"Fostering with Cats Protection has been a truly wonderful and rewarding experience. I decided to foster after sadly losing my previous cats to terminal illness but was ready to have them around again. Fostering gives me the opportunity to have the company of cats at home without the full responsibility of owning. It's a brilliant deal for the fosterers to be honest! After online training (which is great to really build on your cat care knowledge), I took in my first two foster cats – Momo and Sprockett – two lovely boys who were handed over by an elderly lady. Cats Protection set me up with everything I needed to be able to look after the boys in my flat. I live in a small one bed flat on the first floor (a whole house foster), which works well for me and the cats as they're not closed off in one room. They don't go outside while they're in your care so don't need access to a garden, and Cats Protection arranges all vet visits and keeps you informed throughout the process. It means you don't need a garden to be able to keep cats, and it doesn't cost anything (apart from your time for cuddles and play!).
"Foster cats are with you for variable periods of time depending on their situation/health. I actually had Momo and Sprockett for eight months (which is unusually long) as they had a series of health issues, so I did get a little attached to them as my first fosters, however it has been so rewarding to see them go to loving homes with lots of space and big gardens for when they decide to explore outside. I had full support from the branch Cat Welfare Team Leader who's always at the end of the phone if needed, which was brilliant. I've since taken in a kitten who was with me for a couple of months and was absolutely adorable. She got snapped up very quickly once she'd been chipped and neutered which was so great to see. There's no pressure to have cats all the time though, I took a break in between the boys and the kitten and am now on a little break again before the next one(s) arrive. It's so great to be able to meet so many lovely cats and look after them until they're ready to find their forever homes.
"As well as the cat element of fostering, there's also the social element. We have coffee mornings every couple of months where we compare notes and get to know other fosterers and members of the Cats Protection team, so it's a great way to meet people locally. I've also been able to get involved in supporting the branch in other ways, all of which is really rewarding. Cats Protection is a very well-organised and supportive charity to work with if you love cats and want to work with a lovely team to support the ones in your area – I'd highly recommend fostering to anyone!"