Foster Handbook: foster time commitment & responsibilities



Each cat’s needs are unique. Cats going into foster care are often stressed. Moving cats from HCH to the foster home can also be stressful. They depend on the foster parents for security during this adjustment period, which can take from a few days to a few weeks.

Foster parents must be patient and commit to the cat until the healing or socialization is completed. This helps to avoid the stress of readjustment to multiple temporary homes. Foster cats must remain in the care of the original foster parent unless prior permission is received from HCH.

The length of time foster cats stay in a foster home depends on the health and adoptability of the cat or kitten. Before cats can be adopted, they must have their initial tests for feline viruses, be spayed or neutered, vaccinated (usually), microchipped and meet our criteria for adoptability. Foster parents should plan to provide a home for 4-12 weeks, depending on the cat or kittens.

We try to spay or neuter as quickly as possible after the kittens reach 2 months or two pounds. Once they are spayed or neutered and have recovered from surgery, they can be made available for adoption.

When HCH and the foster parent decide that the cat is ready for adoption, a date and time will be arranged to take the cat back to the Haven. Please keep notes on your Foster Return form about the cats’ personality traits, temperament and any experience the cat has had with dogs and children. We will use this information to describe them when we put them online.

Please email your Foster Return Form for these notes to your Foster Manager before your cat or kitten is returned to the Haven. We try very hard to find adoptive homes based on the information you give us, for example: 2 kittens that are very bonded, a cat afraid of dogs, etc.