Scaredy-Pants Program

Scaredy-Pants Program

Every year thousands of scared and timid kittens end up killed in pounds and shelters or grow up on the streets struggling to survive. The problem is, we don’t have enough room to take them all in and spend weeks to months socialising them with such limited resources. This is the first program of it’s kind for people to adopt a kitten or pair of kittens and participate in a range of online sessions and discussions to turn their scaredy-pants kitten into a snuggly little lounge room lion.    

We are now accepting applications for our first intake of the “Scaredy-Pants” program! 

Do you have the following to adopt a Scaredy-Pants kitten:

  • a spare room suitable for a kitten?
  • time and energy to socialise and care for a kitten?
  • a home without young kids?

….If YES then this new program could be for you! Please read on… 

The program goes for an initial 4 weeks to give you the guidance, tools and support you need to successfully socialise your new furbaby while meeting others (online) in the program.

The kittens are typically aged 10 weeks to 6 months old, and come from unfortunate circumstances, needing more attention and socialisation to blossom into confident little cuddle-bugs. Some of the kittens come from the streets, others from hoarding situations and some from situations where cats have simply bred out of control.  

This program will save them from a life where they are starving, unloved and breeding out of control. When these kittens land in pounds and shelters they are often euthanised as they are scared and timid in such a stressful environment, and taking up the limited space where outgoing and easily adopted kittens can be housed. We want to stop these kittens being killed or starving by taking them into this program and giving them loving homes. 

Commitment 

Kittens are a 20 year commitment, sometimes longer. These kittens are looking for their forever homes, not an “isolation period” home or foster care. You should be in a position to dedicate weeks to months to socialising your kitten if it’s required, and it’s lifetime to its care. This is the case for any kitten you adopt, but these ones will need extra time and effort at least initially. 

The “Scaredy-Pants” program involves a time and effort commitment to building the trust and confidence of your kitten(s) as they often have not had a strong relationship with a person before. The program goes for an initial 4 weeks however it can take weeks to months longer to continue to build the trust and relationship with your kitten. It is expected that you will be in a position to give the kitten(s) at least three hours of time daily for socialising and playing, and you must be willing to work with us to have the kitten(s) vet worked (i.e. vaccinated, microchipped, desexed and parasite controlled) through our partnered vets and process. 

Kittens require a lot of time and effort to keep their surroundings clean and danger free. Like all cats and kittens they require their bowls and litter tray cleaned daily. It is common for younger kittens to have diarrhoea for days to weeks while they clear parasites and change diets, but they will know how to use a litter tray by 10 weeks old so accidents shouldn’t be an issue unless they are quite sick. 

Please think carefully about the commitment required prior to registering. 

Risks

We want everyone to go into this with their eyes wide-open knowing the risks involved and committing to working through anything that arises. Risks involved in this include the kitten(s) being unwell and requiring treatment which can take considerable time and effort, both by having to attend veterinary appointments, and also for treatment and care. While the  selected kittens appear to be in reasonable health, there is never a guarantee of this. 

These kittens are from unfortunate circumstances where they may be exposed to, and in some cases come out with, cat flu, ringworm (a fungal skin infection), parasites or other conditions. The kittens selected for this program should be reasonably healthy, requiring only basic vet work and socialisation, but there is never a guarantee of this.

Other risks involved include injury to household members while the kitten(s) are being socialised. For this reason we do not recommend families with very young kids take part in this program. Through our program we teach you how to safely work with your kitten(s). 

As in the case of any new animal entering the household, there is always a risk of transmission of illness to residing pets and people. This is minimised by a quarantine period and following our infection control procedures. All residing animals in the household are expected to have up to date vaccinations and parasite control, and be desexed. 

Cost

Each kitten has an adoption fee of $300 payable upfront to help cover the cost of the following medical expenses:

  • desexing
  • first vaccination (of three vaccinations)
  • microchip
  • initial parasite control 
  • medical treatment for conditions within the first two weeks (quarantine period).

The cost of food, litter, toys and other items are paid for by the new owner. The new owner must also get a suitable transport carrier for the cat for pickup and vet appointments. You may also be required to get a training crate to base the cat in and socialise it for a short time until it builds trust with you. 

Ongoing costs of owning a cat include annual vaccination and checkup, dental cleans, regular parasite control and other medical or emergency care costs that may arise. Of course there is also the regular cost of food and litter and upfront costs of toys, tower, bowls, litter tray and other things you may wish to buy like cat fountains.  

Housing

You MUST have a separate room to house the kitten(s) away from other animals for the initial two weeks while the kitten(s) is quarantined. The area needs to be warm, free of droughts, have natural light and be larger than 2m x 2m. Bathrooms are not recommended. 

You may be required to get a training crate to house your kitten(s) initially to reduce their stress. This will be discussed prior to commencing the program with information provided on type, size and where to get them. 

Support, guidance and advice

During the program you will meet other participants and be provided guidance and advice through weekly group video meetings (30-60 mins), an online discussion forum and have access to one-on-one discussions with experienced senior foster carers at Canberra Pet Rescue via video link. 

Guidance and advice on diet and feeding, toys and products, parasite control regimes, medical concerns, feline behaviour and other aspects will be provided along the way.  

This program is led by a qualified vet nurse and a feline behaviourist with many years of experience working with rescue cats and kittens. Other senior foster carers and volunteers in CPR may also be a part of the program.

To ensure a suitable level of support can be provided, we have limited the number of places available on this program. Future programs are planned if you are not available to do this at this stage in your life. 

Outcome

Most kittens settle after their first week and are loving lounge room lions in weeks to months. Every kitten is individual and we often don’t know what trauma they’ve been through before taking them in. Some may take a few months to fully socialise. We will provide guidance, advice and tips and tricks on how to socialise your kitten, but there is a risk it may not be as cuddly as you like if you don’t put in enough effort and time.

We are leaders in providing loving, well socialised and healthy kittens to adopters all over Canberra and afar. All of our cuddly and adorable foster kittens that you’ve seen in our care have come from similar or worse circumstances and have been through this same program with our love, care and effort to develop into highly sought after lounge room lions. We are confident that with our guidance and your commitment, you too may have a loving and adorable furbaby. 

Registration & Selection Process

It is important to discuss this program with all of your household members and ensure everyone is in agreement prior to registering.

To register, you will need to put in an EOI (below), please provide as much information as you can.

Short listed applicants will be invited to take part in a video interview where we meet all household members and see the house including area for the kitten(s). 

If you are selected for the program we will then provide:

  • program schedule
  • adoption agreement including guidelines
  • adoption payment details.

We will then discuss the options of which kittens are available and match you with your kitten(s) and organise the adoption pick up. Your preferences will of course be taken into consideration and we will work with you to provide the best match for you/your family and the kitten. You will need to ensure you have the required food and items prior to the adoption, guidance on this will be provided.   

The program runs for 4 weeks to give you the guidance of socialisation and care, but we expect many participants will stay in touch. Continuing on after the four weeks is an option if further guidance and support is required. The experience and knowledge you gain from raising your own furbaby through this program can be quite valuable to new program members in future groups so consider helping others with your new found knowledge and experience. 

Please note: we are NOT looking for foster carers but instead adopters who will work with us to save these kittens and provide loving homes.

If you’d like to know more and register for this program, please fill in an EOI below.

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Adopting an abandoned kitten and turning them into a loving lounge room lion is very rewarding. Not only are you getting a new furry family member, but you building a strong bond and saving a cat from horrid circumstances.

PROCESS:
  1. Ensure you have a spare room, and are prepared to commit the required time and effort. 
  2. Discuss and agree with everyone in the household
  3. Put in an EOI
  4. If shortlisted have a video interview with a CPR volunteer
  5. Fill in the paperwork (all electronic)
  6. Prepare for your new arrival (training crate, bowls, food, toys, treats, bed)
  7. Join the online discussion forum, and take note of the scheduled group video meetings
  8. Start the Scaredy-Pants program with your new furbaby for an initial 4 weeks.

Scaredy-Pants Program: Adoption Expression of Interest