RSPCA Central, West & North East London

24-hour cruelty and advice line: 0300 1234 999

Fostering a pet

We have a wide network of volunteer fosterers who kindly take animals into their homes for short-term foster placements (minimum usually one month and up to six months) while we are seeking homes for them, or long-term placements to provide animals who are more difficult to find homes for comfort in their later years. The animals we are seeking fosterers for are predominantly cats and kittens but if you feel that you may be able to offer a suitable foster home for a small animal, please get in touch.

If you would like to become a fosterer we would love to hear from you on 020 7272 2264 (electronic voicemail) or by emailing us at

Short term fostering

Animals seeking short-term foster placements are usually those that may require a little additional socialisation and TLC, which is best done in the home environment. We also often require fosterers for pregnant/nursing mothers and their offspring, to give the animals care and socialisation while they are seeking a home. However, sometimes, in particular busy times like the summer, we may purely require short-term fosterers to make space in the Emergency Fostering Unit.

For short-term fosterers, we provide:

  • veterinary cover
  • a starter pack of everything you need to get going (e.g. food and litter for a cat; small animal accommodation for other species)
  • toys
  • a bed

After this, the fosterer provides food and litter and, most importantly, the love, care and safety of a home.

Gloria is currently in a short-term foster home

Whether you take in a pregnant mother cat and give her safe haven to have her kittens or a timid cat that needs to learn to trust again before it can move on to a permanent home, you are giving these animals a chance of a fresh start with the love and care they have been missing.

Please note that you do not have to have a garden to be a short-term fosterer.

Long-term fostering

The animals that require long-term foster placements are usually older and sometimes with specialist veterinary needs. These things can sometimes make them more difficult to find a home for and so we require special fosterers to make them comfortable, whilst providing care and sometimes particular training, socialisation and observation.

By entering into a long-term fostering agreement, the branch still retains responsibility for the animal and ultimately remains the decision maker in all matters regarding the pet, as well as contributing towards veterinary treatment, which can be a great solution for someone able to provide a good home to an animal but still with the financial and practical support of the branch.

The fostering process

When you come to us with a kind offer of fostering, we will come and visit you at your home to discuss your experience and faciilties and ask you to sign one of our foster agreement forms. If entering into a long-term fostering agreement, there may also be a supplemental letter to set out any specific terms with regards to the individual animal. When we take in an animal suitable for your home we will ring you and tell you about them and roughly how long they will need to be with you. You then decide whether to go ahead with this animal or wait for another option.

Please note we cannot accept fosterers with children under the age of five as many of the animals requiring foster homes usually need a quieter environment. However, thank you for your interest.