Foster a Cat
Thinking about fostering for the Boote Home for Cats? Please download and read our introduction to fostering guide.
The pros and cons of fostering
The biggest ask of our fosterers is that they stay with us, and let us home the cat that they no doubt have begun to love. Fostering is so rewarding but can be so so hard when its time to say goodbye. Hearts will be broken and many a tear shed. But then, a few weeks later, the next needy cat is ready for their next step and by remaining as a fosterer, you are giving another little soul such a huge chance. You will welcome them into your home and the journey begins again. And what a journey that can be. Some cats may stay with you days and others months. You will learn exactly how different cats are, what works with one but doesn’t work with another. Every single cat that you care for will give you a little more knowledge and understanding, and you will become so tuned in with a cat’s body language, it’s easier and easier to understand how best you can help them.
The key role of a fosterer in a rescued cat’s life
The aim of fostering as we see it, is to bridge the gap from life in a cattery to life in a forever home. Cats can behave so differently in the home environment. A timid cat can grow so quickly in a home environment, their confidence coming on in leaps and bounds; their adjustment to home life made so much easier because of your understanding and patience. Kittens that spend their first weeks lovingly cared for in the cattery will never know the sounds of the household. Their first exposure to the noise of a kettle, or vacuum cleaner can send them into a spiral of panic and stress. Some cats may never have experienced the feel of carpet underfoot, and I have seen cats skulking across a rug as if it were made of needles. Cats can become utterly overwhelmed when exposed to all these new things and an unsure new cat owner may feel out of their depth.
Fosterers are patient and caring and will learn so so much about their little cat. Any strange quirks a cat might have, any triggers to aggression, or food issues – you will face first. You will face them and overcome them, learning how best to help the cat cope. Of course many many cats don’t have aggressive tendencies once they are settled, but it is very good information to be able to pass on to a new owner – once again ensuring that they are armed with knowledge that will enable them to help their cat navigate the first few weeks of their new surroundings.
We don’t have many cats returned to us as our homing team match the cats to their new owners so brilliantly. It also helps our homing team understand what type of home our cats need when they have been in foster.
What can you expect from becoming a fosterer?
As a fosterer with Boote, you can expect to have the support of a full team of people. There is no question too silly or worry too small that we won’t find an answer to. Your journey with your foster is our journey with you. The likelihood is that one of our fosterers will have been through what you have and will be able to offer help and advice. All you need to do is to commit time and patience to your cat.
Ideally you will have a car and be able to transport them to the vets for their vaccinations and neutering appointments. A spare room is a huge help too – some timid cats you wouldn’t see for weeks if they had the run of your house. A small room where a cat can safely watch you from a distance is so helpful to developing the level of trust the cat needs to approach.
Taking loads of photos is a must! Not only do the fostering team love to see photos and videos of your cats, it really helps in homing them if a potential new owner can see the cat all relaxed.
If you have thoroughly read our info and you have decided to become a fosterer, please download this form and send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also send it by post to our Fostering Team:
Boote Home for Cats
2 Elm Vale, Fairfield, Liverpool, L6 8NX