Guide To Fostering A Cat
Unsure whether to adopt or commit to a pet for the long term? Why not foster?
You have the ability to make a difference in an animal’s life too! In Singapore, there are many kind souls who help cats in need find a loving home. Cats in need are cats that are unable to survive on their own on the streets such as kittens, abandoned pet cats, cats with a condition, and cats in unfavourable situations eg. roaming in estates with recent stray dog attacks. Rehomers also sometimes pick up overly trusting cats on the streets to rehome, so that they don’t fall prey to cat abusers.
By fostering, you are helping a cat in need to go to a loving forever home instead of facing the dangers of living on the streets.
These include dangers of road traffic, abusers, mauling by stray dogs, inhumane trapping by pest control companies or culling by the authorities due to non cat-loving resident complaints.
The Power of Rescue, Fostering and Adoption of Street Animals: facebook.com/adoptrescued/posts/1372087766328271
What Do I Have To Provide For My Foster Cat?
Food, litter and a cat-proof home!
Bringing the cat for basic health check-ups at the vet are usually done by the rehomer or rescuer of the cat. The cat should be sterilised, vaccinated, de-wormed, de-fleaed and tested for FIV and FELV. (Some rehomers may leave vaccinations to be done by the adopter.)
Cats are climbers and jumpers by nature. Hence, high rise flats must have windows with mesh or invisible grilles to prevent the cat from falling out, or escaping and getting lost.
*See our article on Catproofing Your Home.
For wet food, we recommend decent quality food brands like:
- Kit Cat deboned grain-free wet food
- Fussie Cat gold or black label
- Gold-D cat food
- And for kittens, Wellness Core Classic Pate Kitten
For dry food or kibble, we recommend brands like:
Do not feed supermarket brands like Whiskas, Friskies or Fancy Feast as they are high in sodium and could cause kidney disease in the long term.
For litter, we recommend tofu litter:
What Is The Fostering Duration?
Typically, a cat may be fostered for 3 weeks to 3 months or longer before it finds its forever home. This also depends on how actively the cat is posted up for adoption or attends adoption drives. If you are able to commit to fostering for 6 months, it is possible that you can help at least 2-3 cats get to homes. You can facilitate adoptions by taking great photos of your foster cat that the rehomer can use in adoption postings.
How Will My Foster Cat Get Adopted?
Typically, the cat’s rehomer posts in cat adoption Facebook groups or on Cat Welfare Society’s adoption board (catwelfare.org/adoptions) to look for adopters. They may also sign up for the cat to attend adoption drives. There are various other platforms to reach out to adopters.
The rehomer screens each potential adopter who contacts them to determine the best fit. They ensure the cat goes to a safe and loving home with adopters who are able to provide for her and will not abandon her.
*See our article on How To Rehome A Cat Responsibly.
Things To Take Note Of
Fostering FIV/FELV Cats
Never foster FELV-positive cats in the same home with cats that are FELV-negative as FELV is infectious between cats.
FIV-positive cats can mingle with FIV-negative cats, but the fosterer has to take care that the FIV-positive cat is not aggressive towards the FIV-negative cat, as FIV is infectious through bites.
The bulk of rescued cats are FIV and FELV negative, but they should get tested before going to a home with other cats.
Stray Rates and Low Cost Sterilisation
If you are bringing your foster cat to the vet, note that some vets have stray rates and you can call up the different vets in your area to inquire.
CWS offers a free sterilisation programme ONLY for strays or rescued cats, not for pet cats. Register here.
An alternative is Da Snip, with low cost sterilisation for both rescued cats and pet cats.
Warning on Fostering Very Young Kittens
If you are not experienced in taking care of kittens below the age of 6 weeks, refrain from fostering very young kittens unless they have their mother with them. Young kittens without a mother cat need to be bottle-fed every 2 hours. (The interval gets longer as they grow older.) Bottle feeding needs to be done correctly or the kittens may lose their lives. If you are a first-time fosterer, you can foster kittens that are at least 6-7 weeks old that have weaned from their mother’s milk and are on wet food. It is recommended to feed 3 times a day for kittens under 6 months, and 2 times a day for cats above 6 months old.
Connect with Shelters or Rehomers with cats that need fostering
- SPCA. By fostering a cat, you’ll be freeing up spaces in the already overcrowded shelter so that they can take in other cats in need of special medical attention. (spca.org.sg/helpus_fosterparent.asp)
- Cat Welfare Society (catwelfare.org/wcbcategories/foster)
- Purely Adoptions
- Project SOKS (Save Our Street Kittens)
- Project LUNI
- Kitten Sanctuary Singapore
- Love Kuching
- Foster for independent rehomers or individuals who are involved in cat rescue. You can find such foster requests here: Sayang Our Singapore’s Community Cats
Or contact us at m.me/AdoptRescuedCats to link up with cats that need foster care!