but do you even have any cats to foster?
Yes, yes we do. We always do, and if we happen to NOT need new fosters, don't worry, we will tomorrow. Please apply even if we're not actively looking for fosters via instagram etc.!
ok great! so... how does fostering with you work?
You apply, we reach out & schedule a quick video chat to get to know you and briefly see your place to make sure it's safe for the cat (do you have screens in your windows? do you have any plants that could be poisonous to cats?). Then, depending on some criteria, we will match you with the right cat & connect you with a case manager (OHC volunteer) who will be your point person through the fostering period. We'll set up a group text for you & your foster kitty and use that for all communication.
what will i be responsible for?
Providing the cat with essentials (housing, food, water, litter) and us with cute cat content. We will need photos and videos to promote your foster kitty for adoption. Your assigned case manager will check in with you on recurring basis to make sure everything is ok and ask for photo / video updates. If you have any concerns about the cat's health or behaviour, we're here to support you.
what would i need?
We focused on getting most affordable options here, but if you want to spoil your foster kitty - we won't stand in your way! We do want to approve the food that you're feeding the cat, so please make sure to run by us. Bear in mind that fostering a kitten is more expensive than an adult cat - the has to be kitten-specific.
litter box –
it’s a preference, this one
is a safe bet. tall walls make it less messy, but box being open makes it easier for cat to find the litter box. with social / friendly cats, you can try going for a covered litter box or a top entrance.
lots of different options, and some cats have preferences, but that's rare. we generally go with paper pellets
or wood pellets
as they're the least messy. if you already have any other type of litter, that's fine too, but we ask for no clay litter for young kittens (it's not great for babies to breathe in the dust!)
all cats should eat mainly wet food diet (dry food should be treated like fast food - it's good on occasion! :)
for healthy adult cats
, friskies pate is a great cheap option (healthy, good food has meat as first ingredient), example links: amazon
(under 1 year old) should eat nutritious, wet food diet - so food has to be labelled as "kitten". our recommendation is healthy, yet affordable purina one
unless stated otherwise, your foster kitty should eat two meals a day. 6-7lb cats – half a can a meal (1 can a day). 8lb+ kitties ¾-1 can a meal (1.5-2 cans a day
treats - churus
(max 2 a day – they’re not SUPER healthy ) & baby food
(much healthier!) are great options to make the cat love you!
bowls – feel free to use whatever you have available, although some cats might be allergic to plastic, so stainless steel/ceramic bowls are best. one for water, one for wet food
toys – catnip mice, springs etc. are great, but you can also use a ball of aluminum foil or paper to start!
cat bed – cardboard box with a folded towel will do! You can put a deeper box on a side too, to make it into a cave. Of course, if you’d like to purchase a cat bed / house / cave – there are a lot to choose from out there!
i'm worried i'll get stuck with a cat.
It won't happen - because it's our cat. They may be temporarily staying with you, but they're in our care. If your plans change and you can no longer look after them, let us know, and we'll make alternate arrangements. Give us as much notice as possible though - we don't have a facility, so there is nowhere to "return" the cat, but we will work on finding another placement for them.
my space is too small for a foster cat.
It's not. As long as it's bigger than a 32in crate, it's already an upgrade for them. A tiny studio or a small bathroom are big enough. We live in Brooklyn too and we know what the apartments here are like. Don't worry, your space is more than enough.
what if the cat gets sick?
Use our group text* and describe symptoms or any behaviours you're concerned about. We will take care of providing medication, setting up vet appointments and making medical decisions. If possible, we may ask you to transport the cat to the vet (otherwise we'll coordinate a volunteer)
* unless it's an emergency, in which case call us immediately if we're not responding
i need to travel - can i take the cat with me? can i use my own pet sitter? can the cat stay with my friend? can you take the cat while i'm away?
All great questions - we handle them on case by case basis. When you fill out the form, make sure to let us know about your travel plans, and how you'd like to handle them if you already have an idea. We will make sure to accommodate your schedule and find the best plan for you and your foster cat.
i am worried about spreading diseases or parasites to my pets.
Our cats go through protocol tests & medications before going to a household with other pets, but you will be expected to keep the pets separate at first (for two reasons: cats need slow introduction to other pets, and the foster may still be taking medications and getting dewormed). We will always be up front about any conditions our cats have, but please keep in mind cats get worms & parasites
i have other cats. do i need to do anything to start fostering?
Make sure your cats are up to date on their vaccines (FVRCP & rabies), have a clean fecal test (no parasites or worms) and are tested for FeLV (feline leukemia) & FIV (feline HIV). You can apply first and chat with us if you have any additional questions.
can i choose the cat i want to foster?
No. Fostering is for us - the rescue - to free up space and bring in another cat in need. We can't consider fosters' preferences on top of all other moving parts. That doesn't mean we'll ignore what you're willing to take on though. We will consider:
household - if you have children, we will pair you with a cat who does well with kids. If you have another cat, we'll make sure to give you a cat who enjoys other cats' company. If you have an older dog who can't handle annoying kitten energy, we'll pair you with an adult, calm cat.
level of experience - foster cats sometimes need extra care. newborn kittens need frequent weigh-ins, babies without their mum need supplemental feedings, most street cats need protocol medication given (like dewormers). We will make sure to pair you with a cat who matches your skills.
i have more questions.
Oof, i really tried to answer them all! Email us at email@example.com and we'll help :)