Am I ready to become a foster carer?
Have a question or not too sure whether you're ready to become a kitten foster carer? We're here to help and are only a click of a button away - send us your questions or have a chat with us here.
1. Understanding the requirements & responsibilities of a kitten foster carer
As a foster carer, you are 100% responsible for each kitten's health and well-being while they're in your care. For neonatal kittens this involves frequent bottle feeds, administering medication (when required), extensive record keeping, and learning how to perform specialised care such as tube feeding and administering subcutaneous fluids. You're also responsible for socialising the kittens with different people, animals and everyday household experiences so they are well adjusted and prepared for when they go to their forever homes.
2. Time commitments
Kittens less than 3 weeks old require feeds throughout the night, and kittens less than a week old require 2 hourly feeds round the clock. This can be extremely draining, and if you work full-time (and cannot bring them with you), go on frequent holidays, or you are not willing to give up your beauty sleep, you may be better suited to fostering older kittens instead - particularly those that are fully weaned.
Alternatively, you can support saving kittens in other ways such as volunteering or donating to our cause.
3. Emotional commitments
Neonatal kittens are also at their most vulnerable time in their life, and can easily fall ill due to unforeseen circumstances. This can be extremely emotional for a foster carer, so it's important to consider whether you are ready to deal with the emotional highs and lows which come with fostering neonates.
4. Financial commitments
Fostering can easily become quite costly. Even if you're fostering through a rescue group, where medical bills are covered, items such as food, formula, litter, and other consumables are usually out of pocket expenses taken on by the foster carer.
It becomes even more expensive if you decide to foster privately, as you will need to pay for the kittens' preventative care such as vaccinations, worming and flea treatment, as well as vet bills including sterilisation, microchipping and any other emergency costs.
If you are unable to provide for a kitten financially while it's in your care, it might be worth supporting kittens in another way such as volunteering at a local rescue, or donating to projects like TKNA where 100% of the proceeds go towards saving neonatal kittens.