Volunteering & Fostering
The Many Joys of Volunteering
Volunteering has obvious social benefits: it helps to solve problems, creates a sense of community and improves the lives of cats in need of
a new, loving home. There are many reasons why people volunteer, here are the top ones:
Be Part of the Solution: You'll join a network of people working to make the world better for cats. You'll make the jobs of everyone working for cats a little easier by lending a hand and spreading the message of responsible pet ownership and protection.
Get Warm Fuzzies: You'll never find a more grateful and accepting comrade than a cat you've befriended and comforted.
Keep Good Company: You'll find lots of new friends - and not just the four-legged kind. Working with people who share similar interests can forge lifelong friendships.
Meet the New You: You'll discover skills you never knew you had, and you may be surprised at what you're capable of achieving.
Enjoy a Purr and a Smile: Didn't someone once say that the best things in life are free?
We are always in need of calm and loving short and longer term placement homes for our cats and kittens as they recover from required medical care and prepare for adoption. All supplies, food and instructions are provided to you at no cost to you.
Why is fostering so richly rewarding? Because when you take in one or more foster cats, you are personally responsible for saving their lives. Whether you can care for one cat or many, once or frequently, we would love for you to become a Cat/Kitten Rescue Foster Parent at whatever level of commitment you choose. We offer training, guidance, and lots of moral support.
Foster parents have the unique opportunity to personally help our rescued kittens heal both emotionally and physically from whatever trauma they have been through.
Sometimes these animals come right to our doors... somehow "knowing" where there's a heart that will reach out to them. They are the cats whose owners moved away and simply abandoned them, not understanding why their home has disappeared, but now must scavenge for food and shelter to survive. They are the kittens born to somebody's un-spayed pet and left in gutters, dumpsters, vacant lots...in the hopes that they will die quickly as a "disposable" inconvenience. They are the kittens delivered by stray cats who are abandoned because their mother is too ill or inexperienced to raise them. They are the cats lost, forgotten, and unanswered for by protective forces.
When one of these animals enters your life, however, it is sometimes hard to change your routine, incur extra food and medical costs, and possibly upset your own pets. Many people faced with homeless animals tell themselves, "It's not my problem", "It's not my fault", "It's so sad, but there's nothing I can do". Well, fortunately, there is something you can do without making a lifetime commitment.
So why in the world would any sane human being volunteer to be a foster parent for an animal they don't even own? Why would someone take on the responsibility for an animal someone else was supposed to take care of, but didn't? Why would anyone want to give up their spare bedroom, bathroom, laundry room, etc. and take on responsibility for a pet they will eventually place in someone else's home?
People who choose to foster do so because they know that if they don't step up to the plate, the fate of these animals is either sub-par living conditions or death. They feel good knowing they are making the difference, every minute and every day, in the life of an innocent soul; that a few months of inconvenience turns quickly into a rewarding, educational, challenging, and fun experience they will never forget. While it's true that fosters do get very attached to their animals, they also find a special joy in sending a pet to a wonderful new family.
Fostering is an immensely rewarding experience and is literally a lifeline for an animal whose future is uncertain through no fault of his or her own. Opening your home and heart to a foster cat requires a true commitment to the health and happiness of an animal.
Below are some frequently asked questions from new foster moms and dads:
Help make a difference and sign up
to volunteer or foster today!
1. Won't I get attached? YES! For the time that he or she spends in your home, your foster cat will be like your own. They'll not only look to you for food and water (and poop scooping!), but also for companionship, play, and love. Our foster parents do sometimes kiss their babies goodbye with tears in their eyes, but there is joy mixed with the sadness. Their love and sacrifice are the reason a homeless cat has found her forever home. And if that place in your heart can fit another, there is always one more waiting for the safety and love only you can offer.
2. What will it cost me? Nothing. CatNap provides food and litter as well as all medical care for our emergency fosters.
3. Where does my cat come from? Many of the animals who find themselves in foster homes were once a beloved pet. For some, a new baby in the family or a move across the country meant the pet no longer fit into their guardian's lifestyle. For others, their person passed way, entered a nursing home, and no one else would step up. Some were dumped in a box along a busy highway or found hungry at a back door. But however these pets came to CatNap, the fault was not their own; these lovely animals are not 'damaged goods.'
4. What about my own cats? Your own pets must be up to date on vaccinations and spayed/neutered. Introducing a new cat into the home is stressful for even the most laid-back feline and your resident cat will likely not appreciate a newcomer, so we also ask that foster cats be kept separated from your own pets for everyone's safety.
5. Where do I keep my foster cat? Can the cat go outside? The foster cat may at no time be let or taken outside. This is for the safety of the cat and to confirm her health when she's adopted; this is absolutely mandatory. As mentioned before, CatNap requests you keep your foster cat away from your own pets. Our veteran foster parents usually keep their foster cat in a separate room like an office, bedroom, bathroom, or finished basement. You might be tempted to offer your foster cat the run of your home, but safety is key and a foster situation is only temporary. They'll have their own home soon enough!
6. Can I ask for a certain kind of cat to foster? During the summer months we're inundated with litters of kittens and some fosters just adore the pitter patter of little feet or bottle-feeding orphans all hours of the day and night. Others may prefer a stately older cat. We can't always guarantee the exact match you are hoping for, but we'll do our best! We will probably request that you take whomever is in greatest need, but we will always respect your wishes and do everything we can to match them.
7. Can I adopt the cat I'm fostering? Obviously, with so many cats needing a foster home, we'd prefer you didn't adopt your foster pet. Many of us are foster parents, and we will be there to give you support when your foster pet finds a wonderful home. The best advice we can offer is to go into the foster process understanding that your role in your foster pet's life is to provide a safe haven until their forever homes comes along. We guarantee that you will come to love the next one and the one after that just as much as the first one. After all, you're interested in fostering for CatNap because you love all animals!