We are in the early days of kitten season — a time when shelters are overwhelmed by kittens needing new homes — and while this list comes from the folks at Humane Society Silicon Valley, it is valid for any group that cares for these kittens.
To prevent shelters from getting overrun and to socialize stray and feral kittens, most kittens are kept in foster homes until they are old enough to be adopted, at about 8 weeks of age. Some groups, such as Solano County Friends of Animals, don’t even have a shelter and rely on its volunteers to care for the animals until homes are found.
Foster homes are terrific for the kittens. They aren’t exposed to illnesses and diseases that might be present in shelters, and they learn their manners under the guidance of experienced cat handlers.