Jumping into fostering with both feet! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Jumping into fostering with both feet!

In May, we took on our first foster kittens. Two of the four went out last weekend. Also last weekend, a very kind cat lover (affiliated with our rescue group) agreed to pay vet expenses for a pregnant kitty my Dad has been feeding in the city. We went down Sunday night to pick her up.

She is such a joy! She is friendly, sweet, and very open to us. She gave birth to 5 kittens yesterday, and they all seem healthy. She's a great Mom. I think she will be very adoptable (though I know we may have her a little longer than the kittens. Mama and the kittens will be adopted through the rescue group.

I'm a little overwhelmed right now since we are keeping her isolated, have two kittens running through parts of our house, and two adult cats of our own. I brought lots of food and litter. I posted some of this in the Introduction forum, but I think it might be better read here.

Any advice, shared experiences, etc. would be great!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 03:30 PM
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I've never had kittens, but I wanted to say how much I respect and admire people who foster like you're doing. You're making such a difference in their lives!


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 03:56 PM
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Hooray! I know just what you are going through. I am new to fostering as well, here are my stories if you are interested :

https://www.catforum.com/forum/41-mee...back-yard.html

https://www.catforum.com/forum/36-cat...mes-today.html


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the stories and the encouragement. I'm also in Maryland. We are going to put some clean bedding in the cage this evening. She's very tolerant of us being in there, so I'm thinking its okay. The sheet she's laying on is pretty dirty now.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Skater View Post
Thanks for the stories and the encouragement. I'm also in Maryland. We are going to put some clean bedding in the cage this evening. She's very tolerant of us being in there, so I'm thinking its okay. The sheet she's laying on is pretty dirty now.
s

Aw, yes you may have to change the bedding every other day or so. baby kittens can be a little messy. it is good that she is okay with you being near and hopefully handling the kittens. it is important to start socialization early

mom and newborn kittens are great, because they dont take up much space, and mom does most of the work- it's once the kittens become mobile and then they are really a handful

are you fostering for a shelter, or a rescue?


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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We're fostering for a rescue group though this particular cat and kittens are being financially sponsored by one individual. The rescue group will then handle adopting them out.

I was thinking about how wild things will be when they can move around. They're in a cage in my daughter's bedroom now. I'm trying to keep them isolated from my adult cats and the kittens from the first batch we fostered. I think its going to get challenging in a couple weeks. Everyone wants to get into the bedroom, and I bet the kittens (and maybe Mama) will want to get out.

We were "bad" with the first group of kittens and eventually allowed them to be out with our own cats. Thankfully there were no medical issues/diseases that were passed onto our kitties. What do you normally do?

Last edited by marie73; 08-08-2012 at 10:36 PM.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Skater View Post
We're fostering for a rescue group though this particular cat and kittens are being financially sponsored by one individual. The rescue group will then handle adopting them out.

I was thinking about how wild things will be when they can move around. They're in a cage in my daughter's bedroom now. I'm trying to keep them isolated from my adult cats and the kittens from the first batch we fostered. I think its going to get challenging in a couple weeks. Everyone wants to get into the bedroom, and I bet the kittens (and maybe Mama) will want to get out.

We were "bad" with the first group of kittens and eventually allowed them to be out with our own cats. Thankfully there were no medical issues/diseases that were passed onto our kitties. What do you normally do?
In our foster contract it is a policy that we keep the foster cats separated from our cats.

I kept them separated almost the entire time, just because I am slightly paranoid.

There are a few major things that they could potentially bring in to your cats:

1. Panleuk- it is very contagious and fatal to young kittens, but is easily tested by fecal sample. The shelter that I foster for tested my kittens for this before giving them to me because I was introducing them to my momma cat. Also has a 10 day incubation period, so it can be ruled out by a 2 week quarantine

2. Felv/FIV- Both are uncurable and potentially devistating. The chances of very young kittens having either are slim, and they are usually transmitted through deep bites, so not as easily spread. Unfortunately tested by blood test, and results are not very accurate on young kittens

3. URI- (upper respiratory infection) caused by virus, either feline herpes or calicivirus. (Think nasty cold) Doesnt sound bad, but is commonly deadly in newborn/infant kittens because they cannot smell, and therefore do not eat.

4. Fleas- fleas are a pain to get rid of once they are in your house and they transmit worms. Worms are not uncommon and are easily treatable but obviously unpleasant for you and your kitties

Once my kittens were 8 weeks, they were spayed/neutered and tested for fiv/felv. At that point, I felt safe introducing them to my resident cat.

I had momma and babies in my bedroom, and momma never tried to get out. She was constantly attentive to her babies, and even when she got up to eat she would rush to eat and then get back to them. For my other cats safety, I made sure he didnt get any where near her as momma cats are very protective of their kittens from other cats. I taped a piece of cardboard in front of my bedroom door that was tall enough that the cats couldnt see over it but i could step over it. Once the kittens got old enough to jump up and climb over that, it got a little more difficult. It was a juggling act keeping everyone separated, but if I can do it in a 1 br apartment anyone can of course it was worth all the hard work in the end


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you - we will work harder to keep this group separated.

I sat with them a little bit this afternoon. Mama came out and visited with me for a little bit until the kittens started crying for her. They don't give her much of a break! She did have a little bloody discharge, but it sounds like that's normal.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 04:00 PM
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Definitely keep them separated! I recently took on a bottle baby this summer (no mama) and that alone has made me appreciate just how fragile little kittens are. My sweet girl didn't make it but I learned a lot about kittens in the short time I had her. I normally foster 9mo +, but she was an exception.

Diarrhea is common in little kittens, but keep an eye on it. If it ends up becoming "explosive" or so bad that it is just dripping out of them, get them checked out. It could be as simple as coccidia (which almost every kitten will battle for a bit while they are building their immune systems) to as devastating as panleuk or FeLV/FIV.

Keep Karo syrup on hand in case you have any struggling to regulate their blood sugars. This is what happened with my little bottle baby and she would go into what I can only describe as "crashes" where she couldn't stand, walk, move, and acted like she couldn't see. 0.1cc of that was like a miracle. Jump started her system. Vet suspects that her multiple crashes contributed to her death. She kept having more and more and was not bouncing back.

Use non-clumping litter. When they are old enough to start going in the box, they might accidentally (or on purpose) ingest some of the litter not knowing it's purpose quite yet. If it clumps in their tummy that could be very bad.

It is unlikely you will ever have to worry about anything happening to these little babies because they have their mama, and she sounds like she is tending to them quite well! Keep us update!
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2012, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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So, they're 9 days old today and eyes are opening! Kittens are doing great and Mama is a sweetheart. She's still bony, but we're trying to get some weight on her. At least the kittens look healthy and roly poly.
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