Cat Sanctuary of 700 Cats Continues to Expand

Cat Sanctuary of 700 Cats Continues to Expand

by Michael
(London, UK)

There is a nice and at the same time disturbing story of a “mad cat lady” (not) who has been rescuing cats for a very long time and who never turns away abandoned cats. People just bring abandoned cats around to her facility overnight in a cardboard box. She always accepts them and the facility constantly expands. She has 25 staff! She works 24/7, 365 days of the year (of course with 700 cats, what else!).

Who funds all this? And more importantly how long can she go on for? She will stop one day but the cats will keep on coming indefinitely because no one is really tackling the problem at source.

She is reacting to the problem. It is valiant and brave and some might say foolhardy. What is needed is local government intervention – no one else can do it – to encourage people to behave more responsibly in respect of the job of cat caretaking. And I know I go on and on about this. I feel for this lady. She is driven to do something about these abandoned cats. She is driven by her kind heart but…there is no limit to the numbers of abandoned cats that will arrive over time. But there is a limit to her funding, her time and her energy. These are certainties. What happens when she stops or winds down? There could be chaos.

The cat lady’s name is Lynea Lattanzio and she isn’t crazy. She is kind and hard working. She runs her cat sanctuary called, “Cat House on the Kings”. There is 12 acres of it! I guess there has to be to house 700 domestic cat and more.

It is the largest cat refuge in California. I should think that it is one of the largest in the world.

Here is a video (hope it keeps playing as sometimes these go blank).

If you wanted to be critical you could argue that in some ways she perpetuating the stray and abandoned cat problem because she is providing an outlet for irresponsible people.


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Cat Sanctuary of 700 Cats Continues to Expand

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Aug 05, 2011 praise for people who take action
by: Rebecca

what I should’ve said:

Lynea seems an amazing, wonderful person. She deserves recognition and praise for being proactive and doing something about cats (and dogs) around her who need care and a home – even if it’s simply to pass on quietly with peace & dignity. There IS still a need to tackle the problem at source and halt or slow the population explosion, but she and her helpers are tackling that as well.

I hope the exposure CatHouseOnTheKings is getting from Animal Planet, Nat Geo, and this page here inspires more people to help her and/or expand the idea to their own locale.

More power to you Lynea, keep going.

Aug 04, 2011 Thanks Maggie
by: Dorothy

I enjoyed the video on her website and I made a donation. What a wonderful thing. It could be as big and beautiful as Best Friends in Utah.

As for the bigger problem….I can’t even go there it is so big.


Aug 04, 2011 I agree but I wouldn’t necessarily end it either.
by: Marc

…it’s true it perpetuates the problem in some ways, but I read about it and visited their website and so on, and I forget the exact number but it was in the thousands of cats that have also been adopted from her sanctuary. She looks after FIV positive and senior cats too, giving them their own separate spots on her land. I’m in 2 minds about the whole thing, but all of her cats are up for adoption, which makes her sanctuary if you will, also just like any humane society refuge or cat rescue operation where cats are looked after and put up for adoption. I think it just looks a certain way (hoarding) because they are outside on her land and not in cages waiting to be killed or adopted. But yes, any rspca or humane society refuge/rescue centres will always encourage people to get a cat because they might think they can just get rid of it at one of these places if they dont want it anymore, hence perpetuating the problem. However these places do exist, and her place is not only much more pleasant for the animals (I would hope and assume), but she also keeps old and infirm, unadoptable animals, which is no bad thing. The main and huge problem which you mention, and cannot be ignored is: what next? What happens after this lady has had enough. Humane societies continue to be run by new staff, but will her place be taken over by any willing individuals? It would be good if an rspca type society could make use of such a place and one day take it over and continue its function.
Until we solve the problem at the root, these places will exist and have a kind of effect of bandaging yet encouraging the problem to continue to exist. Do I understand that you think it would be better/safer to not have this particular situation? I honestly can’t decide. If a future can be found for it, in the hands of an organisation, then I think its a good thing because its alot nicer for the cats. Probably they should announce that it is full and thus lessen the influx of cats, without probably stopping it, and therefore taking the option of leaving a cat there away from local residence ‘officially’ at least. It would help if they were a little less welcoming in other words. Anyway, there are some lucky cats who are living there right now and hopefully the place will last beyond Ms Lattanzio. It would be nice if all those animal shelters could be as nice and luxurious as this one, but that would require and endless supply of money and would again, not fix things at the root.

Aug 04, 2011 always more that need help
by: Rebecca

Stories like these make me quite sad, and angry too.

The small group where Phillip & I got our fluffy boys have a tiny cattery that’s only legally allowed 40 but actually have nearly 70 adults plus fostered-out kitten families because they will NOT euthanise. And that was 2 years ago. Sadly the numbers only get worse – the less money there is to go around the lower the priority given to neutering, although the SPCA do regular sessions of subsidised neuter ops to try and stem the tide.

I come across many people who aren’t deliberately cruel – they’re just stupid, they truly just DON’T THINK about getting their pets neutered. And then “someone” has to deal with the unwanted offspring, maybe the SPCA or one of the many rescue groups or if the animal’s lucky a nice person nearby. That’s how we ended up with our 2 girls, and how my brother ended up with his friend Snuff.

I’ve often thought that if I had any money (like if I won Lotto!) I’d start a fund to help homeless cats. I used to think I’d like to give them all a home myself but lately I think it’d be more helpful to fund free cat neutering, not just pets but just as importantly for strays and ferals as well.

Cats & dogs who aren’t neutered are just doing what animals do. In countries like the USA, Australia, New Zealand, etc. cats & dogs are only there because WE introduced them. And they didn’t start off as wild animals but domesticated pets – it’s because of people that there’s a feral population. I think it’s up to us to take caring & humane steps to fix the problem we created; to stop the exponential growth of the homeless cat population. I don’t know if people will agree with me, but I’m not sure euthanasia is right either – unless the animal is too sick to be helped.

Aug 04, 2011 A great place!
by: Maggie

I love The Cat House on the Kings! Lynea is a wonderful woman! She even takes in dogs if they get on well with her cats. Her sanctuary is cage free, and very hygienic. Visiting her sanctuary is something I would love to do one day. I suggest everyone heads over to her website and gives her a donation, she deserves it, she does such a wonderful thing!

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