Fostering is one of the most fun, rewarding, and most effective way to help us save the lives of our feline friends in our local animal shelters.
It doesn't matter if your home is tiny or massive or if you live alone or have animals of your own, you can still become a foster parent and save lives! There are so many animals that need us and would otherwise lost their lives.
That's why we are always looking for new fosters. Having foster families signed up early (and before an urgent situation has come to light) is the key to saving as many lives as we possibly can. Sometimes we are given a few days to get a kitten out of the shelter and other times, we are given less than an hour. We always try to have fosters on hand, ready and waiting, so that we can jump into action to save a life when whenever we are needed.
things to consider
“How much does it cost to foster?”
When fostering for us at The Little Lion Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization, we ask that you, as a foster parent, provide some of the supplies needed for your kittens. We provide any and all medical needs along with any needed supplies as donations allow. Before becoming a foster, a representative will speak with you to come to agreed upon terms.
“How long will I have my foster kittens?”
Fostering orphaned kittens is a temporary stop along their road to a forever family. Our kittens usually get adopted between 8 and 16 weeks of age. Depending on the age of your kittens when you start, you should plan on having them for 2 to 4 months. Please keep in mind that some kittens may take longer than others to be adopted depending on their health and development.
Can't provide everyday care for little kittens and you know there's no way around it? Talk to us about becoming a temporary or emergency foster. Temporary foster families provide a short term home to save them from certain euthanasia while also giving the kitten more time to be networked to a permanent foster family. Temporary foster families typically have the kittens in their care for 1 day to 2 weeks.
“do i have the space that they need?”
Whether you share a room with a friend or you live in a mansion, you really don't need much space to save a kitten's life. When they're tiny, they live perfectly comfortable in a medium sized tupperware bin that you can buy at Target. They will stay in this bin for about the first 3 weeks of their life until they upgrade to a large playpen or an extra room or bathroom. Their area should be safe, soft, warm, easy to sanitize, and away from other animals.
The most comfortable set up is lined with soft blankets with a heat disc underneath while still providing space for them to move away from the heat if they get too warm. Add a SnuggleKitty or some other plush toys.
“what about my resident animals?”
When fostering kittens, it's always best to keep them in a separate area away from your pets. This is for the happiness and safety of all those involved. Orphaned kittens are very tiny and vulnerable to physical injury and illness. Even if they appear healthy, it is always a possibility that your fosters could bring in some type of illness or parasite. It is crucial that you keep your pets current on all vaccines and any new kittens are quarantined for 10 to 14 days. After this quarantine period and a combo test is done, you are free to introduce foster kittens to other cats and kitten friendly dogs.
“can i foster even though i work?”
The answer is, yes! Talk to your employer...you may be surprised with their answer! Orphaned kittens will usually sleep 16-20 hours a day, making them almost unnoticeable under your desk. Assure your employer that they will not be intrusive and will only require a few minutes of your time every few hours and the kittens can be taken to a secluded room or area during feedings. Suggest a test run! Ask to bring some kittens for one day to see how it goes!
“who do i turn to for support?”
Here at The Little Lion Foundation, we pride ourselves in providing unwavering support to each of our foster families. Once approved as a foster parent, you will gain access to our closed volunteer and foster group where you are encouraged to reach out for advice, support, or even just to chat. We are not just a team here… we are a family.
“how am i supposed to say goodbye?”
Fostering orphaned kittens is about saving lives...not becoming a cat collector. It's difficult to give them up after creating such a bond with your foster kittens, but it’s important to remember that there are so many more kittens that need you! Statistics show that the #1 reason for a foster to stop fostering is that they’ve kept their foster and don’t have the space anymore. By not foster-failing, you are actually opening yourself up to save literally dozens of kittens' lives!
If you are able to adopt, by all means, adopt! But if your plan is to foster, then foster and always remember ... goodbye is the goal! And once you're done, take time to celebrate the amazing deed you've just done and the life you’ve saved. These kittens would not have had a chance of life and love without you.