guest blogger, Carol Stack The Joys of Fostering a Mother Cat and her Kittens
Spring is here, and with it lots of kittens. If you have an animal shelter near you, perhaps you want to consider asking if they send mother cats and kittens to foster homes and opening up your home to foster a family of kittens.
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Many shelters have found that sending the mother cat and her kittens to a foster home is a great way to save shelter money and a great way to keep the kittens away from diseases that are found at animal shelters.
Offering your home as a foster home for kittens is a great way to help the animal shelters, and a great way to be involved in helping your community. But there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
First, if you already have cats, be sure to get them vaccinated for the most common cat diseases. The kittens and their mother that you take in could be carrying diseases such as feline leukemia and Feline Infection Peritonitis.
You will also want to make sure your cats do not have anything that could be harmful to the mother and her kittens. Having your cats tested for worms and given a health exam would be helpful in keeping the kittens healthy while they are at your home.
Another thing you want to consider is the responsibility. During the weeks you have them, until they are old enough to be altered and adopted out, you will be responsible for their care. If they get sick, the shelter will probably cover the expense, but you will be the one administering the medicine.
You will also be responsible for taking care of the mother and keeping the kittens safe. With a mother cat and her kittens visiting your home you will not be as free to go away, especially not on any overnight trips.
Those are the difficulties of being a foster home for kittens. What are the benefits?
First, the enjoyment you get from helping these little creatures. Many kittens kept at shelters do not survive because of disease. It is not the fault of the shelter, but with all the animals coming and going there is little chance kittens won't get ill. Depending on how weak or strong they are, these diseases can kill them or weaken them for the rest of their life.
Second, you will enjoy watching these kittens as they get old enough to play with each other. Kittens are so cute, and you will get to enjoy them at their cutest until they are old enough to be adopted out (which in some areas is at about three months).
Third, if you want to get one or two kittens (or more) this is a great way to get to know their character before making any decision. And if you do keep any, you will have the pleasure of having known them since they were very tiny, which is a lot of fun.
All these are great reasons to host a homeless cat and her kittens if you are a cat lover.
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