Feline Friends does not have a cattery or shelter, therefore all our cats are kept in foster homes until a suitable permanent home can be found. Re-homing the cat can happen in as little as a few days or weeks, but usually it takes a few months to find a suitable home. We are always on the look-out for new foster homes because that enables us to help more cats and kittens.
In 2010 approximately 500 cats and kittens found permanent homes thanks to Feline Friends fosterers! . Read on to learn more about Fostering.
Benefits of Fostering Cats
- Fostering cats can be an extremely rewarding experience, with the sure knowledge that you are making a difference by offering the hope of life to unfortunate cats here on the streets.
- Fostering saves hundreds of cats’ lives each year (500 cats found permanent homes in 2010 through our programme).
- Fostering gives people new to cats a chance to learn and love these amazing creatures.
- Fostering allows the foster carer to get to know the cat and give potential adopters a better idea about its personality.
- Fostering helps socialize shy cats.
- Fostering cats provides short-term companions for everyone without the long-term commitment.
- Fostering allows people who travel the convenience of a back-up plan if alternative care cannot be found.
- Fostering is for a higher cause with a broader picture.
Requirements of Fosterers
As a Feline Friends Fosterer, you must be able to do the following:
1. Please be willing and able to take your fostercat to the vet for routine shots and procedures, as well as for treatment if they are ill. We will let you know what appointments need to be made for the cat, but we rely on you to provide transportation. It is Feline Friends policy that all cats must be sterilised if they 5 months or older.
2. Please bring your cat to our monthly Adoption Day. You do not have to stay the entire time, but must be able to pick up your cat or empty cat carrier at the end of the event.
3. Be available to answer calls from our Fostering Coordinator as well as potential adopters and give them information about your fostercat. Provide our Adoption Gallery Coordinator with pictures and information on your cat for the public to see.
4. Allow potential adopters to come view your fostercat in your home. We do all of our homing (except on Adoption Days) from home, so please make sure your schedule can accomodate this. If you leave town, please give us the contact details of who is watching the cat so it can still be viewed and adopted in your absence.
5. If you are going away and cannot find alternative care for your foster cat, please give our Fostering Coordinator at least 1 week notice of your plans and she will find another fosterer to care for your cat while you are away.
All Feline Friends cats are up to date with their shots and are always vet checked before being adopted. We rely on our fosterers to take our cats to the vet. If a cat/kitten needs to be seen by the vet, the fosterer can set up the appointment with one of our partner vets, then contact the Fostering Coordinator to arrange for payment. Any non-routine vet visit will have to be approved by Feline Friends before the appointment is made; if there is no prior approval by Feline Friends, the fosterer will be held responsible for the bill.
All potential fosterers must fill out the Fostering form. The Fostering Manual will be uploaded soon!
Q. Can I choose the cat I want to foster?
A. You cannot hand pick the cat you foster. However, you are able to choose the age group and the number of cats or kittens you would like to foster. We endeavor to place a cat or kittens in a foster home that suits their environment to ensure both the cat and the fosterer are happy. For example, we would not place a cat that loves the outdoors with someone who lives in an apartment.
Q. My circumstances mean I cannot adopt a cat, therefore would fostering suit me?
A. If you have the love and the time to give to a foster cat, of course this arrangement will suit you. If we find the cat a good home during its stay with you, it will leave your care to go to its new family, which is why it is important to not get attached. There is no need to worry, though, as there will always be another kitty waiting to come and stay with you.
Q. If I have a foster cat in my care, how is it homed?
A. We have adoption days in one of our supporting veterinary clinics every month at which we usually have 20 to 35 cats exhibited for re-homing. You will be asked to bring your foster cat along to some of these days. We have an Adoption Gallery on our website as well as various press releases each week advertising some of the cats we have; both generate many calls for adoption. In such cases the interested person(s) will be asked a series of questions to ascertain their suitability for the adoption. Provided we are satisfied with the appropriateness of the new home, the person(s) would be given your contact details to arrange a suitable time to see your foster cat in your home. If everyone is happy, and if a donation is given and a cat carrier brought, the person(s) can take the cat then and there.
Q. What happens to the cat in my care if I have to go on holiday?
A. As long as you give us plenty of notice, we will move the cat(s) in your care to another foster home. If you have to go away urgently we will do everything we can to re-house the cat(s) in your foster care, we understand that life is not predictable. Alternatively, it is always helpful if the fosterer can find outside care, but we ask for temporary contact details so as not to hinder the adoption process in your absence.
Q. What will I have to pay out if I foster?
A. Feline Friends covers all routine vet bills and will endeavour to pay for most treatments for sick cats, but we do have to implement a price limit for each cat to ensure funds are also available for other cats in need. We have food donations from our sponsor Royal Canin for our fosterers as well as used cat carriers to lend out; please contact the Fostering Coordinator for pick up locations for these items. We sometimes receive donations of second-hand litter boxes, toys, and scratch posts, so if you need help obtaining these items we may be able to provide them as well. Costs of litter will have to paid for by the fosterer.
Q. I only want to foster Persian cats. Is this possible?
A. No. You can choose to foster either adult cats or kittens but you can't choose to only foster certain breeds of cats.