Cat rescues do not always have a shelter – such is the case with GLBR. This is where fosterers are vital, as their role is caring for rescue cats while they are 'between homes'. Fosterers are volunteers who look after the cat at their home, until a suitable permanent home can be found.
Fostering involves taking the cat into your home temporarily and providing all the necessities to ensure the cat is healthy and happy. If you go out to work, or have other pets, you can still become a fosterer. You don't need to have a big house and fostering can be as long or as short term as you like.
There is no upper age limit to becoming a fosterer! Elderly people can make excellent foster parents. If an older person has resisted getting a cat because they are worried that it may outlive them, then fostering could be the answer.
The reasons cats come into a rescue are many and varied. Although some may have a behavioral problem, mostly it is due to an owner's change in circumstances: the owner has moved somewhere that doesn't allow pets, the family is moving, relationship breakdowns and divorce, a family member has an allergy, or the owner has died or gone into a care home. Some cats are just simply 'unwanted', some are found wandering the streets.
Each cat has a different personality and a different history and will react to being fostered differently. Sometimes they have been through ordeals that you may never know about, yet others will simply have come from a loving home and be bewildered as to why they have lost their family. There can sometimes be medical or behavioral problems to overcome.
Every fosterer makes a huge difference to the lives of these animals, keeping them safe and healthy until they are permanently adopted. Undoubtedly, the biggest benefit to fostering is that you are helping an animal who has fallen on hard times. Sometimes this can be the first time in its life that the animal has felt safe, cared for and loved.
The feeling of achievement when a nervous ex-stray finally comes up to you for a petting, after maybe weeks of shying away from human contact, is wonderful. If you ever felt you wanted to make a real difference to an animal's life, please consider fostering.
When your foster cat goes to its permanent home, it will be bittersweet. This is especially true if it has been a tougher case (i.e. working to bring out a shy cat) not to mention how attached you become if the cat has been with you a long time. It's almost heartbreaking and you may wonder why you put yourself through the heartache until the next needy cat comes in and you're reminded of exactly why you foster: because they need you.
Most importantly is love and concern for cats
Time and desire to socialize cats.
Willingness to provide food, water, and litter.
Ability to provide a clean living environment and daily care.
Other animals in the home must be current on all vaccinations and spayed/neutered as age appropriate.
Fosters should be kept separate from the foster parent’s animals, if at all possible.
Expense: Fosters provide food, litter and other necessities for the animal, however, GLBR will provide approved medical care for those cats in need at a vet in your local area.
To apply to become a foster home for Great Lakes Bengal Rescue, please submit your application and we will be in contact with you to discuss fostering.