Now That You Have Decided To Open Your Home To Kittens In Need, Make Sure They Feel Welcome By Creating The Perfect Environment For Them To Live And Play.
Whether you have planned to call up foster care services or have already identified a kitten you want to bring home, here are a few steps you need to take to make sure that your feline pal has a comfortable and safe stay in their new home.
Set Aside an Area in Your Home for Your Kittens
Rather than letting your foster kittens have access to your entire house, it’s best to set aside a particular area where they can be safe and secure, and where you can easily keep an eye on them.
Ensure the space is set to a comfortable temperature for your kittens. Being able to clean the area with ease every day is definitely going to be necessary as well. And keep in mind, too, that you’ll need to thoroughly sanitize the space if your kittens are ill. Sanitization will also be required after your kittens are adopted and before you introduce a new set of foster babies.
Ideal Environments for Kittens of All Ages
Kittens at different stages of their development will have different requirements, so you’ll need to tweak the space as needed.
If you’re fostering bottle babies that are 0-3 weeks old, placing them in a box, bin, or carrier with an opening at the top is recommended (keep the top open). A plastic bin without a lid is a nice idea because it’s see-through, the sides are tall enough that the kittens won’t be able to get out, and it’s easy to clean. Place a soft blanket inside, along with a kitten-safe heat source, such as a heating pad that’s set to low or a microwavable heating disk, that can be placed under the blanket.
If you’re fostering kittens that are 3-8 weeks old, a soft-sided playpen that has mesh sides and a zippered mesh top is a great place for your fosters to continue growing. The playpen should be easy to clean, and it should be able to keep the kittens confined and safe. In addition to the blankets, heat source, and comforting stuffed animal, though, you can also line the bottom of the playpen with potty pads in case messes occur. Add in a shallow litter box (this could be as simple as the cardboard tray that canned cat food comes in), and fill it with a kitten-appropriate, fragrance free, non-clumping litter. Your kittens will also start weaning during this period, so shallow food and water dishes should also be placed in the playpen, making sure that they’re a good distance away from the litter box. And, as your kittens grow, you can even provide them with a hideaway, a little cat bed, and kitten-safe toys.
Once your fosters are old enough to leave the playpen, they can have their own dedicated room, if you have one for them. One thing to think about: it’s best to avoid keeping your foster kittens in carpeted areas, as carpets are harder to clean and sanitize. Ensure the room doesn’t contain any hazards, such as places where a little kitten might get stuck.
Fostering to Save Lives
There are so many wonderful reasons to start fostering cats in need. And now that you know a few of the best ways to set up the ideal environment for the kittens that you’ll be caring for, you can be one step closer to saving lives and uniting kitties with their forever families.