There are many different situations in which an adult cat will be placed in a foster home. Please keep in mind that there are many more reasons than I will share in this blog, so keep an open mind, and ask plenty of questions! Adult cats may be placed in a foster home due to: An injury they need support recovering from, an illness that they need help controlling, they are too stressed in the shelter environment, socialization, or they are a hospice foster needing a cozy place to call home at the end of their lives.
Common injuries that street cats may be recovering from are broken limbs or open wounds from humans or other animals. Most of the time, the rescue organization will intake the animal, provide the necessary veterinary care, choose foster care, and place them in a home. The foster home is there to provide support to the animals through love, food, and monitoring of the injury.
If a cat has a broken leg, it will most like be on some sort of activity constraints for the injury to heal. You, as the foster parent, will keep them calm, and in a confined space, for them to heal. You will provide proper nutrition and any necessary medication. Most likely, if the animal needs bandages replaced, check-ups, or more care, you will bring them to the clinic. You are most likely not required to provide any form of veterinary care. These cases could range from a week to a few months of care. Depending on the injury, they may be a great temporary addition to your home!
Cats can succumb to a multitude of illnesses, especially if they are living on the streets or older. They can have skin conditions, diabetes, upper respiratory infection, etc. It is also common for older cats to have dental issues. This could range from healing tooth extractions to dental disease. Depending on the condition, the cat will most likely need medication, soft food, and basic health monitoring for any signs they are not recovering well.
Cats in these situations may not be feeling well and therefore not up for meeting someone new. They could be shy and distant at first, but once they realize you are there to help and nurture them, they usually open up to your love pretty quickly. Keep in mind that ANY animal you are fostering requires a two-week quarantine period from any others in the home, but this rule is especially important for animals that are already sick. You wouldn’t want your foster animal to give any illness to your resident animal or vice versa!
Another reason where an adult cat would be placed in a foster home is stress. Sometimes when animals are too stressed, they stop eating and drinking water and lose hair weight, which can lead to worse or even fatal complications. Some animals need a little bit of TLC in a comfortable and loving home in order to be ready for adoption. Most of the time, these animals will be slightly shy to begin, but really, they just want a lot of love and relaxation! These are great foster animals if you are looking for a short-term companion or would like to show a stressed-out animal some love!
Cats can be socialized for a short stint of time, but there are instances where socialization is absolutely necessary for the survival of the animal. From birth to about three months old is the ideal time to socialize a cat. They are still young enough to be taught that humans are not always big, bad, and scary. Some rescues may choose to try and socialize older cats for the sake of their health and safety, but there are larger risks involved.
If a cat has been taken into foster care but cannot be properly socialized, it cannot be released back outdoors. They will now need to be adopted out into a barn cat type of program. These programs ensure that the animal has someone to feed them and check on their wellness, even though the cat may never want to spend time with them or be in a home. For someone who likes a challenge, socialization cats are a great opportunity to bring a cat from hissy to kissy!
Hospice cats can be struggling with many issues such as older age of renal failure. Hospice fosters are not for the faint of heart. When taking in a foster cat, you are aware that their time here on earth is limited and they need a comfy and loving home to spend the rest of their days. I call hospice fosters our rescue angels because they are taking on the grief and loss of an animal, just to provide them comfort at the end of life. If you are feeling like one of these amazing people, this is a great way to show animal love in the time they have left. I have not had a hospice foster in my home yet as I am not emotionally prepared for that yet but I hope that one day I am!
As you now know, there are plenty of reasons an adult cat may need a foster home to take them in and care for them. Some situations are easier than others but for the most part, they are not very time-consuming. They just need love, food, a cozy home, and sometimes medical care! If you are interested in fostering felines but are not ready for the time commitment (and mess!) of a kitten, there are plenty of adult cats available for foster care. If you are interested in foster kittens, my previous four blogs are a great place to start. My next blog will be on fostering a ringworm cat – subscribe to learn more!