How to foster kittens

What does fostering a cat involve?
When you foster, you agree to take a homeless cat into your home and give him or her love, care and attention, either for a predetermined period of time or until the cat is adopted.

How to foster kittens

Why do adoption groups need foster homes?
There are many reasons a cat might need foster care. Some of the most common include:

  • A rescue group doesn’t have a physical shelter and depends on foster homes to care for cats until suitable homes are found.
  • A kitten is too young to be adopted and needs a safe place to stay until he or she is old enough to go to a forever home.
  • A cat is recovering from surgery, illness or injury and needs a safe place to recuperate.
  • A cat is showing signs of stress such as pacing or hiding in the shelter.
  • A cat has not lived in a home before or has not had much contact with people and needs to be socialized.
  • The shelter is running out of room for adoptable cats.

Why should I foster a cat?
Fostering a cat is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have (other than adopting, of course). By taking an animal in need temporarily into your home you’re:

  • freeing up a spot so the shelter or rescue can take in another cat.
  • giving your foster cat the time he needs to be ready for adoption.
  • helping the shelter or rescue learn more about the cat so he can end up in the best home possible.
  • socializing the cat to a home environment and possibly getting him used to being around other pets and different types of people.

How do I sign up to foster a cat?
Find a rescue group or shelter near you and contact them. They’ll likely have you fill out a foster application and, if you are approved, they will work with you to figure out the right foster cat for your household.

Do you have a little extra space in your home, a bit of free time, and some love to share? If so, consider becoming a foster parent for a litter of homeless kittens. With the arrival of “kitten season” in early spring, animal shelters and rescue organizations are flooded with kittens who cannot be put up for adoption until they are eight weeks old. These groups rely on the assistance of volunteer foster parents to save lives by providing temporary care.

Not only does becoming a volunteer foster parent help busy humane organizations, it can be great for you, too. Perhaps you are considering adoping, but aren’t sure if a kitten is right for you. Maybe you travel, and can’t have a “permanent” pet. Or maybe you just want to experience the joy of kittens again and again.

Whatever your reason, you are sure to find that fostering is one of the most rewarding volunteer experiences there is. You’ll be amazed at how much you learn and how gratifying it is to see the kittens grow and develop under your care.

How to Become A Foster Parent

While you can certainly foster kittens on your own, it is usually best to start out by volunteering with a shelter or rescue group since they can provide expert advice and support. Contact your local animal shelter, rescue group, or feral cat organization to sign up as a foster parent. Each organization has different guidelines for foster parents, and once you begin, they will provide you with detailed instructions. This article provides basic information to help get you started.

What Fostering Involves

As a foster parent, you will be responsible for feeding, cleaning, socializing, and cuddling your kittens. In some cases, you may need to bottle feed, give medications or take the kittens to the veterinarian. Some groups provide you with cat food and litter, while others require foster parents to provide these necessities.

In terms of space, you don’t need much. A laundry room, bathroom, or extra bedroom is helpful, but a cage set up in the corner of your bedroom or den can work just fine. Depending on how old the kittens are, you’ll be caring for them for one to eight weeks.

Finally, unless you adopt them, you must be prepared to let your foster kittens go. It can be sad to say goodbye, but remember, you have given them a great start on life. Thanks to you, they will have a loving, permanent home with some very lucky adopters.

Fostering Options

  • A mom cat with kittens. This is actually one of the easiest fostering situations since mom does most of the work. You’ll need a room or large cage along with a nesting area-part of the cage, a closet, large dog carrier, or a box on its side with a blanket draped over the front. Mom will need a litterbox.
    The mother cat will feed, clean, and socialize the kittens. You will feed mom, clean her litterbox and bedding, handle the kittens, and monitor everyone’s health.
  • Bottle feeders (or bottle babies). These are kittens under four weeks old who need to be bottle fed every 2-6 hours depending on how old they are. Since these kittens don’t have a mom, you will also have to help them go to the bathroom, keep them clean, wean them, and train them to use a litterbox.
    You’ll need a warm, safe area in which to confine bottle babies, preferably a cage or large carrier. Some foster parents even convert an extra bathtub into a kitten area. Because warmth is so important, kittens should have access to a towel-covered heating pad, set on low. They must have enough space to be able to crawl off the heating pad if it gets too warm. If you are fostering a single kitten, provide a stuffed animal or something fuzzy for the kitten to cuddle.
  • Self-feeding kittens. Kittens 4-8 weeks old can already eat on their own and use the litterbox, but need TLC until they are old enough to be adopted. You’ll feed them, clean them, play with them, monitor their health, and clean their litterbox. It is best to keep them in a confined area such as a small, kitten-proofed room, or a large cage.
  • Feral kittens. These are kittens, usually 4-8 weeks old, who have grown up with little or no human contact. In addition to the care described above, they also need more intensive socialization to help them become comfortable around people.

Setting Up

  • To kitten-proof a room, remove anything that might fall on a kitten – even a book can cause serious injury. Remember that kittens can climb into tiny holes and crevices and get stuck. Bathrooms seem to be especially easy to kitten-proof, and they are easy to clean.
  • Regular litterboxes are too big for young kittens. Start out with small Tupperware-type containers or shoebox lids. As the kittens grow, so can the litterbox.
  • Some foster parents get permission to bring very young bottle babies to work with them. Kittens sleep much of the time and can stay in a small carrier under your desk.

Health and Safety Basics

Monitoring your charges’ health is extremely important – sick kittens must be treated quickly. Keep tabs on the following:

  • Kittens should be alert and warm to the touch. Chilling is a risk mainly during the first four weeks of life. If the kittens are cold and listless, they must be warmed up immediately. Do not attempt to feed chilled kittens. Place the kittens in a box or pet carrier with a heating pad (placed in a pillowcase then wrapped in a towel) set on low inside the box. Be sure the heating pad covers only half of the bottom of the box–the kittens must be able to move off the heating pad if it becomes too warm.
  • If you notice fleas, you should flea comb the kitten as soon as possible. Do not use insecticides or any other flea products. Kittens can also be bathed with warm water and a very gentle soap. Do not wet the head. Dry the kitten immediately with a towel, then with a blow dryer set on low/warm (not hot, not cold).
  • Diarrhea and upper respiratory infection (watery eyes, stuffy nose, sneezing – similar to a human cold) are serious and should be immediately treated by a veterinarian.
  • Keeping the kittens clean helps to maintain their health. Wash bedding and food and water dishes daily. After they eat or use the litterbox, clean dirty kittens with warm, damp towels and dry them well. Wash your hands before and after feeding and handling kittens.
  • Don’t wear shoes around the kittens, and be especially careful when walking around. They move quickly and it’s all too easy to step on them.
  • Never give cow’s milk to kittens. Since they cannot digest it properly, it can make them sick.
  • Don’t let bottle babies nurse on their siblings – this can cause serious injury.
  • Keep foster animals separate from your own pets.

Kitten Timeline

  • Newborn (or neonatal): Eyes are closed, ears are flat to the head, fur is thin and skin looks pink.
  • Ten days old: Eyes begin to open.
  • Three weeks old: Ears stand up, teeth are visible, and kittens begin to walk – wobbly at first!
  • Four weeks old: Kittens begin eating regular cat food and using the litterbox. They also begin to pounce and leap.
  • Eight weeks old: Healthy kittens will weigh approximately two pounds, and are ready for spay/neuter and adoption.

Leslie Wilson

Leslie Wilson is a special projects consultant for several humane organizations in northern and southern California.

Foster carers needed for the influx of cats and kittens as around three cats every HOUR are admitted into our care across the summer months.

From May to September, is when most kittens are born, and every year our centres see an influx of cats and newborn kittens coming into their care. Often this could be because owners can no longer care for their cats, or the cats have been found abandoned at a young age and need round-the-clock care.

Cat and kitten fosterers needed

How to foster kittens

Our centres are in need of cat and kitten fosterers to help care for cats during busiest time of year.

Centres and branches across England and Wales are now working hard to care for a large number of cats, from hand-rearing kittens to providing a safe place for mum and her litter. Our hard-working centres rely on fosterers who can provide a calm, home environment away from the cattery.

Alice Potter, our cat welfare expert, said:

“The RSPCA sees on average 86 cats coming into care every day, that’s more than three every HOUR. The UK is facing a cat overpopulation crisis with so many cats ending up in our care. This is why we are urging anyone with a big heart and a love of animals to consider fostering cats and kittens for the RSPCA. It’s an incredibly rewarding thing to do and eases the huge pressure on our centre and branch staff.”

Darryl’s story

Darryl Collard, from Wigmore in Kent, fosters for our Leybourne Animal Centre near Maidstone. He has been fostering cats since March this year and so far has cared for a mum and six male kittens, as well as another mum and four male kittens.

“We’ve had two foster cat families so far. It’s lovely watching the kittens grow each day and develop their personalities. By having them at home with us we can make sure they get used to people and household sounds so they’re ready to be rehomed when they’re old enough.

How to foster kittens

“It’s important for the mum to have a nice, calm environment to look after her babies. We’d recommend fostering to someone who wants to help animals but perhaps doesn’t have the time to volunteer at the shelter. You can have them in your own home and make them a part of your everyday life.”

Darryl spotted that his local RSPCA needed fosterers from a post on Facebook. As a cat lover, with two cats himself and plenty of space, he knew he wanted to help out.

Darryl explained that caring for a mum and kittens is a little easier, as for the first three weeks they often sleep and feed with their mum. During the next few weeks, the kittens become more lively and playful and start making a mess. “It’s all part of the fun!” Darryl added.

Abbie’s story

How to foster kittens

Abbie Harvey, a student vet nurse at our Birmingham Animal Hospital also fosters and hand-rears kittens.

Hand-rearing young kittens who don’t have a mum to care for them is a big commitment, as they need to be fed round-the-clock including through the night.

As a ‘cat foster mum’ volunteers are instrumental in building their strength and helping them flourish into healthy cats.

“It’s a brilliant feeling to see all of my kittens rehomed and I’ve kept in contact with all the new owners and get regular updates. Fostering these kittens has been such a pleasure and it’s so good for them to be positively introduced to household items such as hoovers and washing machines and get the socialisation they need.”

Among those Abbie has fostered include tabby cat Poppy, who came into the Birmingham hospital at three weeks old with a prolapsed eye. She needed surgery to have her eye removed and Abbie fostered her whilst she got used to the change.

Chester, a ginger and white cat who came into the hospital at three months old after being found stuck in a drain. He was living as a stray when found and was lame in his back left leg. An x-ray revealed a fracture and so after surgery, he came to live with Abbie whilst he recovered.

“He’s now the most affectionate kitten I have ever fostered and I plan on keeping him. He’s part of the family now.”

Emily’s story

How to foster kittens

Emily Caddick, Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN), has worked for us for three years and has been fostering cats and kittens for two years.

I love fostering and I would recommend it to anyone who has the time and dedication to do it. Seeing the transformation in the animals from start to finish is really rewarding, and knowing that you’ve helped prepare them for their lives in a loving home environment is amazing.”

Willow was Emily’s first foster kitten, equipped with a big personality, and an even bigger meow. The vet staff didn’t realise until she was fostered that the little kitten was completely deaf, which is why her meow was so loud as she couldn’t hear herself.

Teddy was another kitten who was brought into the hospital in Birmingham for care at four weeks old. He had been found tangled up in barbed wire and had a wound on his side. He was incredibly shy at first but over time with lots of patience from Emily, he became a very affectionate cat.

We rely on fosterers to provide temporary homes for the animals in our care. Fostering an animal can help them recover from neglect, abuse, illness or injury – taking the first steps towards finding a new, loving forever home.

When you foster an animal you’ll also be freeing up space in our centres so that we can rescue more animals in desperate need.

Could you become an animal foster carer?

We need more people willing to open up their homes, and their hearts, to help give dogs, cats or horses looking for a fresh start in life.

How fostering helps animals

Animal fostering is an important role. It helps to play a vital part in the rehabilitation of animals and helps improve their chance of finding a new home.

Many animals that we take in have either suffered or are not used to the care and affection that they deserved. Living with a foster family helps to provide them with one-to-one care, allowing them to build up their confidence and get used to a normal lifestyle.

Other animals don’t cope well in an animal centre environment, or need to remain in our care for a long period of time whilst legal proceedings take place. This is where we need fosters to take them in to provide them with a real home, even if it is only on a temporary basis.

How fostering helps you

It’s rewarding to know that you played a key part in helping a rescued animal recover from a life of suffering and start a new life. You’ll get to meet and care for animals with unique personalities and see them rehomed to a new family.

Fostering also gives people who would normally be unable to take in an animal long term, due to other commitments, with an alternative.

Temporary changes to our fostering process due to Covid19

Please be aware that this new process will only be possible for certain animals in our care. As this is a new process and some of our centres and branches are short staffed at this time. Please bear with us if there is a delay in responding to your enquiry. We will be in touch as soon as possible.

Step 1 – Contact your local RSPCA centre or branch preferably by email.

Step 2 – The centre will provide more information about their fostering process and if you wish to proceed they will ask you to complete a foster application form.

Step 3 – you will receive a phone call from the rehoming centre and the foster application process will be completed via phone and email. You will be asked to provide photos or video of your home and you will need to have a secure, private garden/ yard (if you are interested in fostering a dog).

Step 4 – You will be able to collect your foster pet, by appointment, from the rehoming centre.

Step 5 – you will receive ongoing support from the rehoming centre and a visit will be carried out when current movement and other restrictions have been lifted.

The health and safety of potential adopters, fosterers, our staff and volunteers is of utmost importance to us. Unfortunately we can’t foster animals to homes where a member of the household is showing symptoms of or has a confirmed case of Covid-19. Or has been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable or is shielding.

Want to help animals in another way?

If you’re not quite ready, or able, to help provide temporary foster care to animals in our care, but would still like to help why not sponsor a dog kennel or cat pod?

You’ll receive regular updates about how you’re generous gift is helping rescued animals start a new life.

To date, OC Animal Care’s Foster Caretaker Program has successfully saved the lives of over 3500 animals! The foster program buys time and gives a second chance to young or injured puppies, kittens, dogs, and cats. These animals need special one-on-one attention, which the shelter cannot always provide. They are specially selected by our veterinary staff for their health and temperament and just need a little personal attention and time before they are ready to make their adoption debut!

Foster caretakers care for these animals until they are big enough or well enough to be made available for public adoption. Being a foster caretaker can be a challenging and rewarding experience. By opening up your heart and home, you are giving these animals a second chance. Through their dedication and generosity, foster caretakers directly affect the lives of numerous animals that might not have otherwise had a chance at a successful life.

What Types of Animals are Available for Fostering?

When selecting animals for our foster program, our veterinary staff considers several factors. If an animal meets the required criteria, we may then outreach to our registered foster caretakers seeking placement of the animal. Animals that are currently available for adoption are not candidates for our foster program, as we want to make sure they are at the shelter eager to meet their adoptive family!

Small Puppies and Kittens:

• Is the puppy/kitten under 8 weeks of age?
• Does the puppy/kitten weigh between 1.5 and 2 lbs?
• Can the puppy/kitten eat pet food freely on its own?
• Is the puppy/kitten in good health?
• Does the puppy/kitten have a friendly temperament?

Injured Animals:

• Does the animal have an injury that will heal quickly with rest?
• Has the animal recently undergone surgery to correct a severe injury?
• Is the animal in otherwise good health?
• Does the animal have a friendly temperament?

How Can I Get Started?

  1. Read the Foster Caretaker Manual
  2. Complete the following documents:
    • Foster Caretaker Application
    • Foster Caretaker Agreement
    • Foster Caretaker Manual Agreement
    • Background Check Consent Form
  3. Return the completed application and agreements by email, mail or fax to
    • Volunteer Program Coordinator
      OC Animal Care
      1630 Victory Road
      Tustin, CA 92782
      714-796-6427 Phone
      714-259-1084 Fax
      [email protected]
  4. You will be notified once your application has been reviewed

Background Check Policy

All volunteers must complete a comprehensive background check. All of your information is kept confidential, following county policies on document retention and the redaction of private information from files. This is provided by OC Animal Care at no cost to potential volunteers. Any volunteer with the following items in their background check will not be accepted . Eliminating items include but are not limited to:

• Any sex offense
• Any violent felony
• Any crimes against humanity
• Any pending cases (awaiting trial/hearing or adjudication)
• Any felony within the last 10 years. (Further in history is at the discretion of OC Animal Care)
• Misdemeanor offenses in the last 5 years.
• Misdemeanor drug/alcohol offenses.
• Crimes relating to nature of assignment (animal cruelty/neglect/bandonment)

How to foster kittens

The Rewards of Fostering

“I’ve been fostering for about 10 years all together and I find it extremely heartwarming, especially when a dog comes from the shelter and was totally scared and timid. When you see them open up and learn to love again under your care, there’s nothing better. You get to show them what it’s like to be a normal dog, teach them your routine, and help them find that forever home.” – Jennifer F.H.

“My family and I have been fostering animals with the OC Animal Care program for a number of years. We’ve fostered under age puppies for weeks or months until they can reach an appropriate age for adoption… These little guys bring joy and delight to our entire family while they stay with us. It’s a lot of hard work and it is always sad to see them go, but we are so fortunate to be able to help keep these little guys healthy and alive, socializing them and teaching them a few things to get them ready for their new homes. It truly breathes new life into our home for the time they are living with us. We have specific, fond memories about each one that has stayed with us and we plan on continuing to help save the lives of these little guys by fostering as long as we are able.” – Kristi O.

“I fostered three little kittens that were somewhat scared. My secret to win them over was cooked chicken that’s shredded into little bites, just the right size for little mouths. Kittens can’t resist the smell of chicken and with patience, they came around. Sitting on the floor, holding chicken in my fingers, and requiring they come to me to get it did the trick. Within 4 days of receiving them, they were stomping all over me for chicken. They turned out to be the most loving little guys ever, the best scenario for them to get adopted.” – Sharon F.

“Volunteering as a kitten foster has been one of most rewarding and joyful things I’ve had the honor of doing. When I first pick up a litter of kittens, I always worry that I may not be able to transform them into the friendly, snuggly confident kittens that our prospective adopters will adopt. However, it never fails. The time passes so quickly, and before my eyes all of the kittens begin to grow into playful, funny and affectionate (very adoptable) kittens. The support of the Community Outreach Team, including the veterinary and kennel staff, is awesome. I love being a foster.” – Debbie B.

Pawmetto Lifeline is a no-kill nonprofit rescue organization. There will never be a facility big enough to accommodate shelter animals in need. Pawmetto Lifeline relies on compassionate people such as you to temporarily house and care for shelter animals that would otherwise be euthanized. Pawmetto Lifeline animals are rescued from local municipal animal shelters to avoid euthanasia and placed in foster homes. Before being placed in a foster home, every animal is assessed for health.

Pets end up in shelters and rescues because their relationship with their former humans was somehow broken. Sometimes this occurs through some tragedy that separated them from a loving home. However, sometimes it happens because the pets were not trained or well managed.

All Pawmetto Lifeline foster parents are required to have a completed application on file. Click here to complete our foster application. Once the application has been completed you will be contacted to answer additional questions or with the training dates. Training only takes 2 hours and gives you information on who to call if there is an emergency, how you receive your supplies, what happens when you pick up a pet, etc.

A foster will give temporary housing to a Pawmetto Lifeline animal in need. You are able to foster kitten, puppies, dogs or cats. The Foster Team works hard to match you with a pet that best fits your home. Many people like to have big dogs only or perhaps you only want new moms with a litter of kittens; we do our best to accommodate your needs, but encourage you to try and help as many kinds of animals as possible.

We look to our Fosters to provide our pets with love and care, socialization and a general assessment of their personality. By providing this information we are better prepared to place the pets in the appropriate adoption home.

Pawmetto Lifeline’s Foster Program provides food, supplies and all medical care. We also provide 24/7 support and training.

We ask that our foster homes make at least a two-week commitment to each animal.

Requirement to become a foster parent:

  • Complete a Foster Application
  • Have the consent of your landlord.
  • Have your own pets current on all their vaccinations.
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • If you are under 18:
    • Live with your parents ask them to complete the Foster Application and get the entire family involved.

    Although fostering takes a great deal of time and commitment, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

    We are looking for volunteers who can commit to fostering underage kittens in their homes for an average of 2-4 weeks. Kittens in the Foster program are largely those who are too young for adoption and who need a nurturing environment until they old enough for the adoption floor. These kittens are small and require more individual care than they can receive in a shelter environment, making the foster home an ideal placement. Foster volunteers care for the kittens in their home, ensuring that their basic needs for food, warmth, safety, and socialization are met, while closely monitoring their health and growth. As their caretakers, foster parents schedule and bring in their kittens for regular vaccine appointments. We’ll provide you with food, supplies, and the support you need every step of the way.

    Is Fostering Kittens For Me?

    Fostering kittens is hard but also rewarding work. Please ask yourself the questions below to see if fostering is a good fit for you and your family:

    We ask that you spend a minimum of 2 hours per day providing invaluable socialization and care for your kittens.

    A flexible schedule or varying schedule of household members is ideal for foster volunteering. That said, most SF SPCA foster volunteers do work full time and manage to care for their kittens. We don’t recommend leaving kittens unattended for more than 8-9 hours per day.

    The SF SPCA requires foster volunteers to live within 45 minutes of the Mission District campus.

    Foster kittens will need to be brought in for vaccine appointments every two weeks, and for additional medical appointments if they become ill.

    Foster kittens are tiny and curious and must be kept in an enclosed and easily sanitizable space such as a bathroom or kitchen with a door. Additionally, foster kittens must remain separate and isolated from resident pets at all times.

    Foster kittens do make a mess sometimes, and may have diarrhea and/or vomit if they become ill. Your kitten space must also be sanitized between litters of foster kittens. Additionally, kittens can ruin curtains, carpeting, and other household items.

    Please understand that only our medical team can treat foster animals.

    A kitten foster period is generally 2-4 weeks, depending on their age, weight, and health. When agreeing to take foster kittens we ask that you commit to the entire duration. However, if an emergency or unforeseen situation does occur, you are able to return the kittens to the SF SPCA.

    It can be difficult to bring back kittens once you have become emotionally attached, but there are always more kittens who need a foster home!

    This can be very difficult, but the sad truth is that, though rare, it occasionally happens.

    Foster volunteering will provide both of these experiences in abundance!

    If you answered “yes” to all these questions, then fostering kittens might be a great volunteer opportunity for you. Here’s how to get started:

    How to Get Started

    1. The first step in becoming a kitten foster volunteer is to attend a Kitten Foster Volunteer Orientation. Please choose a foster orientation from the dates listed below:

    None currently scheduled

    2. Complete a foster volunteer application and include your desired orientation date. Please note that this application is for foster applicants only (register and fill out an application here, you will be automatically registered for your desired orientation date).
    3. Read our Kitten Foster Manual
    4. Attend the Kitten Foster Volunteer Orientation
    5. The Foster team will work with you to schedule your first kitten pick-up!

    “There is no better way to end the day than to sit down and have 2 or 3 or 4 kitties climb into your lap and on your shoulders and start purring.” – Mary Godfrey

    By becoming a Foster Hero, you provide one animal with a comfortable, loving home while they await adoption, plus open a space at our shelter for another animal. We will supply everything you need to foster your new furry friend. You just bring the LOVE!

    Foster Heroes Program

    So many ways to foster.
    Countless rewards.


    Give an animal a safe, loving home while they wait to be adopted. Adoption Ambassadors learn all about their foster animal and help our team match them with the perfect fur-ever home. Share photos and videos, promote your animal online and around town and tell potential adopters what you love about your foster pal. Average foster time: 2-3 weeks.


    Some animals need a little extra TLC to prepare for adoption. Many of our pets come from Animal Cruelty Investigations, such as hoarding situations, neglect and abuse. With our support and guidance, you can help an animal learn about love, trust and good house manners, and you’ll be rewarded by watching them be transformed. Average foster time: 4 weeks to 3 months.


    Bring an animal with medical needs into the comfort of your home to recover. The caring environment you provide reduces stress for animals who have been injured or ill, mothers and their litters or orphaned puppies and kittens. We provide you with the supplies, training and guidance, and you celebrate as your foster pet heals. Average foster time: 2 to 4 weeks.


    When an animal is unadoptable due to a medical condition or life expectancy, your home can provide a peaceful, loving environment for their final weeks, months or years. We provide all your foster’s medical needs and support to keep them comfortable, and you will have the gratitude of a special animal as you help them across the Rainbow Bridge. Average foster time: 3 months to several years.

    Getting started is simple.

    To get started as a Foster Hero, fill out our foster application. Then our staff will work with you to determine what type of foster pet best suits your lifestyle and can benefit from your special kind of TLC.

    Full support on every level for you and the pet you foster.

    We provide you with all the supplies you need, including crates, treats, food, toys, potty pads, pet gates and more.

    Our staff will also go over your foster pet’s unique needs and conditions, as well as resources, training and other support to make your foster journey a great experience. We offer boarding as well as foster sitters for our Foster Heroes, so that they can go out of town and resume fostering their pet when they return.

    Start when you can. Stop when you need to.

    Once you are signed up as a foster for the SPCA of Texas, you will receive foster requests, a foster newsletter highlighting our successes and be invited to join our Foster Hero Facebook group. Our Foster Heroes can also browse the pets we currently have awaiting foster homes and request to foster a specific pet.

    If at any time a Foster Hero is no longer able to foster a pet, we will coordinate with them to bring the pet back to our shelter.

    Falling in love and want to adopt your foster?

    Some of our Foster Heroes fall in love with their foster pets and choose to adopt them. We can help with that too. Some people call this a “foster fail,” but we know everyone involved is coming out winners!

    Your donations feed our animals and provide medical help.

    The Guardian Angel Foster Care Program is a program through which families provide temporary homes for animals that are not yet ready for adoption. Through this program, thousands of animals are able to have a second chance to find their forever homes. You can click here to complete our online foster care application.

    What animals go into foster care?

    • Kittens under 2.0 pounds
    • Puppies younger than 8 weeks old
    • Nursing mothers
    • Animals recovering from illness or surgery
    • Animals who need to gain weight
    • Animals who require socialization
    • Animals with behavior issues

    What does NHS provide?

    • Food and bowls
    • Bedding
    • Crates, kennels and carrier
    • Litter box and litter
    • Medical care
    • All we ask of you is to transfer animals to and from the shelter.

    How long do animals stay in foster care?

    • The duration varies depending on case. The average time is 3 to 8 weeks.
    • You are able to bring animals back if needed.

    If I have my own animals, can I foster?

    • Yes, but it is always a health risk to expose your animals to fosters.
    • We ask that if you foster cats/kittens or nursing mothers, you keep them in a separate room.
    • The health risk is minimal if your animals are current on vaccinations and obtain a health lifestyle.
    • Owned animals must be current on vaccinations and licensed before fostering.

    Can I foster if I have children?

    • Yes, fostering is a great family experience. Fostering teaches children lessons in responsibility and caring for animals.

    What are the duties?

    • Provide and care for animals.
    • Contact foster care staff if animal becomes ill or if any concern arises.
    • Transfer animals to and from the Nebraska Humane Society.

    How do I become a foster parent?

    Why foster?

    A testimonial from a current foster parent: I began fostering dogs and puppies because I felt this was a wonderful way to contribute a helping hand to the Nebraska Humane Society. Without foster parents bringing animals into their home, they would have to spend their time in the back kennels of the humane society waiting to become eligible for adoption. Some have medical problems or behavioral or socialization problems or simply are not old enough. They do not understand why they are abused, abandoned or left in a shelter and very much need our help. This allows them to be comfortable in a home with a family, children and other animals.

    I care very deeply for each and every one that I bring into my home. Sometimes it is very hard to give these guys back for adoption after getting so attached, but I have to believe that they will be going to a good home with a family that will love them as much as I do.