As we find ourselves at the end of another long kitten season we take a minute to regroup and prepare ourselves for the next season ahead. Come October we will see the first waves of neonatal kittens arrive at Ten Lives along with strays and surrenders that desperately need our help. As we see our total cats in care skyrocket it is absolutely vital that Ten Lives has a solid foster network to provide the essential care to these cats before they are ready to enter the adoption rooms.

Foster carers open up their hearts and their homes to provide temporary shelter for kitties that require their care. Ten Lives provides all vet care, food, bedding, toys, and of course 24 hour support.

But, what most people might not realise is that there are many types of foster carers each with their own different strengths and skills.

New foster carers are assigned healthy cats that require simple care, an adult cat that requires a break from the adoption rooms or a small litter of healthy kittens. Though, as they continue on their foster journey they may put their hands up for more challenging cases. This may include a cat that is unwell, a litter of fluey kittens, or even neonatal cases. Training is provided for every step along the way.

No matter which cases a foster carer takes on or how often they are able to put their hand up to take a cat, each carer is crucial to the work that Ten Lives does.

Though, as you can imagine, some types of carers are harder to come by than others. One such is our incredible ringworm carers.

Ringworm is a highly contagious fungal condition that presents as skin lesions that look like red or grey crustiness on the skin. If a cat is unhealthy or has a compromised immune system they are susceptible to picking up the spores from their environment and becoming infected.

So what does it take to be a ringworm foster carer?

Fostering cats with ringworm can be a real challenge. It is also vital to their successful recovery.

Along with administering daily medication twice weekly baths are also required to help clear the infection. This can take a minimum of 6 weeks for each cat. Careful attention needs to be made in ensuring their bedding and blankets are washed routinely. Homes that foster ringworm cases need to have an area set aside without carpet that can easily be cleaned.

It’s also important to note that homes with other cats, young children, the elderly, or those with compromised immune systems are not appropriate to foster ringworm kitties.

It’s because of these requirements that out of all of our 170 foster carers only 5 are currently enlisted to care for ringworm cases. The reality is that for Ten Lives to be successful in assisting all the kitties that need our help that number needs to be 20.

How you can help..

Ten Lives Cat Centre is unique in that it’s Tasmania’s largest and most respected dedicated cat shelter. Ten Lives is on the front line of cat care in Tasmania, reducing animal suffering, and in the protection of our precious wildlife. Ten Lives is also in our schools creating real social change in how people care for cats and protect our wildlife.

For our essential foster carers that join the Ten Lives foster family there is immense joy and reward in caring for a cat and seeing them through to finding a home to call their own.

If you are willing to take up the challenge of becoming a foster carer then we desperately need your help. And, if you are able to provide care for ringworm cases we currently have a ‘wait list’ of ringworm kitties who urgently need your support.

» Information on applying to become a foster carer

If you are not in a position to be able to foster a cat in need please consider sponsoring a kitty by joining our Passport Program or by joining our V.E.T.S Club.

Thank you for your support.

– by Georgie Gallagher.