become a foster

Our foster program allows us to place cats and kittens in temporary homes so that they can gain real-life experience, recover from injury or illness, get big enough for spay/neuter, and/or be seen by potential adopters from the comfort of your couch.
 
We do have a few basic program participation requirements. You must:
  • Be at least 18 years old (or foster alongside a parent/guardian)
  • Have a valid government-issued I.D.
  • Have access to reliable transportation
  • Be able to provide daily care for your foster cat
  • Adhere to all program protocols and instructions
  • Be able to keep your foster cat(s) indoor-only at all times

Foster Programs

We have five main foster programs and each one is tailored to the needs of the participating cats.

Kitten Foster

Foster kittens until they are old enough to be fixed and available for adoption.

Special Requirements: May need to assist kitten(s) with eating depending on their age, may need to weigh kitten(s) daily, may need to bring kittens(s) to Perry’s Place for vaccine appointments

Adoption Advocate
Some of our adoptable cats need a little help showing the world how great they are!
 
Special Requirements: Must be comfortable taking photos/video of cat(s), familiar with social media preferred
Behavior Foster
Sometimes a kitty needs extra help learning how to adjust to a home environment.
 
Special Requirements: Above-average knowledge of cat behavior preferred, patience, discipline, and lots of treats!
Medical Foster

Foster a cat while they recover! Medical fosters help care for a cat with medical issues, while Heaven on Earth pays the medical bills.

Special Requirements: May need to give out medication or other specialized care, may need to bring cat(s) to Perry’s Place for medical appointments

Hospice Foster

Give a senior kitty a loving home without having to worry about any medical costs.

Special Requirements: May need to give out medication or other specialized care, may need to bring cat(s) to Perry’s Place for medical appointments

Foster FAQS

Almost anyone has the ability to foster successfully! Our cats aren’t too picky about where they live – they just like good company. Some of our cats might have specific needs like no other pets or a calm/quiet household, but our hope is that you’ll be the one to tell us what our cats’ likes and dislikes are and help us get to know them a little better.

Everyone in the household should be on-board with having a foster cat in the home, even if you’re the only one providing daily care. 

All foster cats must be indoor-only. This is non-negotiable. If you happen to have the right set-up, outdoor time must be in a fully enclosed space (like a catio) or on a harness & leash in a secluded area (like a private backyard) under full supervision. But a good window and a patch of sunlight on the floor is all that most of our cats need.

For our Adoption Advocate Program, you’ll need to be tech/social media-savvy, or else willing to do a lot of “boots on the ground” promotion of your foster cat.

We have five main foster programs and each one is tailored to the needs of the participating cats. For instance, kitten fosters may need a little extra attention including daily weigh-ins, bi-weekly vaccine appointments, and timely spay/neuter appointments. Our adoption advocate cats require a proactive approach to helping them find their forever home. Whichever program you choose to participate in, here are some basic expectations:

  • You’ll be committed to helping the cat(s) in your care and be proactive in helping market them for adoption (whenever applicable)
  • You’ll communicate any needs, questions, or concerns in a timely manner to the appropriate staff – if your foster cat is low on medications or you need assistance with basic care supplies, you’ll let us know in advance so we can coordinate a supply pick-up
  • You’ll follow all program policies and protocols, and follow all instructions given to you – in other words, you’ll sign up and show up for vet appointments on time, comply with all care instructions, and transport your cat as needed to adoption events
  • You’ll work collaboratively with our organization and maintain a respectful and positive attitude – we’re cat people, but also people-people!
What you provide:
  • Daily care: food, water, play, socialization
  • Basic supplies: litterbox, litter, food, toys, travel carrier
 
What we provide:
  • Foster plan
  • Veterinary care, including vaccines and spay/neuter
  • Behavior support, if needed
  • Adoption facilitation (either through your home or via our adoption center!)

Learn more about basic supplies here.

 

You’ll want to create a safe space for your new foster cat to settle in. One room is ideal, preferably one without too many hiding spaces. A bathroom, spare room, or home office are all great choices. Bedrooms are less ideal because many cats will hide under the bed or in the closet and be difficult to access. If you have studio apartment or limited space, using a large wire dog crate can be used as your safe space. Remember, this is just temporary! It helps your foster cat adjust to being in a new place.

Whatever space you use, you’ll need to equip it with:

  • a bed or comfy blanket
  • a litter box
  • food and water bowls (placed as far away from the litter box as possible)

Plan to keep your foster cat in this safe space for about a week (the exact time will vary depending on how confident or shy your foster cat is). Spend plenty of time petting, playing with and hanging out with your cat. This is a great time to introduce yourself and get an idea of the cat’s behavior.

Confident cats

Some cats will “want out” right away. And that’s okay! Try to keep them in the safe space for at least 24-48 hours. If the cat is showing signs of confidence (high tail, meowing/chirping, approaching you quickly), you’re welcome to integrate them into your full home before the week is up. We recommend still placing your foster cat in this safe space at night and/or while you’re not home for the first week until you know they won’t get into any mischief while you’re not supervising them!

Shy cats

For shy cats, it’s worth spending the extra time letting them get used to their environment without introducing them to too much territory at once. If you have a particularly shy cat, read more about setting them up for success here: https://heavenlypets.org/socializing-a-shy-or-fearful-cat/

It may take a full week – or even two or three before they feel comfortable roaming your home.

When to seek help

  • If your foster cat hasn’t eaten in 48 hours, or if you foster kitten hasn’t eaten in 12 hours
  • If your foster cat is hidden in an inaccessible place (where you can’t leave food/water)

Our foster questionnaire asks for valuable information that helps out foster team partner you with the right cat or kitten. Just let us know what foster programs you are open to, and we will pair you with a furry friend who fits into your home and life. 

Have any additional questions? Please feel free to reach out to us at fosters@heavenlypets.org

If you are currently fostering a cat or kitten(s) and have a medical concern, we will answer you within 24 hours. If you believe your foster animal is in need of urgent medical care, please call the number on your foster plan.