For the past two weeks, our house has been home to three rather special visitors! We’ve been foster parents to a mum and two kittens for Battersea Cats Home. The way it works is that if a pregnant cat, or cat with young kittens comes in to Battersea, they prefer to have them give birth and be raised at someones home where they can feel safe, secure and have as much time and love given to them as possible. So that’s what foster parents do, they provide a secure room for them all, and help to socialise the kittens as much as possible until they have been weaned and are old enough to be permanently re-homed. Plus you’re not expected to spend any money, as Battersea provide all food, litter, bowls, trays, toys, rugs and a basket, so all it costs is a bit of your time!
Our foster cats were handed into Battersea by someone on a Friday, and by Sunday we were taking them home. They consisted of Cupcake the mum, and her two 7 week old kittens, Charlie and Cherry. It turned out to be quite a bit of work, as we wanted to make sure that the kittens would be as happy as possible when they were re-homed, so we made sure to introduce them to lots of people, get them used to household noises such as the hoover and TV, and also get them used to being separated from their mum.
Cupcake, the mum (though we called her CC as we preferred it!)
CC turned out to be an incredibly sweet, affectionate young mum, and we would have loved to have kept her, but unfortunately she didn’t get on with our much older male cat. Cherry and Charlie were absolutely adorable, very good natured, and once over their shyness, very happy to explore and play with us and others. And when they were sleepy, they were very loving and liked to sleep all over us!
We had to take them all back to Battersea yesterday so that Cherry and Charlie could be taken to their new permanent home today, and CC could be neutered and then found a separate home for. It was sad to say goodbye to them, but knowing that Battersea are so careful in choosing the people who take their cats, we were sure that they would all be placed in loving homes.
Fostering was a brilliant thing to do though, and a great idea for anyone with a bit of time on their hands or someone who isn’t sure they are ready to commit to a pet that will be with them for the next 10-15 years. It’s lovely to see the changes in the kittens as they grow and become more confident and affectionate over the time that you look after them.
If you’re interested in fostering, find more information about it at Battersea here.