Donate Sponsor

Interested in volunteering as a fosterer? We have plenty of opportunities to offer a temporary home to cats in need across the UK.

What will I do as a fosterer?

You’ll be temporarily taking care of a cat in need while we find them their forever home. This involves:

  • providing a safe and loving home for your foster cat (or cats) for between a few weeks to several months
  • taking care of their day-to-day needs (feeding them, changing their litter tray, cleaning their living space, making sure they have fresh water, socialising them and grooming them)
  • giving them any medication they need or additional care
  • taking them to vet appointments and making sure they’re healthy and happy
  • providing us with lots of pictures and information about your foster cat so we can match them with the perfect forever home
  • accommodating visits from potential adopters (the times will be pre-booked with you and only with potential adopters who have passed our checks)

There’s no need to worry about cost when you foster with us – we cover all your foster cat’s expenses.

What do I need to be a fosterer?

We want all our cats to have the best care, so we’re very thorough when choosing owners and fosterers alike! In order to volunteer as a fosterer for Cats Protection, you will need to:

  • be able to give enough time – our fosterers usually spend one and a half hours per day on average (around 10 to 13 hours per week) in this role, but this can vary depending on the number of cats or kittens in care
  • either own your home or have written permission from the landlord to foster cats
  • be 18 years or older
  • ideally have experience of caring for pets (but don’t worry if you don’t – we do provide full training and ongoing support to all our fosterers)
  • have a good-sized room in your house just for your foster cat, or a garden or suitable outdoor space we can put an outdoor pen in
  • ideally have access to a car to take your cat to any appointments, however some branches and centres may be able to do this for you

If you have other pets, you’ll need to keep them away from your foster cat and have them all vaccinated.

How do I apply to volunteer as a fosterer with Cats Protection?

If you can meet all our criteria and have the space to foster a cat, we’d love to hear from you! It’s quick and easy to find a fostering opportunity near you:

Find an opportunity

If you can’t find an opportunity near you, you can reach out to your local Cats Protection branch as they may have fostering vacancies they’ve not listed yet. Find your local branch.

If there are no opportunities to foster in your local area, you can still get involved by volunteering for us in other ways.

Fostering frequently asked questions

Got a question about fostering with us? Take a look at some of our FAQs below.

Q: I live in a flat with no spare room or garden. Can I foster?

A: Yes! Foster cats must be kept secure at all times, in either an outdoor cat pen or indoors, so not having a garden or suitable outdoor space isn’t a problem. A new foster cat should have a quiet space to settle for their first few days, but this doesn’t have to be a spare room. Many of our fosterers use their whole flat/house. Our team review each application individually and will be able to advise you further based on your specific home.

Q: What if I get too attached to my foster cat? Can I adopt them?

A: We know how easy it is to fall in love with cats! One of the reasons fostering is so rewarding for our volunteers is because they know that by helping their fosters move on to a forever home, they have the time and space to help more cats in the future. If you do want to adopt your foster, your local branch will be happy to discuss.

Q: Can I take holidays or breaks?

A: Of course! It’s very important that our volunteers take breaks. Arrangements can be made to care for your foster cat when you go on holiday, all you need to do is give your branch plenty of notice. We also recommend taking at least a seven-day break between foster cats as an infection control measure, although if you’d like to take a bit longer have a chat with us.

Q: How long will I be taking care of a foster cat?

A: We believe it is important for the welfare of our cats to find a forever home as soon as possible, but there are lots of reasons why that isn’t always the case. Some cats may be with you for a few days, others might take a few months.

Q: I have no experience of looking after cats; can I still foster a cat?

A: Yes! You don’t need to have previous experience of cat care to become a foster volunteer. If you love cats, have space to spare, and are prepared to take on the responsibility of caring for animals, you can still foster with Cats Protection. We provide full training to all our volunteer fosterers.

Q: Can I foster if I have pets of my own?

A: Yes! Foster cats must be kept away from other animals, but as long as you have a suitable foster room in your house or space for a pen in the garden or suitable outdoor space this is fine. We do ask that you vaccinate any cats you have if not done already.

Q: Do I have to have members of the public in my home?

A: We do ask our fosterers to facilitate visits from potential adopters. However, we will always agree dates and times with you as far in advance as we can and all potential adopters will have been thoroughly checked by us before visiting your foster cat. Some centres may be able to facilitate visits themselves, but you will need to drop your foster cat off at the centre for their visit.

Q: Can I choose my foster cats?

A: It is possible to specialise in the type of cat you’d like to care for (for example, mums and kittens), the best thing to do is get in touch with your local branch. They will be able to discuss the range of cats in need of help with you and decide the best kind of foster for your circumstances.

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