This blog series will help you decide which types of animals in need of foster care are the best fit for your lifestyle and home. I will review time restrictions, supplies needed, and other general expectations. I will touch on dogs, cats, and other small animals. The first blog of this series: fostering a pregnant cat or a mom cat with her kittens. Pregnant cats, especially during this time of year, are widely found in need of supportive care.
Pregnant cats, or a mom cat and her kittens, are commonly a somewhat simple first foster for beginners. They can also be a great way to learn the proper care of a kitten. Most of the time, the mom takes care of her kittens, and you are there to provide a clean and safe environment, nutrition, and be there for help if the mom needs support. The mother cat feeds her kittens, bathes them, stimulates them to go to the bathroom, and more.
Fostering a momma cat requires minimal time commitment in comparison to other foster cases. With a mom, you should be checking in on the kittens once a day for weight, feeding mom regularly (I do 3x per day), as well as keeping her space clean and warm. I clean the space every 3-4 days until the kittens are about 4 weeks old, then I clean every other day. Kittens learning how to use a litter box can be very messy! This means that you would comfortably be able to have a full-time job or be in school while caring for this group.
An enclosed space is best for mom and her kittens, but depending on if the mom is feral or socialized, changes how quiet her environment needs to be. Feral cats are usually afraid of humans and do not want help, so a bedroom or bathroom with a door is a good option. With a friendlier cat, you may be able to keep them in a crate or playpen, if you do not have any other animals or young children in the home. Keep in mind, the less stressed the mother is, the better she will take care of her kittens, and less supportive care is needed from you! You will want to provide linens for comfort and easy clean-up, a litter box, and food and water.
In conclusion, pregnant cats or a mom with her kittens, are fairly easy foster cases to take on. They are low maintenance and a minimal time commitment – you just need to provide the home, check-ins, and food and water! Keep in mind that each situation is different, and I have not reviewed any medical difficulties that you may face. Please talk with your foster coordinator before taking on any foster care to ensure that it is the right fit for your home. Subscribe for information on more types of foster animals!