Fostering Saves Lives!

Not ready for a lifetime commitment?

Becoming a foster allows you to enjoy having a cat in your home temporarily, while making an important contribution to the effort to save cats’ lives.

The number of homeless cats continues to outpace concerted efforts to save them. A big factor is lack of space to house rescue cats while they wait for permanent homes. Every year, 1.4 million cats are killed in city shelters across the United States.  New York City alone killed nearly 2,400 adoptable cats in the city shelters in 2014. An estimated tens of thousands more live on the city’s streets facing the threats of cars, disease, cold, starvation and cruelty.

Every cat that is fostered means another can be taken off the streets or out of the shelters. Fostering a rescue cat is one of the most powerful things you can do to save cats’ lives.

What is a foster home?

A foster home provides the “between” time from when a cat is rescued to when they go to a permanent home.

Why are fosters needed? Can’t they all live at the cat café? Or go to shelters?

Animal rescuers face a crucial need and constant shortage of foster homes for rescued animals. Sometimes rescuers, who understandably want to help them all, take on too many animals which becomes another dangerous situation for the animals.

Many municipal shelters kill animals for lack of space. The spread of disease is also a problem. Even in no-kill shelters, cats may spend months or even years sitting alone in cages.

The Brooklyn Cat Cafe is meant to be one antidote to these problems, but in order to preserve the health and well-being of our cats, we must necessarily limit the numbers we take in. Furthermore, some cats are not suited to the café environment, either because they don’t get along with other cats; they have a health condition; or they are shy and the constant activity is too stressful.

What does fostering involve?

The foster parent must be willing to care for the rescued cat for the duration of time the foster commits to, preferably as long as it takes for the cat to get adopted. This could be weeks, or even months. However, if you are only available for a specific amount of time, we can work with your schedule.

Depending on the experience level and willingness the foster family may need to rehabilitate a cat, so that they will accept human companionship or overcome behavioral problems.

If willing, the foster family might be asked to provide some nursing or medicating if there are health problems.

All human residents of a foster home must be dedicated to these goals. Please make sure that everyone who will be involved in caring for the cat will be dedicated to the cat’s well-being!

What are a foster’s responsibilities?

Foster homes are responsible for providing a loving home, premium food, fresh water, healthy treats, and safe toys for the cat. They are also responsible for protecting their own cats through maintaining a quarantine until it is determined to be safe to allow the cats to mingle.

BBAWC will always remain in contact with the foster family and will seek the foster family’s opinion as to any recommendations for the animal’s permanent home.

What is the foster not responsible for?

BBAWC always tries to make sure that all medical treatment needed by the foster animal (vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery, etc.) is completed prior to delivery to the foster home. However, in rare cases this is not possible, in which case you may be responsible for taking the cat to the vet for spay/neuter surgery or other medical care. These treatments will be paid for by BBAWC.

Generally, fosters are not responsible for the cost of medical care and medications.

Are there any risks involved in fostering?

There can be. That is why it is necessary to ensure that, as a foster home, your own cats are fully vaccinated and healthy! It is also important that a quiet area for quarantine be provided. This is the best and safest way to evaluate the needs of the rescue cat, as well as provide the best care possible for each individual situation.

There is also a BIG risk that you will experience a sense of loss when the rescued cat gets adopted. However, the sense of accomplishment and eventual joy that comes with knowing that a cat has been saved and is in a loving home far outweighs the sorrow! We will do our best to keep you updated as we get pictures from the cat’s forever home.

What is the foster application process?
  • Fill out and submit our Foster Application.
  •  Supply at least two references on the application – People that are not related to you, not a significant other, and don’t live with you.
  •  You will be notified upon our receipt of your application. We will check your references and then schedule an interview with you. Upon approval of your application we will notify you.
  • Once a cat is available you must sign a foster agreement and read through our foster family rules and procedures.
  • We will bring your first foster cat to your home.

Fostering is not always easy, but it can be the most rewarding and fulfilling thing a true cat lover will ever do!