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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, folks!

With kitten/puppy season in full swing, our local Humane Society is swamped with wonderful, adoptable animals of all ages and sizes, but not enough regular fosters to go around. The executive director sent out a call last week asking members to consider fostering animals -- even if for only one cat or dog -- to help give some more pets a chance. My fiance and I would love to help out -- but we have one question first, and since I know some of you are fosters, I was wondering if you would mind giving some advice.

We have one cat at home, named Lucky (see avatar
). She's great. She gets along well with us, with visitors, with complete strangers -- and just goes about her business when we have dinner parties or football-game viewings.
She's not too timid, not too wild -- just a mellow, cool cat.

Our question is, how would a cat like this respond when suddenly thrust into an environment with a four-legged stranger? She's always been our only kitty (she just turned 2 last Friday) and, while she seems intrigued by the neighborhood cats who venture outside her window, we're not sure how she'll react to a new foster sibling.
I've actually never heard her hiss, even when other cats have walked up to her window and hissed at her. So I'm not sure what the "threat" factor would be if we brought a new cat on the scene.

Also, a second question to piggyback on that one: Would it do something awful to her little psyche when the foster cat DOES find a new, permanent home? I'm a little worried that she (and us, for that matter, but that's another story
) will get attached to the cat and will be sad when he/she leaves.

Or am I just making mountains out of molehills here?


Anyway, any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for the length of the post!
 

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You never know if they can get along until you try it.

Cats are (afaik) territorial animals, but they do care for privacy.

I guess they wouldn't like each other at first, then "condow" each other and after a while "like" each other.

And yes, after a while the first cat might miss the foster one.

Just my $0.02
 

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That's great that you're considering fostering!!

I wouldn't suggest "thrusting" the new cat right into the current cat's home environment, especially since she isn't used to other animals coming in her space.... Give her time to adjust. If possible, keep the new cat in a separate room for a couple weeks (or at least a few days) so that the only communication the two cats have is underneath the door. They can smell each other, and hear eachother, and it gives your current cat time to get used to the idea of a new cat staying in her home.

Yes, if your cat does get attached to this one, it may be sad when it's gone. My mom's dog used to get depressed every time one of her foster dogs would get adopted. Eventually she had to adopt a second dog, so that he would always have someone there to play with and now he does good. My cat doesn't seem to mind, she seems to enjoy the new faces. Some of them she hates, and some of them she loves. Both cats and dogs. But when one leaves, I get another one, so she's never alone.
 

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I wish I had the room to foster, but alas I live in a small apartment.
I fostered when I was single and had a larger place, it was great! What worked for me was keeping the cats apart in separate rooms with a separate litter box and food/water dishes the new kitty will need time to adjust to the new smells and sounds of your home as well as the kitty whose home it is.
Let them smell each other and check each other out. I can't say whether or not they will get along, when you foster that is always a gamble.

Good for you for fostering!
 

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i've been fostering cats for about a year now. i have 5 cats of my own and i usually foster 3 (yes, that's an average of 8 cats in my house at one time!!
). this is my system and so far it works great - i've never had any real problems:

- new cat comes in to a room all its own

- all the other cats are able to recognize that someone else is in the house

- sometimes they see each other as i go in and out of new kitty's room but i never let them interact.

- this goes on for a week or more, depending on how vocal new kitty is on being let out into the rest of the house

- i let new kitty and old kitties explore each other's places for about an hour or two - never overnight or when i'm not home to supervise

- after about a week or two of this (gradually increasing time spent with the rest) and everything has gone off well, new kitty has reached the next level and takes his/her place as a full-time temporary member of the community aka my home.

- giving old kitties treats when they react positively to new kitty is a great way to promote good behaviour.

i think that it's really, really great that you are considering fostering. if you do decide to i would also "teach" your fosters manners, i.e. no going on the tables or countertops and to use a scratch post. it makes the cat more adoptable and may help keep the animal in its new home.

good luck and keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all for your suggestions!!! I really appreciate all the advice, and I'll let you know what happens!
 
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