Fostering Kittens Despite Tight Spaces and Travel


A small black cat lies on a floral blanket.

Edith Piaf, a PawsCo foster.

By Jennifer S. Heath, PhD

I always thought I could not foster kittens because I did not have space. My own family or pets required all the space my home had to offer!  

But then I learned how little space a kitten (or even a couple of kittens) needs. Depending on the kitten’s age, he or she may need just the space of an extra bathroom, laundry room, or large closet or storage room. Older kittens might appreciate the opportunity to romp in a larger space (up and down the hallway or a stairway?) a couple times a day and maybe see some real sunlight sometimes. Younger kittens may be safest in the bathtub or a large dog crate.
Some adaptation may be required to block access to those tiny spaces that only kittens can find (like the gap in the wall where the pipes come through, a small heating vent opening, etc). But when you foster with PawsCo, you are not alone. A team of experienced volunteers and foster parents can help you identify potential hazards and mitigate them. Usually those hazards are easily addressed using low-tech approaches like gaffers tape, duct tape, etc.

Those first two little boy kittens in my home made me smile each time I saw them! It is amazing to me that with so little space, and as part of the PawsCo team, I can help save the life of a sweet, innocent little kitten. And over time, not just one kitten, but many. Maybe you can save a kitten, too? Contact PawsCo to talk with someone about your situation and explore whether now might be the time for you to join in the movement to save more pets’ lives.
A small grey and black kitten sits on a bed.

Itsy Bitsy, a PawsCo foster.


I also sometimes travel for work, so I thought that I couldn’t foster a kitten.  After all, I can’t just fly away and leave the kitten alone. It’s expensive to board a foster pet, and kittens are generally too young to be allowed to board most places in any case. But when I foster with PawsCo, I am not alone!  PawsCo has short-term (temporary) foster homes that exist specifically to co help me during times of travel!  The short-term fosters will house (and love) my foster kitten(s) when I travel, and return them to me when I get home.

Of course, I probably would not take in a new foster pet if I knew I had a 2-week vacation coming up. But if a family emergency or work or vacation travel comes up while I have a foster kitten, PawsCo won’t leave me frantically searching for an option for my foster kitten–volunteers will welcome that kitten into a temporary foster home until she or he can be returned to my loving care. So, I can foster a kitten even if some unanticipated travel arises–the kitten will be loved and cared for in my absence, and can come back to brighten my home upon my return!

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