(These kittens once tame, generally give back 10 fold in affection and character. If you have the space and time to give, it is a rewarding experience.)
There are some basic requirements that we expect of a good kitten fosterer.
1. Must be very patient, kind and compassionate person/persons.
2. Must have enough time to be able to spend caring for all their needs.
3. Preferably some knowledge of kittens’ needs.
Create a safe environment that supports healthy growth and stimulates their playful, curious nature. Some fosterers are able to fully cover the cost of looking after kittens/cats in their care, whilst others may need some support from Manawatu Alley Cat Trust to cover some or all of the costs of food, litter, defleaing, worming and veterinary treatments. We recommend you are prepared with the following items (some of this can be provided on request):
- Food and water bowls
- Good quality food – appropriate for your cat/kitten
- Litter box
- Cat litter
- Slotted scoop
- Bed and bedding
- Carry cage
- Scratching post
- Toys, e.g. wiggle wands, feather toys, balls, shoe lace (not string as it can be chewed off and ingested)
- Grooming tools — brush, comb and nail clippers
4. Must ensure the kittens always have a clean environment…remove faeces from litter tray straight away.
5. It is no longer the way to have kittens shut away in the laundry out of site…especially for stray kittens whom have had no physical contact with humans. They need to be confined for a short time in a very large crate, in the busiest room of your house with lots of human goings on, noise and stimulation. As they become comfortable in their environment, gradually enlarge the area they have access to, with no hiding spaces, so that you can maintain physical contact.
Note:Families with children and cat friendly dogs make ideal fosterers, so long as the above applies and the children are gentle and toddlers are supervised around the kittens. It is important also that these kittens get socialisation with as many people as possible, including visitors.
6. Provide a home that has the appropriate space/environment to enable kittens’ healthy socialisation and development, and preferably with a secure backyard that will enable them to safely play and explore as soon as they have become tame enough.
7. Where possible we prefer to keep litter mates together until eight-to-ten weeks of age. Through their interactive play, kittens learn to control their clawing and biting, and to extend their acceptance of litter mates to felines outside the family.
BECOME A FOSTERER OF AN ABANDONED FRIENDLY CAT
Occasionally we come across an abandoned cat whom has been left to fend for themselves. We first determine if it is a lost cat. If not, we have them vet checked and desexed if needed and try and place them in a new forever home.
These guys are easy to foster as long as any existing animals on the property do not object too much and the new foster kitty settles in okay.