So you absolutely adore felines, but living with one full-time is not an option at this point; maybe your living situation doesn't allow it, or perhaps you're just not sure that you're ready for the lifetime responsibility. That's all right! There's a way to share your love with a feline without committing – and in the process, save a life. How? By fostering a cat! In this article, we discuss how looking after a needy kitty can make both of your lives richer and happier!
Fostering a Kitty Can Teach You a Lot
If you have never lived with a feline before – or if it has just been a number of years – you may not know what it's like to share your life with these unique little critters. Certainly you've heard plenty of stories – how they're stubborn, willful, and abundantly sassy – all of which have a grain of truth to them. However, by temporarily keeping a kitty, you will get to know that they are complex creatures that can also be shockingly loving, brilliant, and generally hilarious.
In addition to learning about the many distinctive qualities of cats, you will also learn some life lessons. All right, so that sounds a bit like an after-school special, but hear me out. Looking after a stray cat can teach you patience, boost your empathy, and show you how to care for another life in both a physical and emotional way. Furthermore, depending on the cat you are fostering, you might also learn some other useful skills. For instance, how to properly nourish a baby, how to care for wounds, and how to train or re-train an animal. Pretty neat, right?
A Foster Cat Can Fit Into Just About Any Lifestyle
Maybe committing to a kitty isn't an option right now because your home isn't equipped for the rigors of a full-sized feline. Perhaps you have a busy work schedule or you spend a lot of time studying. Or you might just be a regular traveler who doesn't spend a ton of time at home. If any of those sound familiar, then fostering a cat could very well be a good option for you.
Why? If your house isn't set up for a mature cat, you may very well still have enough space to look after a newborn stray or two – after all, all you need is space to keep a small crate, tiny litter box, and all those bottles! If you have a busy schedule with either work or school, you can easily foster a fully grown, perfectly independent feline who only requires the essentials and a few free moments for love and play. Finally, if you're constantly on the move, you can easily fit in some kitty time with short-term fostering programs.
No matter what your lifestyle is, fostering a cat is almost always an option. Just be sure to speak with your chosen rescue group or humane organization, and be honest with them about your life. If you do, they can help set you up with the perfect kitty for your unique situation.
You Get to Find Your Ideal Feline
It should come as no particular surprise that people who foster cats ultimately end up adopting. I mean, who can blame them? It's hard not to get attached to your little foundlings. But there are some cats that you can connect with better than others, and as a foster, you get the opportunity to find the cat that just seems to... fit. Better yet? Once a cat or kitten officially becomes adoptable – either because it hits the right age for adoption, or because it has overcome any physical or temperamental hurtles – you, as the short-term caregiver, get the first chance to be the long-term companion!
In the same vein, fostering a cat helps you and your household prepare for a more permanent situation. For instance, if you already live with dogs and you want to see if introducing a feline into the mix will make for a happier home, your foster kitty – with proper introductions – might warm them to the idea; if you have kids, keeping a foster can help prepare them for the responsibility of having a feline of their very own.
Fostering a Cat is Good for Your Well-Being
Fostering a cat just makes you feel good. All right, this may sound a little selfish, but in this case, it's a good thing. After all, the reason it makes you feel good is that watching a frightened, lost little animal become the confident, bold, brilliant creature it was meant to be ultimately means that it has the chance to have a good life in the long run. And besides, if you had a hand in helping that kitty become so bold, you should absolutely be proud of yourself.
But that's not the only thing. Keeping a kitty – or any critter – for any amount of time can be a generally enriching experience. As we mentioned earlier, kitties are definitely educational creatures. They are also healing for both your body and your mind; they are great for your social life; and they are generally pretty helpful, be them bug catchers or disease detectors.
Fostering a Cat Has a Trickle Down Effect
So you decide to watch over one cat. Just the one. You take the time to train him and love him, help him get over any bad habits, nourish his little body and big brain, and finally send him off to a good, permanent home. All is well for that one cat. Right? Well, yes and no. Yes, that single feline has been lucky enough to find himself in a marvelous situation; however, lots of other beings have also reaped the rewards of your actions. How?
- First, by fostering this one cat you have helped to mold said kitty into a perfectly adoptable companion, thus allowing him to go into a home that is ready – and excited – to share its time and love for a lifetime.
- Next, by taking that feline out of the rescue organization, you have opened up a space for another cat in need of care.
- Finally, you helped prevent other kitties from entering the system by caring for a cat or kitten during the spay or neuter process.
As you can see, by fostering just one feline, you have changed multiple lives for the better. How cool is that?
Whether living long-term with a feline is not an option, or you simply love the idea of helping out, fostering a cat can be a rewarding experience. Hopefully, in this article you have found some compelling reasons to open your home to one of the numerous needy kitties in this world!
We're celebrating cat adoption month all through June! That said, if you want in on all the fun, but you're still on the fence on whether you want to adopt or foster, check out our quiz here. If, on the other hand, you're already convinced that you cannot live without feline companionship, check out our article on cat adoption here!
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