WHAT IT'S LIKE TO FOSTER CATS

  1. I have fostered two cats with Annex Cat Rescue in Toronto.
    They are a volunteer-run organization with no shelter space. They rely entirely on fostering.
  2. I care for the cat and pay for its food/litter, but they cover the vet bills.
    I get a tax receipt for the money I spend on food/litter. When I first started fostering, they provided the litter box, toys and food to get me started.
  3. Yes, you get attached to the cats.
    I had my first foster cat, the first cat I ever cared for, for a year and a half before she got adopted. I was heartbroken when I had to send her off to her new home, but I knew she was going to a good place, with people who could care for her well long-term.
  4. When one leaves, you can get another foster right away.
    It helps dull the pain!!!
  5. Sometimes the cats need rehabilitating.
    A lot of these cats are strays who were abandoned or abused. My first foster cat had some behavioural issues – she was majorly food-obsessed because she was left out to starve – and my current one has health issues that need to be taken care of before he's put up for adoption. But you can also ask for a low-maintenance cat if you don't feel up to the task.
  6. There are many benefits to fostering instead of adopting!
    If you are commitment-phobic like I am, it's a low-pressure way of enjoying pet ownership. You always have the support of the rescue – for example, they can help if you are having issues with the cat or if you're going out of town and need a cat sitter. The fact that they pay the vet bills is also great, as that can be a huge financial burden. I won't ever adopt a cat unless I know I can pay the vet bills.
  7. There are many benefits to fostering before adopting!
    Fostering is a great way to get your feet wet, especially if you've never had a pet before. You have the support of the rescue, and you can see how you like pet ownership. You'll have the chance to really get to know the cats, and if there's one you particularly click with, you can adopt it!
  8. Overall I'm really glad I decided to foster.
    I've always wanted a cat, but I'm glad I didn't adopt one the first chance I got. Fostering really opened my eyes to the work and commitment and gross parts of pet ownership, but it also gave me the opportunity to meet two really sweet cats who've provided comfort when life wasn't going so great. It's nice to take care of something outside of yourself.