Cute, playful, and happy enough to jump into your lap for a cuddle, cats are pretty hard to resist. This makes them great pets, but too many people rush into the adoption process without considering whether they are really ready to take on the responsibility. In most cases, everything will work out fine, but it can be a good idea to foster a kitty or two before you commit to owning one yourself.
Fostering basically involves giving cats a home until they are adopted. The cats get a chance to be socialised and enjoy more living space than they would in most shelters, and the shelter will usually pay for food and upkeep.
Here are a four reasons you should consider fostering before you adopt.
1. You Can See If a Cat Fits Around Your Lifestyle
Everyone knows that getting a cat will mean making some lifestyle changes. You'll need to make sure you have the time to feed, play with, and love your new pet, and it can be tough to really understand whether you have the time before you give things a trial run. When you foster, you get a chance to see exactly what life with a cat is like.
2. You Can Take Breaks More Easily
Cats can live up to 20 years, so that's how long they might spend in your life. When you foster, you can give a cat a home for a few weeks before going on holiday for a month or two. This makes fostering a particularly good idea for younger people since they might like to take some time off to travel. You get the best of both worlds.
3. It's Incredibly Rewarding
Of course, it's the cat who will really benefit from fostering. Even the most well-adjusted feline doesn't like having to sit around in a cage all day at a shelter, but this is usually the best that shelters can do. Many cats will be a bit shy by the time they arrive with you, and it's wonderful to coax them out of their shells and see their true personalities shine through. You might even be able to foster a mother cat and her kittens, then get to see them grow up before they are taken to new homes.
4. You Can Adopt the Cat if You Want!
Probably the best reason to foster a cat is that you can always adopt the cat for yourself if you find that you've fallen head over heels. The purpose of fostering is to get the cat rehomed eventually, so other people will visit to take a look, but you'll be perfectly within your rights to claim the kitty as your own. Even if you're dead-set on adoption, you might as well foster at first to make absolutely sure it's the right move.