Lanai Cat Sanctuary has proven to be a much-loved, top-notch establishment for cats in need of a home. Located in the small City of Lanai in Hawaii, home to just over 3,000 people, the spectacular sanctuary expands across over 25,000 square feet of land.
Nestled amidst the stunning green foliage, bright turquoise waters, valleys, and rolling hills, this is the Sanctuary to meet the needs of every feline that enters its boundary. Home to over 500 cats, Lanai Cat Sancutuary pride themselves on giving their cats the freedom to roam to their heart’s content, living as close to wild as a domesticated cat can.
Lanai Cat Sanctuary was initially created in 2009, and the cats that live within the sanctuary are affectionately nicknamed “Lanai Lions”. The intention of this feline paradise was to give cats a safe and enjoyable space to live their lives until they find their forever homes. In particular the urgency behind the sanctuary’s creation was because cats had been overpopulated for some time and had started to be hunted to bring numbers down.
Image credit: Lanai Cat Sanctuary
They hoped that by saving these doomed kitties, they could prove that every cat is entitled to live and be loved. Not only does the sanctuary operate as a foster home until the cats can be adopted, but it also operates as a tourist attraction as people travel from all around to visit the “Hawaiian Lions”, such is the wild success of this feline wonderland.
The overpopulation crisis has been a constantly growing issue for over a hundred years when whaling boats initially boats cats to the island. Upon their arrival cats quickly took to the island, reproducing, roaming the wilds, and begging for scraps. It didn’t take long for locals to start viewing cats as a problem as opposed to something that should be protected. As a result many people took to trapping and killing them in order to reduce the numbers.
In response to the mass killing of cats across the island a volunteer program was put together in order to rescue these doomed feral kitties, neuter and spay them so as to reduce the cat population’s ability to reproduce, and release then back out into the wilds of the island to live out the remainder of their lives.
However, it was soon noticed that the native ‘Ua’u bird was significantly reducing in numbers. The cats had been hunting the birds as the roamed, endangering them over the course of many years.
The sanctuary owners then took it upon themselves to remove said cats from their hostile public surroundings to a more secluded and safe space. This, in turn, would act as a way of preventing the feisty felines from hunting the ‘Ua’a bird to extinction, giving the beautiful birds space to recuperate their numbers and thrive.
Image credit: Lanai Cat Sanctuary
Thinking of Visiting?
For anyone wanting to visit Lanai Cat Sanctuary and see the beautiful landscape and happy felines for themselves, you will certainly not be disappointed. Visitors are welcome between 10am-3pm every day. Additionally, the sanctuary is located very close to Lanai airport, so it’s a simple stop if you’re wanting to pop in on your way on or off the island. Visitors will be greeted joyful sound of meowing in all directions as the cats roam freely around everyone. There is also the added bonus that every cat within the sanctuary is available for adoption for any prospective kitty owners.
Featured image credit: Lanai Cat Sanctuary