Foster A Cat & Kittens

Foster A Cat & Kittens

Although we have a centre where the cats patiently await their new homes, we use families to foster mother cats and their kittens, under-age kittens and orphan kittens until the kittens reach 1 kilogram in weight (around 10 weeks of age) and are big enough to be neutered before going to new homes.  We are also increasingly using fosterers for traumatised or very stressed cats to give them a bit of time out and handling before they return to our centre for rehoming.

The cats and kittens stay in a family environment to ensure they are used to being handled and socialised. The cats and kittens are not adopted out from the foster homes – they return to our centre for neutering and final vet checks before they are released for adoption.

Foster a cat and litter of kittens at Yorkshire Cat Rescue

Foster a cat and litter of kittens

Please read the FAQs below and then contact us using the form at the bottom of this page if you’d like to foster or to find out more.

What sort of cat(s) would I be caring for?

We foster out kittens, with or without their mother.   We would not expect any fosterers to care for an adult feral cat or a cat displaying overly aggressive behaviour.  Sometimes we have single feral kittens who require one-on-one fostering for socialisation purposes.  Sometimes we have adults who are traumatised who would benefit from some one-to-one attention.

How long would the period of fostering last?

We ask you to return all the cats to our centre when the smallest kitten reaches one kilogram (1kg) in weight, typically at the age of ten weeks.  Sometimes the kittens don’t come into our care until they’re several weeks old, so you would have them for a shorter period of time in this situation.  Sometimes they don’t gain weight as quickly as we’d expect so we may ask you to care for them for a little while longer.  If you take a pregnant queen to foster, you may have her for a few weeks before she delivers as well as approximately ten weeks after the birth.  Adult cats needing rehabilitation will be fostered and returned on a case by case basis.

What happens if I want to keep a cat or kitten?

We ask you to return all the cats to us for neutering and final vet checks, however we will give you first refusal, and you can reserve a cat or kitten at that time.  We will ask you to pay the full adoption fee.  We reserve the right to deny a cat to anyone who, in our opinion, has too many.  We ask you to sign an agreement to the effect that all cats will be returned to our centre.

If your friends want to adopt a kitten from the litter, they must contact us to confirm and they will be asked to pay the adoption fee at the time they reserve it.  The kitten will still be required to return to our centre for neutering and final vet checks.

We reserve the right to decline any such requests and to reserve the kitten without advising you, so you need to clarify with us before you advise friends that cats can be reserved.

Will the kittens already be born, or will I have to take a pregnant cat?

This is entirely up to you. If you feel capable of handling a pregnant cat that’s fine by us, but if you prefer to wait until the kittens are born, that’s OK too.

Do I need experience?

Usually we would prefer you to have experience of being a cat owner, although we would not expect you to have experience of newborn kittens. We would not normally allow an inexperienced fosterer to take a pregnant cat – we would probably start them off with an older litter to enable them to gain experience.  You will need to attend a foster induction session before we give you your first fosters.  This is an opportunity for you to ask questions, to learn about both kitten-care and about Yorkshire Cat Rescue and an opportunity for us to satisfy ourselves that the cats and kittens will be cared for appropriately whilst they are with you.

Does it matter if I have other pets?

Usually we prefer there to be other pets, as it accustoms the kittens to other animals, however we will take each fosterer and each cat on a case by case basis.  A lot of it will depend on how laid back the mother cat is, but we may decline to put a nursing mother in a home which already has an adult female cat resident.

And what if I have children?

We encourage families to become fosterers.  It is great for kittens to have children to play with as they learn, and it is great to teach children both the joys of cat ownership and the hard work involved!  Generally we prefer lively households for our foster cats and kittens.

Where do the cats live whilst they’re at my home?

We would recommend that you start tiny kittens off in a quiet room to enable them to bond with their mum, and to develop good eating and behaviour patterns.  This is less stressful for the mother cats.  At the age of approximately five weeks we would expect you to start introducing the kittens to the main household, to get them used to household noises etc.  We would not want the cat and kittens to live in outdoor accommodation, and we do not want them to go outside at all unless the fosterer has a cat-proofed garden, which has been approved by us.

Do I have to live locally?

We prefer our fosterers to live within about half an hour’s drive from our centre, although we may consider applications from fosterers living further away.  Fosterers must be able to collect and return the cats and kittens by car to our centre.

Do I need any special permission?

We would suggest that if you live in rented accommodation that you have permission from your landlord BEFORE applying to become a fosterer.

How much will it cost me?

Nothing! We pay for all food and vet costs, and any other expenses you may meet.

What happens if I go on holiday?

We will contact you when we have a cat or a litter of kittens needing to be fostered.  We will tell you their estimated return date.  If you have a holiday booked during this period, we would offer that particular litter to another fosterer and wait for another litter that would fit in better with your arrangements.

What support will I receive whilst I am fostering?

Our experienced staff are on hand to answer any queries and we will give you access to veterinary back-up at the time you foster.  We also have a very active and useful Facebook group for our fosterers to access.  It is completely private and manned by our staff and by other fosterers.  You can ask any questions on there – it’s a great community and  a good source of information for our fosterers.

Foster a cat and kittens at Yorkshire Cat Rescue

One week old kittens suckling


If you would like to consider becoming a fosterer, please complete and submit the information below.

Application to become a fosterer

We place mother cats and their kittens, and sometimes orphan kittens in temporary homes to allow them time to grow up a little, to learn some basic manners and to get used to living in a household environment. Whilst the cat and kittens are in foster homes Yorkshire Cat Rescue covers all food and vet bills and supplies any equipment needed. The cat and kittens remain the property of Yorkshire Cat Rescue and must ALL be returned to Yorkshire Cat Rescue when the fostering period ends. During their stay, we expect the cat and kittens to remain indoors at all times (we may consider a request to allow them outside if you have a garden that is properly cat-proofed/fenced - please tell us if this is the case).
We also require that if you live in rented accommodation then you gain permission from your landlord BEFORE applying.

Fostering is very rewarding, but is also hard work, and one of the hardest jobs is handing the little family back at the end of the period of fostering. Some people foster once, but find it too difficult to do again, whereas other people are able to hand the kittens back without too much sadness - and look forward to their next charges' arrival.

Before you foster for Yorkshire Cat Rescue, you will be asked to attend an induction. This gives us the opportunity to assess you and your home and it gives you the opportunity to ask more about fostering.

If you feel that fostering would be something you could do, please answer the following questions.

Not every cat will be suitable for every foster home. To enable us to ensure that we place a suitable cat with you, please could you answer the following questions.

Have you experience in caring for a cat(s)?YesNo
Do you have any other cats at the moment? YesNo
Do you have a dog? YesNo
Do you have children under five years? YesNo
Do you have children between 5 and 10 years? YesNo
Do you have a quiet room where the cat and kittens could stay at the start of their time with you? YesNo
Would you be able to introduce the kittens (and mother cat if appropriate) to your household once the kits become old enough? YesNo
Are you out all day?

Would you be able to take
(Please select all that apply. To make multiple selections, hold down the Ctrl button whilst selecting the options you want to select).

Would you be able to collect and return cats from/to our centre? YesNo
If you have answered "no", we will not be able to accept your application at this time. Please reapply when/if you are able to arrange transport to collect any fosters.

Are you able to easily take the cat and kittens to a vet if needed (this need not be our vets, we are happy for you to use your own)? YesNo
Please give us the name and address of the vet you would use.

Please could we have your first name: and surname
And address:
Including postcode:
And your phone number:
And your email:
(We normally communicate with fosterers by email)

Your details will not be sold or given to any third party, however we may use them to write to you.