Foster to Adoption Program
Foster-to-Adoption (FTA) is a program in which select adult cats that have unique behavioral or medical needs are available to first be fostered by a prospective adopter before being officially adopted. This gives the cat the opportunity to truly blossom in the home and show the adopter what a great pet he or she can be if given the chance outside of the shelter environment.
Interested in Foster-to-Adoption? Please first read the frequently asked questions below. Next, complete an adoption questionnaire, and for the question, “Do you have a specific cat in mind?” answer “Foster-to-Adoption.” Our shelter staff can then contact you to discuss our available FTA kitties and start the process. If you have additional questions not answered here, please call the Mulberry campus for questions about cats at (970) 484-8516 or our Taft Hill campus for questions about dogs at (970) 224-3647 or e-mail Foster@savinganimalstoday.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of cats are FTA?
Other shelters might call these cats “less adoptable,” but at FCCRSNC, every cat is a wanted cat. Adult cats with some of these special behavioral traits or medical conditions may be available for Foster-to-Adoption:
- Very shy or fearful cats whose demeanors do not improve after 2-3 weeks in the shelter.
- Cats with behavior issues that are caused or worsened by being in a stressful shelter environment. These issues can include, but are not limited to, dislike of other cats, biting behavior, or chronic inappropriate urination.
- Cats with managed chronic medical conditions such as controlled diabetes, feline leukemia (FeLV), or kidney disease. FTA allows a potential adopter to experience what the daily care of a special needs cat is like before committing to adoption.
Note: NO KITTENS under 6 months old are ever part of the FTA program, regardless of their behavioral traits. The FTA program is specifically for adult cats whose issues have hindered their adoption for a period of time.
What are the benefits of fostering first?
Kitty’s true colors can shine: By being in a home environment instead of the shelter, the cat will become much more relaxed and have the opportunity to blossom. Stress-induced behaviors may even diminish over time. Oftentimes, a cat that is shy or fearful in the shelter exhibits an entirely different personality when not surrounded by those unfamiliar or scary sounds and smells. Once they build trust with you and feel safe and secure in your home, their true colors can shine. Also, the reduction in stress for cats with chronic medical conditions is just as beneficial for their health as stress reduction is for humans.
Shelter staff support: While fostering prior to adoption, you will receive ongoing support from a shelter staff member who can provide you with guidance on the cat’s special behavioral or medical needs, which isn’t the case during a normal adoption. This staff member will check in with you via
e-mail weekly and, together with our foster coordinator, be a resource to help you get the cat successfully set up and transitioned into your home.
Continued veterinary care and supplies: During the foster period, we will continue to provide you with food and any necessary medical supplies. Cats with chronic medical conditions will continue to receive veterinary care from our staff veterinarian, Dr. Gloria. This foster period allows you the opportunity to consult with Dr. Gloria and learn firsthand what the cat’s medical condition entails before committing to adoption.
Opens up space for another kitty: Foster-to-Adoption also helps to free up additional volunteer foster homes so they can take in other kitties that may need a break from the shelter. And an open cage in the shelter means room to save one more life!
What is the Foster-to-Adoption process?
- Complete an adoption questionnaire and be approved to adopt from Animal Friends Alliance.
- Discuss with shelter staff what type of cat you would like to foster-to-adopt and choose from the list of available FTA cats we share with you.
- Our Foster & Transfer Program Administrator will schedule a date and time to perform the required home check. During this visit, she will take about 15 minutes to orient you with all of the contact and care information you may need, and will review the Foster-to-Adoption program guidelines and expectations. You will set up a time at that point to pick up the cat from our shelter at your earliest convenience.
- Your kitty is placed on “adoption hold” in our system for a period of time agreed upon by you and the Foster & Transfer Program Administrator. The length of time varies depending on the cat’s issues and how long we agree it may take for you both to settle in. The traditional “hold” fee is waived, but no one else may adopt the kitty during your foster period.
- At the end of your foster period, we hope you have fallen in love and want to adopt, at which time you will pay the cat’s adoption fee and sign the adoption contract, taking over sole responsibility for his or her future care and medical expenses. Adoption fees can vary.