Fostering kittens UK
|Muffin a foster kitten|
I've always had cats but after my two cats died in 2005 I couldn't bring myself to get more. That was when I discovered Cat Protection UK AND that I could foster cats and kittens on a temporary basis. Here is how you can too.
Cat Protection is a charity dedicated to caring for cats and kittens. They take in cats and kittens for re-homing and have a policy of neutering and micro-chipping as many cats as possible.
Some of the cats come into their care when members of the public contact them about cats seemingly abandoned or ill-treated. They also get calls from owners who, for one reason or another, can no longer care for their pet - quite often when the cat becomes pregnant or has kittens.
In the present worrying financial climate, many similar charities are closing down. There is also an increasing number of people unable to keep up with the costs of pets especially vet bills. This means Cat Protection is facing a crisis in many areas of the UK with more cats needing their help than ever before. They depend largely on donations and fund raising and on volunteer help.
Fostering cats is one aspect of volunteering that can be very satisfying. You can either foster adult cats waiting for re-homing or kittens. These are often older cats or cats with problems so you should be sure you can cope with this. The other type of fostering is in socialising kittens. This is probably the most fun and most satisfying.
All the photographs here are taken by me and copyright to me.
Fostering Pregnant Cats
|Queenie with new born kittens|
With increasing pressure of spaces available in Cat Protection centres, you can also choose to foster pregnant cats until the after the kittens are born. You keep all the cats until the kittens are weaned at about 6 weeks old. During that time it is a good idea to socialise the kittens. That means getting them used to being handled and to being in company of other cats and of humans. You will have little trouble with that since everyone you know will want to play and cuddle them.
When it comes time to re-home them it isn't as hard to let them go as you might think because you know there will always be more kittens coming your way.
In the picture here, is Queenie with her kittens that I fostered. I actually adopted the two kittens and you can read their stories - Bailey - Bracken
What you need to foster cats and kittens
|kittens play area|
To foster cats with Cat Protection you first 'pass' an interview process. This is not as intensive as it sounds. A housing co-ordinator will visit and ensure you have the room and commitment to go through with it. This doesn't mean you need a huge house to foster cats. You do need to have a space that can be closed off, especially for kittens and if you have cats of your own. My bathroom had a short hall off it that I could cage off with a child-safety gate for times when I needed to leave them unattended. Kittens especially can get into mischief when unsupervised so if you don't have an area like this, you can use a play pen, even a huge cardboard box with high sides for kittens.
Cat Protection provide all the equipment you need including food, and they pay all vet's bills. Anyone who adopts a cat from them agrees to have them neutered when they are old enough, and Cat Protection will pay for this.
PHOTO GALLERY FOSTER KITTENS
|black and white kitten|
|black and white kitten|
|a bundle of kittens|
|Muffin on fridge magnet from my zazzle store|