Saturday, May 18, 2024
animal rescueanimal welfarecat photographscats for adoption

Cats for Adoption: Fostering Saves Lives

three kittens and a lot of cat toys
Fred and Barney and their foster sister Sophie, courtesy of their foster.

Most of the cats for adoption I feature here were rescued by individuals through a shelter or rescue organization, often pulled right from the street. Kittens and cats arriving at shelters with an illness needing treatment or simply with a really bad attitude were pulled by alert rescuers who couldn’t see them be euthanized when all they needed was a little help. Others were rescued before they even made it to a shelter, and still others were pulled in off the streets because of noted injuries or simply because they were too nice to be out there, often through one of the TNR clinics where each cat is assessed and given a chance at coming in from the cold.

two orange and white cats
Bailey and Baxter, two frightened orange and white cats who lost their human and almost lost their lives, courtesy of their rescuer.

With the number of animals in need, shelters and rescues are constantly overburdened and have to focus on the ones they can find homes for, and need the assistance of people who will volunteer to help with the animals who need some time in a quiet home, or a couple of weeks with special food and medication to get them over an illness they picked up on the street.

Look at Fred and Barney, above—a little over a month ago they were going to be euthanized because they couldn’t be handled when they arrived at the shelter, when all they needed was a full belly, a lot of love and a little time, and they’ll be wonderful forever cats for some lucky humans.

In the past month alone, in addition to Fred and Barney, these cats were rescued and are in foster:

  • Forbes, trapped and neutered at a TNR clinic, was discovered to be an “absolutely perfect” cat, friendly and affectionate, walks on a leash, and acts as if he was just waiting for someone to take him home;
  • Baxter and Bailey, two young adult rescues surrendered to a shelter after their elderly person died and then becoming more violent through fear were at risk for euthanasia, are slowly coming to trust people again; and
  • Greta and Stash, two 15-year-olds scheduled to be surrendered when their owner was leaving the country went to a foster home instead where they’ve cleared up a little URI and continued to be the sweet and affectionate kitties they’ve always been without languishing in a shelter since seniors are so rarely adopted.
long-haired black cat
Left at kennel on Valentine’s Day! Courtesy of her foster

And even cats like Valentine, who was packed in a box and left at the barn of a dog kennel, is not fostered by an organization but is being cared for by the people to whom she was graciously “donated” until she finds a forever home.

They are only the “tip of the iceberg”, the ones I’ve had a chance to gather photos and stories and write about here. Every day there are more cats who are pulled from shelters and sent home with fosters for a little wellness and socialization, giving the shelters and small rescues more time to work hard to find homes for the cats who are ready to go. Still more are found or trapped by dedicated people who sit or search for hours in the cold or heat, often for days or weeks, waiting to catch a cat who is injured or in a dangerous place, all brought in by the personal efforts of people who simply care what happens to all these cats.

And even if these cats don’t end up in home, many a colony of feral cats has been systematically trapped, neutered, given veterinary care, and released to the person who will care for them outdoors, like the elderly widower taking care of cats in his yard but was unable to trap on his own, and the group had grown from six to 13. He was assisted with the TNR of those 13 cats by a person who volunteered to help him, those cats will no longer reproduce, and he now has their assistance when questions arise, and should other cats join his little group.

And while most attempts are successful in rescuing, fostering and rehoming cats, there are also the ones found to be in worse shape than anyone knew, or who are known to be ill or injured but only caught when they are too ill to get away. If they die of their condition, it is at least in loving, respectful hands, under the care of a veterinarian.

black kitten
One fostered kitten adopted, four to go! Courtesy of his foster.

All of these efforts result in only good things for people and cats:

  • happy cats in loving homes
  • fewer homeless cats
  • fewer unwanted kittens each year
  • a healthier cat population
  • more knowledgeable cat owners
  • fewer cats in shelters
  • shelters and rescues able to focus on finding homes for animals in their care


What can you do?

There are so many ways you can help in all these efforts! You do this because you love your cat, and by doing so you help all cats. No matter which of these actions you take, you help to save a life, and make life better for all cats.

  • Adopt one of the cats I’ve posted here, or from any shelter or rescue near you, or from Petfinder, to open up a space for another cat to be rescued and fostered.
  • Offer to foster cats or kittens for a shelter or rescue near you.
  • Volunteer at a shelter or rescue.
  • Find a group of volunteers who work with homeless cats and help them with their efforts.
  • Donate to a shelter or rescue near you.

If you can foster kittens or adults cats to help prepare them for a forever home, please run to your nearest shelter and find a cat who needs you! Anyone can help with this effort at any level, even if all you do is donate to a shelter or rescue so they can help to pay for the food or medications needed for their foster, or the spay/neuter/veterinary care during a clinic.

The cats I’ve featured recently are from or were assisted by these rescues, shelters and organizations, though these are by no means the only organizations who are out there helping cats and other animals:

Frankie’s Friends

FosterCat, Inc.

The Homeless Cat Management Team

The Animal Rescue League and Wildlife Center of Western Pennsylvania

The Western Pennsylvania Humane Society

In Care of Cats


 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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