Typically, no pet foster parent is financially compensated for the work they do. Foster pet parents are merely custodians – they only give the pet cat a home. The provision of medicine, veterinary care, and food is the shelter’s business that places the cat with the foster person or people. If a foster parent is driving the pet to its vet appointment or paying for some other associated fees, this person might be subjected or eligible for some tax deductions.
If you’re looking at fostering a pet, you shouldn’t look away since it is a chance to improve your animal care skills. If you’re considering being a pet sitter, a veterinary technician, a shelter director, or a veterinarian, you can go for foster parenting. It will help you to know if any of the careers mentioned are worth going for. Also, fostering cats may open you up to a job in a shelter or a veterinary clinic.
In this section, we will talk all about kitten fostering. Since fostering needs all-around preparation, you will get to know all that pertains to it – the pre-starting info, the places to go, how to prepare, etcetera. Let’s get going!
Fostering Kittens 101: Anything And Everything
As you take on this section, it will be assumed that you want to foster kittens. Well, that is a great thing to do for the feline community. Fostering is an experience that will make you feel fulfilled. With the right information and tools, you (and anyone else with the same feline interest) can learn how to save kitten lives. Here are the tips you need to have in mind to have a successfully fostering:
Before You Even Start
Here Are Some Of The Questions And Fine Points You Need To Look At Before Making Any Fostering Move:
1. Is your household an appropriate place to bring in young kittens? Will everyone who lives under your roof accept the responsibility that comes with fostering the little felines? Do you have any spaces for the young cats that are easy to clean, safe, and comfortable? Is the area accommodative enough to allow the kittens to be quarantined from other animals?
2. Can your work or life schedule allow you to do kitten care? Depending on the kittens’ health and their age, you might need to be there as often as every 24 to 48 hours. The other question is this: can you bring the kittens to your place of work, or better still, can you ensure that they are cared for when you are not available to do it yourself?
3. Do you have the needed and necessary information to provide care to your young cats successfully? Do you have a rescue coordinator, a veterinarian, or a mentor?
If you’ve answered all the above questions and feel prepared and ready to be responsible, that’s a brilliant thing. Now, let us converse about how you can get into the action.
Where You Can Get To Foster Kitten
There Are A Good Number Of Ways You May Get A Kitten To Foster. If Your Interest In Bringing In The Feline Friends Is Fully Active, Genuine, And Powered Up, Here Are Several Options You Might Consider:
1. Get on a call with your local animal shelter. In your connection, let them know that you are interested. You can prepare a small sheet explaining why you want to bring in the kittens and how ready you are (the questions above can help). You will find most shelters having foster programs and will be delighted at your request. It will surely be a bummer if you find out that the shelters near you lack any foster plans.
2. You can visit platforms such as PetFinder.com and look up any rescue groups. If you offer to care for any of the kittens belonging to a rescue group, the people involved will pull out the animal. Otherwise, they cannot allow it to happen.
3. You can stay looking out for any kittens. If you find any and decide that you want to help it, ensure that it is truly orphaned. This will help you to avoid any conflict with the owners of the kitten, if any. It will also allow them to get the best care from their mother since mama is always the best. This is how you can check if the kittens are not orphaned.
a) The mama is likely to be around if the kittens are plump and clean. This means that the mother cat is actively participating in the kittens’ life by feeding and grooming them.
b) If the kittens are crying, thin, soiled, and dirty, the kittens are likely orphaned, and they need to be rescued. If they are exposed to harsh elements, lousy weather, or seem to be in an unsafe situation, you should use your best judgment. If you are out to foster kittens, it is expected that you rescue them.
How To Prepare For Kitten Fostering
As is with other animals or pets, you will need a couple of supplies to foster kittens. The first thing that I advise you to do is prepare and organize a home base for your new kitten friends. The home base needs to be kitten-proof, safe, and isolated from all the other animals. It should consist of the following:
1. A small space that has a controlled climate, meaning that the temperatures need to be comfortable. Also, the home base should have a door that closes. This will help in keeping all the other animals away from the kittens.
2. Also, you should have a soft blanket completely covering a heating pad (that is set on the low).
Since they should have the alternative of moving away from the source of heat, set a soft blanket on the opposite side (that has the heating pad).
1. Ensure that the home base is very kitten-proof. If you don’t do that, the kittens’ curiosity may kick in, and they may start climbing on curtains and eating on toxic plants, or even falling off.
2. If the kitten is fourteen days or older (in terms of age), ensure that a shallow litter box is available. It should have a small amount of litter.
3. If the kittens have already weaned (past the nursing stage), let the home base have a shallow water dish containing fresh water. Remember that kittens will not be able to lap water until the weaning process is successful.
Taking The Kittens Home
When you make a move and bring the kittens home, the most vital thing for you to understand is their current situation. If you are dealing with an injured or sick kitten that needs immediate care, ensure that you take them to the nearest emergency vet place. Here are the indicators of a kitten that require emergency care:
1. It will be gasping for air and will not be able to breathe correctly.
2. It will be suffering from an eye or skin infection that is very painful.
3. It may be bleeding from any of its orifices.
4. It may show signs of limpness or lethargy.
If The Kitten Or Kittens Look Like They Are Unharmed And In A Stable Condition, Take The Home While Following The Following Guidelines:
1. Ensure that you feed them: if you get an orphaned kitty cat, it is likely that they have not seen food in a long time. For that reason alone, you may want to get them fed as soon as possible.
2. If the kitten is not more than a month old and does not have a mom, you may need to get kitten-specific formula and feed it. While you do this, never feed the kittens with a cow’s milk as it is perilous. The underdeveloped bodies of the kittens will not have enough of the lactase enzyme to break down the lactose in the milk.
3. If the kitten is about a month and a week old, it is usually weaning and may be fed slurry – this is a combination of wet kitten food and formula.
4. If the kitten is about six weeks, you can give it wet kitten food. Since you will likely go for the wet food (instead of making it), ensure that you check the packaging and ensure what you’re feeding is strictly for kittens. On top of that, ensure that freshwater gets provided to the kittens at all times.
5. Help them to locate the litter box as soon as possible. If the kitten is at least three weeks old, you should immediately place them into the litter box. This will help them learn where the bathroom is, and if they are already pooping and peeing on their own, the kittens should show interest in the litter box. If the ‘business’ is not happening (begins at about three weeks), you will need to inject some stimulation or motivate them. When they start to learn the box usage, ensure that the learning is done in the box. This way, they will learn how to associate the box with the bathroom.
6. Show them a place that is cozy to stay. Ensure that the kittens are placed in an area of warmth and comfortability. As noted previously, ensure that the heating is readily available. Be mindful that it doesn’t get too warm for the kittens.
7. Ensure that you let them sleep. The one that kittens do is sleeping a lot, especially the neonatal ones. The environment should be very conducive for them to sleep – no one should be playing bangers in the music system all day long.
Get The Kitten A Workable Routine
The kittens must get a routine. With every few hours that pass, you should be feeding them, stimulating them, or showing them their cozy place so that they have a safe resting time. As the kittens get older, you can look at factoring in some time for play. Here is a tabulated recommendation of the routine that I advise you to adopt. Take a look:
|Kitten Care Routine|
|Kitten Age||Time Interval||What Should Be Done|
|Up to 1 week||Every 2 hours||Stimulating and bottle feeding|
|Between 1 and 2 weeks||Every 2 to 3 hours||Stimulating and bottle feeding|
|Between 2 and 3 weeks||Every 3 hours||Stimulating and bottle feeding|
|Between 3 and 4 weeks||Every 4 hours||Stimulating and bottle feeding|
|Between 4 and 5 weeks||Every 5 to 6 hours||WeaningBathroom use on their ownFeeding|
|Between 5 and 6 weeks||Every 6 to 8 hours||Feeding|
|Between 6 and 8 weeks||Every 8 hours||Weaning should be completedUsing the litter box|
|Above eight weeks||You should make a fixing (neutering or spaying) appointment for them. They can then be adopted out.|
The Standard Kitten Vet Care
Every Single Kitten Should Receive Certain Specific Treatments, And They Are As Follows:
1. The FVRCP Vaccines – this is the standard vaccine for feline distemper. It helps in the prevention of the following against the kittens: panleukopenia, calicivirus, and rhinotracheitis. This vaccine is usually given to kittens when they get to 6 weeks. Then, they get boosters around 3 to 4 weeks apart.
2. The law prescribes that a kitten gets the rabies vaccine. It may be given to a kitten when it gets to around 8 to 10 weeks of age.
3. Flea Treatment – this is only essential if you’re dealing with a kitten with flea dirt or fleas. If the fleas are on the fur or a kitten under six weeks, do not use chemical treatments as they can be dangerous. I would recommend that you use dish soap to wash the kitten.
If the kitten involved with fleas is over the age of 6 weeks, you can use a flea treatment designed for cats. What you require to do is to ensure is that the dosage you deliver is proper for the kitten. It can be fatal if you overdose a kitten on the flea treatment.
1. Deworming – the most common worms that affect kittens are hookworms and roundworms. So, you would want to use a dewormer like Pyrantel. Ensure that you get it from a vet as they will give you the accurate prescription information.
If the baby cat has fleas, it is most likely that it also has tapeworms – these can be eliminated using the Praziquantel drug. Whichever option you go for, please ensure that you factor in the kitten’s weight as you dose the medication.
2. The FeLV Or The FIV Test – it is recommended that this test be done on every kitten that is to be adopted. This way, whoever is adopting the little cat will know the feline’s status. With that said, you shouldn’t be scared if the test comes back positive. This is because some cats live healthy a long life even when they test positive. It would be best to research the FeLV and the FIV tests privately and see how they work out.
3. Neutering Or Spaying – every cat you choose to foster should be neutered or spayed. This will help calm down any hormonal effects such as aggression. When kittens are two months old and weigh about two pounds, they can go through the surgery.
The Non-Standard Kitten Vet Care
As you may already know, kittens are brittle and extremely delicate creatures. Also, it is likely that you will encounter kittens that need an elevated form of vet care. If the kitten has issues like troubled breathing, injury, or lethargy, ensure that you get the feline emergency vet care. It would be best to trust your kittens’ health with a vet since they are the most qualified. That aside, there are some treatment options that you can take advantage of while being at home. Here are some of the tips on when to get an expert involved and some common tricks that will come in handy. The section has been organized in subtitles for your convenience:
For kittens, dehydration is bad news as it makes their delicate organs to shut down. For you to know whether your kitten is dehydrated, you can pinch the skin on its neck’s scruff. If the skin falls back into place immediately, the kitten is well hydrated. If the skin moves about slowly, the kitten needs attention as it is dehydrated.
Since you are here to earn the status of kitten rescuer, you need to know how to administer the subcutaneous fluid. This is an essential advanced skill that a vet can tutor you on it. The skill will then make you a lifesaver. If you have little or no access to the fluids, you can give the kitten flavorless Pedialyte using a syringe. This will give the system the electrolytes it needs, and hydration will be restored.
It is very normal and typical for a kitten not to poop for a day. The reason is that the kitten’s body is usually trying to adjust to the various food changes. However, if the little feline goes two days without any sign of bowel movement, you should start warming up for some action.
Go to a drug store that is near you and get some small mineral oil portion. This will help to loosen the kitten’s bowels. You should add a little spoonful to the kitten’s formula and do it for a couple of meals. This should surely make a difference.
Before we go any further into this subtitle, you should have in mind that diarrhea is a sign that a larger issue is brewing. If the diarrhea is persistent, you may want to take your kitty cat to the vet, where the expert will check if there is a parasitic infection.
It would help if you only involved a vet when the home treatment you provide proves unhelpful after 48 hours. When you get your kitten to the vet, he or she may prescribe the powder called Tylan.
4. FKS, Or The Fading Kitten Syndrome
A kitten that is fading will not be able to breathe or will become lethargic. This situation may get worse, and the kitten may die within hours or minutes. Here are some of the fine points to look at when FKS seems to be kicking in:
a) Gentle observe the gums to see their color – this should be done as an urgent procedure. If the gums are white or dry, apply a small Karo syrup to ensure that the kitten’s blood sugar levels are stabilized.
b) If the kitten is either too hot or too cold, you may need to safely and slowly get them to a place with comfortable temperatures. As you do this, remember to be mindful as the kitten could go into shock – this means that you should not do it too quickly.
c) Do more research on the fading kitten syndrome from reputable sites like Felineore.org.
If You Wanted Your Kittens Adopted
Let’s change the tune that’s been playing all the way through this article. This section assumes that you have kittens you want to be adopted. How you advertise them can make or break your capability of getting the kitten taken quickly into foster homes. Here are some of the tips that have been tried, tested, and trusted:
1. Start the advertisement early. Although kittens should not be adopted until they are eight weeks old and already fixed (spayed, neutered), you can start organizing the public notices. Many potential adopters (and even buyers) will love to see the kitten in their early years. You will get the adopters lined up, and when the right time comes, you won’t struggle to get them new homes.
2. Get your advertisements broadcasted far and wide. Take advantage of all media forms – flyers, brochures, Facebook, Reedit, Petfinder, Craigslist, et cetera. As you organize your advertisement to potential adopters, here is the information you should include:
a) Upload a clear, well-lit, and crisp photo of the kitten. The little feline should be looking at the camera. This may require you to get the best equipment because the image will be the most critical thing to attract the adopters.
b) Have the name, sex, DOB, location, and any other details. If you can, upload the breed information. Follow that up with a succinct description of the behavioral and physical traits of the kitten. Below that, you should have a sentence describing the life and times of the kitten. If the young feline has an exciting or sad story, do not hold yourself back. Share it because the story could lift the spirits of a potential adopter up.
c) Notably, ensure that you include the medical information of the kitten. That should consist of the treatments that should be completed before the adoption process goes through. If the kitten is young, give a rough estimate of when it will be ready to be adopted. The date should not be below eight weeks from the date the kitten was born.
Obviously, include your contact details.
a) The advertisement should also capture your seriousness in the process. That means you should include some 3 to 4 mandatory questions. The questions will need responses, and they can be like the following:
b) Who are the people and animals that live in your home? Please list all of them and include their ages and brief descriptions.
c) Have you ever had any animals? If yes, are they with you? If no, explain why they are no longer part of your lives.
d) Give a brief description of the kitten’s typical day in your home.
e) As mentioned elsewhere, ensure that you place advertisements in very many places. This will allow you to cast a wide net, meaning that you will have many interested people to adopt your kittens. Then, take your time and look at all the applications to choose the person best to adopt your kitten.