Open your heart and your door: Foster a pet

If you love animals, but aren’t in a position to adopt, consider fostering a pet! Foster families provide short-term, in-home care for pets until they are ready to be adopted. When you foster, you’re giving an animal the love and attention that he or she needs while waiting for a forever home. Plus, fostering is easy, fun, and rewarding! Interested? 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 Pet Adoption Center and Best Friends Kitten Nursery both located in Salt Lake City. Foster parents will need to be able to bring their foster animals regularly for vet appointments and vaccines at our Pet Adoption Center.
  • 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?

The more time you spend with your foster kittens, the more socialized they will be. The amount of time required for feeding will vary depending on the age of the kittens you are fostering. Most kittens will be eating on their own, but should have wet food available several 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. We  also provide any supplies needed during foster animals’ stay in your home. We have the following items available for foster homes: wet and dry food, litter, disposable litter boxes, potty pads, towers, cleaning supplies, and toys.

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 bring kittens to vaccination and vet appointments.

Will I need to give medicine to the foster kittens?

While we do our best to ensure that we are sending 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. Most kittens will require medication at some point. If your foster kittens need medication, we are happy to show you how to administer the medication before you take the kittens 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, it is ideal that personal pets and foster animals are kept separate for the entire duration of their stay in your home. 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, be very careful when it comes to germs and contamination. 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! When your foster kittens go up for adoption, you get a new foster kittens, giving us space in the nursery to take in kittens in need from our shelter partners. 

Can I foster kittens to fulfill a community service obligation?

Unfortunately, Best Friendsin Utah cannot sign off on court-ordered community service hours for fostering. Community service is required 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. Please view our community service requirements here.

Dog Foster Information

Because most of the dogs at our Pet Adoption Center in Sugar House are day visitors from our shelter partners, our need for dog fosters is minimal. However, many of our rescue and shelter partners are in need of dog fosters. Salt Lake County Animal Services has a great dog foster program!  Email Kathy Jo at KVentrano@slco.org to get more information. Visit nkut.org/about for a full list of our partners and to reach out directly for other foster opportunities.