Volunteering as a Fosterer

Interested in fostering and want to know more?

Do have a look at our Fosterer Volunteer page to find out more about this very rewarding and vitally important role within our fostering team.  

Understandably, you may have many more questions. We've listed below, some of the most commonly asked questions, but please do give us a call if you would like more information.  And if you would like to talk to any of our fosterers direct about their own experience of fostering, we would be delighted to put you in touch. 

Why do some cats require foster care? Common reasons include the following:

  • They are recovering from an operation or short term injury or illness
  • They have longer-term medical issues which require additional care before they find a home 
  • They are pregnant or have young kittens which are too young to go to a new home 
  • They are very shy or finding cattery life very stressful and need extra TLC and special care before rehoming 

What type of things will I be doing as a fosterer?

  • Feeding and grooming the cats and spending quality time with them including play, exercise and stroking
  • Cleaning the litter tray and and ensuring the cat’s environment and equipment are clean and safe
  • Administering medication (where necessary)
  • Introducing the cat to prospective adopters (only if appropriate. NB most cats will be returned to our Centre when they are ready to be rehomed)

I don’t have any experience – will that matter?  
All anyone really needs to become a fosterer is a safe home, some patience, a love of cats and time to care for them. Don’t worry, you won’t be going it alone.  You will get all the training you need, and you will always be supported, especially during the first few weeks. The fostering team will help set you up for fostering and the team is always on-hand to provide you with any support and advice you may require. And if you try it and decide it's not for you, that's fine too. We will never put pressure on you to take on anything you can't manage. 

Are there any restrictions to becoming a fosterer? 
You must be over 18 years of age, although other members of your household of any age are welcome to be involved in the process. You must also own your home or have permission from your landlord to keep a cat at the property. 

What specific training do I need to do?
You will need to be willing to undertake some initial on-line training before fostering. This will take about 2 –3 hours, but is very straightforward (and hopefully you’ll find it interesting and enjoyable) and can be done from the comfort of your own home in your own time. It doesn’t need to be done all at once, and don’t worry, you won’t be tested!

Do I need a large house and garden?
Foster cats will require one room which can be shut off from the rest of your home to give your foster cat a safe place to settle in, where it will be able to access all the essentials - food, water, a litter tray, toys and somewhere to rest; a quiet area where the cat won’t be regularly disturbed would be ideal.  All our foster cats must be kept indoors, so no garden is required.

I work the whole day away from home, will this be a problem?
Some cats are fine being left for long periods alone, however you will need to commit to spending some quality time with your cat each day to socialise them. Kittens however will need a lot more ‘interaction’ time during the day in order to prepare them for the outside world, and are therefore not suited to being left alone for long periods. We will always advise you on the most suitable fostering options for your lifestyle.

I have other pets.  Will that be a problem?
No, providing you can keep your foster cat in a separate room away from other pets, that will usually be fine.  We do ask however that all you pets are fully vaccinated.

Will I have to pay for anything?
We cover all costs. All food, litter, toys and equipment are provided for you, and all vet’s fees are handled and paid for by our Centre (including travel costs)

Do I need a car?
It is preferred as the cats under your care may require regular vet visits; it is also more useful in the event of an emergency, or if you need to stop by the adoption centre for food or litter supplies.

What happens if I need to go away?
You don't have to foster continuously. You can have breaks and take holidays whenever you like. All we ask is you give us some notice so we can make alternative arrangements. 

Can I still foster if I have young children?
Yes, however certain cats may not be suitable for a noisy environment. We do ask however that for the safety of both the children and the cats that children are always accompanied when interacting with the cats and are never left alone with them.

What happens if a potential adopter wants to view the cat
We will usually bring cats back to the Centre when they’re ready for rehoming again,.  However sometimes, it may be less stressful for a cat to rehomed direct from the foster home.  However we will only do this if you are completely happy to do this.  If so, we will call you to arrange a suitable time for the potential adopters to visit you, and we will handle all communication if you prefer.  All we require is that you accompany that person during the viewing and answer any questions they may have about the cat.  We will handle everything else.

What is the recruitment process?
Just contact us and we will send an application form to you, which you can then either email/post back to us or bring it into Reception.  Once we’ve received the application form, we will give you a call for a quick chat or if you prefer, invite you to pop down to the Centre to meet one of our fostering team.  If fostering is right for you, then we will conduct a home visit to ensure that we choose the right cat for you to foster and also advise on how best to create the best fostering environment for you and the cat.

Find out more about becoming a Cat Fosterer and apply here!