peoples experience fostering kittens?

BBirdcat

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dealing w the loss of my 11 month old semi feral baby and thought fostering might be a good way to be more at peace.

feel guilt about semi feral cat being eaten, need feedback.

never done it before but wanted to know a few things:

1) how difficult is it exactly?
2) is it possible to only get 1 (or 2 max) kittens?

3) If I like the kittens a LOT, are most fostering places lenient about the possibility of adopting and keeping the kittens?

thank you
 

lauraloulouie

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My husband and I both lost our longtime cats within the span of a year and a few months ago we decided to foster a mom with kittens in an effort just to help the house feel less empty. We both joke now about how our cats must have sent these guys to us because they have helped so much with the healing. It's been the best experience and while I still feel grief over our lost kitties, it's hard not to smile at four rambunctious kittens running around.

Is the reason you only want 1-2 kittens because of the potential work involved? I think it's actually much easier to foster a mom with babies rather than just kittens—tiny kittens need feeding round the clock and you have to stimulate them to potty, and they can be quite fragile. Mom took care of everything for the first few weeks and now the kittens are big and healthy and super well-adjusted socially, it's been quite easy and fun. But I know some people love bottle babies. I would connect with a foster group in your area and talk with them.

As far as adopting goes, I think it probably varies depending on which org you're fostering for, but I think most are happy to have "foster fails." We are keeping the mama and two kittens from our litter :)
 

StefanZ

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You can of course keep these fosters. "Foster failures" are common.
The only is, you must be prepared to pay the usual adoption fee. Some shelters may give you a discount. But some will demand the normal adoption fee.
 

cataholic07

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I've fostered many kittens and believe me, you want two. One is way too much work lol. It's hard letting them go but so worth it to see them so happy in a new home. I myself foster failed 3 and so happy that I did. We ended up foster winning 2 from the first litter of kittens after we had to euthanize our first cat due to cancer. But I mean it was hard not to fall in love with them, especially Jethro cause he is such a suck. I didn't think I was ready but the first day we brought them home, well this little cutie put his paws on my hand and around my heart. He wasnt ever leaving, and Fynn stayed because my dad fell in love with him. Ceriah was the first fluffy torbie in care and we had to foster her. My first cat was a fluffy torbie so it just had to happen. And of course she had to be the most affectionate torbie ever so she stayed to lol. Fostering is very rewarding, heart breaking at times but worth it <3

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lucicat

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I have been fostering for the past four months. I love it, although it is a LOT of work and a lot of that work is smelly and not fun. But it is rewarding. :)

Every rescue/shelter has different policies. . .try to work with one that offers training and support for it's fosters! They let you decide what/whom to take. . .so you could take only adults or only older kittens or only singles or doubles. Start with easy ones, I wouldn't suggest starting with sick kittens or anything complicated.
You need a dedicated space that is easy to clean. Think kittens stepping in poo and tracking it around the room!
Yes, you can adopt your fosters and you will have first "dibs" but you will still need to go through the paperwork and pay the fees like any adopter.
 

lucicat

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Also, know up front how much the rescue will provide for you. . .kittens can blaze through food and litter and other supplies. Most shelters will provide those things, but best to be really clear ahead of time!
 
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BBirdcat

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I have been fostering for the past four months. I love it, although it is a LOT of work and a lot of that work is smelly and not fun. But it is rewarding. :)

Every rescue/shelter has different policies. . .try to work with one that offers training and support for it's fosters! They let you decide what/whom to take. . .so you could take only adults or only older kittens or only singles or doubles. Start with easy ones, I wouldn't suggest starting with sick kittens or anything complicated.
You need a dedicated space that is easy to clean. Think kittens stepping in poo and tracking it around the room!
Yes, you can adopt your fosters and you will have first "dibs" but you will still need to go through the paperwork and pay the fees like any adopter.
I would think it'd be super traumatic for the kittens and the owner after you foster them and they go to a different owner. Is that accurate? If I grew up as a kitten w a certain owner and then got switched to a different person and location I would think they'd be sad.
 

lucicat

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I would think it'd be super traumatic for the kittens and the owner after you foster them and they go to a different owner. Is that accurate? If I grew up as a kitten w a certain owner and then got switched to a different person and location I would think they'd be sad.
No, I don't see it that way at all!!! I mean, of course I bond with them and they with me. And I am sure there is some stress involved for the kittens to switch homes and it is sad for me. But I cannot adopt them all! And if you look at the real facts of it, without fosters most shelters would simply not be able to take or would have to euthanize small kittens. I am doing something really valuable. . .I am giving them a soft place to land until they are adoptable. Shelters cannot adopt out sick kittens or kittens under the age and weight limit for surgery. But they also so not have the staffing to keep all these young needy kittens at the shelter.

I am giving them food, shelter, and love while they get to the point of being adoptable. That is a wonderful thing! And if all fosters just fostered to adopt (which isn't bad of course!) there would never be enough fosters! There are literally hundreds to thousands of kittens every summer in every town. . .this is why spay and neutering your pet is so important. This is why fostering is so important.

Cats and especially kittens will easily bond with a new owner. The goodbyes are very hard on me. . .but then I get to save more!!
 

Willowy

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I would think it'd be super traumatic for the kittens and the owner after you foster them and they go to a different owner. Is that accurate? If I grew up as a kitten w a certain owner and then got switched to a different person and location I would think they'd be sad.
They may be sad at first. But it's really no different than, say, your cat having a litter and then you find the kittens new homes when they're old enough. Kittens usually don't stay in foster homes very long, just long enough to be old enough/healthy enough to adopt out, and they usually get adopted quickly, as soon as they're eligible. And kittens are adaptable.

I do think fostering adult cats for many months before they get adopted is hard on them, but it's still better than staying in a cage at the shelter. It may not be ideal but it's the best in a bad situation.
 

fionasmom

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I have foster failed almost every single dog or cat I have ever taken, so while it sounds funny, you have to know your emotional limit for letting them go. When I found 4 week old Jamie 3 years ago, my husband told me to not even pretend that we were fostering and just to keep him like we did all the others over the years. The only ones I ever rehomed were the ones who absolutely had to go to a new place, like the adult Akita who was not at all receptive to my other dogs.

It is definitely easier not to have one tiny kitten on its own but if you are up to what it takes to do that, it is your decision. Good point to ask the rescue how far out and in deep you are with financial responsibility. Many will assume that in exchange for a place to foster their animals.
 
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BBirdcat

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I have foster failed almost every single dog or cat I have ever taken, so while it sounds funny, you have to know your emotional limit for letting them go. When I found 4 week old Jamie 3 years ago, my husband told me to not even pretend that we were fostering and just to keep him like we did all the others over the years. The only ones I ever rehomed were the ones who absolutely had to go to a new place, like the adult Akita who was not at all receptive to my other dogs.

It is definitely easier not to have one tiny kitten on its own but if you are up to what it takes to do that, it is your decision. Good point to ask the rescue how far out and in deep you are with financial responsibility. Many will assume that in exchange for a place to foster their animals.
Why are two kittens easier than one? A play buddy? Or do people mean one mama cat, and 2 baby kittens?
 

cataholic07

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Most of my foster kittens (I have fostered 15 and with temp fosters its been over 30 fosters) and generally they do fine. In fact most within a day completely normal and happy. Hell the kittens I raised since birth and had for 3 and half months, when I saw them again with another foster, they didnt care nor recognized me lol. So really they do just fine, the more shy ones can take a bit longer to adjust but its the shy ones who need fosters the most, as otherwise they have a hard time finding a home. People only want cuddly ones, not hissing hiss pots. Sadly semi feral kittens would otherwise get euthanized as a shelter wouldn't keep them alive unless they had a foster for them.

With the rescue I am with we never adopt out kittens to be only cats. Older kitten (5+ months) maybe but no kittens. Kittens need other kitties for socialization as well burning off their energy level. Single kitten syndrome is a real thing lol. Its why a cat who was adopted as an only kitten at 6-8 weeks old tends can have a higher chance of having issues with biting and scratching. They also can be harder to get a second kitty with, especially the longer you have them.They arent properly socialized so yah have more issues with other cats. Two kittens is always better then one.
 

lucicat

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Why are two kittens easier than one? A play buddy? Or do people mean one mama cat, and 2 baby kittens?
I think kittens do way better in pairs both in foster and in permanent homes!! They have so much play energy and with fosters you usually need to keep them in a separate room and having just one it can be lonely for them.
 
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BBirdcat

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I think kittens do way better in pairs both in foster and in permanent homes!! They have so much play energy and with fosters you usually need to keep them in a separate room and having just one it can be lonely for them.
Is it required I take the mother with me if I get 2 kittens? Or it's better if they've been w the mother for a bit then I take 2 kittens home to foster? I would think they'd feel trauma being taken away from their mother :(
 

Willowy

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If the mother is available and the kittens are under 8 weeks, they would only place them with you if you took the mother too. They aren't going to separate them. But usually mother/kitten fosters stay in the same foster home from birth, or whenever the family enters rescue.

I think most kittens in rescue don't have their mother though. Orphaned, lost, dumped, etc.

Unfortunately most rescues do place kittens at 8 weeks, that's much too young IMO, but people want little cute kittens so they do what they have to do.
 
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sunny091

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I’ve fostered probably over a couple hundred cats at this point, and it’s extremely rewarding! I would talk to the animal controls/rescues in your area to see what they offer. The rescue that I volunteer with gives us vetting and meds for free, food and other supplies if we need it, and tons of support! I am lucky to be with such a great organization. However, it can be very difficult letting the cats and kittens go after they are adopted... but it’s so worth it in the end! The one thing I suggest is having a separate room for the kittens you are fostering. It makes cleaning up much easier, and you can easily find them! Believe me, you don’t want an eight week old kitten roaming your entire place— just think of all the places it can hide (under the couch, in back of the stove, etc). Also, if you are able to get a batch of kittens that are healthy it makes a huge difference. I have some kittens who are really sick right now and need meds, and it is always stressful making sure they are doing okay. Also make sure you know what you’re getting into if you take really young kittens without a mom- ie bottle babies, mush babies, etc.
 
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