Preparing to Foster Kittens
Fostering cats is the number one way you can help to keep kittens from becoming strays. It is the kindest most generous thing you can do as an animal lover. But if you have never fostered before, it can be an overwhelming thing to consider.
Opening your home and heart to newborn kittens takes patience and quite a bit of prep work! It is not as easy as just setting up food and water bowls. Kittens are quite messy and need a ton of attention. More often than not, you will be feeding them by hand until they grow. You will be cleaning up the floor and blankets several times a day. You will also find yourself snuggling a tiny ball of fur and reminding yourself that you are only fostering, not adopting!
Preparing to Foster Kittens
Before you welcome a family of kittens, you must be approved as a foster home. You can fill out paperwork and get through the process rather quickly, but remember to talk to any other family in the house and have everyone on board with helping or respecting the time you will need to dedicate to fostering.
Once you are approved, find the right place for the kittens to be contained. A small, private, non-carpeted room is ideal, especially if you have other pets or young children. You can use a small bathroom or home office. You need an easy-to-clean floor and a quiet space. If a private room is not possible, utilize a large plastic tub without a lid to contain the kittens or a toddler playpen. Either of these can be kept near you throughout the day.
Sanitize the kitten’s space and make it safe. Newborn kittens are highly susceptible to illnesses, and any new environment can be a breading ground for sickness. Wipe down the walls, the floor, and any furniture in the kittens’ room or space. In addition to bacteria, you want to prevent the cats from getting injured. Electrical cords, tiny (choking-size) items, and toxic items all need removed or kitten-proofed.
Know what you’ll get and purchase anything extra ahead of time. Talk with the organization that you will be working with and ask what supplies are provided to you. Your costs should be minimal if any at all, but you can find a few blankets and toys to keep ready for new kittens.
Remember that to continue fostering, you will be required to own less than a certain number of animals already. So follow these not-so-simple-rules by My Rescued Life to keep yourself from becoming so attached that you cannot imagine letting go of your fosters:
- Do not nickname your foster kittens. Any nicknames lead to permanent connections.
- Do not let the kittens in your bedroom. A kitten on the bed is a kitten that stays on the bed.
- Do not purchase anything new for a specific kitten. Creating that attachment leads to a permanent new furbaby in the house.
- Pretend you are babysitting for someone. Picturing the kittens having another family will help.
- Consider your current pets. The pets you loved first deserve the best of you forever, so always keep them in mind while fostering.