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 pregnant mums and their kittens.

Becoming a Cat Foster Carer means you are helping to prepare cats of all ages for their permanent homes by getting them used to a domestic lifestyle and handling by humans or monitoring their recovery following treatment by our vets.

What type of cats will I foster?

Foster families care for felines of all ages while we find them permanent homes. This can be helping new mums care for litters, hand-rearing orphan kittens or looking after adult cats who need the peace and quiet of a home while they recover from medical treatment.

Occasionally we will have a stressed cat that requires foster but these are rare. 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 do I need to do as a Cat Foster Carer?

  • Care for all the cats needs – feeding, grooming, training, 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 are the requirements to become a 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 provides the cat with a chance to gain confidence at their own pace. 
  • Compassion, empathy and the appreciation that every cat is an individual.
  • Experience with looking after cats, particularly cats who have displayed behaviour problems or are fearful. However, a willingness to listen to advice and follow a care programme is the most important thing.
  • 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)
  • Do not have young children (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.
  • Have no other pets.
  • In terms of leaving hours, foster cats can be left for a working day.

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

  • 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.
  • Compassion, empathy and the appreciation that every cat is an individual.
  • Experience with looking after cats, particularly kittens. However, a willingness to listen to advice and follow a care programme is the most important thing.
  • 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).
  • Do not have very young children. For kitten fosters, we are looking for foster families where the minimum age of children is 8.
  • Have no other pets.

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; 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 three months. 

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 does a Cat Foster Carer get?

  • Training in cat behaviour and welfare
  • Regular contact with our Volunteer 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's the process to become a Cat Foster Carer?

1. Submit your application

Please fill in our application form with as much information as possible. You will receive an automatic email as confirmation that we’ve received your application. Please note that although we accept applications throughout the month, we only assess them in the first week of each month. We will be in touch during this week to conduct your informal telephone interview.

You can apply to foster both dogs and cats but it is very unlikely you would ever have them at the same time.

2. Arrange a home visit

If you are successful, we will arrange a home visit. These usually take around 20 minutes and are carried out by one of our friendly Home Visit Volunteers. They will be noting things such as how secure your home is and which animals would be best suited to your household. Home visits are generally very relaxed and help us establish your needs as a foster career and which animals you may be able to help the most.

Ideally we look for homes that provide a nice calm environment without too many people living in the house and not too many coming and goings.

If your home visit is passed, we will email to confirm and put you on our foster list ready for a cat to be fostered.

3. Aftercare

All food, equipment, support and training is provided before taking a cat home and throughout the foster period.

If you're ready to become a Cat Foster Carer, get started by filling in our application form.

Submit your fostering application

Are you ready to give one of our cats a temporary home between homes?

Apply today