Foster Fails and Other Kitten Tails In Henderson, Nevada


by:  Diane Soukup

In my last article, I talked about fostering in Henderson and how necessary and rewarding that can be. But not every foster endeavor ends with the kittens living somewhere else. This is commonly known as being a “Foster Fail.” 

Unlike most failures, being a Foster Fail is generally regarded as a positive outcome: The fostering person or family falls in love with the cat they’re supposed to be caring for temporarily and opts to make kitty a permanent part of the family. Kitty gets a stable home, family gets a new pet, and it’s a happy ending. 


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While the positives of being a Foster Fail in Henderson are obvious, there can be downsides, also: The adopter becomes financially responsible for any health issues or maintenance that the rescue had been covering while the kitty was still in “foster” status. (There are exceptions, but they aren’t the norm.) Other animals in the home will need to be fully introduced and socialized with their new roommate if they haven’t been during the fostering process. And of course, there is always some guilt and second-guessing that happens after the failure: Is this the absolute best home? What happens if I fall for the next cat I foster? Can I find it in me to foster again? And so on. 

I’ve been a Foster Fail: Frank the Tank had been born outside and rescued by a well-meaning young lady. Her landlord threatened to evict her when he found out about Frank and his sibling, so I took in Frank (his sibling went to someone else) with the intent of rehoming him to a classmate whose kids really wanted a pet. While Frank was on trial with that family, they discovered that the youngest boy had horrible allergies. Frank came back to me, and I couldn’t fathom putting him in his fourth home in less than six weeks. That was three years ago, and Frank couldn’t be happier here. 

Sometimes, the rescue organization will ask the foster to keep an animal. This could happen because the foster provided the cat with the best possible environment and removing the kitty from that environment would be very detrimental to the animal’s progress. One such instance I can recall was a young foster kitty that was very skittish with humans but had bonded tightly with one of the foster family’s small dogs and got along well with the resident cat. That bonding had taken months to accomplish. The rescue organization asked that family to keep the kitty: It was believed by the rescue group and the experienced foster that removing the cat from that environment would result in a significant setback in the small, slow progress that the kitty had made. She still lives with them today in Henderson. 

Another possibility is “foster to adopt.” While not a common option, this allows approved adopters to bring home the kitten or cat, while all expenses such as food, vetting, litter are covered by the rescue organization in Henderson – just like in a traditional foster relationship. At the end of the agreed-upon timeframe (usually a month), the foster adopts the kitty at a reduced rate. I would suggest contacting the rescue that has the kitty you’re interested in to see if this is something they would be willing to do. 

Whether you fail or not, fostering can still be a very rewarding experience. The kittens from my last article, Luke and Leia, went to their adoption trial yesterday. While I miss their little meows and watching them play, I’m very happy that they will have a great new home…just not here with me. 


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