Fostering a cat

Fostering a cat or kitten can be one of the most rewarding experiences of a lifetime. Don’t get us wrong, it can be sad at times, stressful at times, and tiring often, but boy is it rewarding!

For those that love cats, have a passion for learning about their welfare, behaviour and care, fostering can open up a new world.

Our short term fostering programme means that we can take more needy cats and kittens off of the streets. And instead of having them in a shelter environment, they can go into a comfortable home environment, where they can socialise and will receive the care they need to thrive and become well-rounded cats. We will provide you with the food, litter, toys and vet support…. you will provide the time, love and care!

Having fosterers on hand to temporarily house cats/kittens means that we can help so many more…. and trust us, the cats need our help! (that means you too!) This is especially important for kittens that may have been born outside and may well have spent the rest of their lives there. Some, sadly, even die on the streets. We are on a mission to stop this!

What does the term short term foster mean?

Short term foster means that a kitten/litter of kittens/mum and kittens/timid cats that need socialising would come and live with you in your home temporarily, until they are ready to be rehomed. You will be responsible for giving them the care they need to help them become healthy cats, ready to be adopted. Normally, kittens will stay with you until they have had their course of vaccinations (at 9 and 12 weeks of age) and neutering/microchipping
(normally around 12 weeks of age too). They can then be adopted, which is both the good and sad side of being a fosterer.

What do I need to become a foster carer?

There are a few things that we insist on for you to join our fostering team.

Number 1, you must LOVE cats of all ages, shapes, sizes, behaviours, fur lengths and poo consistencies! Cat mad, with some common sense!

You must own your own home, or have expressed written permission from your landlord to house foster cats in your home (we will need to see proof of this).

You will also need a spare room that is safe, clean and tidy so that the foster cats have their own space while with you.

You must be over 18 years of age, sorry kids!

You must be able to drive and be able to take cats to vet appointments when needed and be prepared and able to get cats to the vets if an emergency situation arises.

Which vets do you use?

We use Highfield Vets on London Road, Sheffield. We have used Highfields for many years now and they are fantastic. The vets, nurses, support staff and reception staff are so helpful, warm, inviting and knowledgeable and we couldn’t do what we do without their help and support.

For out of hours care, we use Park Vets on Abbeydale Road (across from Millhouses Park car park). This vet practice is to be used in emergencies when Highfields are closed.

What about when I want to go on holiday?

That’s no problem! We all need a holiday from time to time, so when you book one just give us some notice so that we can ensure cats come back from foster before you go away, or we can pencil you in the diary as not able to foster on those dates. Then when you’re back and ready to foster again, just let us know!

What if I have other pets?

That’s not necessarily an issue. If you have other cats, we ask that they are vaccinated (up to date, within the last 12 months, proof of this required) and neutered, and that the foster cats are kept separately while with you.

If you have a dog or dogs, the same applies.

If you have smaller pets, such as furries or lizards or bugs, we ask that you keep them separate, safe and out of reach of the foster cats. The shelter can not be held responsible for any “missing” hamsters!

I don’t have much experience, but I have a passion for cat welfare, can I still apply?

YES! Even if you don’t have much hands-on experience, please get in touch. If you are willing to learn, we are willing to support you on this journey, and  utimately help more cats! We will support you every step of the way and will try to match the foster cats to your experience level.

If you have read the above and would like to apply to be a fosterer, then please fill in our application form, and we will be in touch if we believe you would be suitable as one of our fostering heroes.