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Does anyone foster elderly cats and is willing to indulge me please?(11 Posts)
I’ve always wanted to foster elderly cats. (My Grandparents used to do it). Fairly sure I wouldn’t be approved due to having 3 young children, so it’s probably about another 5 years off.
So will you tell me about yours, please?
How young/boisterous/uncontrollable are your children? It's not necessarily an obstacle as long as they aren't too bad and you would be able to supervise interaction and the cat/s have somewhere to escape to.
I'd love to do that. Unfortunately I don't have enough space.
@thecatneuterer One is 11YO and fine, my 8YO can be unpredictable (ADHD, as well managed as it can be) and my 4YO is, well, 4.
I have a front room (terraced house) that is rarely used (it’s meant to be a dining room but generally we only eat in there on Sundays due to schedules).
I’m currently a student, out 9-5 4 days a week but my health is horrendous and it may not be sustainable any more so if I end up leaving, I would have time for an elderly cat.
IME an elderly cat would sleep for a lot of the day regardless so I'm not sure this is as unrealistic as you worry. Have you been to the local shelters?
What do you mean by fostering exactly?
From the perspective of having been a volunteer for a cat charity, I think perhaps the main thing is to make sure your expectations are in line with what charities need help with... So for example the charity I volunteered with likes to have fosterers who are quite flexible about the cat they will foster because sometimes the next cat that needs a foster place is a young cat, or a pair, or a senior... but it gets complicated if people say they'll only foster a certain type of cat. And most foster placements last anything from about a week to a few months at most (with a few exceptions) as the goal is always to find the cat a forever home as soon as possible, not keep them in foster for a long time. Usually the charity covers all costs in this type of fostering (food, litter and other consumables, as well as vet costs). They usually ask the cat is kept strictly indoors for their safety, and may have some other guidelines to adhere to, as well as expecting you to be ok to have prospective adopters visit the cat in your home.
Very occasionally, charities look for "forever foster homes" for elderly cats with serious health problems that may make them less adoptable, and in this case you usually pay for consumables and the charity covers all vet costs related to the health condition. This is of course a longer term set up and the cat is more "yours" but this set up is not used for cats who can find an adoptive home (as charities can't afford to keep paying for lots of cats for years).
@viccat the second one is what my Grandparents used to do, I’m talking 80s/90s/00s, as they had the time and money to take on elderly cats with expensive health issues that nobody else would take on. One of their cats (a big, floofy, ginger, mostly blind and deaf) was with them for 10 years, lived till she was 18. She’s the one I spent my childhood with.
So far I’ve found two independent cat shelters locally, as well as Cats Protection, RSPCA and Pets4Home (which I thought was a bit bizarre) but haven’t contacted anyone yet as my situation is a bit up in the air.
We (Celia Hammonds) do sometimes seek foster homes for old/ill cats. The placement would be for life with the charity covering vet bills. We would normally only do this for cats that are not only old, but also have additional medical problems. If a cat is merely old then we will normally seek normal adoption. Do you rule out normal adoption of an oldie because you would be worried about vet costs? Many oldies don't have any particular health problems until the thing that eventually kills them, which is often sudden and wouldn't mean any great expense. But of course you never know and insurance for oldies is not really available.
OP your set up doesn't sound too bad, particularly as you have a spare room. I think it would really depend on how unpredictable and manageable your 8 year old is. That would obviously necessitate some in depth conversations with the charity.
It’s the lack of insurance for them and possible resulting giant vet bills that concern me. I just don’t want to be in a position where cat needs a vet and I can’t afford to take them, it would devastate me.
I foster for Cats Protection; I don't think you would be written off as a foster carer for elderly cats now.
They sleep most of the day so working wouldn't be an issue. Two out of three children are a good age and as long as the smaller one is supervised and taught to be gentle I don't think it would be an issue.
Our elderly cats are often with us for some time so a nice foster home in a spare room (or the full house if no other animals and the family don't mind) would usually be most welcome.
I'm in the Surrey/Hampshire area if that's relevant to you re: Cats Protection areas.
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