What I Learned from Fostering Kittens

The idea of having a bunch of kittens running around in my apartment was amazing when I was offered the chance to be a foster parent for shelter animals. I thought it would be like the de-stressor events on campus where they bring therapy dogs, only 24/7. But besides just having a fluffy pal to chill with after classes and midterms, fostering kittens has shown me a lot of different things.

 

1. Cats Kind of Smell

When my roommate and I got our first litter, we had one momma cat and five of her kittens. It was a full house immediately, and we were scrambling all over town to get them supplies. Fortunately, most foster programs provide both food and litter.

Luckily, the kittens were litter box trained! We were honestly surprised to see all five of them know how to use the restroom. Only thing was, those little stinkers liked to hang out in the litter box so when you picked one up for a smooch, the litter stuck to their paws which didn’t make things very nice.

 

Our second litter didn’t come litter box trained. Every animal has its own history, and these kittens were simply never exposed to litter boxes. This made it  a little more work because we had to worry about them using the restroom on our bedroom floors or pillows. We’re currently trying to get them to go in the litter box, butit’s not going so well. 

 

On top of those two, we also got a litter of a momma and six kittens. We’re not exactly sure if they’re litter box trained yet, but we’re hoping they are because that’s a lot more litter.

(Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

 

2. Pet Shelters Can Be Amazing

When three cats from the first litter got sick, we took them into the shelter where their on-site vet techs attended to them and sent us home with medicine. If you’re considering fostering and are worried about having to pay vet fees, we didn’t have to pay a single thing. 

 

The pet shelter was super enthusiastic when we agreed to take a big litter on top of the two we already have. The lady in charge of fostering animals told us she wished more people were like us and willing to take in so many animals. You don’t have to take in 9 cats like we did, but even just taking one or two cats off their hands for a few weeks can be really helpful for them. It gives them more space and allows them to take in more cats that need emergency shelter.

(Photo courtesy of Unsplashed

 

3. Most Cats Aren’t Jerks

Sure, maybe three of our foster cats were just not having human interaction. Most of the kittens, however, are always super loving and adore you after a few days. They’re always super shy and quiet at the start because of the new environment, but by day three, they basically say, “Okay. We’re going to wreck your home now.” And they do. But in a kitten way. The worst thing they’ve ever done is waking  me up at 8am by wrestling in my bed when they were supposed to be sleeping in the living room. 

 

But these kittens have also slept in my bed on nights when I’ve been exhausted and sad, slept on my lap while I got homework done, and followed me around the house after getting home from school. Every kitten is different, and it’s fun to find out what makes them stand out from their siblings.

(Photo courtesy of Unsplashed

 

If you’re debating fostering animals, do it! If you have space in your apartment that allows pets (I personally haven’t paid my pet fee but shh), go talk to your local shelter. You can take in cats and dogs of all ages and give them a few weeks to get used to people before they’re able to get adopted out. 

 

The best feeling from this process was when we went back to the shelter and they told us that three of the cats from our first litter had been adopted within four days. It makes me happy to know I was part of the process of them finding their forever home.