Here's Why You Should Foster A Cat

You might even end up with a new best friend 🥰🐈

foster a cat

Adopting a cat is a big commitment.

You’d really love to have a cat in your home, but aren’t sure if you’re fully ready yet — so what do you do?

Luckily it’s always an option to foster a cat instead!

The Dodo spoke with Mary Shaughnessy, founding member of Kitt Crusaders in Los Angeles, who explained just what fostering means, and why you should totally do it.

What is fostering?

“Fostering is taking care of a cat or kitten after he is rescued and before he is adopted,” Shaughnessy told The Dodo.

In other words, you’re getting a temporary taste of what it would be like to actually adopt a cat of your own, without the pressure of making a lifelong commitment.

“Basically, it’s like letting your friend crash on your couch before he finds his own place,” Shaughnessy explained.

Fostering vs. adopting

While fostering and adopting essentially sound like the same thing, the key difference is the amount of time you’re committing.

“[Fostering is] not permanent unless you decide to adopt,” Shaughnessy said.

Plus, the rescue will usually cover the costs of things like supplies and medical care, so it’s less of a financial commitment as well. 

“When you foster a cat or kitten, you have responsibility for caring for him by keeping him safe and healthy but you do not have the financial responsibilities,” Shaughnessy explained.

Why you should foster a cat

Not only is it less pressure than being a full-time pet parent, but there are also a ton of other reasons why you should foster a cat.

“It’s a great way to help cats and kittens get socialized and be cared for before they are adopted,” Shaughnessy said.

And it actually helps out other cats, too.

“Fostering a cat [or] kitten gives that cat a place to go and frees up space at the shelter or rescue group [for another cat],” Shaughnessy explained. 

It’s really just a great move for everyone involved!

“It’s good for the soul,” Shaughnessy said. “It’s [a] win-win. You get a snuggly buddy to hang out with for a while, and the cat gets a safe place to hang out before they are adopted.”

Getting attached to your foster cat

Of course, you might find yourself in a position where you fall so in love with your foster cat that you can’t imagine giving him up. (Turns out, it happens a lot.)

And if the thought of being separated from your new BFF is too devastating, you could always just adopt him yourself!

“If you get attached and decide to adopt, we call that a ‘foster fail’,” Shaughnessy said. “It’s the only kind of ‘fail’ that’s good!”

In fact, it’s so good that it’s actually encouraged.

“Fostering is a fantastic way to find your new best friend,” Shaughnessy explained. “You already know what that cat or kitten is like, and you’ve been through the adjustment period.”

And you already know that you’d make a perfect pair.

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