Hyde Park Cats is always in search of foster homes! Foster parents care for one or more cats, depending on circumstances, for anywhere from a few days to several months.

Email to find out more or apply!

Why foster?

  • You love cats but know you’re only going to be here in Hyde Park for a year or two
  • You love cats but can’t support a cat financially right now
  • You think you love cats, but you’re never had one before
  • Your apartment has inadequate heating and you need a lap-warmer
  • Your yarn collection is too neat and you need a cat to play with it
  • You live alone and need a cat to greet you when you come home
  • You live with others and need a cat to complete your group
  • You want to help solve the cat overpopulation crisis in a small but concrete way

We ask you to provide food and litter (we do get donations of cat items such as carriers and trees). Veterinary care is on us. You provide love, CARING, and SUPPORT for a homeless cat.

Fostering for Hyde Park Cats: A Quick Guide

Hyde Park Cats is an all-volunteer, donation-driven organization working to help stray, feral, and street cats in and around the Hyde Park neighborhood.  Foster homes are an integral part of our organization.

Our cats come from several main sources.  We work with colony caretakers to remove friendly cats from outdoor feral-cat colonies.  Some of our cats are strays or were abandoned.  We also partner with other humane or rescue organizations, such as Animal Welfare League.  Our work makes a direct contribution to getting cats off the streets of our city and into loving homes.

Your role is to ready your fostercat for “prime time.”  Some of our cats are not familiar with the ins and outs of indoor life.  Some of them may be quite shy.  Some may think they will never get another bowl of food!  Some may need time to recover from a wound.  Whatever the case, your home is a turning point in their lives. As you get settled in with your new companion, please reach out if you have questions or concerns.  We have a list-serve full of cat-owners and cat-lovers who would be happy to give their two cents on issues such as the best scratching-post training tips, litter box problems, and introducing two or more cats to one another.

Our goal is to find forever homes for our cats, so we appreciate the opportunity to learn more about each individual cat and what works.  We appreciate your opening your home and want the experience to work for you as well!

We have a listserv with some information about our activities. Let us know if you want to be added to the listserv.

Your responsibilities as a foster parent:

  • Love your cat
  • ·Get your cat familiar with the sounds, smells, and sights of life as an indoor companion animal
  • Send in regular reports on your cat.  Email is fine: Details, photos, and video are what get cats adopted!  Even just a quick anecdote of something funny kitty did is valuable. You may also share via our Facebook page.
  • Abide by HPC policies regarding foster and adoption processes
  • Be available on days when we have scheduled spay/neuter surgery or other care for your cat.  Scheduling is tight but we will always let you know in advance when you must be available.  This may require fasting your cat overnight (if surgery is scheduled), getting it into a carrier in the morning, and handing it off.  In the afternoon of that same day you will need to be home to take the cat back.
  • Be available for adoption meetings with potential adopters.
  • Provide food, water, toys, litter, litterbox, and a scratcher (scratching post or cardboard scratcher).  We have an irregular supply of these items and will provide what we can.

Our responsibilities as the parent organization:

  • Provide veterinary care
  • Work on finding your fostercat the very best forever home possible
  • Be responsive to your questions and concerns

We supply cat carriers and, sometimes, other items. When we have donations available, an email is sent to the listserv).


If you go out of town, we ask that you make every attempt to find your own cat sitter, such as with friends, roommates, neighbors, just the way you would for your own cat. We can recommend several members who do cat-sitting.

If you are going out of town for a long period of time, we will try and move your foster kitty to a different foster home. PLEASE let us know your plans IN ADVANCE. This helps us minimize trauma on the cats being moved around and ensures that we can place everyone appropriately.

Adoption Meetings

The time will come when your foster cat meets a prospective adopter.

We welcome fosterers to trumpet their wonderful foster cats. Please post your foster cat on Facebook, etc.; let everyone know you have the best kitty in the world seeking a home. However, do not promise anyone they can adopt your foster kitty.  Your friends and relatives must still apply and go through our process!  As the foster parent, you do have first dibs on any foster cat who comes through your home (keeping our general policies under consideration, such as not separating kittens).


  1. We have a multistage adoption policy. You may not promise or give your cat to anybody without our Adoption Coordinator’s permission. The Adoption Coordinator will let you know more about the process.  Please respond promptly to all queries from the Adoptions Team when an adoption meeting is being scheduled.
  2.  Our Foster Coordinator is in charge at all times of where our cats are.  You must not move your cat, take any additional cats from any organization, exchange your foster cat for another cat, or anything else, without permission from the Foster Coordinator.

If you would like to volunteer in other ways, we welcome the participation of our fosterparents!  We need folks to drive cats to and from the clinic (uptown) for spay/neuter days.  We always need postering!   We organize monthly trips to visit the homeless animals at Animal Welfare League, and we are always on the lookout for people who can help us with our core mission of Trap-Neuter-Return of street cats on the South Side.  Please join us on Facebook and follow our blog.

We also try to schedule social meetings every so often and welcome any input.

3 thoughts on “Foster

  1. Pingback: Welcome to Hyde Park Cats! | Hyde Park Cats

  2. Hello, there!

    I have an adult female indoor cat (fixed, declawed) that needs to be foster-cared for awhile and i do not know how long.

    i am between apartments and she is being housed by my sister — but she is moving very soon…

    I want to find a good foster family for my cat, CowCow, and she has never been around cats and dogs… is pretty quiet and keep-to-self kind of cat… not social, pet me! kind of cat…

    i do not want to give her up for adoption at this point… just want her to have a safe place for now….

    i live in Chicago but my sister has the cat in a small town called Marshall near Madison. I would be bringing CowCow down to Illinois right away, if there is a foster family available.

    my number is 773-580-8817


    thanks for any ideas —
    Tom Hansen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *