So, you want to try your hand at fostering kittens? While kittens are undeniably adorable, they can also be destructive tornadoes, wrapped in a fluffy kitten façade. Fostering these adorable little peanuts is a rewarding way to help our feline friends and ease the burden on local shelters, but you need to make sure that you're not in over your head. If you think fostering kittens is right for you, then keep the following tips in mind to help set yourself up for success in your foster journey!
Before you can even consider taking in foster kittens, creating a designated space for your new additions is crucial. In most cases, it is ideal to have a "foster room" that can be easily sectioned off from the rest of your home and free of things for your fosters to get into. Your foster room can be a spare bedroom, basement, sunroom, etc.
Once you have your designated space, start thinking of how to fill it! Depending on the foster program you join, they may supply you with all you need. However, you may be tempted to add some more flare to your space, other than the bare essentials. Here is a simple checklist of wants and needs for the purrfect foster room!
Depending on the age of the kittens you are fostering, their schedule could be much more (or less) time consuming. Kittens who are from 0-5 weeks of age require bottle feeding of varying frequencies, depending on age. Between 5-8 weeks is when bottle weaning begins and wet food is introduced. If you're fostering kittens after the age of 8 weeks, then scheduling is much more lax, but still requires a great deal of time commitment. Between feeding, cleaning, socialization, and playing, your foster kittens will require a specific routine that you must be prepared to adhere to.
Even when you religiously follow your schedule and have all the supplies you need, messes and accidents can still happen. Kittens are inherently messy, especially if they are orphaned kittens who never had their mother to clean them, teach them how to use the littler box, etc. Be prepared for curveballs at any point and always have your enzyme cleaner handy!
Young kittens can also get sick easily or have an accident resulting in sickness or injury. Have an emergency care plan ready to execute, so you are able to act quickly if a problem arises.
After spending so much time fostering these little bundles of joy, there will eventually be a time that you need to say goodbye. After forming a bond with your foster kittens, sending them off to their forever homes may be more difficult than originally anticipated. Before exploring being a foster parent to kittens, mentally prepare yourself for the emotional pain of saying goodbye. We know it's hard to think of, but remember that sending them to properly vetted forever homes means that you helped give these kittens a whole new lease on life and you will now have more room in your home (and heart) to welcome new fosters.
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