Welcome to the wonderful world of fostering!
We’re always looking for foster homes to help us care for new cats and kittens as they prepare for adoption.
What To Expect When You Foster With Us
We can provide food and litter for foster cats and kittens. You’ll be supplied with a carrier and other equipment like crates, litter boxes, toys and bedding when needed.
We handle all veterinary costs for foster cats. We will work with you to schedule appointments for basic care and step in if emergencies arise. If a cat needs medications, we can teach you how to administer them.
It’s extremely helpful when fosters can arrange to meet us at the lounge or drop off for veterinary appointments. However, we will work with you to make sure you can foster even if you don’t have access to a vehicle.
We can arrange to have your foster cat cared for if you have travel plans or need a break. We prefer as much notice as possible, but we’ll always find a way to make unexpected changes work.
We will be available to assist you with any questions you may have about your foster cat. We also expect an open line of communication from you.
It’s hard to say goodbye to foster kitties! It’s definitely a learned skill, but we’ll give you notice and keep in communication about how your foster is doing. We rely on foster families to recommend what type of home could be ideal for each cat.
What if I want to adopt my foster?
We call that a foster fail! It happens, and it is so wonderful for foster families and fosters cats.
We do have different requirements for adoptive homes than foster homes, so we ask you to fill out our adoption application and go through our verification process for adopters.
If we have any concerns, we’ll have a discussion and make sure everything will work out long term. And if you need support to help you transition into pet-ownership, we’ll help you along!
Frequently Asked Questions About Fostering
No! We can teach you how to foster a cat and coach you through any problems you may run into.
If someone in your household is immune-compromised, consult a doctor before fostering.
If you are pregnant (or someone in your house is) or plan to become pregnant, talk to your doctor before fostering cats. You may need to take some special precautions during your pregnancy.
If you have pets, they must be up-to-date on their vaccinations and they should not have any severely contagious illnesses.
Also, you should always keep a new foster cat away from any other pets for at least a week so they can acclimate to their new environment, and your pets can get used to the idea of another cat being within their space. If you don’t introduce cats slowly, you might have some aggression on your hands.
If your pets or your new foster cat get sick, isolate them immediately.
You must be able to have a cat in your home.
You must have a separate space in your home to quarantine your foster cat if you have other pets (cats need time to adjust to each other, and if one gets sick for some reason, you don’t want any others to get infected).
The space doesn’t have to be huge. In a pinch, we’ve had to place cats in fosters’ bathrooms! (Please foster so we don’t have to do this so much.)
No. We will provide you with everything you need. You just provide the home and the cuddles.
Cats need to be slowly introduced to the rest of the household. All your other pets were there first, and this new cat is a stranger on their turf.
If you haven’t received a foster cat yet, watch this Jackson Galaxy video on proper cat introductions.
If your slow introduction goes wrong (or it never happened, which is fine) watch this Jackson Galaxy video on reintroducing cats.
As certified Cat Daddy Jackson Galaxy says, “They will NOT work it out without you.”
If you still need help with cat introductions, or if you believe having a foster is a threat to the safety of anyone in the household, please contact your foster coordinator right away.
The best way to communicate about your foster cat’s health and well-being, as well as supplies, is by calling or texting your foster coordinator. For general inquiries, you can message your foster coordinator, contact the rescue on our Facebook page, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can send us pictures of your foster cat on any platform, any way you can. We love to see them.
Please call your foster cat by their given name.
All the cats in our network already have their names on medical records and in our cat management systems. It will confuse any volunteers who will work with you to care for the cat.
Plus, it might confuse the cat.
First, make sure the cat is not in danger of hurting itself or anyone else. Restrain your cat or secure it in a room by itself immediately if it appears to be sick at all, or overly aggressive towards other animals or people.
Next, contact your foster coordinator immediately. If they are not available, leave a voice and text message on their phone, then message Rescue and Relax on our Facebook page.
Next, evaluate whether the situation is life-threatening.
Life-threatening situations include, but are not limited to: trouble breathing, broken bones, open wounds, and a fever of 104 degrees or higher.
Try to contact your foster coordinator before taking your foster cat in for services. We will often care for the cats and work out transportation ourselves. If in some very rare instance you are in an emergency and cannot reach your foster coordinator, and you are able to, please take your foster cat to one of our listed vets. Tell them you are fostering for Rescue and Relax so we may pay for services over the phone. You are not obligated to pay for services in person.
If the cat has any of the following: white gums, bloody urine or stool, the absence of urine or stool, obvious parasites, disinterest in eating or drinking for over a day, or any other unusual behaviors, contact your foster coordinator immediately. They can evaluate the urgency of the situation, prescribe medications, and coordinate veterinary care when needed.
Always try to make contact with your foster coordinator before going in to any veterinary office.
If you are leaving for an extended period of time, please give us at least two weeks’ notice so we can contact fosters in our network and place your foster cat with another Rescue and Relax vetted foster.
Do not leave your foster cat at home with someone else if you are leaving for an extended period of time. This is a breach of the foster contract and you may face serious consequences if you do not inform us of your upcoming absence.
If something comes up immediately, contact us so we can promptly take your cat back into our system.