Written by Karen, a current kitten foster
Spring and summer is kitten season! This time of year is when a large number of cats are born, which creates an increase in the number of homeless kittens arriving at Pet Alliance’s shelters. In order to care for them, we rely on volunteers to help out. We provide people with the supplies and training, and they provide the love and care. Please read on to learn about the experience of one of our volunteer families and we hope you will consider becoming a foster yourself.
The Joys of Being a Kitten Foster Family
We started fostering in October 2007. As of today, we have fostered 416 kittens with a few puppies thrown in. We named every kitten as soon as they arrived at our house. I say WE because it takes the entire family to foster. When we started out, my kids were very young so they have grown up having foster kittens all their lives.
Every kitten we take from the shelter into our homes opens up space for more kittens to be rescued. One of the first times I visited the shelter with my kids we stopped by the cat room. I will never forget that there were only three baby kittens there and they were scared to death. They didn’t want to be handled and they scared my kids when they hissed at us. I made a vow from my first batch of fosters that MY kittens would leave our home friendly, outgoing and full of confidence. I wanted them to run to the front of the cage and not hide in the back.
I feel like I have 416 stories. Every kitten and situation is different. There are the kittens I have kept for just a few days and the injured that I’ve kept for months. We have no pets of our own so my kittens get free reign of the two-story house. I had this one kitten, Wally, that slept on the back of my dad’s neck whenever he would sit down to read a book. All of our out of town company knows a visit to our house comes with lots of kitten cuddling.
In the beginning, it was extremely hard bringing them back to the shelter when they were big enough to go up for adoption. They would cry in their carrier as I cried in the front seat. What kept me going back for more was that I could see the need for fosters and how changed these animals were with just a little extra love and attention. They needed me as much as I needed them.
There are SO many options for fostering. You can take moms that take care of their babies, kittens that just need to be fed and cuddled or babies that need constant care. Whatever works with your schedule.
This has been a life-changing activity for my entire family. It taught my kids patience and understanding and all of us that every life is important.
Interested in Fostering?
Pet Alliance is always looking for individuals interested in this very important volunteer job. We provide training, foster starter kits and ongoing support to our volunteers. For more details on becoming a foster, and to view current fosters up for adoption, click here!