Furry Tales cat Rescue is putting out the call for cat fosters.
After a rise in intake over the summer and finding cat colonies in the area, the Smiths-Falls-based not-for profit cat rescue is looking for fosters in and around the area.
With 172 cats already in care, the rescue is calling for fosters for the 35 cats currently at the facility, and the many more they're rescuing from two cat colonies in the area and 16 cats they've rescued from a house in Brockville.
Chris Langton, a local foster through Furry Tales and an administration team member, said it's unknown how many fosters are currently needed but at least 10 more would be helpful to the rescue group.
"The need for fosters is as high as it's ever been," said Langton, who has been fostering since January 2020 and has four kittens in his care now.
A typical kitten season lasts from late March to November, and this year the number of intakes for not only kittens but older cats has been much higher than usual.
As the kitten boom starts to come to an end, the need for fosters is still apparent at the rescue. This year's kitten season intake throughout the summer was higher than usual, said Langton.
With winter on its way, Furry Tales wants to avoid cat families being left out in the winter as most won't survive the cold.
"We're trying really hard not to turn any cats away, but it is difficult" when there are more and more cat families needing a foster home, said Langton. He said it's always harder to find fosters for mother cats and their kittens due to the time commitment it takes to look after them as a foster.
A lack of fosters means the rescue isn't able to take in many more cats, and if they had more fosters they wouldn't have to turn away cats or direct them to other rescues, or tell people who have to surrender their cats to hang on a few more weeks until space in a foster home or in the facilities becomes available, said Langton.
Usually the two facilities the rescue has on founder Donna MacRae's property are used for triage and storage but because of the high volume of cats, they're being used to house cats and kittens without foster homes.
If the rescue is able to keep the population inside the facilities low "it allows Donna and the leadership team to focus more on other things rather than cat care and keep as many cats as we can in foster care," said Langton.
Fosters can be anyone in the area, from Brockville to Smiths Falls, to Ottawa and stretching out to Sharbot Lake and Casselman.
Furry Tales Cat Rescue asks that people who would like to become foster homes for cats to have a vehicle for transportation purposes, Langton said. Having a car isn't mandatory but is ideal for travelling to and from veterinary visits or for any possible emergencies.
They ask that fosters have an isolation space just dedicated to the foster cats or kittens as well to keep the rescue cat and resident cats safe for the first two weeks of fostering.
Fosters can take in as many cats as they feel comfortable with; some will take just one at a time or eight kittens at one time like Langton and his partner had once done.
"If somebody wants to take one or two cats, that’s a huge help," said Langton. "If somebody want to take multiple families, also a huge help."
The job of a foster is to provide a safe home for cats or kittens, to help socialize them, acclimatize them to people, as well as to maintain their living space, such as topping up water and feeding them and cleaning out their litter boxes.
"Fostering with us should not cost a penny," said Langton, who explained that fostering expenses, like vet bills, food and other supplies through Furry Tales is covered by the rescue.
"If you love cats and want to save lives then you should become a foster," said Langton.
Jessica Munro, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brockville Recorder and Times