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Should I Introduce My Foster Kittens to My Resident Cat?

November 5, 2012

If you’ve been able to take in a foster cat, let me say a heart-felt thank you for giving this cat a chance.

Fostering can mean the difference between adoption and euthanasia. It can also mean that the cat has a comfortable, loving home that accommodates the cat’s needs.

Photo courtesy Eliel

While we don’t currently have the space to foster cats or kittens, I do have some dear friends who have, and everyone seems to do it their own special way. This can prompt the question with each foster parent: Should I introduce my foster cat or kittens to my resident cat?

Before you even get to that point, odds are that your shelter has briefed you on their policy regarding introducing fosters to resident cats. If not, the first step is to consult your shelter to find out if there is a policy, and similarly, what they’d recommend.

If you’re allowed to introduce your resident cats to your foster, keep a few things in mind:

  • Introductions between resident cats and new or foster cats can be a delicate process.
  • A constant rotation of different fosters in your home may freak out your resident cat.
  • Make sure all of your pets and the fosters are up-to-date on their vaccinations.
  • There is always a risk that the fosters can transmit something to your resident pets and vice versa.
  • Consider keeping them separated for at least the first seven to ten days before allowing them to meet.

That said, making introductions between your foster and resident cats can go smoothly. I’ve also known of very successful foster homes where the foster parents keep everyone separate, and others where they are all together and get along.

Only you’ll know what’s right for your home, especially after taking all animals’ personalities into account, and of course, consulting with your shelter.

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