4Paws Rescue Team Adopt 10 Reasons Why You Should Consider Fostering a Cat

10 Reasons Why You Should Consider Fostering a Cat

It is often difficult to say goodbye to foster cats and kittens, having cared for them from the beginning of their rescues. You will be comforted to know that the kitty’s new family has been carefully screened by a 4Paws representative to ensure that she will be well cared for and loved throughout her life. And you will know that you have done a generous and beautiful thing by providing a temporary home for your foster cat. Many 4Paws fosters will then save another homeless cat waiting to escape the cold and dangerous streets or a shelter’s death row. Here are 10 reasons why you should consider fostering a cat.

1) Helps Increase Adoptions: Every rescued kitty that moves into a foster home frees up space for one the rescue wouldn’t be able to take in otherwise. It’s that simple. More foster homes mean more cats saved. Some rescues don’t actually have physical locations. Some cats come into the shelter in great physical and mental shape and can go up for adoption right away. They may not need fostering. However, the support of foster families who take in other long-term cases means more resources are available to quickly transition the ready-to-adopt kitties. 

2) Keeps Adopted Cats in Their Own Homes: In some cases, foster homes provide a much-needed opportunity to see how a rescued cat will react in a home environment, before going up for adoption. It’s a chance to discover and work through any behavioral issues, provide training and socialization, as well as allow a kitty to decompress and readjust before adoption. This can be the difference between a successful adoption and a return to the rescue. 

3) Helps Rehabilitation: For those willing to take rehabilitation cases, fostering is wonderful for kitties going through medical recovery, resolving behavioral problems, or in need of socialization (learning how to interact with people and/or other animals, deal with stressful situations, and manage emotional and physical reactions to different stimuli). Having a calm space, and someone dedicated to helping the cat heal, makes for a smoother and speedier recovery.

4) Helps Cats in Need: We tend to think of rescued cats as strays living on the streets and maybe finding a bit of relief inside the rescue facility. While that’s true for many cases, it’s certainly not every case. Sometimes owners may give up a cat if they feel they are not able to care for them financially. Sometimes elderly pet owners may find they’re unable to keep up with the physical demands.

5) Provides Pre-Adoption Assessment and Adjustment: It’s a safe bet that a kitty in the rescue environment isn’t showing their true personality. Shelter staff may conduct behavior assessments and get to know a cat as best they can. But it’s not always a 100% reliable evaluation with all the stress and stimuli of a rescue environment.

If the same kitty is moved into a foster home, it’s a totally different story. As a foster parent, you have the opportunity to see what kind of lifestyle the cat will thrive in, their likes and dislikes, whether they have any training or behavioral issues, fears, or special needs to be addressed. This insight is invaluable when the rescue organization is trying to place the cat with the perfect forever family. The rescue counts on these insights to find the best possible adoption match for the kitty. 

You’re also giving the cat a chance to settle back into themselves, shake off past negative experiences, let down their guard, and become a family member again before they step into their forever home. The last thing anyone wants is for an adoption to turn negative and a pet to be returned. But it happens. Allowing the kitty to flourish in a foster home sets everyone up for a more successful adoption and happy-ever-after.

6) Good for Your Physical Health: Those of you who have cats at home know there are physical benefits to having them around. Though it may feel like they raise your blood pressure when they’re particularly frisky, studies show that having kitties in the home can:

  • Decrease blood pressure, triglyceride levels, and cholesterol
  • Several studies show heart attack patients with a pet at home survive longer than those without a pet
  • Increase physical activity overall
  • Lessen anxiety
  • Lessen the risk of developing allergies and asthma in children
  • Increase social engagement (or as WebMD put it, “Dogs are great for making love connections.”)
  • And that’s just the beginning!

7) Saves the Lives of Neonate and Pee Wee Kittens: Neonatal (zero to four weeks) and Pee-Wee (four to eight weeks) kittens are extremely vulnerable and often don’t survive without round-the-clock care. Some shelters and rescue organizations run fostering programs, in which they train and supply foster caregivers with what they need to keep kittens healthy enough to be spay/neutered and ultimately adopted.

8) Provides a Safe and Healthy Environment for Kittens to Grow: With weaker immune systems, kittens are more prone to getting sick in shelter settings where they are exposed to various animals. Kittens under eight weeks old that cannot survive on their own without continuous care are especially vulnerable.

9) Relieves their stress: Studies show that increases in socialization and play time are good for kittens’ mental and physical health, which also increases their chances for eventual adoption. Spending time with people, children and other domestic dynamics in a temporary home enables cats—especially kittens—to become comfortable with similar stimuli in a permanent home.

10) Helps prevent the births of more homeless cats: In addition to being safely indoors, fostered cats are spayed and neutered, which helps control cat populations and save more lives. This creates a positive situation for everyone!