Fostering for Cat Support Network
Fostering will enrich your life; It is easy and fun while giving kittens the precious gift of love and a chance at finding their forever home inside. Every spring and summer, CSN needs homes that can foster a pair or a litter of kittens, or a mama cat with newborn kittens. We also rescue “bottle babies” or very young kittens that need to be bottle fed because there is no mama cat to nurse them. Without enough homes to care for kittens until they are big enough for adoption, we cannot continue to rescue them and we need to. The living conditions for these kittens and their mamas prior to rescue is frequently horrendous.
You can give these kittens the love and the safe place they need on their road to forever homes. Fostering kittens is a short time commitment. Most kittens are in foster homes for less than a month before adoption (unless you are fostering bottle babies).
We ask that you provide your fosters with food, litter and a cozy spot to sleep and CSN takes care of the rest. If you are unable to provide food and litter, CSN may be able to depending on funding.
- CSN pays for all medical expenses and transports kittens to their spay or neuter appointments.
- You will have a CSN sponsor that will be available to help with any questions or concerns.
- CSN supports their fosters by promoting them online though Facebook, our own website and other sites like Petfinder, Shelter Pet Project, Adopt a Pet, etc.
Once your foster kittens have been spayed or neutered, they will be shown at one of our adoption sites. Many kittens have approved applications by the time they are spayed or neutered and begin to meet with approved families right away to find the perfect match. We want your input in the adoption process since you know your fosters the best. You will get to create a biography detailing their personalities and what homes they might fit into best. Will they do good with other cats? Dogs? No kids? CSN adopts to indoor only homes to ensure that the kittens that go through our adoption program will live long, healthy, safe lives.
Since our adoption events are located primarily in Brentwood, CSN fosters should live in the Brentwood, Oakley, Antioch, Pittsburg or surrounding areas
Expenses are Tax Deductible
All fostering related expenses are tax deductible. Every mile you drive bringing your fosters to adoption events, food, litter, toys, bedding, etc are all tax deductible expenses. Keep your receipts for tax time and we will provide you with our Tax ID number (also available on our website) and our IRS Letter of Determination (this is the proof of our non-profit status with the federal government).
By fostering, you are helping to keep cats off the streets and out of the shelter!
Fostering also counts toward community service hours for schools, clubs and groups.
Becoming a Foster for Cat Support Network
Becoming a foster is an easy process:
- Step 1 - Apply online or by coming to an adoption event
- Step 2 - Once your application is approved, we will contact you to discuss your specific fostering goals and abilities
- Step 3 - We will match you with fosters who are a good fit
Can I foster just once or do I need to foster all spring and/or summer?
It is completely up to you. The spring and summer are times when we need fosters the most as we become overloaded with requests to help kittens in need. The more foster home we have available the more lives we can save! Helping even once is a tremendous gift to the kittens and will make such a difference.
How many kittens would I foster at one time?
This is variable and based on your fostering goals and abilities. The minimum is two kittens and a great place to start. Some people take on a whole litter. Some homes can handle a mama cat with her newborns. Other angels feed the bottle babies!
How long do I need to foster the kittens?
We place kittens with your needs in mind. Based on your capacity it can vary from 2 to 10 weeks. One variable is the age of kittens you decide to foster. Kittens are adopted to their new family at approximately 9 to 10 weeks old (after they are altered). We get kittens that need fostering from birth to 16 weeks old. If you take on bottle baby newborns or a mama cat with newborns, you will have them longer. It is dependent on what you can and want to do, but once you commit to fostering you should be ready to have them until they are adopted, as moving them from foster home to foster home is very stressful for them.
Where would I keep the mama and/or kittens?
It is essential to confine kittens in a small space so you can monitor their food intake and litter box habits. A spare room such as a bathroom is perfect. If the mama is feral, then a cage (which we will provide) can work well too. It is essential that all kittens remain isolated from other animals for a minimum quarantine period of 14 days.
How much time does their care take each day?
We match kittens to your time constraints and preferences. This can vary from older kittens that require only a clean litter box and fresh food & water, to feeding a bottle baby every 2-4 hours for several weeks. Socialization of some kittens is critical while others are completely social and you can watch and laugh at the acrobatics.
Would I need to take them to adoption events on the weekend?
Yes, fosters are required to bring their kittens or cats to weekend adoption events at PetSmart where you would leave them for around 3 hours and then pick them up if they don't get adopted. If you have a vacation coming up discuss this with the adoption manager to make arrangements for possible alternate transportation.
How would I be able to give them up? What if I become too attached?
Our volunteers will help you through this process. It can be hard but it can also be rewarding to know that because of your dedication, the kitten has gotten its very own forever home where it will be a star. We screen potential applicants carefully so you can be confident that the homes we find are the very best! If you just can't say goodbye you may adopt one of your fosters by going through the CSN adoption process.
What costs will be involved for me?
Your costs are minimal and generally limited to providing food and litter. CSN is responsible for the medical needs of every kitty in our program.
Do kittens use the litter box and eat on their own?
Kittens start using a litter box as young as 4 weeks old. It is a natural instinct for cats. Kittens begin eating solid foods by 5 weeks old. Mama cats are a joy too and take on a lot of the responsibility, leaving you to just enjoy them.