So you’ve made the very rewarding decision to become a Foster Carer. Or maybe you haven’t decided yet and were after more information. Well you’ve come to the right spot and curiosity won’t kill the cat today! This article covers all you need to know about becoming a Foster Carer!
If you haven’t checked it out yet, our Volunteer Page has some basic information to get you started.
Why Foster Care?
By becoming a foster carer, you are not only saving the life of the animal you are caring for but you are also freeing up resources to be able to rescue a second cat from the pound. You are saving two lives with one good deed! Quite often foster carers are at maximum capacity, meaning we are unable to do our weekly pound run and many beautiful lives are ended. It’s a very rewarding opportunity and whilst it can be hard to say goodbye when your furry friend gets adopted, you can know that YOU are the reason the kitty will have a wonderful forever home. And hearing the “happily ever after” stories from the new owners make it even better!
Getting your home ready
If you already have pets in your home, following our guide to introducing a new cat will benefit your new foster and existing pets. It will help to avoid any unnecessary stress! Keep your new foster cat in a quiet, safe area for the first two weeks and slowly build up into meeting the rest of your fur family.
Don’t forget to purchase basic supplies like a bed, a couple of toys, a cat scratcher if you’re worried about furniture, a litter tray, litter and food. If you’re unsure of what brand or type to buy, our supportive group of volunteers can help with any questions or concerns.
What is involved?
There are basics you are expected to provide like food, clean water and a clean litter tray every day, a safe home (foster cats must be kept in doors or in a cat enclosure at all times) and plenty of love until the cats find their forever homes. Vaccinations, micro-chipping and sterilisations are covered by MWCS and you will receive notifications of due dates in the Volunteer Facebook group. MWCS also supplies monthly flea treatments for our carers. We regularly receive donations from Coles Geraldton, as well as members of the public. Whenever donations are received, they are shared via the Volunteer Facebook group. Don’t be shy in asking for donations or accepting them.
Photos of your foster cats are important, so we can get them advertised and finding their new home. We have a professional photographer who kindly donates her time, so please contact her if you’d prefer her to come around and take the photos. (Her details are provided in the Volunteer-Only Facebook group)
The First Two Weeks
Your new foster will need to be kept on a two week quarantine, with proper hand hygiene every time you pat them or clean their belongings. We do our best to make sure they are healthy when coming your way, but we can never be too sure. This two week quarantine can be simply keeping kitty separate from others in the laundry, or in a kitten or Bunnings Cage where your other kitties can’t get to (think sneezing distance minimum). Ringworm is the most common issue that may occur, as it’s not always visible. If kitty is allowed access to your whole house and just happens to have Ringworm, the spores are then spread across your house, and may infect other kitties and humans. Ringworm is a fungi and will clear up with medication and bathing, but it’s a lot of work to clean everything twice daily and much easier to avoid in the first place! If you don’t think you can offer quarantine, but still want to foster let us know. We have foster carers available than can do the quarantine period for you, and then hand the foster cat over to you once that timeline has passed.
What if something goes wrong?
If it’s something minor like litter tray or behavioural issues, our Volunteer Facebook group hass a wealth of knowledge.. For anything else, our Foster Care Co-Ordinator will be your point of contact. For health concerns, our cats are treated by our friends at Sanford Veterinary Clinic during business hours. For after-hours emergencies, you’ll need to contact our Foster Care Co-Ordinator.
A little bit more info
Mid West Cat Shelter can only rescue from the ranger or RSPCA. We sadly cannot help with dumped kittens, strays or cats needing a new home; we simply don’t have the space or people. Please direct any enquiries to rangers on 9956 6600. We can then assess the cats/kittens in the pound if we have a spare foster carer.
If you’re ready to come on board, fantastic!!
You’ll need to complete some forms which you can find here. We can’t wait to meet you, and neither can our kitties! Thank you for helping our cause, and for making such a rewarding decision.