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Foster cats: what are they, and how can you offer one a home?

Did you know that there are plenty of cats up for adoption who are in need of temporary homes? When cat rescue charities and public shelters are overcrowded or can’t offer the animals all the care and comfort they need (as is often the case in the colder months), cats can be temporarily rehomed. Read on if you think you might be interested in becoming a feline foster parent, and find out how you can help!

The cat fostering system is managed by local charities and rescue centres looking for temporary homes for the animals in their care. Shelters often look for provisional homes for the smallest and most sickly cats, as they need the most attention. They also look for foster homes at times when they’re at full capacity, or can’t protect cats against extreme cold.

Though conditions vary, shelters usually cover the cost of looking after an animal, and on most occasions they’ll foot the bill for all veterinary expenses. Some organisations also pay for food and transport so that fostering a cat doesn’t cost the carer any extra expense.

You don’t need to be looking after other animals to become a cat foster parent. In fact, if you already have other pets living in your home, we recommend checking with the shelter beforehand to make sure it’s okay.

For many cat lovers who aren’t sure whether to adopt, fostering is a good way to try it out and decide whether they’re in a position to have a pet permanently. You can usually decide how long to care for the cat, but shelters generally look for homes that can offer some stability. This means they’ll probably expect you to look after the cat for at least a few months.

If you’re thinking about fostering a cat, get in touch with your local council or shelter to find out everything you need to know about the procedure!

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