Foster parents provide temporary homes for animals prior to adoption.  Providing foster care is a wonderful and personal way to contribute to saving homeless pets and help them avoid the very high euthanasia rates in local shelters. Foster homes allow Cat’s Cradle to transfer animals out of these facilities and find new homes for them.  Every Cat’s Cradle foster family is part of a lifesaving network!


There are several possible reasons:

  • Foster care can help save a cat’s life when a shelter is full.
  • Some cats don’t do well in a shelter environment because they are frightened or need a little extra care.
  • Newborn kittens that need to be nursed or bottle-fed need foster care.  Most shelters do not have the staff to give around-the-clock care to a very young kitten.
  • Some cats need time to recover from an illness or injury before adoption; others are recovering from abuse or neglect.

Whatever the reason, these kitties need some extra TLC before they can be adopted. Providing foster care for a few weeks or months can be a lifesaving gift for a cat or kitten.  It can also be a life-changing experience for you and your family.


If you want to do something to help the cats and kittens, fostering can be a flexible, fun, and rewarding volunteer job.  Here’s why:

  • It’s more flexible than volunteer jobs that require you to show up at a specific time for a certain number of hours.
  • It’s a great way to enjoy a pet if you are not in a position to make that lifetime commitment right now.

Fostering can be an excellent option for singles, families, and retired persons. Most foster parents have very full schedules and even full-time jobs. Our foster network consists of: counselors, teachers, soccer moms, correction officers, bank officers, waitresses, small business owners, biologists, accountants, and everything in between. They do all have one thing in common…the love of animals. We can’t wait for you to become a part of our lifesaving community!


It’s best to have some knowledge about companion animal behavior and health. We provide training for you, complete with a foster manual and a foster coordinator for you to contact with questions or concerns.

Some of the cats most in need of foster care are those that require a little extra help or some training. Just by getting to know the
clipboard01kitty, you’ll help Cat’s Cradle and the forever home learn more about his/her personality prior to adoption.


All cats are vetted prior to entering a foster home.  There are wellness clinics for foster homes and medical bills are covered by Cat’s Cradle. Typically, the foster home will provide the food and litter and will drive their foster to get vaccinations, attend pet outings, and vet appointments.


Giving up an animal that you’ve fostered, even to a wonderful forever home, can be difficult emotionally. Many adopters post updates and photos of their new kitty. It often helps to focus on the lives saved. Try and remember that as one foster kitty is adopted, room is made for another cat or kitten to be transferred out of a high-risk pound or shelter and into your care. Knowing that you were a part of saving a life and helping your foster transition into a loving home is tremendously rewarding.


Some people are reluctant to foster animals because they are concerned it is unfair to take in a cat, establish a bond with him or her, and then allow the animal to be adopted to another family. Being in a foster home can be a lifesaving bridge for a stray or frightened kitty. It gives the cat a chance to get used to life in a house. The cat learns that people can be kind, that food is available, and that there is a warm, secure place to sleep.


When you are ready, just fill out the two forms below and we will put you in touch with our foster program coordinator. We will discuss what types of cats you are comfortable with fostering. Maybe a momma with a litter of kittens?  Bottle babies?  One or two adult cats?  Or a small family of rowdy teenagers?  We have something for everyone!

Foster parents significantly decrease the number of cats and kittens euthanized each year because shelters just don’t have space for them.



Thank you for your interest in becoming a Cat's Cradle foster parent. Fostering is a crucial component to having high-quality adoptions. Please fill out this form and submit below. We look forward to meeting with you.
Name: *
Address: *
Zip Code: *
Phone#: *
Other than caring for cats, why would you like to foster for Cat's Cradle? *
Are you willing to foster: *
How many kitties are you comfortable fostering?
Do you have a room where you can separate incoming kitties from other fosters or your pets for the first 14 days or as needed?
Are you familiar with disinfection and disease control measures? *
We ask that foster homes supply good quality food, water, and litter for their kitties at your expense. (These expenses, as well as any other Cat's Cradle foster expenses you may choose to cover may be tax deductible). Can you afford this expense?
Do you have experience giving injections, pilling cats, etc? *
Are you able to transport foster cat(s) for their vaccines, to the vet, if needed, and to adoption outings? *
Small kittens need a lot of attention and care. Some cats are special needs or might need socializing. Will you be able to spend the time necessary each day to help these kitties?
Do you have house pets? *
If so, will they interact with your foster kitties safely?
Do you have children? If so, ages: *
Are you prepared to closely supervise the interaction between your children and the cat(s) you foster?
Are your family or roommates comfortable with fostering? *
Cats need to be transported in secure carriers; do you have a carrier? *
We communicate with our fosters by an internal closed Facebook page. Are you familiar with Facebook?
Are there other interests or skills you would like to share with Cat's Cradle?
Have you or anyone in your house ever been convicted of animal cruelty? *
(Question required by Virginia law)
Signature: *
Date: *


For liability reasons, we must have your initials on each of the following statements certifying that you understand what you are agreeing to. *
I agree to foster cats/kittens for Cat's Cradle and the following:*
1. Neither I nor any members of my household have ever been convicted of any form of animal cruelty or abuse.*
2. I will provide a safe, loving, and healthy environment for each cat that I agree to foster; normally this will be inside only.*
3. I will not crate animals unless necessary medically or for taming or retraining purposes.*
4. While fostering for Cat's Cradle, I will not take additional cats into my home unless approved by the Foster Coordinator.*
5. I will follow Cat's Cradle's medical and infection control protocols.*
6. I will maintain proper records of all vetting for each cat, and will provide them to the Adoption Coordinator.*
7. I will provide a good quality diet, fresh water at all times, and clean litter at my expense or contact Cat's Cradle, if assistance is needed.*
8. I will provide information as necessary for the marketing of the cat/kitten for adoption.*
9. I will transport my foster cats as needed to adoption sites and/or vet clinics.*
10. I understand that all medical/veterinary expenses must be pre-approved by the Foster Coordinator or the Executive Director of Cat's Cradle before they are incurred. If I choose to take my cat for unapproved veterinary care, I agree to bear the cost. I understand that such expenses may be tax-deductible donations to Cat's Cradle.*
11. In case of a life-threatening emergency, I will take the cat for veterinary care, but continue to try and reach the Foster Coordinator or the Executive Director of Cat's Cradle as soon as possible (even in the middle of the night).*
12. I understand that I will receive a foster manual. If at any time, I am unsure of how to medicate or treat symptoms, I will contact the Foster Coordinator for assistance.*
13. I understand that finding a permanent home may take anywhere from a few days to a few months.*
14. I will permit the Foster Coordinator or her designee to visit and inspect my home. If at any time a Cat's Cradle representative feels that my home is not suitable or safe for the Cat's Cradle foster animal(s) in my care, I understand the cats may be removed and placed in another foster home.*
15. I will provide the Foster Coordinator a two week notice prior to when I will be away and will require alternate fostering arrangements.*
16. As a volunteer for Cat's Cradle, I understand that my actions will reflect on the organization. I agree to handle myself in a professional manner at all times.*
17. At my own risk, I agree to accept responsibility for any animal that I take into my home on a foster basis. I release Cat's Cradle, its Directors, Officers, and their representatives from any and all liability arising out of responsibility for and guardianship of the animal(s).*
Signature: (Providing your name certifies that you agree to and understand all statements above.)*