Foster Care Program

The Cowichan Cat Rescue foster care system is a network of volunteers willing to bring kittens and cats into their homes and look after them. It is a small group of people doing a very big job, as the need for kitten care and cat care for these homeless animals from the Cowichan Valley is high. In foster care, kittens are tamed into loving pets and made healthy. We are very good at caring for kittens - even very sick ones and even tiny newborns.

The kittens are ready to be spayed or neutered when they reach 1 kg, which is roughly 9 weeks of age, and when they are healthy. CCR pays all vet costs for kittens and cats in our foster program. All kittens and cats are sterilized, tattooed, given their first shots, and treated for parasites prior to being made available for adoption.

The Foster Care Program is primarily meant for feral kittens who are 8 weeks old or younger. Ideally, we want kittens while their eyes are still blue and have not yet changed colour.

The Foster Care Program naturally stems from the TNR Program: feral kittens that are discovered during a trapping project are taken into our foster system. We do not sterilize these young kittens and put them back out to feral life, nor do we give them to the property owner to keep as a pet.


Kittens found in the wild and of unknown origin can also enter the foster system, and our page titled Seen feral kittens? Act! explains how to get those kittens to us.

Heavily pregnant cats are a priority for us to receive into foster care so they can raise their litters with us. We need to know about heavily pregnant feral cats urgently so that hopefully the can be trapped before they give birth, because it is much easier to trap one cat than a mother plus her litter, and because foster care is a better environment for the kittens than the outdoors.

We do not re-home tame adult cats for people (unless the cat was originally adopted from us, in which case the tattoo in its ear is linked to our records, and we would accept the cat back). There are adult cats that enter our foster system, but they are usually stray cats that joined up with a feral colony that we are getting sterilized, and we work to reintegrate these strays back into domestic life.

If you would like more information about the Foster Care Program, or if you are interested in volunteering within it, please read our page titled Foster carer.