Fostering a Pregnant Cat

So, this is way ahead of the game (WAY WAY AHEAD), as this is not a project I’m likely to take on this summer, and it’s SURELY not something that I’d take on with a new baby, and next summer, it’s unlikely something I’d taking on with a crawling baby… so we’re looking a couple of years down the road.

But then- maybe then- I’d like to consider fostering a pregnant cat.  Our current–very beloved– cat is spayed, and I’m not looking to add to the pet population around here anytime soon, but oh, how my girls and I would love to have a litter of kittens around.  For a SHORT TIME, mind you.

This idea got churning in my head when we recently visited a local, family owned and completely uncommercialized (it is TOO a word!) farm.  They had bunnies, pot-belly pigs, llamas (or alpacas; not sure), goats, miniature horses, elk, etc.  But with ALL of those animals, my girls would have been 100% satisfied with the litter of barn cats they could hold.

I grew up in a family with lots of pets.  When I left home for college, the family pet count was: 3 dogs, 1 cat, 1 (talking) quaker parrot.  My grandma has had a business raising dogs (all kinds of small breeds) my whole life.  I’ve been around so many litters of things being born, opening their eyes, following me eagerly around the yard…  As I said, I’m not interested in OWNING quite the menagerie that my family did growing up, but I think it would be a good experience for my kids to help raise a litter.

Which is why my mind goes to fostering an already-pregnant cat.  Or even maybe an already-pregnant dog.  (Let’s face it, I know way more about raising a puppy litter than a kitten litter.)  Have any of you ever done this?  Was it a good experience?

I’m pretty sure we’d be able to do it, and actually let the kittens and mother cat go at the end of it.  (Or at least, maybe all but ONE?)  Tell me, is this a crazy idea with young children in the home?

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10 thoughts on “Fostering a Pregnant Cat

  1. I would THINK it would be WONDERFUL. When we adopted our most recent cat, I had a nice long talk with one of the volunteers at the shelter who was also did cat/kitten-fostering. She said that the kittens are very affected by the type of fostering they get: that her foster kittens, for example, almost never end up being lap cats because she likes a cat NEAR her but not ON her—so she trains her kittens not to be lap cats without really intending to train them that way. Considering how many families with small children would want to adopt a kitten, it seems like having kittens getting WELL accustomed to children handling them would be EXCELLENT. You’d also be able to report to the shelter (if you were doing this through a shelter) which kittens did well with lots of kids and which didn’t, and which kittens preferred older children and which preferred younger children. EXTREMELY VALUABLE information!

    • Yes, and most animals that are handled a bunch from the beginning are so friendly and pet-successful. So it really WOULD be doing a service, and it would be awesome for my kids to learn about the whole process of raising a litter, finding homes, getting pets spayed/neutered, etc. And also, nurturing something for SOMEONE ELSE to enjoy… I loved having a litter around as a kid, even though I KNEW it meant we couldn’t keep them…

  2. I would also love to do this at some point in the future. I’ve also considered once my kids are grown or at least teenagers volunteering to be one of the people who fosters the puppies that become guide dogs for the blind. It requires a lot of socalization and that kind of thing and I would love love love to have a puppy and then know it was going to someone who really needed it. However, I know I won’t have anything like the proper amount of time to give to that project until my kids are much much older. Still I dream…

    • Yes, that WOULD take up a great deal of time. I think fostering a litter for 8 weeks and then finding them homes would be more manageable with kids. But I love the idea of fostering a guide dog too!

  3. My friend adopted an adult female golden retriever who was found as a stray. They found out shortly after adoption that she was pregnant. She had a litter of 8 pups (all jet black – they think dad was a shepard/lab mix) about 6 weeks after adoption. Her 2 daughters were about 11 and 7 at the time and LOVED it. The managed to adopt all the pups out on their own, even though the group they adopted the mom from offered to help. The bonus of that was 2 pups went to the homes of friends so they still visit.

    Anyway, she still thinks it was a fantastic experience for all…and given their ages, was a great for talking about reproduction with her girls.

  4. We did this when I was younger, maybe 13, and it was awesome. The cat’s owner was in the process of moving and she needed somewhere for her to stay so she didn’t give birth in a UHaul. The tiny kittens were adorable and quickly litter box trained. I remember the mama cat relocating them from their comfy box to a back corner of my moms closet at one point. The cuteness of these tiny kittens being moved by the scruff of their neck still sticks with me.

  5. I would LOVE to do this! How do you find a pregnant mama cat? Call the rescue groups? I’d have a difficult time letting any of them go…

    This reminds me that I’ve been meaning to blog about the zoo I currently have living in my house.

  6. I have been fostering with my family for 3 years now, and we’ve fostered dogs and cats from rescue groups and from our local shelter. Our current foster pet is a cat who we’ve been fostering for 2 weeks. Last week she had 6 kittens and they are all really cute! We’ve done this before and it was a great experience. I would definitely recommend it for your family.

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