Hospice Foster | PAWS Chicago

Hospice Foster

A hospice cat is suffering from a terminal disease but is not in pain.

We rely on our network of hospice fosters to provide these felines with a comfortable, loving home to spend their last days, weeks or months.

These animals will need the foster parents to administer medications, assess their health and alert the foster team of any serious changes.

Stock Up on Supplies

PAWS Chicago will provide:

  • Food
  • Any necessary medications
  • Carrier

You will provide:

  • Litter box
  • Litter scoop
  • Nonclumping litter
  • Food bowls: You will need two bowls—one for wet food and one for dry food. The more cats you have, the more bowls you will need. It’s important that every cat has access to his food at all times, unless directed by our medical staff.
  • Water bowl: Use ceramic, porcelain or stainless steel bowls, which are heavy and impossible to tip. Do not use plastic; it is difficult to disinfect. It’s also important that every cat has access to clean water at all times.
  • Bedding: Old towels make the best bedding! We suggest making a nice, warm sleeping area by using a cat carrier or tipped over box.
  • Toys: Disposable and easily sanitized toys are a must! We also encourage cardboard scratchers or a scratching post.

Set Up Your Foster Room

You will need to keep your foster cat in one room. The foster room is where your foster will eat, drink, eliminate, sleep and play.

Choose a room in your home that can be easily temperature controlled (no drafts or open windows). We highly recommend that this room have floors that are easy to wipe up and mop. Bathrooms are often the best choice—just don’t forget to put down the toilet seat!

In the room, place the litter box as far away from your cat’s food as possible.

Make Sure It’s Safe

Kittens and cats are curious, playful and often mischievous. Don’t leave anything out that your foster pet can chew, swallow or break (electrical cords, hair ties, glassware, etc.). Look for places where your foster can hide and be sure to block access to those areas.

One tip: Lie down on the floor and look at your safe space from your new foster’s point of view to ensure it’s completely safe.

Caring for Your Foster Cat

  • Isolation
    Keep your foster cat isolated from any other animals in the home unless otherwise discussed.
  • Health checks
    It is crucial that you monitor your foster cat’s appetite, attitude, energy level and appearance every day. We encourage our foster parents to keep a log. If something seems off or different, it’s easy to go back and pinpoint when the problem began.
  • Feeding
    Cats should be fed at least twice daily. Please feed your foster cat the food and the serving suggestions that we have provided. If he refuses to eat his food, please contact us. We will help you determine your next steps. Wash his wet food dish between servings.
  • Cleaning
    Scoop the litter box in the morning and evening. Note stool consistency.
  • Enrichment
    All foster cats crave playtime. Depending on your animal’s condition, we recommend two play sessions per day with interactive toys like wand toys. Discourage play with hands, which can lead to bites. Change your foster’s environment daily by adding new objects and toys.
  • Socialization
    Please visit your foster at least two to three times a day for at least 20 minutes per visit. Encourage affectionate behavior with food treats or play sessions.