About FosterCat, Inc

Foster Cat, Inc. is all about saving lives. It's as simple as that. We are an all-volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to the proposition that all cats and kittens deserve safe, loving, permanent homes.

Our foster parents provide temporary care for cats and kittens in their homes until they can be placed for adoption. Their compassion provides the second chance that so many stray, abandoned or homeless kitties need, and the satisfaction of knowing that they have helped save the lives of these helpless animals.

FosterCat provides training and support, medications, food and litter as needed, and absorbs all veterinary expenses associated with the care of our kitties. If you love kitties and would like to be a part of our lifesaving team, consider opening your heart and home to cats or kittens in need. We promise you won’t regret it! If you can’t foster, you can still help save lives as a volunteer or supporting member. Check out our Fostering and Contribute options, above, for more information.

Seniors are Super

Let me first say that I have been in animal rescue for over 30 years. Over the course of time in rescue, I have found that it can be extremely heartbreaking and time-consuming, but it can also be very rewarding.

In today’s world, one gets a sense that we have become a “throw-away” society. If something breaks, throw it away. If something gets old, throw it away and buy new. Tired of your old clothes, shoes or toaster, throw them away. Take for instance the problem with plastics, bottles and cans and how impossible it has become to recycle. We always hope when we throw plastic bottles, cans, etc. in the “recycle” bin that they are truly recycled but we really do not know for certain. We do not like to think that we are just contributing to the overflow of trash in landfills that will pollute the environment for decades to come.

Unfortunately, this same principle also applies to animals. Adopt (or worse, buy) an animal, feed it and love it until it becomes old and a burden, has a health problem, becomes disabled or a bother, and it is history. If a person goes into a nursing home, gets a divorce, moves out of state, downsizes to an apartment that does not allow pets, has allergies or has a new baby, all of a sudden, the animal is a burden to the family. Need I go on?

Rather than being a responsible person and finding a viable solution to keep the cat or surrender it to a “no-kill” shelter or a rescue group, it is just easier to discard the cat or dog like a piece of unwanted trash. I will never understand how anyone can discard a cat outside who they adopted as a cute kitten, loved and lived with for 14 years.

It is especially hard for an older indoor cat to be outside on its own just trying to exist, especially when they have been a cherished indoor member of the family. A horrible trend has emerged in the last 30 years where people have decided that pets are “disposable” and can be replaced.

This is where Tuffy’s story begins. Tuffy was discarded like a piece of trash in Homewood. When foster parent Kim found this sweet boy, he was sick and terribly matted. After Kim took him to a veterinarian, it was determined that Tuffy was between 12 and 14 years old and we were astounded that he was microchipped. Most likely he was adopted from a shelter. The vet reported that Tuffy was in extreme pain because all ofTuffy’s teeth were wobbly and that full mouth extractions would be needed. Why would anyone discard an old cat outside with infected teeth? Because we have become a “disposable” society.

Tuffy will receive all the veterinary care he needs and FosterCat will make sure that his next home will be a permanent one.

As a senior citizen myself, I know the joys of adopting an older cat. Senior cats are “true companions.” They love to cuddle and be petted and more importantly, they are CALM. These cats are just happy to be loved. Then there is kitten mania, clawing furniture, getting into mischief, trying to get outside or running in front of you when you are on a walker or desperately trying to descend a flight of stairs.

Yes, adopting an older cat can be a very rewarding experience! Have I convinced you yet?

Please consider giving a senior cat like Tuffy a warm, loving home that he so deserves, and more importantly, a second chance at LIFE. I promise you, that you will not be disappointed! Please contact info@fostercat.org.

Sometimes It Takes an Army

That’s an “army” of volunteers to save the life of a cat outside. This is the story of one such cat named Otis who was rescued by a dedicated “army” of volunteers.

Otis was one of five adult cats that an owner in Bridgeville wanted to “dump” when she decided to move. This woman had no plan for the cats; only that she was leaving and could not take the cats with her. She thought of two options…walk away and leave the cats in the house by themselves or turn them outside to fend for themselves.

A neighbor found out about the situation and offered to take the cats in temporarily. The neighbor contacted many rescues, including FosterCat, but all were full. One rescue group took the cats in for two weeks but was unable to foster them long term. When FosterCat found out the dire situation, we were able to find a foster home to temporarily house the cats until we could get them into our foster network.

In the meantime, we were able to get vet appointments quickly and all were vaccinated, spayed/ neutered, dewormed and tested for felv/fiv. Unfortunately, two of the five cats had distemper and passed away shortly after surgery. This is why all rescue groups preach the importance of getting vaccinations as soon as the kittens are 12 weeks old.

Distemper in cats is a dangerous and contagious viral disease caused by Feline Parvovirus. It affects the cat’s immune system and can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, fever, and loss of appetite. It can be fatal, especially for kittens, pregnant cats, and cats with weak immunity. Treatment involves medication for vomiting and diarrhea, fluids for dehydration, and antibiotics for secondary infections.

Fortunately for Otis, he was completely healthy and we found a home quickly for him. Unfortunately, the adoptors had another cat and the two cats did not get along, so Otis was back into foster. All of us were very saddened that this home did not work out for Otis.

Sometimes in life, things are just meant to be. A week or so later, we received another application for Otis and were able to get him a permanent home with some pretty special people. Maura and her brother George saw Otis on PetFinder and submitted an application. We decided to do a “foster to adopt” contract so Maura could try Otis to make sure he would be happy in his new home. Within two weeks Maura sent us a text saying that she fell in love with Otis and he fit right into her home! They bought Otis a cat tree and various toys, but his favorite toy is a big, fat plush carrot toy! Maura and George think he is enamored with it!

Maura states “Just a note to let you know that Otis is adjusting well to his new home and environment. He loves to be perched up on a shelf or on his favorite, the top of the fridge. He prefers to drink water out of the sink than his water bowl, and we have purchased cat trees for him since he likes to be up high. Otis follows me around everywhere! Overall, he is doing great and we love him! Thank you for your help in finding the perfect companion for us and the best home for Otis!”

It has been a long, hard and rocky road for Otis. FosterCat will continue to put the lives of our cats first and foremost. We never gave up trying to find the right home for Otis. He has been through many trials and tribulations in his life, but he has come through it all with flying colors! Sometimes it just takes an “army” of people to find the right home for a cat like Otis!

Dale and Brennan…From Rags to Riches

FosterCat receives pleas for help just about every day. Some are by word of mouth and others are pleas for help on our answering machine. Regardless of the situation, we try to get back to everyone as soon as possible. On one such day, we received a plea for help from a tenant in an apartment building in Butler, PA. She informed us that her neighbor had been evicted and that there were two male cats that needed to be rescued as soon as possible.

She relayed that the apartment smelled of urine and the cats needed help! Upon inspection, it was determined that there was absolutely no cat food available and no litterbox. We knew that we had to remove these cats from their current situation immediately. The tenant did not really want to give up the cats at first and stated that he planned to take the cats with him and live in his car. What we found was that the man was feeding the cats canned spaghetti and bread because he had absolutely no money for cat food and litter. Neither of the male cats were neutered and because there was no litterbox, the cats were urinating and defecating in various spots.

Our wonderful foster coordinator Kim, immediately went to pick up both cats and after determining that they were extremely friendly, named them Dale (black) and Brennan (orange tabby). Kim then took them to Animal Friends for vaccinations, neutering, testing, deworming, etc.

Dale and Brennan were taken to our competent foster parent Jessica for observation followed by an assessment by our fabulous foster parents Aaron and Erika. They then went to a new foster home with a little girl named Vivienne. Both cats passed all the behavior tests with flying colors. Both cats were now ready to get their “forever” home.

When cats are accepted into our program, it is customary to place their pics on our webpage, along with Facebook and Instagram. This is the best way to get the cats the exposure they need to get adopted.

They were only listed a week before I was able to get a wonderful application for both of them to be placed together. Connor C. submitted an adoption questionnaire, and after speaking with him, it was determined that this was the perfect home for both of these sweet cats. Connor’s previous cat had recently passed away and he missed the companionship of having a cat. He was on board with fostering and then eventually adopting both cats. Connor states “Thank you guys so much for the opportunity to give both Dale and Brennan a home! We love them so much! We have been loving on these little guys all week and we are so enamored with them. They are very affectionate and loving. Both cats have been cuddling with us all over the place and they love playing and running around.” Sometimes in life things just work out as if they were intended to end up this way. Over the course of a month, two helpless cats who had no home and no food, ended up hitting the lottery. One thing is for certain; they will never have to eat spaghetti again. If this isn’t a rags to riches story, I don’t know what is!

A Miracle for Mirabel

Sometimes it takes a miracle to save the life of a cat or kitten who has been rescued from outside. Mirabel’s story starts in July of 2022. Just another typical feral mom and five kitten rescue that we are all so familiar with throughout the year. The five kittens were around four weeks old and were able to be with the mother until they were weaned. Our wonderful foster mom Kerri stepped up and agreed to foster all of them until they were old enough to be vetted and placed into permanent homes. The feral mother would be vetted and released, and food and shelter would be provided.

Kittens that young need to be handled a lot, and spending time with them to get human interaction and contact is absolutely essential in gaining their trust for eventual placement into responsible homes.

Kerri noticed that as time went on the tiniest of the litter, Mirabel, would come and sit on Kerri’s lap and purr and purr. Kerri also noticed that all of the kittens had gained weight but Mirabel had not gained an ounce. Finally, Mirabel was taken to a vet and extensive tests were done. After ruling out a myriad of diseases, it was determined that Mirabel had Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). FIP is normally a fatal diagnosis, but in recent years, an extremely costly treatment has become available. Kerri contacted the source and FosterCat decided we would try to save this little girl any way we could.

FosterCat established a “Go Fund Me” fundraising account when we found out that ongoing treatments would be extremely costly. Each vial of medicine for once a day injections cost $86.00 for 84 days, not including the cost of needles and syringes and routine blood work. Vials of the medicine had to be increased as Mirabel gained weight.

Thanks to our wonderful supporters and our Annual Bingo/ Go Fund Me fundraiser, we were able to raise the necessary funds for the much-needed medicine and supplies for this important treatment.

I am happy to report that as of January 29, 2023, Mirabel has been pronounced cured! We still have to watch her closely and routine blood work must be done, but Kerri is happy to report that Mirabel is running around and just being a normal kitten.

FosterCat is extremely grateful for all the donations from our supporters in making this dream come true. I would like to personally thank everyone who donated and helped this little kitten have a chance at life!

FosterCat is hoping that every cat diagnosed with FIP will be able to access this life saving treatment. Like any “new” drug out there, it will take time to develop, but it will subsequently lower the price of the drug enough so that it will be affordable for any individual who wants a positive solution to FIP.

Thank you all and God Bless!

“Why is foster-to-adoption so successful?”

Fosater to adopt
Foster-to-adopt may be ideal for you and the kitty(s).
FosterCat’s recently published adoption results have been on the uptick. Our President, Barb Slade, believes that it’s because “foster-to-adoptions” has developed into the number one adoption method for FosterCat.

What is “foster-to-adoption”?

When cats are accepted into the FosterCat network of foster homes, they are very fortunate cats because they are always given a home, whether foster or permanent. There are many circumstances that warrant their acceptance into the program. These can range from discovery of homeless mothers with kittens; strays that are found that are friendly, socialized cats and may need immediate medical attention; abuse situations where the cats are in harmful or even life-threatening situations; and other cases. When cats are taken into Fostercat, they are assigned a pre-approved foster home that has been contacted ahead of time and has agreed to foster the cat(s). These are homes that accept fosters on an ongoing basis. Before they are delivered to the foster home, each cat visits a vet for examination and depending on the age and need, may be given vaccinations, flea and deworming medication and other necessary medical treatment. The cat then remains with the foster home until successful adoption occurs.

The foster-to-adopt method is an alternative that is offered to the potential adopter. Most potential adopters really like the offer because they can try caring for the cat for a few weeks to see if it will work out in their unique home situations. The potential adopter completes and signs a foster-to-adopt application. Once the application has been screened, our foster manager, Kim typically delivers the cat to their residence to care for during the “foster” period. This method has resulted in a high rate of permanent adoptions because the home and the cat have the time to become accustomed to one another thus allowing for a smoother adoption transition. If for any reason the potential adopter feels that it is not working out, FosterCat accepts the cat back into its foster program. During the foster-to-adopt process, FosterCat offers a bag of food and if requested, brings a litterbox, scooper and litter. This is a starter kit for the foster home. Upon permanent adoption, the essential supplies are required to be provided by the adopter going forward.

Are you a candidate for “foster-to-adopt”? It may be the ideal solution for both you and the foster cat. Click here to complete the application.

Cat-loving Kindergartner to the Rescue

Six-year-old Sophia Bradway loves cats, so a fundraiser to help homeless cats was a natural choice. Also a lover of girly things, like nail art, she pitched her idea to local Color Street nail strips consultant Angie Johnston, who helped set up the Facebook fundraiser.

They raised $1240.00 for FosterCat Inc., a local allvolunteer cat rescue that finds homes for more than 200 cats and kittens each year.

“We thought we might be able to raise a couple hundred dollars,” said Sophia’s mother, Ashley Haverlack. “We were totally overwhelmed by this amazing response.”

Sophia is the youngest client of Ms. Johnston, who is a lifelong friend of Sophia’s mother. Sophia loves the colorful nail strips from Color Street, which she can apply with a little help from an adult.

For the past three years Sophia’s love of cats has been broadcast to all by the cat-ears hairband she wears every day. Last year, one of her North Hills neighbors asked her to housesit her cats. The job went well, and Sophia begged her mother and father to let her get a cat of her own. She said she would pay for the cat with her own money, saved up from doing chores.

The neighbor’s cats - both black - had been adopted from Foster Cat, so that’s where Sophia applied to adopt. The family was introduced to two female kittens from the same litter. One was black and the other was what Ms. Havelack describes as a “dilute tortie/calico,” a very popular color. But homeless black cats often languish longer in shelters and rescues.

The sister kittens were very bonded, and Sophia suggested adopting both so they would not be separated. The kittens were almost two months old when they came home with Sophia. She named the black one Pumpkin and the other Pom Pom. They provide entertainment and love to everyone in the family. Sophia’s instincts were right - the cat sisters are inseparable.

Sophie is looking forward to her May kindergarten graduation from The Glen Montessori School in Ross. In the fall she will attend classes in the North Allegheny School District. (Reprinted with permission from Linda Wilson Fuoco and the PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE.)


We would like to keep you informed by sending you updates and information about important events, like our upcoming Bingo Fundraiser. If we do not have your email address, please take a few moments to provide it for us and go to the following link: http://fostercat.org/contactus.html. Thank you!

Volunteers Needed

FosterCat currently needs a few volunteers for home visits in the South Hills. We have two very dedicated volunteers, Katie Tontala and Dadja Roerig, who are remarkable and devoted to doing visits at a momentís notice! We would like to get extra help in that area, so if you are interested in volunteering, please contact us on our answering service (412-481-9144) and someone will get back to you. A computer is needed to print off our adoption contract and of course an automobile to do the home visit. Home visits are extremely easy to do and training is provided. All adoptors are pre-screened and an appointment is set up beforehand.

Thinking of Moving?

Housing issues are one of the leading causes of pet surrender. We now feature an up to date list of pet-friendly apartments in and around Pittsburgh. You can find it here and in the list of resources on our links page.

They also recently published a guide with tips on finding pet-friendly housing, that may also be helpful.

Attention, All Adopters

Many of you have kindly kept in touch with us via emailed updates and photos of your adopted kitties, and we hope you will continue to do so. Please note, however, that the email address to send them to has changed. Please make note of the change and direct all future emails/photo attachments to bsnowymarie@comcast.net. Thanks, and keep those updates coming. We love to receive them!

FosterCat, Inc

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