The Foster Kittens cat toy collection was inspired by over 100 rescue kittens and mama cats that I fostered over a five year period here in North Carolina.
Each kitten in the Foster Kittens cat toy collection has a unique story, so I’m sharing the stories behind the cute faces on these cat toys in this post.
Rescued kittens require foster care when they are too small for alteration surgery (spay or neuter) which is necessary prior to adoption to help control pet overpopulation. Rather than take up valuable shelter space, volunteers offer space in their homes until the kittens are around ten weeks old or over two pounds.
Fostering kittens used to fit perfectly into my life when I worked a 9-5 tech job from home and they shared my office. You can read all about How I Became A Foster Kitten Parent, how I set up my kitten room, and more to see if fostering might be ideal for you!
All of these cats were fostered through SAFE Haven for Cats, Raleigh’s no-kill cat shelter, and Purr Partners, a volunteer-led cat rescue that relies on foster homes for cats in their care, and 5% of all Chester & Pearl sales is donated to local cat rescue groups including SAFE Haven and Purr Partners.
Now, let’s meet the cats of the Foster Kittens cat toy collection!
Chestnut was one of a quartet of kittens that were the perfect introduction to fostering. They were already around 8 weeks old and just needed a little more time to grow.
These kittens were named for streets in the Wake Forest neighborhood where they were found (Oak, Harris, and Brewer in addition to sweet Chestnut) as strays in pretty bad shape. SAFE Haven had already nursed them back to health and they were full of purrs for the two weeks they spent in my office.
The day that I returned Chestnut and his siblings to SAFE Haven for their alteration surgeries was the same day I picked up another pair of 8-week-old kittens. Reggie and his sister had been found in a taped box at the dump. Thank goodness for the employee who heard their mews and sent them to the shelter!
Reggie was my first lap cat. It can take kittens days to adjust to their new home, but he settled in for a nap in my lap during his first day in the foster room. After just two weeks in foster care, he was adopted by a friend so Reggie is one of my few foster kittens that I’ve been able to see grown!
Sparta & Smitty
After fostering two sets of kittens for just two weeks each, three tabby sisters were my first long-term fosters and the smallest to date when they arrived at barely one pound each.
For a month, Sparta and her two sisters ate and played and cuddled and grew in my foster room until spay day. Afterward, the two sisters immediately went to the shelter for adoption while Sparta stayed with me for an eye condition, eyelid agenesis, to be corrected.
But Sparta wouldn’t be alone.
Around spay time, I learned there was a fourth sibling! Smitty had been sent to another foster home so he could be a buddy to a singleton rescue kitten (kittens always do best with a friend!). However, since he exhibited the same eyelid condition as Sparta, he came to my foster room after he and his buddy were neutered. Sparta and Smitty stayed for nearly two more months while waiting for animal eye specialist appointments and surgery.
Smitty’s arrival in my foster room was … dramatic! He was bigger than the girls and ran EVERYWHERE! It was clear that he was used to more space in his previous foster home. While sweet Sparta had been the smallest and most timid of the sisters, her demeanor changed drastically after rambunctious Smitty arrived and her sisters left. She became a spunky, adventurous girl who was the perfect companion for her brother.
Smitty and Sparta spent Christmas with our family before finally having their operations and being adopted together.
Rey, Snizzle, & Devon
This trio of adorably small-eared kittens were my first experience with socializing feral kittens.
Cats that grow up without human interaction understandably fear us, but when kittens are socialized with humans at a young age, they learn to trust humans and become loving companions.
Rey, Devon, and Snizzle kept their distance for several days, but they began trusting me after I started petting them while they ate. They learned to associate human interaction with something they love – food!
By the end of their first week, I was able to briefly pet them even when they weren’t eating and, by the end of week two, they enjoyed lap cuddles.
Rey was a climber who was queen of the windowsill and was the first to jump all the way up onto my standing desk.
Snizzle was the most energetic and a great cuddler. He’d often lay in the middle of my lap so there would be no room for his siblings and he could have a lap all to himself!
Devon loved naps most. He was the shyest, but full of purrs and squeaky meows.
After four weeks of growing and socialization, these one fearful kittens were little lovebugs who were adopted into their forever homes.
Sugar Puff and her three fluffy siblings were rescued from a hoarder along with their mom and 20 other cats. Rescue workers are often called upon to empathetically resolve hoarding situations. While the adult cats can head straight to the shelter, kittens may need a little more time to grow in foster care.
Early on, Sugar Puff learned from her sister, Lovey, to meow at my feet for an invitation to cuddle in my lap and that’s where they stayed most of the three weeks they lived in my foster room!
Rinona was one in a quartet of feral siblings. They were completely scared, hissy, and spitty when they arrived and socializing them was quite a challenge.
While the end result was a positive one and all kittens were eventually happy to find forever homes, these kittens were an introduction to the stress that fostering can cause.
Socializing feral kittens can be time-consuming and stressful. Fostering kittens isn’t always cuteness and cuddles (although, come on, how adorable is Rinona!). These siblings taught me that socializing four feral kittens at once was too much for me to handle and I requested only smaller feral duos and trios moving forward.
Acadia was one of three kittens in a family that had been transferred from the county shelter. Many rescues and no-kill shelters like SAFE Haven alleviate the burden that overpopulation places on government shelters and animal control programs, especially in rural areas where resources are limited.
Acadia’s mom, Yosemite, was my second foster mom cat and her three kittens were the smallest I had fostered to date. Acadia was a total sweetheart who even enjoyed belly rubs! We loved having this sweet family for nearly three months while the little kittens grew and were eventually weaned from Mom.
Maru, Ares, & Phillipus
The “Wonder Woman kittens” were transferred from the county shelter and lived in my foster room for nearly a month. Ares and Philippus were adopted together while Maru needed a little more time to grow and stayed with us a little longer.
Fortunately, Maru wasn’t alone for long as another trio of feral kittens entered foster care the same day that her siblings departed for their alteration surgeries. Maru was the sweetest socialization coach for these kittens and helped show them that humans are fun to be around!
Maru’s sweetness couldn’t be overlooked by my family. She was adopted by my sister, named Violet, and continues to live a fabulous life.
The feline population in my house has never been greater than when adorable dilute tortie Capellini and her family stayed here. Foster time for her mom, Spaghetti, and seven pasta-named kittens (Capellini, Bucatini, Pappardelle, Vermicelli, Ziti, Gnocchi, and Fusilli) ranged from one to two months while SAFE Haven was busy helping pets displaced by a hurricane.
Mom Spaghetti left for her spay first. With so many kittens, alteration surgeries for the rest were split into two appointments. However, after the first three kittens left, SAFE Haven stepped in to rescue pets from recently hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. Capellini and three siblings remained in foster care and all the foster homes were crucial by freeing up shelter space and resources for the displaced pets.
As the hurricane rescue dissipated, Capellini and friends finally left, far later than expected, but more than happy to help in this emergency.
After fostering for several years, I was more comfortable caring for the littlest kittens, but there were still older kittens that occasionally needed a place to land for just a week or two.
This was the case with Parka and her three siblings. They arrived nearly big enough for their alteration surgeries, but just needed a brief stay in foster care while the shelter’s clinic could get caught up on appointments and space could be freed up. Despite their short stay, I was always happy to help any kittens in need!
Mama Silverbell and her six 2-day old kittens were transferred from a nearby rural shelter and enjoyed over three months of foster care.
While Silverbell was named upon intake at the shelter, I was given the opportunity to name the kittens. The Winter Olympics were underway so I chose six figure skating jumps – Axel, Salchow, Flip, Walley, Loop, and Lutz.
We absolutely adored this family and watching them grow up from day-old little nuggets that couldn’t see or hear to actual cats! My son even tracked their daily weights for a science fair presentation.
Satin was one of five siblings that had just been weaned from a feral mom who was spayed and returned to her outdoor home.
This group was absolutely gorgeous, each with a different unique coloring. While brown and gray tabbies are common, Satin was my first silver tabby. And while her siblings would run out the foster room door as soon as it opened, she was the least adventurous and always the last to leave!
Satin was a quiet, sweet, and smart kitten who loved attention.
Poinsettia and her three siblings were another litter that just needed a place to hang for a few weeks at the end of the busy kitten season until the shelter had resources for them. This is a perfect example of why fostering is so important – it allows shelters to say “yes” to accepting rescues in need even if no shelter space is available.
Poinsettia loved a good cuddle and was very playful, though more independent than her siblings and didn’t require constant attention. I always thought she would do well as a household’s only pet. Some cats just seem more independent!
Grapefruit was a quintessential kitten who purred up a storm, loved cuddles, played energetically, and was just an all-around sweet kitty.
Along with her three siblings, Grapefruit was too skinny for alteration surgery when she was rescued so foster care was required for some chunking up!
Azalea & Snapdragon
Foster caregivers don’t play favorites, but this feline family is an exception.
Mama Pink Posy and her four babies arrived when they were just four days old. All newborn kittens are fragile, but these babies had an especially rough start to life. Within a few weeks, they were back at the clinic where all four kittens were treated for a severe gastrointestinal illness that eventually took one kitten’s life.
Azalea, Snapdragon, and Stargazer recovered from their illnesses and the return of Posy’s family when they regained their health was one of the best things that could have happened for my family.
In May of 2019, my dad passed away. For three weeks, after spending most days at the hospital and then the hospice house, we spent our evenings in the foster room and played with these adorable cats. Kitten therapy is real and I’ll always see the joy they gave me and my family during the most difficult month of our lives as a precious gift.
When the kittens were ready for adoption in July, my sister adopted Azalea (who was renamed Zuzu) and became the perfect little sister for Maru (now Violet)!
Dior, Fendi, & Prada
Among the last cats to live in my foster room were mama Dior and her little fashionistas.
When SAFE Haven’s fostering program temporarily closed due to the pandemic, I looked elsewhere for kittens to foster. Purr Partners is a rescue organization that is operated solely by volunteers and, without a shelter, all cats in their care live in foster homes so there were no organization-owned facilities at risk of shut down.
I was quickly matched with Dior and her four girls just two days after they were born on March 21, 2020.
Again, at an uncertain time when the world was so confusing, the kitten therapy was real and we were so happy to provide a space for this little family to thrive while they gave us so much joy.
Dior was ready to wean and be spayed after ten weeks. Kittens get most of the attention, but the mama cats were always some of my favorite fosters. Not only did they make my work easier by feeding and keeping the kittens clean (my only job was to keep Mama happy!), but their love and protection for their babies was simply precious to see. In many cases, like young Dior herself, mama cats are still practically kittens themselves and it was rewarding to be part of the reason they got to live carefree, kitten-free pampered lives after raising their final litters.
Fendi, Prada, Coco, and Lou remained in foster care for another month while they continued to grow and were adopted into loving homes.
A year after I stopped fostering, fostering found me anyway!
While out on a family bike ride on a greenway trail near Knightdale, we came across two women who found a tiny kitten wandering on the boardwalk.
The general rule is to not immediately take a kitten found in the wild because Mom is likely nearby and kittens do best with Mom. However, after a half hour, we still saw no other cats, not even another kitten as expected if a family was nearby. With eye infections and feeling like skin and bones, this kitten’s condition did not indicate they were being cared for by a momma cat.
So, I secured the kitten in a pouch on my bike and rode five miles back to the car. He looked so similar to Pearl with his black coat and white neck floof so we named him Diamond both for his necklace and finding him as a diamond in the rough.
I contacted SAFE Haven so he could receive supplies and medical care through the foster program. For three weeks, he lived in our bathroom, his eyes healed, and he became a healthy little boy. Diamond was then adopted into his forever home, forever safe!
Foster Kittens Cat Toy Collection
All of these cuties are available in catnip and crinkle Kicker and Pouncers cat toys, and Chaser interactive cat toys. For the humans, clear vinyl stickers make your water bottle or laptop cuter and kitty sticky notes are the purrfect way to leave reminders, notes, and memos.