There is a feral cat sanctuary on the Hawaiian island of Lanai which is heaven on earth for 622 lucky feral cats. The Lanai Cat Sanctuary is predicted to be visited by 13,000 people in 2019. Many of them will donate to the sanctuary because their experience has been so good. This is essential because it’s entirely self-funded, a non-profit and the annual budget is US$600,000. The cats eat 45 pounds of food a day which cost $45,000 annually.
The numbers are big and the responsibilities high for the organisers but above all else, as you can see from the photographs, it truly is feral cat heaven on earth. The reason why Chicagoan Kathy Caroll and her husband started the sanctuary was because of the birds on the island. Hawaii is known for its bird life. Recently there’s been a lot of talk about how to reconcile the existence of feral cats were protecting pressures Hawaiian wildlife.
A wildlife biologist discovered a colony of endangered Hawaiian petrels in a corner of the island on the north side. These are ground nesting birds, very vulnerable to feral cats. They were going to eradicate the cats said the Executive Director of the sanctuary, Keoni Vaughn to Mr Muther, so Kathy decided to do something about it and initially convinced the wildlife conservationist to give 30 days grace to allow her to remove the cat from the area.
She then convinced a company which owned two hotels, Four Seasons, to let her use a horse corral as a sanctuary. Twenty-five cats were captured and moved to the area. The number grew to 100 cats which necessitated a move to a larger plot near the island’s airport. She raised $10,000 for the fencing and it is modelled on a wild cat sanctuary.
There are plans for further expansion because there are more cats. The new area will hold an additional 300 cats and by the end of this year Mr Vaughn said the sanctuary will be able to house up to 1100 cats and there will be electricity as well.
Each cat is spayed and neutered, given a name, microchipped and tested for FIV. There is a senior section of 1500 ft.² and the main section of 30,000 ft.² which is about the size of a football pitch.
I was struck by the pictures two of which have been taken by Christopher Muther of the Boston Globe while the other two are screenshots because the video does not work properly. Writing for the Boston Globe he says that the peaceful and pleasant surroundings of this cat sanctuary together with the interactions with visitors has ensured that many of the feral cats have become domesticated.
I have not seen a better looking cat sanctuary. The address is 1 Kaupili Road, Lanai City, 808-215-9066. You can sponsor a cat for $30 a month and see cats available for adoption. They have their own website.
Found this video on YouTube: