Become a Foster Home

Foster homes provide kittens and cats with a real world home experience, offering various opportunities to learn positive social skills with children, other animals, and the daily sounds and smells of a home. Halfway Home Pet Rescue requires that our foster homes have experience with cats and better still, that these homes understand the physical and emotional needs of cats who have been abandoned or abused.

Becoming a foster provider to homeless cats or kittens can be rewarding and fulfilling, and may offer an ideal situation for families who are unwilling or unable to make a long-term commitment to a pet cat.

Before you decide to become a foster provider, it’s a good idea to assess your situation and decide if fostering a cat is really right for you. If you have young children or dogs, or if you work long hours, you may not be able to provide a suitable home for some cats, and fostering a kitten may be nearly impossible. It helps if the whole family is committed to fostering, because each cat might be with you for several months. If you already have a cat, you should make sure its vaccinations are up to date, to guard against exposing it to infectious diseases. It may also be wise to quarantine incoming foster pets until their health can be adequately assessed. When cats leave HHPR to go to a foster home, they have been treated for obvious illnesses. However, the stress of a new environment can cause a dormant infection to activate.

Keep in mind that the cats coming to you may have been abandoned by previous owners or may have spent several weeks in a cage. They may be frightened, stressed, or poorly nourished, and will need love and attention to help them become socialized. Some may need to be retrained in using a litter pan or may need to be coaxed to eat. You may also be called upon to administer medicine to a cat with a health problem, or care for an older, special-needs cat with diminished eyesight or mobility. HHPR asks that you tell us if you have any concerns about giving medication.

In some cases, we may need a foster home for very young kittens. If the mother is with them, she will do most of the work, but you will be there to help her and possibly supplement their diet by bottle feeding.  One of the greatest challenges is taking in unweaned or orphaned kittens. Not only are newborn kittens fragile and vulnerable, but they’ll be depending on you to take the place of their missing mother. For the first two weeks, before kittens even open their eyes, they are completely helpless. You’ll have to keep them very warm and feed them every two to three hours with a syringe and commercial kitten formula. Mother cats also stimulate the bodily functions of elimination in their kittens by licking the anus and urinary tract opening — you’ll have to replicate this function with a warm, wet terrycloth washcloth. HHPR will provide formula, bottle, and training.

Fostering a cat comes not only with a time commitment and some amount of expense, but with the risk that you’ll become attached to your foster charges and will feel sadness or a sense of loss when it’s time to let them go. As each one is adopted out, it’s key to remember that you provided a safe haven to a homeless cat that is now going on to a safe and permanent home.

If you are interested in becoming a foster home, there are 3 ways to apply.
1. Use our Volunteer Application and check off “Foster” among the choices. (this is the quickest way.)
2. Send an inquiry using the form below.
3. For a printed version, download the Application Form, complete it and mail to HHPR, P.O. Box 488, Caribou ME  04736.

Thank you for your interest in becoming a foster home.

Be aware that a home visit might be required before you are approved and training may be required.

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Foster Home Inquiry
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