Becoming a Foster Home
After reviewing the information on this page please fill out our foster home application using the quick webform. It will be submitted directly to us.
We are in greatest need of loving foster homes, please read through the information below and contact us if you would be interested in helping us help the cats.
What is fostering?
Foster parents are volunteers who take cats into their homes and care for them, love them and socialize them until they are adopted. More lives are saved with foster homes!
The cats will be vaccinated when old enough, dewormed, spayed/neutered when old enough and other routine medical care. Happy Cat will handle all of the adoption and screening procedures. The cats will be listed on our website. Some (especially kittens) will be adopted quickly and others may need to be in foster for several months.
Which cats need fostering?
- Kittens who are too young to be adopted
- Moms with nursing kittens
- Kittens who are old enough to be adopted but need a foster home until adopted
- Cats that need socialization because they are very shy, have never been around people or have been abused or neglected
- Older cats who do not do well in multi cat foster homes
- Cats with special medical needs
- Adoptable adult cats
- Feral cats or kittens that show potential to be adoptable
- Cats with behavioral problems
While some volunteers end up adopting their foster pets, please note that the foster program is not for people who want to "Try out" an animal prior to adopting them.
- Q: What would I be expected to do as a foster parent?
- A: Provide a clean, nurturing, safe, indoor home for the cat until they are adopted.
You must have a reliable car and be willing to bring the animal to Vet when vaccines are needed and other medical treatments are needed, give medication as needed, on occasion bring the kitty to mobile adoption sites and pick them up if not adopted, allow pre-screened potential adopters to set up an appointment with you to show your foster kitty at your home or if you feel more comfortable we'll set up a time to meet at another location.
- Q: Would I be responsible for my foster cat's vet expenses?
- A: NO. Happy Cat will handle all medical care, medications and expenses through approval from Happy Cat only. Happy Cat will provide food, litter, and loan food/water bowls, litter box, linen and a cage if needed. If the foster parent can buy food and supplies themselves to further help out Happy Cat, we will provide you with a tax deductible receipt with your purchase receipts.
Questions to ask yourself before fostering a cat.
- Do you have a room in your house or a separate building away from your own pets?
- Can you handle the emotional part of fostering?
- Do you have the time needed to care for your foster cat?
- Can you handle saying good-bye to them when they get adopted?
- Are you patient enough to handle a shy cat who may hide?
- Are you patient with the amount of time it takes in introducing a foster to your own pets? Knowing it takes a while for the adjustment. Your foster cat should be kept in a separate room for a few days, is this possible for you?
- Kittens can be quite fragile and you could lose one to illness without much or any warning. Are you prepared for the possibility of fostering a cat or kitten that may not make it?
- Is my house and family "cat safe"?
- Am I patient and willing to clean up after cats and kittens?
- Do I understand that I am taking in a rescue cat or kitten who may harbour disease, viruses or worms and any of these things could potentially infect my own pets.
We need loving, ethical, and devoted families to help us foster cats. We want families who will care for them and love them like they would their own pets.
Fostering Requirements and Information:
- Your own cats must be vaccinated for FVRCP. Leukemia vaccine is strongly recommended for the safety or your cat and your foster cat.
- If any medical concerns or an emergency occurs, you must contact Happy Cat directly and they will set up an appointment at one of our vet clinics. If you take them to another clinic, we must be notified prior to the appointment.
- All cats must be kept indoors only! They are never allowed outdoors. If you have small children, you must make sure they close the door behind them.
- If your foster cat is not working out, call Happy Cat and we'll arrange to take them back.
- If you decide you want to keep your foster cat, you will have to go through the normal adoption procedure.
- If someone is interested in adopting your foster cat, they must go through Happy Cat Sanctuary. We will screen them and take care of the paper work process. If you don't feel comfortable with the family interested in adopting, please let us know. We respect your concerns and only want the right families to adopt.
- Cats can harbor upper respiratory viruses and stress can bring them out. Cats are exposed to so many viruses. Happy Cat quarantines incoming cats for 14 days to watch for any illnesses. Your foster animal may or may not have been with us long enough for this 14 day period. You will be responsible for watching for any signs of illness or changes in eating, drinking, urination, stools, sneezing, runny eyes, nasal discharge, or behavior.
- You will need to spend quality time with your foster animal to socialize them and get to know their personality. This will help place them in the right homes.
- No cat is perfect! Don't expect them to be. You will need to give them time to adjust.
- The foster cat belongs to the Happy Cat Sanctuary:
- You are not allowed to give your foster cat away.
- If the cat gets out by accident, you must contact us immediately!
- If we feel the cat is not happy in your home or is not being well taken care of, Happy Cat has the right to take them and put them in to a new foster home.
- We will reqduire a home inspection for all new potential foster homes. This allows us to make sure the house is "cat safe" for your foster cat.
Why Becoming a Foster Home is So Important
Fostering literally provides a second chance at life for homeless cats and dogs. Since most rescue groups, like the Happy Cat Sanctuary, do not have the means or facilities to provide a traditional shelter for homeless animals, they utilize homes, just like yours, to house animals in transition. To provide a foster home is to help Happy Cat Sanctuary save a life. People, just like you, provide companion animal foster homes. They open their hearts and home to care for one or more cats and/or dogs. Some homes take only one dog or one cat, others take in many. Regardless of the number, each of these homes working together with our rescue group helps save a life that would not have been saved, giving those animals a chance for a forever home. The foster parents provide security, love and a place for these dogs and cats to call home until a permanent adoptive owner or family can be found.
Many people are hesitant to foster. They are afraid they will want to adopt every homeless pet that comes through their door. The truth is that foster animals will usually bond with you and your family--sometimes immediately, but almost always with time. Many times the foster animal will need that little extra love, food, or medical care. It's only natural when you give love and care to one of these left behind or abused animals that you grow attached. However, letting go becomes so much easier when you see the screening process of adoptive homes, combined with the follow-up home visits and phone calls and the special care that we give to finding a loving family that really wants to take your little foster into their home and make them a part of their family. Happy Cat Sanctuary will allow and even encourage you to be a part of the process in placing the animal. And when you see how much love these animals give to and receive from their new families, you will be proud and grateful to have been part of saving that life.
There are many reasons and rewards associated with being a foster parent; the following are only a few:
- You will give a dog or cat a second chance at life and love.
- You will provide a good home, instead of a cage or crate, until a permanent home can be found.
- You can give a feral cat a chance at real life inside, to experience love and care--the pampered life of a domestic cat instead of an uncertain, hard future on the street fighting to survive.
- You will experience that warm, fuzzy feeling of seeing an abused or abandoned cat or dog learn to trust people, to give and receive love.
- You will be part of the solution to the rising animal euthanasia (kill) statistics in our nation, and most especially in this community and many of its shelters.
- You will know that you have saved a life and made a difference!