We are very grateful to our fosterers for caring for our cats and kittens. Without them, we would not exist!
Many thanks for considering to foster for Heronbank Cat Rescue. Fostering can be extremely rewarding however it can be hard work (depending on the fur baby you’re fostering), however at Heronbank nobody is left to their own devices, we are a friendly community who support each other!
Heronbank Cat Rescue is run by a committee. On this page you will regularly see references to the Heronbank Committee which is currently made up of: Lindsay Smith, Sarah West, Sarah Haigh and Andrew Shelton.
The homecheck team is different to the committee and is run by Sarah Haigh.
It is a good idea to add the above people on Facebook when you join as a foster so that you can maintain contact.
We understand that some people like to foster to find their perfect furry companion to adopt. If you intend on adopting your foster cat you will be required to undergo an adoption homecheck. The foster homecheck has different criteria and therefore may not pass. For instance during a foster homecheck roads are not taken into account as Heronbank foster cats do not go outside, this however is a major factor in the adoption homecheck. Please ask a member of our team for more details if you are planning on fostering with the intention of adopting, in order to avoid disappointment.
You will be added to 3 groups; a facebook group, a facebook messenger chat and a Whatsapp group. The groups are for fosterers to share their foster experiences, ask for advice, and support each other. The committee also put messages on here for all fosterers to read and there is a post for fosterers to add their foster cat’s flea and wormer information.
If your foster cat/kitten becomes ill you can discuss it with a member of the committee via these groups too. All appointments need to be made by a member of the committee. After your appointment, you will need to put feedback from your vet visits in this chat. We use Donaldson’s Vet, Mirfield branch.
These groups are also where you will obtain your foster fur baby. The committee regularly post about available foster cats in these groups or they may message you directly if they know that you are foster free.
If the cats/kittens you take in are new in to rescue, you will be asked to name them… there are lots of people who are keen to help with naming if you struggle! We allocate names alphabetically in the order cats come in to rescue, so you will be given a letter with which their names will need to begin.
Looking after your foster cats / kittens (Kittens under 12 months, Adults 12 months +)
All Heronbank cats and kittens MUST be kept indoors at all times. You will need to ensure you have ways to prevent escape for cats that are more determined to get out.
Food, litter, bowls, litter trays, bedding, toys, crates, medicine, flea treatment, wormer and other cat supplies will be provided by the rescue. You will be expected to collect supplies from our unit in Lockwood (HD1 3QD) or arrange for someone to collect them for you. Please let us know if there is anything you need.
Some cats/kittens may need to be kept separate from other cats/animals or need to be in isolation. If cats need to be separated, we often use crates to allow them to get used to other animals in the house in a safe way. Once they become more used to the household and gain confidence, they can start to be integrated. If they need complete isolation (due to inability to mix or due to health reasons) they will need to be kept in one room (i.e. bedroom).
Flea and Wormer
All cats and kittens should be flea and worm treated as soon as they come in to rescue and then on a monthly basis. Flea and worm treatment is provided by the rescue, and will need to be requested as you need it. You need to keep a record of when they have been treated and ensure you ask for repeat treatments in advance. Please do not take treatments from the vets as it is much more expensive and we keep it all in stock.
All kittens will have their first vaccinations at 9 weeks old unless they are unwell. They will have their second vaccinations 3 weeks later. Adults can have their first vaccination a week after they come into rescue (if they are well enough). They will have their second vaccinations 3 weeks later. As a foster you will be expected to take them to the Mirfield branch of Donalson’s vets for this and to obtain and keep hold of their vaccination card as this will need to be passed on to their new owners when they are adopted.
ALL kittens are neutered at 5 months of age. Most will have been adopted by then but if they are still in your care you should arrange for neutering to be done using the fosterers facebook vet chat that you will be a part of. All un-neutered adults coming in to rescue, will be immediately booked in for neutering if they are well enough unless they are nursing kittens. As a fosterer you will be required to starve your cat from &;30pm the night before and to drop your foster cat off at the vet on the morning of their appointment between 7:30 and 9am. You will then need to collect them after their neuter (usually between 3pm and 6:30 pm). If you are unable to drop off in the morning you can take your foster to the vet the night before (around 6:30pm). Male cats will be allowed to leave rescue for their forever home a couple of days after their neuter. Female cats need to stay in rescue for at least 7 days after their spey as they may develop complications.
Advertising your Cat / Kitten
As a fosterer you will need to be a member of the friends of heronbank facebook page where fosterers upload photos, videos and updates of their foster cats. This is where most of our cats get spotted and people like to ‘follow’ them so our fosterers regularly advertise their cats in order to help them find new homes. It is important to try and get across the personality of your cat so videos are a great resource for this (and they’re also useful when your kitty won’t sit still for photos!!) Occasionally people may message you about your foster cat, if this happens it is best to refer them to a member of the committee as they will know which cats have application forms in already.
On occasion you may become so attached to your foster kitty and just have to adopt them. If this happens to you, you will need to follow the same process that any other potential adoptee goes through. Please be aware that not everyone who passes a foster homecheck will pass their adoption homecheck. This is because the requirements for a foster are different to a forever home (e.g. roads are an important factor in an adoption homecheck but they are not considered at all for a foster homecheck). You also need to be quick off the mark as fosters do not get priority over their cats. If another person fills in a form and passes their homecheck for your foster cat before you submit a form, they will be able to adopt regardless of whether you want to keep the cat.
Viewings / Adoption (Updated for Current Covid 19 restrictions)
When an application form comes in for a cat or kitten in rescue, we ask for an admin fee to secure a homecheck.
Once this is paid, a member of the homecheck team will complete a homecheck and submit it to the pass/fail panel.
If the homecheck is successful, we find out who they wish to view and will ask fosterers to get in touch to arrange a mutually convenient time to do a virtual meet and greet with their chosen cat/kitten. During the meet and greet you will video call the potential owner and show them the foster cat. Some of the things you can speak to them about are:
- What you currently feed the cat (wet and dry food) and the cat litter they like
- Any health issues they have had while in your care and pre rescue (if known)
- Their back story
- Personality and quirks
- What they are like with strangers/kids/dogs/cats
- Anything else that you would like to discuss
Once you have completed the meet and greet let one of the homecheck team know and they will get in touch with the potential adoptee to see if they want to proceed.
Don’t be downhearted if they don’t choose your foster kitty, the right forever home may be just around the corner for your cat.
If they do want to adopt your foster the homecheck team will request the adoption fee from them. Please double check with the homecheck team that your kitty has been paid for in full before they leave your house.
With the current pandemic we are conducting contactless adoptions, this means that when an adopter comes to whisk your foster kitty away they will need to put the carrier on your doorstep. You can then take the basket into the house to put the cat into it. After that you can take the cat back out the doorstep for the adoptee to collect. When the new owner comes to collect the cat/kitten you will need to pass on all relevant information ie what they have been getting fed, where they like to sleep, what they like to scratch on, any health issues, likes and dislikes etc. You will also need to hand over their vaccination card on collection.
Please don’t allow people into your home as we cannot guarantee that they do not have Covid or that they have not been in contact with a positive case of coronavirus.
We DO NOT allow viewings of any cats prior to a successful homecheck to avoid disappointment. You must not tell people on facebook chats that they can come and view any cat/kitten you have in foster.
Adoption fees will be paid in advance either via paypal or bank transfer.
Once the cat/kitten has been adopted, a member of the committee will put a welcome post on the friends of heronbank facebook page so that people know they are no longer available and to thank the new owners for adopting. We also thank the fosterers who have cared for them while they have been in rescue.
If at any time you are not coping with fostering or things are not going well, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the committee or the whatsapp foster group for advice and support. If you need a foster cat/kitten moving on to another foster home then please say. We have a mixed team of fosterers with varying experience and sometimes another fosterer may be a better fit for a more difficult cat. It is not seen as failing if you need to move a cat and everyone has had to move a cat at some point.
If you’ve made it this far you really need to click this button and give fostering a go… What’s the worst that could happen??