What is fostering?
Foster parents are volunteers who take cats into their homes and care for them, love them and socialize them until they are ready for Petsmart  More lives are saved with foster homes!
All food and medical care is provided!
The cats will be tested for FIV (feline aids) and FeLV (feline leukemia), vaccinated when old enough, dewormed, spayed/neutered when old enough and other routine medical care. Conrad Strays will handle all of the adoption and screening procedures. The cats will be listed on our website. Some (especially kittens) will be adopted quickly and others may need to be in foster for several months.
  We ask that everyone in the household agree they want to foster.
  Which cats need fostering?
  • Kittens who are too young to be adopted.
  • Moms with nursing kittens.
  • Kittens who are old enough to be adopted but need a foster home until room at Petsmart.
  • Cats that need socialization because they are very shy, have never been around people or have been abused or neglected.
  • Older cats who do not do well in multi cat foster homes.
  • Cats with special medical needs.
  • Adoptable adult cats.
  • Feral cats or kittens that show potential to be adoptable.
  • Cats with behavioral problems.


  What would I be expected to do as a foster parent?
  • You must have a reliable car and be willing to bring the animal to vet when vaccines are needed and other medical treatments are needed.
  • Provide a clean, nurturing, safe, indoor home for the cat until they are adopted.
  • Give medication as needed.
  • On occasion bring the kitty to mobile adoption sites and pick them up if not adopted.
  • Allow pre-screened potential adopters to set up an appointment with you to show your foster kitty at your home, or if you feel more comfortable, we'll set up a time to meet at Orchard Animal Clinic.


  Questions to ask yourself before fostering a cat:
  1. Do I have a room in my house or a separate building away from my own pets?
  2. Can I handle the emotional part of fostering?
  3. Do I have the time needed to care for my foster cat?
  4. Can I handle saying good-bye to them when they get adopted?
  5. Am I patient enough to handle a shy cat who may hide?
  6. Am I patient in the amount of time it takes in introducing my foster to my own pets?
    Knowing it takes a while for the adjustment, your foster cat should be kept in a separate room for at lease 14 days.
  7. Can I handle it if a young kitten passes away while in my care? 
    Kittens can be quite fragile and you could lose one to illness without much or any warning.
  8. Is my house and family "cat safe"?
  9. Am I patient and willing to clean up after cats and kittens?
    Kittens can be especially messy!
Click here for a Foster Parent Application to print out.  You can fill it out and mail it to us or scan it and e-mail it back to us.


  Nonmonetary donations are greatly appreciated.  Here's a "Wish List":

  Cat Litter - Any kind of cat litter is welcome and will be used.
We generally prefer Wal-Mart's brand called "Special Kitty".  Not only is this the best price-per-pound, it seems to have less dust than most other brands.  We use both the clumping, in the 25lb green box, and regular, unscented, in the red bags.
  • The regular is usually about $3.00 for the 25lb bag and the clumping is about $5.50 for the 25lb box.
  • We also like to use Yesterday's News for cats that don't seem to like the clay.
But, once again, if you have any kind that you wish to donate, it will be used up!

  Cat Food
  • Preferred dry food is: Purina Cat Chow or Purina Indoor.  But any kind of dry or can cat food is always appreciated!
  • Specialty food we need is Hill's Science Diet k/d can or dry for our cats on a special kidney diet, Science Diet Kitten can, Science Diet i/d or a/d cans.
  • Cat Treats

  Cat Furniture

The foster cats love these little cheapie one-story condos that can be found almost anywhere,  usually around $10.00.  They love the little single cozy sleeping places.  They also like to scratch them up and tend to go through quite a few.

They go through quite a few scratch posts, too!  These are always welcome gifts.

We, as Foster Cat Caretakers, tend to like these little "crate beds" for cat beds.  The small size is perfect for cats, and very easy on the washing machine!  These are usually found at pet supply stores like Petsmart. 

Of course, any other cat beds or cat furniture is welcome!

  Crate and Bed Heating Pads
These are actually things we use a lot, and have an immediate need for.  Following is a list of our favorites and links to find them.  Orphan kittens and sick cats need help maintaining their body temperature.  Kittens can not maintain their body temp very well yet, and without their mother to snuggle up to for warmth they can crash fast.
Sick or injured cats heal faster if their quarantine kennel has some extra heat.

Snugglesafe Microwaveable Heaters

We use these a lot and we actually need more.  They heat in the microwave and they really do give off heat for 10 to 12 hours.  Great when there are no electrical outlets available.  Since they do get hotter than a cat or dog's body temp, we like to get them with the insulated covers to prevent burns.
They can be purchased online from the following places:




We have purchased from Cozy Winters before and not had any problems.

Electric Kennel Heating Pads

These Pro-Select heaters are great.  Durable, sealed, and easy to clean.  Safe and easy - no controls to adjust, one side gets 80 degrees, the other side 98 degrees.  Will not over-heat the kitties.  Round-the-clock heat with no worries.  The small size (15 3/8 Inch x 11 7/8 Inch) is perfect for cats.  We only have one right now and often wish we had one or two more.
Some online sellers:





Body Heat Reflecting Beds

All of the cats love these.  Cats have a higher body temperature than us and it's natural for them to seek out warm places to maintain it.  These beds insulate them from cold surfaces and reflect their body heat back to them.
Available at Drs Foster and Smith:


  Other Items That Always Come In Handy
Towels, blankets, afghans
Folding tables.  New or used. We need as many as possible to use at our yard sales.
Toys and Catnip
Craft items to sell at craft shows and pet fairs.
Yard sale items.
Postage stamps
Small paper plates.  We go through tons of these.  We use them to give medicines in can food or as can food treats.
Small ceramic bowls to use as spill proof food and water dishes
We need a paper cutter


We are all volunteers.  We do not have a paid staff.  If you like to volunteer we have lots of things we need help with. We know there are people out there who like to talk on the phone, make crafts, sell things, foster cats, or host garage sales.  Some things are one-time events, some can be long-term "positions". 
Teresa started Conrad Strays, but she is just one person and can't do it all!  There are a lot of activities that need done.  Most of them for the purpose of raising funds.  Soon we will have a volunteer application posted here to fill out, but for now, if you'd like to help, just e-mail us and let us know.
Following is a brainstormed list of volunteer activities:
  • First of all, if you like to coordinate volunteers, let us know!  This would involve keeping a list of people who want to volunteer, contacting interested people, scheduling volunteers for events.
  • Make follow-up calls to families who recently adopted from us to check on how the cats are doing.
  • Call back people about our spay/neuter program or refer them to other agencies.
  • Yard sale coordinator.  Plan, set up or host yard sales.
  • Event coordinator.  We often try to have sale booths at events like craft shows, cat shows or pet fairs. 
  • Work at special events or yard sales - manning booths and talking to people about us.
  • Research and write grants.
  • Data entry.
  • Help with projects such as building shelters for feral cats.
  • Foster home coordinator.  Keeping track of foster homes.  Approving them.  Helping them with questions.
  • Petsmart adoption center coordinator.  Taking cats that are ready for adoption to Petsmart.  Making sure the cages stay full.
  • Design and distribute flyers such as advertising for events.
  • Put together adoption packages (putting various adoption materials and paperwork in bags).
  • Creating greeting cards or calendars featuring our foster cats to sell.
  • Make and donate crafts to sell at fundraising events.  Any crafts especially pet related items, like cat toys, small washable pet beds.
  • Newsletter - put one together quarterly and get them ready for mailing.
  • Organize a cat food and litter drives at work or school
  • Find an ink cartridge recycling fundraising program
  • Make calls to businesses to see if we can place a donation box at their location
  • Find businesses that would us to have a small area to sell a few crafts without wanting a commission
  • Host a fundraising "Microchip Day".  If you can get enough interested coworkers, friends and family we can set up a day to microchip their pets for only $30.  Normal pricing is up to $65.  100% of profit goes to the kitties.
  • Volunteer to be an eBay advocate for online auction fundraising.



Copyright 1999-2008 Conrad Strays, Inc