Have you been inspired to help homeless kittens in need? I hope so! There are many different ways to help homeless cats including fostering, volunteering, supporting, and adopting.
So, does kitten fostering sound like a possibility for you? Foster parents are needed almost everywhere, but fostering is handled differently by each rescue organization.
Some organizations do not have a shelter and all cats are fostered in homes. These are the agencies that bring cats to stores like Petsmart and Petco for adoption on weekends (not to be confused with pet stores that sell cats from breeders – avoid those!). Sometimes foster parents will be asked to stay with their fostered cat for the day at the adoption location while other times another volunteer may facilitate the adoption process.
Since I foster for a shelter, the majority of fostered felines are kittens who are too small to be adopted. Most of the adults stay at the shelter full-time where they can be visited by potential adopters every day to increase their chance for adoption. I’m not involved in the adoption process and simply drop the kittens back at the shelter when they are ready to be spayed and neutered, and prepare for adoption.
Fostering isn’t for everyone. If you decide cat fostering not feasible for you, there are still numerous ways to support shelters and their mission to find homes for strays, ferals, and homeless cats.
Animal shelters always welcome volunteers so contact your local shelters to ask how you can help. There are numerous volunteer opportunities from cleaning cages to socializing feral cats to even playing with kittens. Yes, your task as a volunteer could simply be to play with kittens for a few hours every week!
Support Rescue Cats
But you might not even have time to volunteer. That’s alright. How about supporting other fosters and rescue cats by following the accounts of adorable kittens on social media? Everyone needs more kitten videos to brighten the day!
Following foster kitten accounts and interacting with with “likes” and comments help to boost the account’s reputation on Instagram. The accounts will grow even more, allowing the message of fostering rescue cats to spread.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- In the Raleigh area, Safe Haven for Cats, SPCA of Wake County, Purr Partners, and Meow House Cat Rescue
- TinyKittens on Facebook and Instagram
- Hannah Shaw, The Kitten Lady, neonatal kitten warrior
- Cindy at @FosterKittens, a foster home that is the largest and most hilarious foster kitten account on Instagram
- and see my @RaleighKittens followers list for many other quality foster accounts!
Many of these accounts have Amazon wish lists while the shelters and organizations are always in need of monetary donations as well.
Visit a Cat Cafe
Cat cafes are springing up everywhere these days! The cats at most cat cafes in the United States are available for adoption through nearby rescues. As I mentioned earlier, many fostering organizations do not have shelter space to serve as a “showroom” for foster cats. Cat cafes are another way to serve as a showroom while offering excellent socialization opportunities for the cats.
Do a little research on the cat cafes in your area and support the ones that offer rescue cats for company. Supporting the cat cafe will, in turn, allow them to continue supporting the cat rescues.
Cat cafes in the Raleigh Triangle area are the Purr Cup Cafe in Raleigh and Cat Tales Cat Cafe in Chapel Hill.
Adopt a Rescue Cat
And, as always, if you want a permanent furry friend: ADOPT, DON’T SHOP! Shelters are overrun with the most adorable, loving cats (and dogs)! Please give these homeless animals a chance rather than supporting the cat breeding industry.
The most important thing you can do as a pet owner to help the stray and feral cat population is to spay or neuter your cats. Bob Barker knew what he was talking about when he was reminding everyone to “help control the pet population” for all those years! Hundreds of thousands of animals are euthanized every year because there just isn’t enough space in shelters. The feral cat overpopulation problem is the result of domestic cats not being sterilized and breeding out of control. It’s such an easy to fix. (pun intended!)
All of the suggestions shared here apply to dogs as well, if you’re more of a dog person. I’m just partial to cats myself, in case you haven’t noticed.
Go forth and help homeless animals in any way you are able! How are you going to help homeless cats?