Learn More About Fostering:
Open Your Home and Heart to Cats and Kittens in Need!
Purrfect Pals is looking for dedicated folks to serve as foster parents for special cats.
Typically we need temporary foster home for kittens too young to be adopted or a mom cat and her kittens. We may need homes for a single night, or for several weeks, depending on the situation. We train all of of our volunteers on proper foster care procedures and then put the volunteers on call. Volunteers can always say no if they cannot take kittens at a given time.
We also look for dedicated volunteers to take adult cats on a very temporary basis or to accept young cats in need of extra-socialization to help make them great candidates for adoption.
Volunteers need to be available to attend one training session at Purrfect Pals in Arlington, Washington and be available to travel to Purrfect Pals to pick up kitties. You will also be expected to periodically return your cats to the shelter to receive vaccinations and other medical care, as needed. Purrfect Pals will provide any supplies you need for your foster kitties: food, litter, formula, toys, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions: Fostering
Why does Purrfect Pals need foster parents?
Our shelter does not have space to keep kittens, and they thrive in foster care homes with loving families caring for them. Foster care homes are vital to the rescue work of our shelter. Every year we see an increase in the number of cats and kittens that need rescue, and our need for foster care homes increases too. We rescue adult cats and kittens from overcrowded shelters that euthanize for illness or lack of space. We also help owners with unplanned litters, and cats and kittens found abandoned as strays. Many of these animals arrive sick, underweight, and under-socialized; all of these conditions are treatable. In 2013, nearly 1,000 kittens and adults were saved in our foster care program.
How do I become a foster parent?
Please fill out the online foster parent application on our website and submit it. You’ll soon be contacted by the Foster Care Manager, who will set up a time for new foster parent orientation and a tour of our shelter. You’ll have an opportunity to ask questions and learn about kitten development, kitten care, signs of kitten illness, animal proofing your home, and adoption events.
What will I be responsible for?
Provide a safe room in your home (bedroom, bathroom, laundry room, etc.) that is isolated from your own companion animals. We recommend your own pets are current on vaccines, as we are not able to medically treat them. Provide fresh food, water, and clean litter boxes twice daily. Medicate ill kittens as instructed by shelter clinic staff and veterinarian. Bring kittens back to shelter for vaccines, spay/neuter appointments, and clinic appointments as needed. Foster animals must remain indoor only. Comply with Purrfect Pals volunteer philosophies and policies. Spoil, love, cuddle, play with, and enjoy your foster cats and kittens!
How long will I foster?
The length of the foster care commitment depends on the age, health, and socialization of the cats and kittens. A Mom cat with newborn kittens would require 9-10 weeks of foster care time. An adult cat who is depressed would benefit from 2-4 weeks of foster care. Older kittens require at least 4-6 weeks of foster care. We do our best to ensure that fostering fits well into your busy lives.
Who needs fostering?
Our greatest need is fosters who can take care of adult cats. Many adoptable cats at shelters have very treatable illnesses, such as colds or parasites, and are sadly euthanized. We rescue many cats that require limb or tail amputation, or eye removal, and need time in foster homes to recuperate from surgery. Mom cats with litters are wonderful to foster, as the Mom cats take great care of their babies. Older kittens who are weaned are fun to foster as you get to watch their development stages and see them grow! We need fosters who can take care of FIV and Feline Leukemia positive cats and kittens too.
Who we are able to help?
Purrfect Pals has partnered with local shelters in western Washington to rescue and help reduce euthanasia rates. We also schedule intakes of cats and kittens from the general public, by appointment only. Washington State law mandates Purrfect Pals can only provide foster care for animals in our shelter and foster care programs. We are not able to provide fostering for animals that have owners but need boarding care.
What if my foster cat or kittens are ill?
Purrfect Pals has an onsite veterinarian and clinic staff at our shelter. Our shelter clinic is able to provide the majority of routine medical care needed for our foster animals, and we schedule these appointments. We are able to viral test, vaccinate, spay and neuter, perform surgeries, diagnose and treat illnesses, prescribe medication and provide special diets. In case of emergency you will be able to contact our clinic staff seven days a week, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with any questions. For after hour emergencies, Purrfect Pals has contracted with six emergency veterinarian hospitals that are open 24/7, and they bill our shelter for medical care. We provide new fosters parents with a list of these emergency veterinary clinics.
What supplies will I need to foster?
The shelter supplies foster parents with high end dry and canned kitten food, such as Royal Canin and Purina Pro Plan. If foster parents are able to buy kitten food themselves, that is great too! We have bedding, cat litter, litter boxes, toys, and cat carriers for safe transport. You’ll need to supply a clean room that is safe for cats and kittens, with adequate heating and ventilation, and transportation to and from our shelter in Arlington.
How will my fosters get adopted?
When your Mom cat and kittens are ready for adoption, you’ll bring them to our fun kitten adoption event! While it’s hard to let your foster kittens leave, rest assured they’ll be adopted into great forever homes! Purrfect Pals adoption counselors meet with people who have completed a pre-adoption questionnaire and screen them to ensure the animal is a good fit for them.