Table of Contents

Section 1: Introduction
Frequently asked questions

Section 2: Preparing for your foster cat
Supplies you’ll need
Cat-proofing your home

Section 3: Bringing home your foster cat
Choosing a foster cat
Cat introductions
Dog introductions
Children and cats

Section 4: Daily care
Feeding
Daily routine
Litter box habits
Grooming
Mental stimulation and exercise
Safety requirements

Section 5: Medical and emergency protocols
Veterinary care
Signs of illness and what to do next
Common ailments in animals from shelters
Criteria for emergencies

Section 6: Behavior support

Section 1: Introduction

Thank you so much for your interest in fostering pets for Kitty City NM. By opening your home to foster pets, you’re not only helping to save lives, you’re providing the individual attention and love these cats desperately need.

Once you have completed your foster application online, our foster coordinator will get in touch with you to sign you up for one of our scheduled orientation and training sessions. In the  session, we’ll go over this manual and answer any questions you have about the program.

Our cat foster program is designed to help adult cats from local shelters get a second chance at finding a home, a chance they may not have received at a shelter. Many of the cats who need foster homes require extra care and attention, which shelters often don’t have the staff or resources to provide. But in a loving foster home, every cat can get the individual attention he or she needs to find a forever family.

Foster homes are asked to provide care for the cats, as well as transportation to and from veterinary appointments as needed, and transportation to the Kitty City NM Adoption Center. Care for foster cats includes feeding according to size and needs, and lots of play time and positive socialization.

Although fostering is a lot of work, it is a very rewarding experience for the whole family. By participating in this program, you are saving lives and helping many different types of cats find the families they’ve been longing for. Through fostering, we can work together to Save Them All.

Frequently asked questions

Section 2: Preparing for your foster cat

When you take your foster cat home, he may be frightened or unsure about what’s happening, so it’s important not to overwhelm him. Prepare a special area for the foster cat to help ease his adjustment into a new home environment. Sometimes it is better to confine the foster cat to a small room, such as a bathroom, at first, to let him adjust before giving him free rein in your home. Equip the room with food and water dishes and a litter box.

Another reason that we recommend a small room is because cats will typically hide in new environments. It is not uncommon for a foster cat to hide underneath a bed or in a dark, quiet place for the first couple of days. Isolating your foster cat when you first take her home allows you to know what room she is in and helps you to monitor her eating, drinking and potty habits more closely.

We request that all foster cats be housed indoors only. A garage, backyard or outdoor enclosure is not a suitable accommodation for a foster cat.

During the first couple of weeks, minimize the people and pet introductions to your foster cat, so that she is only meeting immediate family and your personal pets. If you have other pets at home, it is especially important to give your foster cat a space of her own where she can stay while getting used to all the new sounds and smells. Don’t leave your foster cat unattended in your home with your personal pets until you are comfortable that all of the animals can interact safely.

Supplies you’ll need

Cat-proofing your home

Section 3: Bringing home your foster cat

Taking care of a foster cat requires a commitment from you to make sure the cat is happy and healthy. Thank you so much for opening your heart and your home to these cats who  desperately need your help. Without you, we could not save as many as we do.

Choosing a foster cat

Cat introductions

Dog introductions

Children and cats

Section 4: Daily care

Feeding

Daily routine

Litter box habits

Grooming

Mental stimulation and exercise

Safety requirements

Section 5: Medical and emergency protocols

When you pick up your foster cat, you will receive a Foster Goal Sheet that specifies the dates that vaccines are due and any known medical conditions to treat. You are responsible for scheduling appointments for your cat’s vaccines on or around the due dates indicated on your Foster Goal Sheet.

If you are fostering a cat who is on medications, please make sure that he/she gets all prescribed doses. Do not end medication early for any reason. If your foster animal has not responded to prescribed medications after five days (or in the time instructed by a veterinarian), please contact the foster coordinator.

Remember, before bringing your foster cat to the Kitty City NM Adoption Center, the cat will need to have a medical exam  performed by a veterinarian. This appointment will be scheduled by the foster coordinator.

Veterinary care

Signs of illness and what to do next

Common ailments in animals from shelters

Criteria for emergencies

Section 6: Behavior support

One of your goals as a foster parent is to help prepare your foster cat for living successfully in a home. So, we ask that you help your foster cat to develop good habits and skills through the use of positive reinforcement, which builds a bond of trust between you and your foster pet. The basic idea is to reward desirable behaviors and ignore unwanted behaviors.

You must not punish a cat for a behavior that you find undesirable because punishment is ineffective at eliminating the behavior. If the cat is doing something undesirable, distract
him or her before the behavior occurs. It is also important for every human in the foster home to stick to the rules established for your foster cats, whichwill help them to learn faster.

Some foster cats will have behavioral issues, which we are aware of at the time of their rescue. Some of these behavior challenges are fearfulness, house soiling or aggression toward other animals. We will only place cats with behavioral issues with a person who feels comfortable working with the cat on his/her particular issues. We will provide that person with all the necessary information so that proper care and training can be given to the foster cat.

If you feel unable to manage any behavior that your foster cat is exhibiting, please contact the foster coordinator during business hours to discuss the issue. We will guide you and help in every way that we can.

Thank you so much for opening up
your heart and your home to foster pets. Together, we can Save Them All.