Don’t Fall for the Fake Mews! Busting Myths about Fostering Kittens

With summer, you may hear a lot of buzz about “kitten season”, along with the importance of, and the critical need for, kitten fosters. Kitten fosters provide love and care for kittens who are too young to thrive in a shelter. This kitten season, we are encouraging everyone to consider fostering—it’s easier than you think!

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about what it means to be a foster caregiver for itty bitty kitties. We are here to break down those myths and let you know just how easy and rewarding it is to foster our most vulnerable furry friends.

Myth: My home is too small to foster kittens. I don’t have enough space!

Fact: Fostering kittens actually doesn’t require much space. (Have you seen the size of a kitten?!) All you need is a small room, such as a bathroom or spare bedroom, to house the kittens while you’re caring for them. If you don’t have a spare small room for them, you can use an enclosed playpen to house the kitten(s).

Myth: I can’t foster because I have other pets.

Fact: Because foster kittens are kept separate in a small room like a bathroom, your pets will be away from your foster feline(s) for the most part. We recommend you keep any resident pets away from your foster kitten(s) for at least two weeks before you consider a meet-and-greet. That way your foster(s) will have time to grow, and your pets will have time to adjust to having them in the house.

Myth: I won’t be able to let my foster animal go. I’m worried that I’ll get too attached!

Fact: It’s very easy to become attached to your foster animal. After fostering your first animal, you’ll feel empowered when sending your kitten(s) off to a new home! Knowing you’ve provided your foster kittens with the chance to live a long, happy and healthy life is extremely rewarding!

Myth: I have no idea how to teach kittens to use the litter box. It sounds too hard!

Fact: Kittens may be little, but they’re smart! Learning how to use the litter box is an important part of early feline development, but “training” is a bit of a misnomer! Kittens naturally understand the litter box and will be drawn to use it as long as you provide them the proper encouragement. Placing them in their litter box a few times and ensuring they have easy access will make their tidy feline instincts kick in.

Myth: I have a 9-5 job and just don’t have time to foster kittens.

Fact: Fostering doesn’t always have to be a full-time job – there are many types of foster animals that are able to be left alone during the day such as moms with kittens or kittens over the age of four-weeks-old that are eating on their own. At the Regina Humane Society (RHS) we’re very transparent about the needs of each foster animal when we’re requesting a foster family for them, so you’ll know what’s needed before you even offer to take a foster animal on!

Fostering kittens ages four-to-eight weeks old requires a surprisingly little amount time out of your busy schedule! As long as your kittens are healthy and eating on their own, you can feed the kittens three or four times a day, give them socialization (and snuggles) and monitor their health both before you leave and when you get home from work and you’re good to go!

Myth: I can’t take on the financial responsibility. I just don’t have the money to care for foster kittens.

Fact: The RHS provides any supplies you may need during the foster process! The RHS also covers all costs related to the veterinary care of the animal (including vaccination and deworming treatments). Throughout the foster process if you’re in need of additional supplies, all you need to do is contact the Life-Saving Coordinator at the RHS and they can be set aside for you to pick-up!

Myth: I have children, so I can’t foster.

Fact: You can certainly foster kittens if you have children. We actually encourage it! With supervision, children have the opportunity to learn how to care for kittens, play with and socialize them. They’re learning at a young age to love and care for animals responsibly—and we’re all for that! Just be sure that your children wash their hands before and after handling the kittens.

Myth: I like to travel so fostering wouldn’t work for me.

Fact: Fostering may be the perfect set up for you! You can still enjoy the companionship of an animal when you’re available to foster while maintaining the freedom to travel as you’d like! When you take a foster animal from the RHS, you always have an idea as to how long the animal will be with you, so you can easily plan fostering around your travel schedule! It’s truly the best of both worlds!

With content from the ASPCA.