iCatCare Courses: Becoming a Cat Friendly Homing Centre

Our next programme will start on the 22nd February 2022. To book please visit our website here.

Do you work in a cat welfare organisation, that homes pet cats? Enrol in this programme and learn how to celebrate what you do well and discover how to improve your centre to benefit the cats in your community.

Becoming a Cat Friendly Homing Centre Programme is built upon International Cat Care’s Cat Friendly Homing Principles and is offered to those who are working, volunteering or managing a cat welfare organisation, that homes pet cats and have completed the Bringing Cat Friendly Solutions for Unowned Cats to Life course. This learning programme is based on a supportive coaching model that encourages you to celebrate what you do well and to focus on what you want to improve by setting and working towards your own goals.

Programme Outline

Week 1 of the course begins 22nd February with a welcome week the preceding week.

Week 1 – Introduce Yourself and Celebrate Your Success. An opportunity to tell the other participants and your coach about your organisation, what you do well and what you would want to improve

Weeks 2 & 3 – Shelter Metrics and Data Collection. Understanding the relationship between intake, length of stay and occupancy and exploring the difference between working at maximum and optimum capacity. You will also be looking at the data you collect already, if any, and how you use it.

Weeks 4 & 5 – Reflective Learning. An introduction to reflective learning using exercises and discussion. This is also the first opportunity to start your very own private reflective journal, making further entries throughout the programme.

Week 6 – Cat Emotions. Reading about the role emotions play in motivating cat behaviour and, with that knowledge, you will think about things from a cat’s perspective.

Week 7 – Set Your High-Level Goal. You now set your ambition for cats and your organisation for the future: what are you hoping to achieve? You decide.

Week 8 – Decision Making. You are given a tool with guidelines for its use and you practise using it in real-life situations.

Week 9 – Refresh Your Memory. You will be encouraged to revisit the Cat Friendly Homing website to prepare yourself for the next few weeks ahead.

Week 10 & 11 – Set and Apply Your Intake Goal. With your ambition for the future in mind you now make your action plan for changes associated with the INTAKE part of your work, ie which cats you take in, which cats you help without bringing them in and what information you collect about them. You will then have a chance to discuss the practical application of your intake action plan: what have been the successes? The challenges?

Week 12 & 13 – Set and Apply Your Care Goal. With your ambition for the future in mind you now make your action plan for changes associated with the CARE part of your work, ie how you care for and monitor cats to maintain their wellbeing and respond to their needs. This unit includes learning how to use the Traffic Light Assessment tool. You will then have a chance to discuss the practical application of your care action plan.

Week 14 & 15 – Set & Apply Your Outcome Goal. With your ambition for the future in mind you now make your action plan for changes associated with the OUTCOME part of your work, ie having established what outcome each individual cat requires you assure that their new environment meets those needs. You will again have a chance to discuss the practical application.

Week 16 – Revisit the Decision Making tool. We will give you the opportunity to practice applying the decision-making tool to a real-life scenario.

Week 17 – Quality of Life Assessment & Your Case Study. You are given a simple tool to aid discussion on an individual cat’s quality of life and then have opportunities to practise using it in a real-life situation. We will ask you to create a case study that reflects one cat’s Cat Friendly Homing journey and the positive impact of the programme on their future wellbeing.

Week 18 & 19 – Change Management & Human Behaviour Change. Change can be very challenging so this unit provides you with information and the opportunity to explore how you can meet resistance positively. We will cover an introduction to the science of human behaviour change and how to motivate people to behave and think in a cat friendly way

Week 20 – Collecting Baseline Data and Programme Reflection. Preparing for the future and how you will continue to collect data to track your positive Cat Friendly Homing progress. The final week also gives you an opportunity to reflect on your journey, with your fellow participants, and get excited about your plans for the future!

Our thanks to the Petplan Charitable Trust for their support in the development of this programme


“Writing the journal helps me to understand how I feel and after that setting a small goal. For example, I have noticed that achieving our goals is going to be difficult because we depend on volunteers that want to do certain things. At the beginning that makes me feel sad and lost, but after some reflection time I start feeling that at least now I have some small goals that can improve our animals’ life, we need to be patient and work every step to make it happen.” – Romania

“I have learnt a lot in this unit, I think the decision tool is something that can help you in any difficult decision that you make in your life, and it will make you feel less stressed and more focused on your goals. I really think it helps us to see the bigger picture and not feel overwhelmed.” – Mexico

“Making decisions always from the cat’s perspective, this is an exercise that should be done constantly. Come out of ourselves and ask ourselves what would the cat do if he were free to choose? Sometimes it is not easy because the answer does not always coincide with what we feel. Thinking like a cat that’s the challenge :-)” – Romania

“We are excited to adopt the TLA into our centre as we feel one of our main concerns is that some carers and volunteers think each cat needs to have the same level of interaction and set up no matter what, whereas each cat is an individual whose ability to cope varies and each needs to be treated as an individual.” – UK

“I think we should be proud that we are willing to learn new things from completing this course and engaging and learning from each other. It can be emotionally draining justifying our decisions all the time but we should all be proud we are trying to improve wherever we can for the benefit of cat welfare overall.” – UK

“I think that the course ‘Becoming a Cat Friendly Homing Centre’ is a unique resource. It’s an extraordinary ‘step by step’ guide that teaches you how to better structure and organise your work and helps you to improve and learn. I believe it is also useful for structured organisations because it allows you to review work processes from new angles and it helps to have constructive feedback among the staff of the association. All activities take place in a very supportive environment, where you feel supported in facing the challenges of our work! So, thanks to International Cat Care for creating this course and continuing to spread the Cat Friendly message around the world, now also for the unowned cats!” – Romania

Programme Features

  • Programme starts 22nd February (Access details and welcome week from 15th February)
  • Variety of online learning, activities, online discussion and background reading
  • Activities follow a clear schedule over a 20 week period
  • Learning experience tailored to you, based on the goals you develop during the programme
  • Additional support and resources provided by your coach where needed
  • Reflective journal exercises to support your learning and track your progress

Further Info

  • Programme begins on 22nd February, with a welcome week the preceeding week to check access and make sure you are ready to go.
  • Access details will be sent out via email week beginning 15th February.
  • The programme can be undertaken by an individual or a team of people, to include management or a staff member who will be overseeing the implementation of CFH and they carry out the activities required in a real-world setting with the cats in their care as the focus.
  • The course has a clear schedule with activities and reading released week by week, along with deadlines and checklists to ensure you stay on track.
  • The programme runs for 20 weeks and we estimate you will need to allocate between 2 and 8 hours a week. This will depend on the complexity of the goals you set yourself during the programme. This can be divided up between team members where relevant.
  • By registering for this programme you agree to undertake the requirements laid out in Becoming a Cat Friendly Homing Centre Programme Terms and Conditions and abide by its terms

Price: £495.00 visit the official iCatCare course website to enrol.

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