Foster Cats and Kittens for OAR

OAR pulls hundreds of cats and kittens from open admission county shelters every year. Well over 90% of these cats spend time in foster! Foster homes are always in high demand and their contribution cannot be overstated. Simply put, the more people who volunteer to foster, the more cats we can save. Foster parents are a vital part of OAR’s mission to improve the lives of cats in Greater Cincinnati. People who are willing to open their hearts and homes make all the difference!

Frequently Asked Questions


I would like to start fostering. What should I do?

Please fill out our volunteer application and indicate that you want to foster. 

What does it mean to foster a cat?

When you foster a cat, you allow them to temporarily live in your home. For so many cats a foster home is a crucial step in their journey toward an adoptive/forever home.

How does fostering benefit cats?

  • Allows cats to stay healthy while receiving vaccines and developing immunity
  • Allows sick or injured cats to heal in a relaxing environment
  • Allows shy or scared cats the opportunity to learn to trust humans
  • Keeps cats at the shelter healthy, less stressed, and ready for adoption
  • Allows OAR to care for more cats at once (the shelter has limited space)
  • Provides an opportunity to work on behavioral issues
  • Provides long-term OAR residents time away from the shelter in a home setting
  • Provides a safe and nurturing environment for mother cats to raise their kittens

What kind of special skills and training do I need?

You don’t need much more than a love for cats and a space in your home! We can give you any supplies you don’t have and train you on any skills you might need. Many foster cats require a few days of liquid oral medication, but this is much easier to give than pills and we’ll gladly show you how it’s done.

How many cats would I foster?

Only as many as you feel comfortable taking home. We usually send 1-2 adults or 1-7 kittens (a litter) at a time.

What types of cats and kittens do you need help with?

We take in cats of all ages and varieties. From bottle babies to seniors and everyone in-between. There are always new cats coming in, so finding the right fit for you won’t be a problem.

How long would I have my foster cats?

If you are fostering kittens who are not yet big enough to spayed/neutered, you will care for them until they can be fixed at our clinic (kittens can be fixed when they are 2.2 pounds, a weight they usually reach at 10-12 weeks of age).

If you are fostering older kittens or adults, you will keep them until they are fully vetted and ready to go up for adoption at our shelter. The duration of this process varies with the needs of each cat, but it typically takes about 2-5 weeks. During this time you might have to bring them in once or twice for a checkup or vaccine visit.

How much money would I have to spend on food and medicine?

None! OAR will provide all necessary food, litter, and veterinary care. We can also provide items like toys and food/water dishes.

Is fostering fun and rewarding?

Yes! If you like cats, you’ll almost certainly like fostering! You’ll get to meet cats with a wide variety of personalities and charming quirks. There is also nothing quite like the feeling of helping a vulnerable homeless cat take a giant step toward adoption.

I have a question that is not covered here. Who can I contact?

Please email