Tuesday, May 24, 2016

How Do Resident Cats Feel About Foster Kittens? Mudpie Gets Answers!

Meows from Mudpie!

Since moving into my forever home with Mommy I've continued the tradition of interviewing the fictional felines that live inside the cozy mysteries we love so much. I've decided to expand on the idea with a series of cutting edge interviews with real live cats that have amazing stories to tell!

Every now and then Mommy says that if life ever calms down for us she would love to be a kitten foster mom. Now I understand how important it is for families to help these little tots just starting out in life, but I'm still left with a very important question: How would fostering kittens affect me?

I decided to ask my friends Shadow and Frosty from SoPurrfect.com about their lives now that foster kittens have come into their home, and we invite you to visit their blog today to read kitten Ninja's post, A Day in the Life of a Foster Kittten.

Mudpie: Welcome Shadow and Frosty! Thank you so much for taking some time to chat with me today. Could you start by telling us a little about yourselves and how you came to live with your humans?

Frosty: Thank you for having us, we are more than happy to share our story with others. Obviously, I’m Frosty and this is my sister Shadow

Shadow: Everyone gets us confused! We look so alike, sometimes; even our humans have trouble telling us apart. I’m the more beautiful one! My fur is sleeker; I’m also shyer than Frosty. She has such a big personality and she likes things a certain way.

F: Our humans have been with us for about 6 years. It’s actually a funny story because when they came to the RSPCA (the local animal welfare shelter in Australia) it’s was the girl human who wanted two kittens, the boy human thought one would be enough. Luckily, he was a smart man and realised that two cats are always better than one.

S: He actually picked out Frosty first because she was more active, she ran right up to the cage and started trying to play with him. I was just waking up from a sleep and was more quiet. I can also be really shy and there were just so many people around!

F: Yeah, and because they were getting two kittens the shelter staff let them take me from Shadow and put me in a room with the humans and some other kittens to see who I would get on with the best. They didn’t think it through because it was scary and I missed Shadow.

S: They wised up pretty quickly, because before you know it we were in a cage together and off we went and we’ve been together ever since.

I understand life has changed for you in recent months thanks to the addition of foster kittens to your home. How did that happen and did you have any say in the matter???

F: We didn’t have a say at all. One day, the humans came home with 3 kittens. We were really worried at first, because we weren’t sure what was happening. All we knew is that we had to share our food bowls, our toys and our best sleeping spots. I thought we were being replaced, but over time we have learnt the kittens come and go but we stay.

S: The worst bit was when the humans came home from work we couldn’t sit with them on the couch without the kittens coming up to us. All they wanted to do was jump on my tail. I have slowly gotten used to it and now I just claim my spot with the humans.

Do you have regular contact with the kittens and if so, what impact has this had on your daily lives?

S: Do we have regular contact? Yes, yes we do. We have to teach them how to be a cat in a human world. The down side of having the kittens is obviously sharing things. The humans try and help by putting our food ‘up’ but the kitten food tastes better. We have had to share litter trays and they just leave it such a MESS! I know they’re young, but come on.

F: I know! At night we all sleep in the laundry together. Luckily there are some spots up high that the kittens can’t get to, because otherwise it would just be too hard. What impact has this had on me? I’ve gotten stressed, mostly at the start. sometimes it gets a bit too much, Kittens have so much energy and we teach them when we’ve had enough and just want some alone time. The humans pick up on it and making sure I get enough alone time which is good. They give us a room all to ourselves for the day which helps us relax and reduces our stress.

Did you have to rearrange your home for their arrival?

S: Nothing much had to change; the biggest change was the extra litter containers. Now we have them in every room in the house. It’s convenient for us too, but we didn’t mind just having the containers in the bathroom. The kittens are small though; they’re still learning and can’t always make it to the bathroom when they’re that small.

F: Having the extra containers was a change of convenience. The other fun change was that we get more toys now and I have to say, I’m starting to feel like a kitten again. Watching them running and playing really makes me want to play too and I’m loving it!

You don't have to share your toys and treats with them do you???

F: That’s the worst part! We have to share everything. Luckily, when they come to us they are pretty small so can’t get up on to all the best bits of the cat tower that let you see out the window. Towards the end they learn to climb onto our secret spots which is annoying. Always climbing up to the top of the tower but then it’s not long until we get new small kittens and we have our high spots back.

S: Yes, we have to share, but having the kittens means we get more toys because the humans see us playing with them. The kittens also wreck all the toys really quickly so the humans are buying new ones all the time. I heard them say that they just buy the cheap ones because the kittens are so rough with the feather wands and the mice.

F: Yeah, that’s true. Some of our toys are really good and you can tell they’re quality toys. The kittens haven’t been able to break them, but the things like small balls, toys and wands we get new and different ones all the time!

What should humans (and their cats) take into consideration before applying to become a foster family?

S: I think space is a big one. You need to make sure any cats (or dogs) that you already have need to be able to have their own space. Frosty and I love being able to have some time out in the bedroom without the kittens and if we didn’t have that it would be way too stressful.

F: I think humans should make sure to keep a “fostering free” space for us to help with stress, plus some one on one time. We’ve gotten used to it now and can see that these kittens come and go, and we will always be here. But at the beginning we weren’t sure what was happening and it really helped when we had quality one on one time with the humans.

What would become of these kittens if there weren't nice foster families available to them?

F: If there weren’t any foster carers the kittens would just sit at the shelter all day. If they’re lucky there will be volunteers coming in and playing with them, but otherwise they would be alone all day every day until they were old enough to be adopted. That’s a hard life.

S: What makes it even harder is if the kittens don’t get used to humans when they’re young when they get adopted they may not have a good experience or the owners might bring them back because they’re too shy or scared or not snuggly enough. That’s why I tolerate having the kittens at home, because I know it’s like as we were both foster kittens once ourselves. Having foster parents is the best thing for them.

What comes next? How long will these babies be with you, and will more be arriving once they're gone?

S: We always have kittens now, Kittens, kittens, kittens. The humans say that it’s because it’s kitten season and the RSPCA sometimes gets as many as 75 kittens a day! – and that’s just one centre! So many kittens need a loving foster family. Luckily, our humans don’t take 75 kittens home to foster!

F: You never know how long the kittens will be with us. Sometimes they are very quick just one or two weeks and they are gone. It doesn’t give you much time to get used to them. Other times they are so small when they come and they have a lot of growing to do, those ones we can have for up to 8 weeks. You see, they need to be a certain weight before they can be de-sexed and adopted out like we were. Sometimes it’s hard for the kittens to gain weight because they might be sick and so then the humans have to give them medicine to make them better. It all adds time.

Would you care to turn the keyboard over to the wee ones for some final thoughts?

S: They’re really busy running around at the moment… it’s that time of day. Once they stop running they’ll fall asleep. I can hear them chanting “fun fun fun fun fun fun” as they run past.


Thanks so much for the insight, Shadow and Frosty! Now click on over to meet baby Ninja in his post A Day in the Life of a Foster Kitten


Anonymous said...

Great interview, Mudpie. A different perspective - not always told from the resident cats' POV!

The Menagerie Mom said...

What a wonderful interview, Mudpie! I have so much respect for those who foster, both for the humans and the furbabies of the foster home. I hope to someday do some fostering, and I hope my furbabies are as good about it as Shadow and Frosty. Purrs!

Three Chatty Cats said...

This is a great cutting edge interview, Mudpie. Thank you! Now that you've conducted the interview, do you feel better or worse about the possibility of having foster kittens in the house?

Kitty Cat Chronicles said...

Great interview! We've always wondered what it must be like for the household cats when their families foster. Our mom would one day like to foster, but our house is just way too full with 6 cats, a dog, and 2 sugar gliders! We have no room for rambunctious little babies right now. Hopefully one day!

Anonymous said...

Great interview, Melissa and Mudpie.

Anonymous said...

Ours accept bottle babies, even as they grow. Chloe Jo has special needs, so we need to not have anyone who makes her upset. This works out well in our house.

Great post! Hugs.

da tabbies o trout towne said...

mudpie....we just came frum reedin ninja's side oh de storee !! ☺☺ thiz izza grate interviews, we troo lee N joyed reedin it ~~~~~~~~ waves two ewe both frosty & shadow, veree nice ta meet ewe ...if ewe ever get over trout towne way, pleez feel free ta haza a snax, ore 20 & chillax a wee while .....hope ya due mor interviewz mudpie... { & tell yur mom if her can, ta stop by de trout towne races on thurzday ☺☺☺ ♥♥♥ we noe her izza fan !!!

pilch92 said...

Great interview. I am glad there are families that foster like this.

The Island Cats said...

What a great interview, Mudpie. We wish we were more accepting of other cats...then maybe we could foster some kittens.

Mariodacat said...

Oh that was a great interview, and we learned so much. So very interesting, and so very much work. What a rewarding experience tho.

Lola The Rescued Cat said...

What a great interview, Mudpie. Mommy would love to foster, but our apartment is too small. And she doesn't think we'd be very good hostesses. Paws up to the So Purrfect kitties.

As the World Purrs said...

Great interview, Mudpie! We know what it is like to share EVERYTHING! At least we know we are making a difference in some young kittens life.

Gus, Pearl, and Jaq

Mark's Mews (Marley, Lori, Loki, and Binq) said...

None of us liked new kitties in the house. Ya know: Hiss, Hiss, Hiss... But then TBT said "hold on there". Skeeter liked LC when she first arrived, I liked Marley when HE first arrived, Iza liked Marley when he first arrived. I dint like Iza when SHE first arrived. Oh Bast, it was just me not liking Iza!!! OK, so 1 out of 4 is THAT bad?

Unknown said...

Thank you for interviewing us Mudpie. You did a great job and we loved sharing our experiences. Love, Shadow and Frosty.

Kitties Blue said...

It seems as if this foster family is doing things a bit differently by integrating the kittens from the start. Mom would love to foster but with eight of us, it is just not going to happen. Thanks for introducing us to a blog we didn't know. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo