Foster FAQs

What does a foster do?

If you’ve ever visited our Catfé Lounge, you’ll notice there are usually around 20 cats prowling around. Did you know that at any given time, FCS cares for more than 175 cats and kittens? Since we definitely don’t have room for all those fluff balls at the Catfé, that’s where fosters come in – and they are absolutely crucial to our mission.

Fosters house cats and kittens temporarily while they await placement, either at the Catfé or in an adoptive home. Some foster volunteers care for young kittens until they are old enough to be spayed/neutered and adopted, while others care for senior cats who need special diets or medications and may not flourish at the Catfé. And some adopters just care for normal, adoptable adult cats because there isn’t enough room at the Catfé.

In addition to providing shelter and basic care for their foster kitties, foster volunteers also help transport their foster kitties to vet appointments and welcome prospective adopters into their homes for meet and greet appointments. Prospective adopters are always screened by an FCS volunteer before visiting a foster home.

Do fosters have to provide their own food, litter, and supplies?

While many of our fosters provide some supplies on their own, FCS happily provides wet and dry food, cat litter, supplements, and medications to our foster volunteers at no cost. Need bowls, beds, litter boxes, toys, or other supplies? Just ask! We support our fosters in any way we can, and we always need more.

Can my foster cat hang out with my household cat/dog?

Please ask your foster coordinator! Many cats – and especially kittens – are placed in foster homes because they are awaiting veterinary care. That means your foster cat may still need crucial vaccines or testing. If you don’t have the ability to keep your foster cat separated from your other pets, let your adoption coordinator know. They’ll work to place a cat with you who has already been fully vetted.

What if I end up wanting to keep my foster cat?

You wouldn’t be the first! “Foster fails” are common in the rescue world and, if we’re being honest, it’s really the best way to adopt. As long as you let us know you’d like to keep your foster cat before we promise them to someone else, we welcome you to adopt your foster cat permanently.

Adopt FAQs

I just submitted my application. What’s next?

Thanks for choosing to adopt from the Ferndale Cat Shelter! Once your application is received, a member of our team will review it and reach out to you to discuss the next steps in the adoption process. Because our adoption team is comprised entirely of volunteers, sometimes it can take a week or more for us to review new applications. We appreciate your patience! If you have questions about your application, please contact us by filling out a form on our contact page.

Why do you need to visit my home in order to approve me for adoption?

While our home visit does help us to screen potential adopters, it is also an excellent opportunity for adopters to ask questions and receive assistance in preparing their home for their new family member. Home visits are the perfect opportunity to ask your adoption coordinator, “Is this a good place for a litter box?” or “Is this plant toxic to cats?” Most home visits take less than 30 minutes and can usually be completed via Zoom. Our goal is not to invade your space, but to help set you and your fur family up for success!

Your adoption fees seem high. What does my adoption fee include?

Our adoption fees ($150 for adult cats and $175 for kittens) just barely cover the costs of basic vetting for our cats and kittens. Every cat adopted from FCS is spayed or neutered, vaccinated against rabies and feline distemper, microchipped, dewormed, and treated for fleas. These services total more than $250 at most metro Detroit vets. And that’s to say nothing of our cats who require more intensive medical care – including emergency exams, bloodwork, hospitalization, antibiotics, surgery, and ongoing medication.

As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that receives no city, state, or federal funding, we are entirely reliant on adoption fees and donations in order to sustain our operations. Your adoption fee is so much more than just a fee – it’s an investment in our mission to save and place as many metro Detroit cats as possible.

I want to adopt a cat/kitten as a surprise for my (parent/child/spouse/friend). Can I apply to adopt on their behalf?

While we understand that a snuggly new family member seems like a lovely surprise, we don’t condone going about adoption in this way. It’s important that whomever will ultimately assume responsibility for the cat’s ongoing care be present throughout the adoption process, and that means having the whole family on board from the start. Animals given as gifts are frequently relinquished or returned, and that is not our goal. We aim to match each adopter to their perfect cat and create a truly lasting bond.

Do you ever give kittens away for free or discount your adoption fees?

We have never, and will never, give away cats for free. Those seeking a low-cost way to experience feline companionship are encouraged to look into our foster program or forever foster program. Cats housed under a foster agreement still technically belong to the shelter, and we cover the costs of food, supplies, and medical care. Adoption fees cannot be discounted, as they are crucial for offsetting the costs of veterinary care.