Why do we need foster carers?
During the warmer months RSPCA ACT is inundated with kittens. To ease the burden on the shelter and ensure that we can continue to accept all animals that need our assistance, we engage volunteer kitten foster carers.
Foster carers provide temporary off-site care for kittens that are too young to be adopted, or for a mother cat and her kittens. The commitment ranges from two to six weeks depending on the kittens' circumstances.
What does a foster carer do?
Foster carers play a very important role in preparing kittens for their future as a loving family pet. Caring for kittens can be demanding, but it is also an extremely rewarding experience.
Kittens need to be fed, weighed, and kept in a secure, clean and hygienic environment. You will need to attend veterinary appointments so that the kitten's health can be monitored, and you may need to administer medications if required.
A very important part of fostering kittens is socialisation. Kittens need to be exposed to all aspects of household living to prepare them for their future home. Kittens need handling, cuddles, toys, playtime and lots of affection to ensure that they grow up to be confident, loving pets.
Who can be a foster carer?
A kitten foster carer must be able to provide a safe and secure environment for their growing kittens. You will need to be able to provide the kittens with an indoor space of their own for the duration of their time with you. A laundry, bathroom, spare room, rumpus room, or an insulated garage may be suitable.
Kitten foster carers need to be able to spend at least a few hours a day interacting with the kittens. People who work full time are not excluded from the kitten foster care program, providing they are able to spend the required amount of time with the kittens each day.
You can still become a foster carer if you have pets in your home, however your pets must be fully vaccinated and the kittens must be kept in a separate area at all times.
RSPCA ACT will provide food, food bowls, litter, litter trays, blankets, bedding, baskets, advice, and veterinary treatment when necessary.
You should be aware that you will form an attachment with the kittens in the time that they are in your care. Handing them back to RSPCA when they are ready to go to a new home can be a difficult and emotional experience. We ask that you carefully consider the impact that this may have on you and your family.