10 Things To Know Before Fostering a Rescue Cat in California


10 Things To Know Before Fostering a Rescue Cat in California

Fostering a rescue cat can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Not only are you providing a temporary home for an animal in need, but you are also helping to relieve the burden on overcrowded shelters. And with California being one of the states with the highest number of animals entering shelters each year, there is no shortage of cats in need of a temporary home.

But before you jump in and start fostering, there are some important things to consider. Here are 10 things you must know about fostering a rescue cat in California:

Foster Application Process

Before you can officially contact cat rescue in California, you must go through an application process. Here is a common foster application process for pets: 

Step 1: Fill out an application with Love a Meow or any other trusted cat rescue organization in the city. The application This will require basic information about yourself and your living situation.

Step 2: A representative from the organization will conduct a phone or in-person interview to further discuss your application and answer any questions you may have.

Step 3: A home visit may be required to ensure your living space is suitable for a foster cat. This also allows the organization to provide tips and advice on preparing for your new feline friend.

Step 4: You will be asked to sign a foster agreement once your application is approved. This outlines the terms and conditions of fostering and your responsibilities as a foster parent.

For new foster parents, you may be required to attend a training session before bringing home your first foster cat.

Time Commitment

Fostering a rescue cat requires a significant time commitment. Depending on the age and health of the cat, you may be responsible for daily medication administration, feeding, and providing socialization and playtime. 

It's important to assess how much time you can realistically dedicate to fostering before taking on the responsibility.

Remember, rescued cats are already vulnerable and need extra love and attention.

Financial Responsibility

While the cat rescue organization will often cover basic medical expenses for your foster cat, you may be responsible for additional costs. These could include food, litter, toys, and any unexpected vet visits. 

Discuss with the organization what expenses they will cover and what you must provide for your foster cat.

Separate Space

It's important to provide your foster cat with a designated space in your home. This not only gives them a sense of security but also helps prevent potential conflicts with other pets. 

Ensure this space is equipped with all the essentials, such as food, water, a litter box, and a cozy bed. 

DIY idea for Foster Pets: To create a separate space for your foster cat, you can repurpose an unused room or corner. Use a tall baby gate or pet gate to block off the area and include all the items mentioned above. You can also add some comfortable blankets or pillows for them to snuggle on. 

Medical Care

Before bringing home your foster cat, discuss their medical history with the cat rescue organization. This will give you an idea of any pre-existing conditions or medications they may need. 

In an emergency, it's important to have a trusted veterinarian on standby who is familiar with the cat rescue organization and can provide proper care for your foster cat.

What To Do In Case Of Medical Emergencies?

 In a medical emergency, immediately contact the cat rescue organization and follow their instructions. They may advise you to take the cat to a specific veterinarian or provide financial assistance for any necessary treatments.

Patience and Understanding

Foster cats may come with their own set of challenges, especially if they have been previously neglected or abused. Being patient and understanding is important as they adjust to a new environment. They may exhibit behavioral issues such as hiding, aggression, or litter box problems. 

Remember, they have been through a lot and may need extra time and care to feel safe and comfortable.

Behavioral Issues

As mentioned, foster cats may exhibit certain behavioral issues due to their past experiences. It's important to observe and document any behaviors that concern you and communicate them with the cat rescue organization. 

They can provide training or behavioral therapy for your foster cat to help address these issues.

How To Detect Behavioral Issues in Cats?

Some common behavioral issues in cats include excessive meowing, aggression, scratching furniture, and litter box problems. If you notice any of these behaviors, it's important to identify the root cause and address it accordingly.


Fostering a cat also involves socializing them with humans and possibly other pets. This is especially important for cats who may have had limited interaction with humans or have lived in a shelter environment for a long time. 

Make sure to spend quality time with your foster cat, giving it love and attention. This will help the cat adjust to its new home and increase its chances of being adopted.

Promotion for Adoption

One main goal of fostering is finding the perfect forever home for your foster cat. Share cute photos and videos of your foster cat on social media, tagging the cat rescue organization and using popular hashtags. 

This will increase their visibility and chances of finding a loving home.

You can also attend adoption events with your foster cat to help them meet potential adopters in person. Remember, the more effort you put into promoting your foster cat, the more likely they will find a permanent home.

Emotional Attachment

It's natural to become emotionally attached to your foster cat. After all, you have provided love and care when they need it. 

However, it's important to remember that fostering is temporary, and the ultimate goal is for them to find a forever home. 

Be prepared to say goodbye when the time comes and know that your love and care have helped make a positive impact on their life. 

But don't worry; there will always be more cats in need of loving foster homes. So, stay open to the experience and continue making a difference in the lives of rescue animals. 

Remember, fostering is an incredibly rewarding experience. It takes a special kind of person to open their heart and home to a cat in need. By fostering, you are not only helping save the life of an animal but also making room for another rescue cat to have a chance at finding its forever home. 

For any cat rescue inquiries, reach out to Love a Meow. We are dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming cats in need. Or leave your questions below, and we'll get back to you within 24 hours.

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