Adventures in Fostering Cats

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By Roslyn McKenna, PetSafe Web Content Specialist

You meet so many different pet personalities when you foster cats. And if you happen to foster kittens, you get to contribute to what kind of cat they will become. I’ve given you a few reasons why you should consider fostering, but the best reason to become a foster pet parent is all the great animals you’ll meet along the way. You get to be part of their stories and make memories with them, whether they’re in your life for a few days or a few years. Here are a few of my foster cat stories. Imagine the stories you could tell if you opened your home to foster pets too!

Eddie the Baby

(Photo courtesy of Catster. They have a great article about bottle feeding kittens! http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/cat-kitten-health-care-bottle-feeding-orphan-ask-einstein)

(Photo courtesy of Catster. They have a great article about bottle feeding kittens! http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/cat-kitten-health-care-bottle-feeding-orphan-ask-einstein)

You never connect with a cat more than when you bottle feed him. Eddie was like a tiny orange tiger, with a fierce personality and a strong meow. He was too young for kitten food, so my family and I took turns bottle feeding him kitten formula. There’s nothing cuter than a kitten with a milk mustache!

You don’t always know where your fosters go after they’re adopted, but Eddie was adopted by my parents’ neighbor. I went to cat sit for her a few years later. I don’t think Eddie remembered me; he hid under the couch as soon as he saw me. He’s not a fan of strangers, but he’s fiercely attached to his adoptive mother. Even though he doesn’t remember me, I helped raise him to be a loyal, loving cat.

chili and clover toys2Chili Pepper & Clover the Siblings

There’s nothing more fun or rewarding than fostering kittens. My parents fostered 2 kittens during Thanksgiving one year. Instead of spending the whole week shopping or surfing the internet, the whole family was gathered in the kitten room to spend time together playing with Chili Pepper and Clover. It’s funny how entertaining it is to wave a feather wand across the floor and watch kittens chase after it for hours.

chili and clover su2The kittens helped us bond as a family, and they also helped a “scaredy cat” become comfortable around animals. My sister brought her friend over to spend Thanksgiving with our family. She hadn’t been around pets much, so she was afraid of my parents’ dogs and cats. When Phoebe the large dog walked in a room, she would seem to teleport to the other side of the room.

But you can’t live with 2 dogs and a bunch of cats for a few days without getting a little used to them. By the end of the week, she had overcome her fear and was hesitantly petting the dogs and letting the cats come up to her. That just goes to show you how pets (including foster pets) can help us grow and change!

Benjamin the Shy Guy

benjamin grey fosterSome foster cats need extra care and attention. Benjamin was a grey adult tabby who wanted nothing more than to be by himself. He hid behind the couch in our foster room, afraid to let anyone near him.

The best way to get a shy cat out of his shell is to desensitize him to human contact. I read a book in his room for 30 minutes every day. I started by sitting at the door and gradually sat closer to him every day. Eventually he let me sit right next to him. I would coax him out so I could pet him, then put him on my lap when he got even more comfortable. It felt great to help him change from a corner cat to a lap cat in a few weeks.

Do you have a foster cat or dog story? Tell us in the comments!

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