Preparing Your Home and Family

NOTE: Foster kittens and cats must remain indoors only!

Do not let your foster felines outdoors under any circumstances, including in shared hallways, and keep them separated from any resident animals in a confined space such as a roomy crate or in a spare room such as an extra bathroom.

What You Should Do

  • Remove small, ingestible objects from the environment; this may include small toys or parts of toys, elastic bands, paper clips, string, sewing pins and needles, ornaments, tinsel and more
  • Keep toilet bowls closed, especially when small kittens are in the home
  • Secure window screens in any open windows no matter how small the opening
  • Ensure that side panels on window AC units are securely in place and cannot be moved or opened
  • Secure loose electrical wires, cords for window blinds and other potential hazards
  • Remove plants and flowers from the vicinity of your foster animal’s space; many types of decorative vegetation are highly toxic to animals
  • Do not offer any human food to your foster animal
  • Keep your home reasonably climate- controlled (if it’s too hot for you, it’s likely too hot for your foster)
  • Ensure visitors do not leave doors or windows open, and are

conscientious about safety measures that are in place for your foster

  • Discard old or uneaten animal food and keep fresh water available at all times
  • Secure/remove household toxins such as cleaning agents, pesticides and solvents

What You Will Need

Some of this will be provided for you, so check with your volunteer director

  • Litter box and non-clumping litter
  • Large dog crate (if applicable)
  • Carrier (with door removed after transport for hiding spot in crate or room)
  • Wet and dry life-stage appropriate food
  • Formula, syringe and bottle for youngest kittens
  • Heating source for youngest kittensk
  • Scale for youngest kittens
  • Scratchpads and other toys (choose easy to disinfect toys or those that can be disposed of after being used by this particular foster cat; carpeted or wooden scratching posts should not be used)
  • Bedding (towels, blankets, cat beds) that is washable and kept clean and dry at all times
  • Food and water bowls
  • Treats
  • Bleach for disinfecting

Kittens under five weeks of age may still need an additional heating source since they cannot regulate their body temperature. If this is the case, you will be provided with a heating source to use in your kitten’s crate. It is very important to make sure that the kitten has an area of the crate with no additional heating where she can go if she becomes too hot.

A towel or blanket should be placed over the heat source. You may also want to cover the crate with a towel or sheet to keep the home draft-free and cozy. The kitten’s home should be in a warm, quiet room and if possible, room temperature should be around 80-85 F.

Find an orphaned kitten temperature chart on the Maddie’s Fund website.

Feline Foster Care Content:

Overview: Is Fostering Right for You?   

Preparing Your Home and Family                     

Getting Acquainted

Kitten Growth Milestones

Daily Care for Moms with Kittens

Daily Care for Orphaned Kittens

Grooming, Bathing, Socializing

Cleaning & Sanitizing

Medical Information & Concerns

Print & Post Resources for Caregivers

More Foster Resources on ASPCApro

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