Tuesday, May 28, 2024
animal rescueanimal welfarecat photographscats for adoption

Cats for Adoption: Fostering for Your Shelter

tabby and black and white cat
Fred and Barney just need a little socializing to come out of the stone age.

Fred and Barney

Fred and Barney are slowly coming around—no one knows their history, whether they were born outdoors or were abandoned at a young age, but if they haven’t had any socialization by four months cats can be pretty wild. If they’ve had no association with humans they are considered feral, but that doesn’t mean they can’t come to trust humans—quite often, to a certain extent, they do, and Fred and Barney are learning from a very good human who fosters rescues from the street, and also fosters sick kittens and adult cats for the Animal Rescue League—more on that below.

These two kittens were picked up by animal control and were going to be euthanized as feral cats, but an individual in the animal rescue community heard about them and determined they were only really scared four-month-olds and deserved a chance to live. She put out a plea asking for a foster home and they were taken in by a dedicated fostering volunteer.

They were neutered and ear tipped and were going to be put back out with a stray/feral colony, but they were so young and most of the time kittens who are removed from the outdoors are not put back outside, but are socialized as best as possible and a home is found for them. These two had some socialization time in home, but when the time came to take them to a shelter where they could be adopted all concerned thought they would do better in a home.

Their foster volunteer said they are doing well, she can handle them both, play with them and “they know I am the food lady.” She is sure with the right adopters these little guys will become great kitties.

Fred and Barney are being fostered north of Pittsburgh, so contact [email protected] if you’d like to take them in and let them know how wonderful it is to have a home.

Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It

two orange and white cats
Two frightened orange and white cats in their cage prior to release.

These two orange cats are only two of far too many who find themselves homeless after an elderly owner dies either without leaving instructions, or thinking their children will take care of their pets as they did themselves. Sometimes this does happen, but sadly many pets find themselves in the situation of these two orange guys, left in the home until it’s to be sold, then dropped off at a shelter or tossed out in the street after they’ve been traumatized by all the changes and often frightened or in poor physical health, acting hostile to people and condemned to death just because they are frightened.

I received an e-mail from a trusted friend (ironically I know her as a dog rescuer) that began, “I got a phone call from a nurse at a local hospital…”

A member of the family of a patient who died asked her if she knew anyone who could take in 2 cats, two and three years old, who their owner “loved dearly”. They took them to one of the shelters, but the shelter informed them the cats would have to be euthanized the next day if they didn’t come get them (as it turns out it was because they had been exhibiting “feral behavior”, which means no one could handle them for an exam). It seemed the family was here from out of town.

She went on to describe the cats: “Baxter is 2 years old, neutered and up to date on his shots…he is an orange & white tabby. Bailey is 3 years old, neutered and up to date on his shots and is all white with a tabby tail. They are very sweet cats and love each other alot so they would hope they can find a home together.”

A person in our rescue group called the number for the son for more information. The man’s mother had died a month before and he fed and watered the cats in her house, which was being cleaned out. He took the kitties to the Animal Rescue League where he was called to reclaim due to “feral behavior”. Many shelters will decide to euthanize a cat if a team of people can’t safely handle it during an intake exam, which might also mean the cat would be difficult to adopt. The Animal Rescue League, instead of readily euthanizing the cat, will call the person who surrendered it, tell them the situation and give them an opportunity to reclaim the cat, in this case both cats.

The son believed the cats were simply accustomed to one person, his mother, who had raised them from kittens, and that they were really only frightened. He also had a newborn child and felt he was out of possibilities.

In the end, the same woman who is fostering Fred and Barney, above, also offered to foster these two, ease their fears and hopefully get them to a trusting point where either she can find a home for them or they can return to the shelter for another chance.

After some tense moments of losing track of the son and the cats and the fear they were in danger, the cats were taken from ARL and are now in their foster home.

Their rescuer describes them as wary to frightened. “The orange guy wants to eat me. The other white/orange does let me touch him although he is scared,” she said. I’m sure in her capable hands they’ll come to trust new humans.

These aren’t the only two cats rescued from situations like this, nor are they the only two cats this particular rescuer and foster family have rescued and fostered—they have an amazing track record. The rescuer was also one who recently helped an elderly man trap and spay neuter 13 cats he was feeding outdoors—which means the rescuer set the traps, monitored them, transported the cats to the clinics and back again, as a volunteer, and has also been responsible for saving a number of other cats from varied situations.

black kitten
One fostered kitten adopted, four to go!

The woman who is fostering these orange guys plus Fred and Barney also recently fostered a litter of five kittens from the Animal Rescue League which has a series of foster homes who are willing to take sick kittens and puppies and nurse them back to health, something the staff is really not able to do. Kittens and puppies are better off in a home anyway, and if a compassionate person is willing to socialize them or treat them for the all-too-common upper respiratory infection, they can bring the little ones back when they are ready to be adopted. Adult animals are often fostered in this way as well.

This foster family is happy to report that her litter of five fosters were healthy and playful and went back to the shelter, where one of them has already been adopted—and a little black kitty at that! “I guess she was sticking her little paw/leg out at everyone who passed by her cage because she wanted to play. Now to just get the news that the other four find homes too,” their rescuer said.

This happy little kitten and her siblings were sealed in a box and left where someone thought they might be rescued when they were just tiny. All had upper respiratory infections, and all were nursed back to health, and despite their rough beginnings they are all friendly and playful, and looking for loving homes.

long-haired black and white cat
Pretty Boy lives up to his name, doesn’t he?

Pretty Boy

He was living outside of a nursing home for years with other feral cats when he became ill with an URI. One of the staff members told another about it and she decided to tell Barbara Slade, board member of FosterCat, about this lovely but stray black and white kitty who was so ill.  No one among the staff or visitors at the home would take him so Barb, with a house full already but who tirelessly rescues cats and searches for homes for homeless cats—dogs too—and advocates for all animals, decided he would go home with her.

Pretty Boy is in a foster home under FosterCat for over a year and needs a home of his own. Also, that foster mom also has other foster cats and just lost one of her dogs and she’s concerned Pretty Boy, who has to be in his own room, won’t get the attention he needs. If you would like to give this handsome kitty a good home, please contact FosterCat, Inc.

black cat for adoption
Bali dressed for the holidays.


Bali is a two year old neutered all black male cat. He’s microchipped, negative for Leukemia and AIDS, and current with his vaccinations, and while he has a very mild form of asthma he does not require medication or special litter. The person he’s with now would prefer a foster home for him until May when she can move to a larger apartment, but a permanent home would do well too. He spends most of his days now in the bathroom, separated from the other cat in the house.

You can read more about Bali, the kind human who rescued him, and the black kitty he lives with named Blackie by visiting here.

tabby cat

Susan’s Sweethearts

Caroline is one of many cats cared for by Susan Lee of Wake Forest, NC, who was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in March 2011, though ironically she was never a smoker. Even with treatment, she found around Christmas 2012 that the cancer had spread to her brain and doctors “gave her few options”. Friends and her community have rallied around her, but they don’t have the resources to find homes for all the animals still cared for by Susan.

She is still trying to care for 19 animals including cats, dogs and horses, with the help of neighbors and friends, and she’d love to see them all find good and loving homes.

Visit this article to read more about Susan and her animals, and read more about Susan in links to news stories.

Browse some rescued cats and kittens!

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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