Question about Fostering - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-12-2012, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Question about Fostering

I got my first kitten almost 4 months ago at about 10 weeks old. I still have a lot of learning and parenting to do. I live alone and work full time, and I'm 100% in love with my kitty. He hasn't shown any behavioral issues and gets himself into enough mischief that I have cute stories, but not enough to make me actually angry - to me this seems like the right amount of trouble for a kitten to get into! That being said, I do worry that he doesn't get as much attention as he deserves.

I'm dying for another cat, but one that's a little less of a handful. I'm hoping a cat around 3 or 4 years old would still have the energy to entertain my kitten while I'm away while setting a good example for him. I'm not ready to commit to a second pet long term just yet, but have been considering fostering.

I've also been looking into ways to support my local shelter, and while I don't have a lot of spare time to volunteer, I thought this might be a good alternative.

My questions are the following:

Does the above situation seem to be reasonable thinking for bringing in a foster cat? I don't feel like I'm doing it "for the kitten" nor do I feel totally selfish, I'm just looking for an outside opinion of my situation.

Will having a foster negatively impact my resident kitten in terms of bonding or attachment when the foster has to leave?

The following are things I'm taking into consideration:
- Length and possibly frustrating introductions - my kitten is still young, and the shelter should be able to match me up with a cat that is used to other cats
- I have the finances to handle a second cat
- I can separate the two temporarily if need be. My bedroom is large, and I've had to keep my kitten in there before when a family member with allergies spent the day.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-12-2012, 07:07 PM
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Part of the fostering process involves socializing the foster cat to interact with people. Do you think you can commit the time to do that?
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-12-2012, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacq View Post
Part of the fostering process involves socializing the foster cat to interact with people. Do you think you can commit the time to do that?
Thanks for bringing up this point. I'm assuming that in fostering an older cat and the shelter releasing them to a home with a cat, their cat socialization skills are already decent. I'm not willing to take on a cat that is at all dangerous to people as I don't have the experience to really reform them, but if the task is cuddling and playing every day to make a shy or unsure cat comortable, I can definitely do that. My boyfriend and a couple of friends are over a couple times a week so there's an opportunity to get to know different people.

I'm gone about 10 hrs a day and occasionally overnight for one night max. My kitten definitely gets daily play time and cuddle time and so would the foster. They would have each other during the day assuming they got along.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-12-2012, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by rightsaidfed View Post
Thanks for bringing up this point. I'm assuming that in fostering an older cat and the shelter releasing them to a home with a cat, their cat socialization skills are already decent.
Zenobi (OTB) had obviously been an abused cat when I adopted her, age 10, from a shelter. She was always terrified after using her litterbox. You can't know what's gone on in a cat's previous life, nor can the shelter. I've posted about it before, but it took about three months before she realised I wasn't going to beat her.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-12-2012, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jusjim View Post
Zenobi (OTB) had obviously been an abused cat when I adopted her, age 10, from a shelter. She was always terrified after using her litterbox. You can't know what's gone on in a cat's previous life, nor can the shelter. I've posted about it before, but it took about three months before she realised I wasn't going to beat her.
I totally get that, but the shelter will have some idea of their temperament while they're there. I feel like I can handle shy or skittish. I don't feel equipped to handle cat-aggressive or people-aggressive nor do I think the shelter would knowingly foster out a cat with those tendencies without the owner's knowledge My resident kitten is my first priority in terms of safety.

If by chance things go well, I'm also worried about how my resident kitten will react when the foster kitten has to leave. Is it cruel to him to let him meet a new buddy then separate them?
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 02:41 AM
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You will definately need to separate your foster from your cat for a minimum of two weeks. Assuming your kitten is fully vaccinated, and the foster has been tesed for fiv/felv the risk is low that they would possibly bring anything serious, but usually shelter cats have URI's(kitty colds) that they could possibly spread to your cat. Also- the shelter will probably have a policy in place regarding separation of fosters from your pets. There is also a possiblity of them bringing fleas, ringworm, or intestinal parasites.

Sounds like you would be a good candidate for a cat who is just scared and not doing well in a shelter environment. Unfortunately aggressive cats dont really get much of a chance in shelters, so you probably wont have to worry about that.

Also, are you willing to help look for potential adopters for your foster? You wouldmmost likely have to keep the cat until it gets adopted, and would be primarily responsible for helping to find a home.

And regards to how your cat will feel about parting with the foster..it depends completely on both cats personalities. I really think fostering is not a good idea if your goal is to have a companion for your cat, however, there are a million other good reasons to foster. I highly recommend it, I am very glad I have done it. I'll warn you though, it is addiciting and it is easy to keep too mamy of them


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