Fostering cats

We always need to find new volunteer Cat Foster Carers who can provide a safe and calm foster home for our cats, including cats that are not coping in the cattery with us, pregnant mums and their kittens.

Becoming a Cat Foster Carer means you are providing invaluable support in caring for lost, abandoned adult cats and kittens. It is an extremely rewarding job. As a foster carer you will care for all the cat's needs including feeding, grooming and socialising.

What are the requirements to become an Adult Cat Foster Carer?

  • A secure spare room. Unlike rehoming, this is essential for any adult foster cat. The type of cats we place in foster homes tend to be those who are highly stressed and fearful and often hiding away in the cattery. It is therefore vital that they have somewhere comfortable and quiet, away from busier parts of the home. This gives the cat a chance to gain confidence at their own pace.
  • No young children, but those with older children may be considered. For adult cat foster carers, we are looking for foster families where the minimum age of children is 13 years. This is by no means a reflection on your children but is due to the nature of our foster cats.
  • Have no other pets. Most of our foster animals are not comfortable with other pets.
  • Living within one hour of one of our three centres and are able to travel to a centre when required, sometimes at short notice (where appropriate taxis can be provided to transport the animal to and from the centre once on foster).
  • Experience with looking after cats, particularly cats who are very timid or are fearful. However, a willingness to listen to advice from Battersea staff and follow a care programme is the most important thing.
  • Not leaving your foster cat at home alone for longer than one full working day.
  • Compassion, empathy and the appreciation that every cat is an individual.

What are the requirements to become a 'mum and kitten' foster carer?

  • Any children in the household must be over 8 years of age as the mother may be sensitive about her kittens, and the kittens themselves are particularly vulnerable at this age. This is by no way a reflection on your child.
  • Have leaving hours of no more than 4 hours. For their health and safety, kittens require constant supervision. It's also really important that kittens receive enough positive experience of being around people early on if they are to grow up into well-adjusted adult pets.
  • We are looking for foster homes who ideally have no other pets to allow mum to nurse her kittens without the stress of other animals in the home.
  • Living within one hour of one of our three centres and are able to travel to a centre when required, sometimes at short notice (where appropriate taxis can be provided to transport the animal to and from the centre once on foster).
  • Experience with looking after cats, particularly kittens. However, a willingness to listen to advice and follow a care programme is the most important thing.
  • Compassion, empathy and the appreciation that every cat is an individual.

Ideally, we would like people to commit to us on a long-term basis as the cats that need fostering require a nice stable environment, which in turn requires commitment from the Cat Foster Carer. Each individual foster case will vary; from two to three weeks up to three months and sometimes even longer if they are struggling to find a home. Our kitten foster cases typically last up to 9 weeks.

Fostering is an incredibly rewarding experience and a chance to make a real difference to a cat who might be finding life in a cattery challenging. It is, however, a little different to rehoming. If you are interested in owning a cat and want to find out more, please read our rehoming information.

What do I need to do as a Cat Foster Carer or Mum and Kitten Foster Carer?

  • Care for all the cat's needs – feeding, grooming, socialising.
  • Be willing to follow our guidance and regulations on training and handling.
  • Be happy to play a part in the rehoming process by providing photos, videos and regular updates via email.
  • Be able to get to our centre to attend clinic or rehoming appointments, sometimes at short notice.

What does an Adult Cat Foster Carer or Mum and Kitten Foster Carer get?

  • Training in cat behaviour and welfare.
  • Regular contact with our Fostering team.
  • Veterinary and behavioural support.
  • Most importantly you will know you are helping some of our most vulnerable cats while they wait for a happy home.

What type of cats will I foster?

Foster families care for cats of all ages while we find them permanent homes. This can be helping new mums care for litters or looking after shy and scared adult cats who need the peace and quiet of a home.

We will always ensure the cat is suitable for you and will discuss all the details of the cat with you first so you are fully informed.

What's the process to become an Adult Cat Foster Carer or Mum and Kitten Foster Carer?

1. Application

Please complete the application form and provide much information as possible.

2. Phone call

A member of the fostering team will call you for an informal chat and to answer any questions you may have.

3. Home visit

We may want to arrange a home visit. This is in no way to judge your home. It is only to check that it is a safe environment for our animals.

4. Induction

You will be invited to an induction for training.

If you're ready to become a Cat Foster Carer, click below to apply.

Apply to foster a cat

Unable to foster a cat?

From animal welfare roles to office duties and events staff, we strive to ensure that our volunteers are involved in all aspects of our work.

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