The family with 71 cats

These 8-week-old kittens will soon be ready for adoption after being acclimated to home life with their foster family. Photo by Katie Cirincione

I’m a cat person. It’s sort of hard not to be when you’ve raised 71 cats and kittens. My mom, my brother Andrew, my sister Tina and I foster cats and kittens from the Cleveland Animal Protection League (APL). In the past four years, we have fostered 71 cats and kittens in 15 different litters.

My family and I will usually get a litter of kittens and the kittens’ mother three or four times each year. Most of the time, the kittens are under a week old. We keep the kittens until they are about 8 weeks old – old enough to be adopted out through the APL.

During the time that the kittens spend at my house, we name them and expose them to things that will help acclimate the kittens to living in a house, such as loud noises, vacuum cleaners, kids, cars and litter boxes.

By the time the kittens return to the shelter, they are used to living in a house and are well-prepared for meeting their new owner and adjusting to his or her house. A cat that grows up in a foster home will be more ready than a cat that has spent the first 8 weeks of his or her life in a shelter.

Fostering kittens helps everybody! Fostering helps the APL because it helps clear up space in the shelter for other animals. It helps the kittens because the kittens are more prepared to live in a home. It helps the kittens’ future owners because they will have an easier time making the kittens more comfortable in their home. It helps the foster parents of the kittens because fostering kittens is fun, as well as educational, to us and the people who come to see the kittens. I believe that through fostering, the kittens learn as much from us as we do from them.

If you are interested in learning more about the Cleveland APL, or even becoming a foster parent, you can visit

Read More on Pet Care
Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:20 AM, 05.05.2015