Foster Program

Each year The Cat House on the Kings takes in around 1200-1500 cats from a variety of sources including people who find kittens in their backyard or at work, other shelters and rescues, and even our employees who find kittens abandoned on the side of the road or illegally dumped in a box on our doorstep. The majority of these cats enter our adoption program after receiving any medical care they need. Our goal is to place as many of them as possible into permanent loving homes. For that to occur, each cat must be socialized to people, enjoy their company and just be a cat that someone would love to join their family. We rely on an extensive network of foster homes where each cat can receive the attention and socialization they need to become an adoptable pet.

Some of the cats in our adoption program will find homes directly through us. Other will be transferred to other rescue groups, often in exchange for unadoptable cats who will live out their lives at our sanctuary.

Click Miss City of Fresno 2022 - Ashlyn Cruise's picture to the left to hear about our program.

Our Foster Program currently has 524 cats in foster homes, at our Sanctuary or at our Fresno Petco Adoption Center.

What's Involved - From Hissy to Huggable

It is relatively rare that we take in a cat who is already ready to be adopted, but who cannot live either at our Petco Adoption Center or our Sanctuary while waiting to be chosen by someone who has passed our rigorous vetting. Our fosters provide a safe environment for kittens and cats while they learn to become the ideal pets they were always meant to be.

The foster experience varies with the age of the kittens/cats. For kittens only a few weeks old whose mom is not available to teach them the basics, this may mean bottle feeding them every few hours until they can eat on their own and helping them pee and poop until they learn how that works. (Moms lick the kittens to stimulate them to eliminate until they can do it on their own.)

For kittens who can already eat, pee and poop on their own, the process may begin with overcoming their fear of people—the hissy stage. Until you've been through it a few times, a hissy kitten can seem quite ferocious and intimidating, but they usually learn fairly quickly to accept human touch. It's a thrilling day for any foster when their foster kitten purrs for the very first time. It's like a baby's first words!

Without mom to teach them how to "hunt", the foster home is where the kittens learn to play with each other and with their human. Sometimes it comes naturally in the form of roughhousing with siblings. Others need to be coaxed with wand toys and balls.

As they grow up a bit more, they must learn to come to you and enjoy cuddling up with you.

Kittens need a series of vaccinations every 3-4 weeks until they are 16 weeks old, which are given by our staff at the Petco Adoption Center. When the kittens weigh 2lbs they can be spayed/neutered. Assuming their socialization has progressed well, they can then be made available for adoption.

Who Can Foster

To be able to foster for us:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must live within a one hour drive (approx. 60 miles) of our Petco Adoption Center in Fresno, CA.
  • You must be willing to foster for a minimum of 3-4 weeks.
  • You must be willing to bring your foster cats to Petco for vaccination updates and other routine care.
  • You must have a separate room for your foster cat(s).

All fosters will have an experienced foster as a mentor as well as our Petco Adoption Center staff to call on with any questions or concerns while you are fostering.

Apply Today

Apply online to join our network of foster homes.