So you have kindly signed yourself up to foster rescue cats whilst they wait for a permanent home. This is a very nice thing to do so you should feel very good about yourself.
If this is the first time you are fostering a cat then you will need to cat proof your home.
Firstly be sure to hide all electrical wires to prevent the cat from playing with them or chewing them.
Ensure that all cleaning products are kept secure in a cupboard to prevent ingestion of these dangerous chemical products. Antifreeze is highly toxic but also very palatable to cats so ensure the cat does not have access to this.
Research any plants that you have in your house or garden to ensure they are not toxic to cats when ingested.
Finally speak to the centre about whether the cat is allowed to go outside and any advice they can give on this, especially the time period they recommended to keep the cat inside before they can be let out. If they are allowed outside then be sure to cat proof your garden too by removing any potential hazards and not using any chemical pesticides on plants as they can be ingested too.
Whilst they are in the house cat toys are important to keep them stimulated and entertained. They can also relieve stress and help to keep them calm.
It is important to remember that when the cat comes into your home they will be extremely stressed and unsure of what is happening. You must give them their own space and allow them to deal with the change by their own terms. Do not over fuss or overcrowd them and provide a safe area for them where they can go to be alone.
They may also be scared to eat so place their food in a quiet area too so they can eat in peace and quiet.
Feliway is a scent that replicates the scent that cats leave behind when they scent mark furniture by rubbing against them. As this smell calms cats Feliway can help to reduce anxiety in stressful situations. It is available in a spray which can be sprayed over furniture and their bedding and a diffuser which can be plugged into their quiet area to help calm them further.
Cat food is a very important consideration and it is best to continue feeding them the food they are fed at the centre so at least one thing is the same. This will give them some comfort and encourage them to eat as they will be less likely to eat at the beginning anyway. Changing a cat’s food suddenly can also cause digestive upset which is the last thing both of you need during this stressful period. Mixing their food with a few treats may also be useful to encourage them to eat.
Happy fostering! If you follow the advice given it should help to make the fostering process much easier and more enjoyable.