Or as my current temporary charge put it when she walked across the keyboard, just as I was typing the title, fosteringghyyyyy=. I've been a feline foster mum for two years, and I've loved every minute. People ask me how I can bear to say goodbye, but I love the work because it's so rewarding. Here's why.
1 Helping an Animal
Cats are usually in foster homes for one of three reasons: they need regular medication, socialising, or cannot live in a shelter with other cats. Because I work from home, I usually take cats that are on medication, as I can easily dose them when necessary. Another fosterer I know specialises in caring for pregnant mums and their litters.
2 Short-Term Commitment
If for whatever reasons (except unsuitable accommodation) you are not able to adopt a cat, then fostering is an ideal alternative. You can have the pleasure of feline company without a long-term commitment.
There is a great need for foster homes. No sooner does one of my charges find an adoptive home than another is delivered to me. I swear I ought to install a revolving door.
It's so rewarding to see the cat improve while in your care. My current guest had an eye problem, which with medication has improved so much that there is now no risk of her losing the eye. It is also great to see the cat learn to trust you and grow in confidence.
Some of my charges have been with me for months, so I get a lot of affection from them. I have my own cats, but I also love getting to know my guests and seeing their characters emerge.
6 A Good Start
It's very tempting to want to adopt all your foster cats, but that clearly isn't possible! Instead, I focus on knowing that I am giving them a good home until they find a permanent family, and that I have helped them in some way.
7 One Small Step
There is a lot of cruelty towards animals in the world. I can't stop it all, but by fostering I know that I am doing something positive for animal welfare.
8 Like-Minded Souls
Through fostering, I come into contact with lots of people who share my enthusiam for cats and their welfare. Plus, when I finally see the cat go off to a good home, I know that I've done my job, which makes me feel very happy even though I'm sad to see them go.
I would urge anyone to consider becoming a foster home if they are in a position to do so. It really is incredibly rewarding, and I can't imagine ever wanting to stop. There are never enough foster homes to meet the need, so by offering to become one, you would be helping our feline friends enormously.
Top Photo Credit: End of Level Boss
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