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The next best thing to adopting a new cat or kitten is fostering one. Foster homes for cats are excellent ways to help the cat adjust to life with humans and gives them an early start on happiness until a suitable forever home can be found.
Not only do rescue groups need foster homes but cats need them too. Shelters and rescue groups might not have enough physical space. When you offer to help foster a cat or kitten, you take responsibility for the care of the cat, but the rescue group will handle the administrative duties needed to find a forever home. Cats also need foster families for several reasons.
Very young kittens who’ve been abandoned need special care before they are strong enough to be adopted. Even active kittens need more time to grow before they are adoption ready. A foster home is a perfect place for a kitten to grow and become ready for its forever home. Another reason a cat may need a foster home is for the individual care it needs after a surgery or illness. The cat will get more attention and better care if it doesn’t have to compete with other cats for shelter staff and volunteer attention.
Cats who spend too much time in a shelter will also develop fear and depression. A cat who hides or hisses is showing signs of stress and anxiety in lock up and needs to express itself as a free cat in a bigger space. The freedom to explore and move around within larger boundaries also helps the cat socialize better with people and builds trust in people.
Socialization is particularly useful for a cat’s future social interactions when the foster home already has other pets, such as another cat or dog who are accepting of other cats. If you have space, love, and inclination to foster, please consider helping a local rescue group. Foster homes play an important part of the adoption process.