The summer months bring a feeling of desperation to animal charities. Nearly all phone calls from the public are to report heavily pregnant stray cats, abandoned or unwanted litters of kittens dumped in the hope of someone finding them, some as young as a few days old found in boxes, left to die. And then there are the mum cats with young kittens found in sheds, garages and gardens.
Also, says Sheridan Gaunt of Peterborough Cats Protection, adult stray cats that have been left behind when people move out, nearly all unneutered, desperate for our help.
The only way we can help is to appeal for more volunteer fosterers to help us get through these busy months. Whether it be to help kittens or an adult cat, the role is ideal for those that have a love of animals, but maybe can’t commit to owning a cat or kitten long term. It can be an ideal solution for seniors who can enjoy the company of a pet without the worry of what happens if I’m no longer independent. If you already are a cat or dog owner, you can still become a volunteer fosterer, but a few extra rules will apply.
Fostering is such a rewarding role and can be a lot of fun, not only will you be helping them on their journey in life, you will receive a whole lot of love too! To give you an insight into the role, I have listed our five most frequently asked questions below:
What does the role involve?
Fosterers are responsible for the day to day care of the cat or kittens that come into our branch and help socialise them in readiness for when they go to their forever homes. Fosterers provide temporary accommodation (in a spare room in their home where they have a cat of their own). The role requires day to day cleaning of their equipment, feeding and grooming. We often don’t know the journey they have been on before coming into our care so spending time with them, having patience and fussing them is vital to their successful rehabilitation. Kittens can be quite messy, imagine a toddler’s play room... so, a love of cleaning and keeping the area tidy is essential!
Fosterers must be confident, caring and have a practical personality and enjoy interacting with people, attend veterinary appointments and be happy to follow and adhere to our veterinary cat care standards and charity policies.
How long will my foster cat stay with me?
The duration of a litter of kittens stay is a few weeks at a time as we rehome them from 9 weeks of age. Adult cats may stay longer, especially for those requiring more attention than others, depending on their age, temperament or health.
Can I still foster even if I have my own pets?
People that own their own cat or cats are still able to foster providing they have a separate room in their home, so the cats do not mix. We will only ever ask you to take in one foster cat or one cat family at a time. This is to prevent any virus or disease spreading and to reduce stress.
What help is provided?
We will provide everything you need to become a fosterer, food, litter, pay for all the vets bills and offer full training, support and advice so you feel confident and happy in your role.
How can I find out more?
If you are interested in finding out more about the role, we would love to hear from you!
You can contact us on 0345 371 2750 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org