The Hawaiian island of Lanai is home to a number of different one-of-a-kind attractions, but there is an unusual one that has been attracting a record number of visitors. Situated within a 25,000 square foot property, the Lanai Cat Sanctuary is home to 500 rescued cats, and is open to visitors for a few hours each day.
The Lanai Cat Sanctuary
The Lanai Cat Sanctuary is a unique one, because not only is it located on one of the most remote islands in the United States, but it also has no electricity, meaning that those who run it need to be quite innovative in their methods of raising these cats. It opened in 2008, with 425 cats at the time who were calling it home. The sanctuary boasts everything that a cat could desire, from large huts and trees to climb on to patches of lush grass where they can lay out and enjoy the sun. There are absolutely no cages or barriers within the sanctuary, leaving the cats free to roam around and make the most of the incredible space that they live in.
Rehabilitation and Neutering
One of the major issues that the wild birds of Hawaii face are the many feral cats that roam the islands and these cats have had quite the detrimental impact on native bird populations over the years. The sanctuary practices a neuter and release program, whereby each cat that they take in is neutered, as this will help to prevent Hawaii’s feline population from continuing to grow at uncontrollable rates. The sanctuary also traps and rehabilitates feral cats, while providing ongoing medical care to those who need it, and socializing those who have lived on their own their whole lives.
Visiting the Lanai Cat Sanctuary
The Lanai Cat Sanctuary attracts a few thousand visitors each year, some of whom travel the world just to visit this incredible place. The sanctuary is located just a mile from Lana’i Airport, making it easy and convenient to access. Open daily from 10am to 3pm, visitors are able to play and interact with the cats, which helps the cats to become accustomed to human contact. Visitors can also spend time brushing the cats, and are allowed to bring in treats and toys when they visit.
Adopting or Fostering a Cat from the Sanctuary
As you would imagine, many visitors to the sanctuary end up falling in love with a cat, but each cat that is here is able to be fostered or adopted, so many visitors end up taking one home with them. The sanctuary arranges for air travel for the cats, and, each year, around 30 cats are adopted by visitors to the sanctuary, making room for more feral cats to be taken in. For those who would like to support the sanctuary but are not able to adopt a cat themselves, the sanctuary offers an adopt-in-place program for a monthly fee, with the money raised going towards the running costs of the sanctuary, as well as the never-ending medical bills that are accumulated.
While there are numerous animal sanctuaries to be found all over the world, there are none that are quite like the Lanai Cat Sanctuary. Rather than seeing unhappy animals cooped up in cages, this is a sanctuary that really allows the cats to be themselves, and for those who do not end up being adopted, they are still able to spend their lives living in happiness on one of the most beautiful islands in the world.