Getting Started with Fostering

Foster Kitten KittensFostering kittens can be an extremely fun and rewarding experience. For those new to fostering, it is important to know what to expect before taking on the commitment. Here are 5 key points to understand before fostering neonatal kittens.

  1. It is a major time commitment. Neonatal kittens need to be fed every 2-3 hours. After each feeding, they must be stimulated to urinate and defecate, until they are able to do this on their own.
  2. Be sure to keep everything extremely clean. Young kittens have fragile immune systems and can develop illnesses from various germs in the environment. Keep bottles and nipples sterile and disinfect bedding, toys, towels, and anything the kittens will encounter.
  3. Make room. Provide a safe, quiet space in the home for the kittens to live. This area should be away from other animals. A bathroom is ideal.
  4. Keep it together. It is common to become attached to foster kittens. Many foster parents cry when having to say goodbye. Remember, keeping them safe and healthy until they find a permanent family is the goal.
  5. Be prepared for all outcomes. Every foster parent wants to see their foster babies thrive, but not every case has a happy ending. Some babies, even with the most attentive foster parents, simply do not make it. Losing a kitten is an emotional experience, and some fosters may want to take a break. Keep in mind that experiencing a loss does not represent personal failure. Do not be discouraged from continuing to foster.