First and foremost, if you have your own animal(s), you need to have a place that can be isolated. A bathroom will work and its ease of cleaning will help! It’s also a good idea if you have a plan for care of your fosters if you go away. Toronto Cat Rescue will help, but it puts a strain on the system. At TCR, all veterinary care is paid for, but not supplies (food, litter, toys). However, if you save your receipts, you can submit them for a tax credit at the end of the year.
For TCR, you apply through the website and go through an approval process. Once approved, you’re assigned a foster coordinator. This is your main contact with the organization. Emailed lists of cats/kittens needing fostering come once a week (or more!). This is the hardest part of fostering for me; seeing all the cats/kittens who need help when I’m already booked up.
All new fosters have a mandatory minimum two week quarantine. The only time quarantine is waived is when a cat is being returned to the organization (and has up-to-date shots and a health check) or a cat has already been quarantined. For example has been at an adoption centre but needs a break. Occasionally cats are ill and need a longer quarantine.
Every foster cat is different. Some simply need a temporary place to stay until they can attend an adoption event. I had Rickie for just five days. He was snapped up at an adoption event that weekend. Some need TLC to get over an illness. Some need socialization. And some just need a safe place until the right person finds them.
After their quarantine is finished, cats are posted on the TCR website. If their personalities are suitable, they’re sent to adoption events in our partner stores. Some fosters will adopt out of their home, if a cat is chosen from the website. Some aren’t comfortable with that. I’ve done both. I find the adoption out of my home easier; I get to see the happiness and delight of the new adopters. Leaving my charges behind at an adoption event is stressful, but it’s also much better exposure for them. Once an adoption is processed and final, then you’re ready for the next one.
Two out of three are finally eating kibble! They get soft food three or four times a day, but can eat kibble anytime they want. Erwin is the last hold out. He refuses to eat kibble, but then complains that he’s hungry!