Fostering can be rewarding, flexible, and fun, but to ensure that your foster experience is positive, there are a few important things you should consider before committing.

Foster Parent Guidelines:

1. Understanding the job: Your job as a foster is simply to PREPARE YOUR FOSTER CAT(S) FOR ADOPTION.

2. They will leave: Your foster cat will ultimately leave your home. Because he or she is the property of the rescue, you will be expected to relinquish him or her upon request to HJC. Because people prefer to adopt young kittens rather than older cats, the prime adoption period is between eight and ten weeks of age. At that time your foster animals will be advertised for adoption. To hold them beyond that age greatly reduces the possibility of their getting homes. If you can, take photos of your charges. A good photo can find an animal a home.

3. Letting go: Letting go is not easy to do if you have formed attachments—and you will. Honestly ask yourself if you are emotionally equipped to let the cat go when the foster period is complete. This can be very difficult to do, so consider it carefully before committing to becoming a foster parent.

4. You must be 18 or older: Children and teenagers can be a big help when fostering, but the main caregiver must be an adult over 18 years of age.

5. Separate & Vaccinate: You will need to be able to isolate your foster animals from your pets. A separate room without carpet or a bathroom works best. Foster animals must be kept indoors. To keep everyone safe, make sure that your animals are vaccinated.

6. You must have the time: It will be necessary for you to handle and play with your foster kittens. (This is where older kids can be invaluable). This is in addition to the time you spend attending to their physical needs: scooping litter boxes, feeding, and cleaning up. Ask yourself if you have the time and the willingness to do all of these things.

7. Trust us: The personnel at HJC have years of experience homing kittens, and you can be assured that they do the best job possible. Potential adopters are selected only after a rigorous screening process. You will know your foster kittens' personalities better than anyone, and your input will be invaluable, however, all adoption decisions will be the responsibility of and ultimately remain with HJC. We appreciate that you want the best for your foster kittens. We care about them too, and will always work hard to find them good, forever homes.

8. Interacting with clients: It is possible that at some point you may have to interact with clients. To protect the reputation of our rescue group, you must be cordial, considerate, neat in appearance, and pleasant in situations where you represent HJC.

9. Transportation: You will need to have a registered vehicle and be able and licensed to drive because you may have to transport cats for emergencies, vaccinations, worming, exams, or surgeries. All animals must be transported in a kennel. Ask us for one if you don't have one to use.

10. Showing up: HJC will NOT make an appointment for you without your consent. If you are unable to make a scheduled appointment, you must let HJC know so that other arrangements can be made, and all parties can be notified. Good manners go a long way toward success.

11. Availability: You will be expected to make your foster kittens available for viewings to potential adopters and to facilitate the adoption process in every way possible. Our cats' lives depend on them finding good homes, so we can’t afford to lose a good client.

12.  What if an animal dies: Sometimes cats do not survive. This is a particular concern with neonates. Are you prepared for that eventuality?

13. Clean up: You will need to deep clean and disinfect the area where your foster animals stay between sets of foster cats to prevent the transfer of illnesses or parasites. We can provide you with proper veterinary disinfectant.

14. Monitoring their health: At any sign of problems or sickness, you will need to inform HJC immediately.

15. Finding homes for them: If you are interested in helping find homes for your foster cat, that is wonderful. Just keep in mind that our cats are not available until they are spayed/neutered, micro-chipped, vaccinated, treated for parasites, and have tested negative for FIV/FeLV. To adopt, the interested party has to go through the regular adoption process. If your friends or family wish to adopt a cat from HJC, you will need to tell them that they will need to fill out the adoption application and that they will be screened like any other person who applies for a kitten.

Hopefully, we have answered most of your questions, but if you have others, please call Missy at 208-477-1452.

Fostering can be rewarding and fun, but as you can see, you need to self-evaluate to find out if it's for you. If you decide to give fostering a try, know that you are playing a key role in the life of your foster animals, as well as a key role in the success of Happy Jack Cats, Inc.'s feline rescue and adoption group.

To apply to foster with Happy Jack Cats, Inc., click here: FOSTER APPLICATION. We can provide you with all the supplies you need. However, anything you are able to contribute to your foster home may help us to help fosters who are unable to do so. We pay for all medical expenses. To get an idea of what you will need, CLICK HERE.