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The benefits of fostering a cat

Updated on September 30, 2012
My kitty Koloa, whom we saved (yes, she's wearing a beanie)
My kitty Koloa, whom we saved (yes, she's wearing a beanie)

I fostered several cats through a local rescue group and am so glad that I did. There are so many benefits of fostering an animal that it's unbelievable.

For one, you can enjoy having a cat around without having to commit for its lifetime or pay the full price of owning a cat. Sometimes, foster groups or shelters will even cover some of the costs of fostering a cat or other pet. Nearly every time, the cat will be spayed or neutered and given its shots. Some shelters or centers will even pay for vet services or food.

It's beneficial to foster a cat if you just want to test out having the pet in your home. A family member might be allergic, and it would be unfortunate to find out after having already spent the money on the pet and its accessories. Also, you might already have another cat or pet who might or might not appreciate having this kitty in the house. You can see if you existing cat will get along with another cat based on age, breed, gender, or other parameters. Your cat might also be by itself most of the day, so you can foster a cat so your kitty won't be so lonely.

Finally, of course, it is beneficial to the animal itself to bring it into your home. Perhaps the cat was kept in a high-kill shelter, and in time, it would face death if it wasn't chosen by another family. You don't have to commit to having the cat forever, but you can at least help its chances by keeping it out of the shelter and socializing it so it can be friendlier.

If you are interested in fostering a cat, contact your local shelter or animal care center, who may know of connections to assist you. I live in California, and a foster cat group I know of is Maine Coon Adoptions, which helps Maine Coon cats and other kitties find permanent or temporary homes throughout the state. These groups also usually need assistance at adoption fairs or other events, and ask for donations as well.

Before you foster a cat, take a good look at your circumstances and preferences. How long would you be willing to keep a foster cat? How much money can you spare for it? What kind of cat do you think would work best in your home? Be sure to speak with a rescue center or shelter representative about how to best foster a cat or other pet.

Don't expect your foster pet to be easy. It might have medical problems and require attention throughout the day. It might have behavior problems, and you might need to protect certain items in your home from damage. Just prepare for a cat that has no home but deserves it as much as any other pet.


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    • kittyrehab profile image


      8 years ago from Southeastern New England

      To Nicole-- Is there a Spay Neuter program in your area? It really does work. Perhaps you could ask around. Even if you can't own pets there is lots you can do to help out. It's a great learning experience for children too.

    • kittyrehab profile image


      8 years ago from Southeastern New England

      I told my daughter my new cat was a foster and she said "Who are you kidding?"

    • Nicole Winter profile image

      Nicole A. Winter 

      10 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Yea! We have a <lot> of strays in our neighborhood, we keep water out for them. I can't foster because I'm allergic and so is my daughter, but we took in a kitty for a short while who was homeless, (the rest of the kittens and momma cat wouldn't come with us, unfortunately, otherwise I would have taken the whole family,) some kids were throwing firecrackers at them and Juju jumped right into my arms and wouldn't leave. He stayed with my ex for a little while while we fattened him up and then my ex let him go outside and that was that. Another family down the street found him, though, they put a collar on him & he's joined the gangs of roving street cats in our neighborhood.

    • glassvisage profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Northern California

      Yorkies are great :) Well, you can keep a foster as long as you like, usually, even for years, and you don't have to pay for them!

    • profile image

      market solution 

      10 years ago

      I am not so much a cat lover as a dog lover. We had a very pampered and spoiled Yorkie for 17 years and have missed having a pet around since he died. We have considered doing foster care rather than getting another of our own. I just don't know if I could give them back!

    • glassvisage profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Northern California

      Well, what can I say? I would recommend getting a cat, whether you adopt or foster :) Thanks for visiting!

    • Veronica Bright profile image

      Veronica Bright 

      10 years ago from Nebraska

      Great hub! I love kitties. My Dog loves Kitties too. We currently do not have one and everyone is telling me about how they know someone who has kittens! lol

    • glassvisage profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Northern California

      Thank you for telling us about your beloved cats, Jeff. I always dread the day my kitty will get too old... and your cat was nearly a celebrity! :)

    • Chef Jeff profile image

      Chef Jeff 

      10 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

      We adopted two wonderful female cats who are my pride and joy - Tiger and Michi. LIttle Michi is part rag-doll, and Tiger is just huge. Michi follows me all over the house and walks at my side, being careful to go left or right when I make a turn.

      Our first cat was Brauni, and he was once up as a candidate for the new Morris the Cat commericals years ago. He got in a fight and his ear was boxed - a nasty bite took a chunk of ear out.

      But I am thankful he didn't get the job because he was with us for 18 years in all. I was with him when he died, and he was so sad, weak and unble to keep his dignity. I wept for days because he, too, had been my best friend.

    • glassvisage profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Northern California

      Thank you both, especially for adopting 3 cats! I am afraid that I will end up adopting my fosters as well :(

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 

      10 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Great idea, but I couldn't do it personally as I would end up adopting all of my fosters, and I already have three cats of my own. I do however wish more people would foster as the concept is great and saves cat's lives.

    • starrkissed profile image


      10 years ago from Arizona

      Great hub! I don't currently foster cats, but I volunteer at a pet store in the cat dept and I love it! I have 3 cats of my own and they're my babies. :)

    • glassvisage profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Northern California

      That's great, Tulwave :) I love dogs, but I couldn't imagine being able to handle more than one!

    • tulwave profile image


      10 years ago from Orlando,Fl

      I wish I could, but I am very allergic. I did call my local animal shelter and said I would adopt up to two hypo allergenic cats if any ever come in. The people laughed and told me those are worth a couple of thousand dollars and never end up in the shelters.

      I did rescue two puppies over the last decade and I'm proud of that


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