be painful to let go (adopt out) a cat you have cared for.

Fostering may be the most rewarding thing a true cat lover will ever do.

How do I become a foster parent?

  • Fill out the Foster Home Questionnaire .

  • If approved you will be asked to sign the Fostering Agreement.

  • Consult with our coordinator on when you are available and how many (with our approval) you can take.

  • Wait for your first cat or kitten/s to arrive.

Remember when considering being a foster home that the more foster homes that are available the more cats and kittens we can rescue.  Please consider being a foster parent.  We have a wonderful group and are just waiting for you....
About Fostering
Animal Outreach of the Mother Lode
Animal Outreach of the Mother Lode
A non-profit 501 - c(3) organization
6101 Enterprise Drive
Diamond Springs, Ca 95619
530-642-2287  animaloutreach.net