Open your heart and your door: Foster a pet

If you love animals, but can’t adopt, consider fostering a pet. Foster families provide short-term, in-home care for pets until they are adopted. When you foster, you’re giving an animal the love and attention that he or she needs while waiting for a forever home to come along. Plus, fostering is easy, fun and rewarding. Click here to view the requirements and to register for orientation. Need more information? Email utahfoster@bestfriends.org or call 801-574-2417.

FAQs about fostering kittens

What do foster families need to provide?

Foster families need to provide:

  • A healthy and safe environment for their foster kittens
  • Transportation to and from the adoption center, the Best Friends Kitten Nursery and all vet appointments as needed
  • Socialization and cuddle time to help teach the kittens about positive family and pet relationships

How much time do I need to spend with the kittens?

As much time as you can. The more time you spend with your foster kittens, the more socialized they will be to people. The amount of time required for feeding will vary depending on the age of the kittens you are fostering. Very young kittens need to be bottle-fed every two to three hours, while older ones may be eating on their own and needing to be fed just a couple times a day.

Will it cost me anything to foster?

No. Best Friends covers all of the medical costs for the care of our foster animals and we’ll also provide any supplies needed during foster animals’ stay in your home. We always have food and litter available for foster homes. We don't have a constant supply of items such as dishes, litter boxes and toys, but we can solicit donations for those items if the foster family doesn’t have them already.

Can I foster kittens even if I have a full-time job?

Yes. The foster coordinator will match you with kittens appropriate for your schedule. We will need you to be available, however, to take the kittens to a vet appointment if they are sick.

Will I need to give medicine to the foster kittens?

While we do our best to ensure that we are sending out healthy kittens to foster care, most illnesses have incubation periods, meaning that if the kittens picked up something at the shelter, symptoms can arise after you take them home. So, some kittens do not require any medicine, while others do. If your foster kittens need medication, we can show you how to administer it before you take the animals home.

Can I let my foster kittens play with my personal pets?

Kittens are very susceptible to illness and can carry or catch dangerous ailments easily. For this reason, we require that foster parents isolate foster kittens with their own supplies for at least two weeks to try and ensure that the kittens are healthy prior to exposing them to your personal pets. We also advise that you consult with your veterinarian before fostering to ensure that all of your personal pets are healthy and up-to-date on all vaccines. If, for any reason, your personal pet becomes ill while you are fostering a Best Friends pet, we cannot provide medical care for your personal pet.

Important note: If your personal cat is allowed outdoors, he or she cannot interact with your foster kittens. Kittens are very vulnerable to illness and we want to limit their risk by not exposing them to anything from the outdoors.

Will it be difficult for me to say goodbye to my foster kittens?

Saying goodbye can be the most difficult part of fostering, but remember that we always have more kittens who need wonderful foster homes. Keep in mind that by fostering these vulnerable pets, you are playing a crucial role in helping to save lives.

Can I foster kittens to fulfill a community service obligation?

Unfortunately, Best Friends–Utah cannot sign off on court-ordered community service hours for fostering. Community service is supposed to be supervised work, and fostering is unsupervised, since it takes place in your home. If you need community service hours, on-site volunteering is an option. You can sign up at volunteers.bestfriends.org.