Image via Lanai Cat Sanctuary/Facebook
The Hawaiian islands are known for their picturesque terrain and pristine beaches. Tourists from all over the world are willing to travel for hours upon hours in order to make a visit to these tropical paradises.
One of the least-visited of these islands, Lanai, offers its own special little paradise for four-legged guests. The Lanai Cat Sanctuary offers a forever home to over 600 cats, and as Keoni Vaughn, the executive director of the Lanai Cat Sanctuary, explains to CBS News, “Ninety-five percent of the cats that we bring into the sanctuary are completely feral, meaning they were born in the wild and they have never had any human interaction, until us.”
The Lanai Cat Sanctuary website says that it all started back in 2004 with an effort to sterilize the street cats of Lanai, which then progressed into providing them shelter, and then it turned into a full-on sanctuary in 2009.
The goal was to provide these cats shelter and individualized medical care while also protecting the local birds, especially the endangered species that have been affected by the growing feral cat population. Kathy Carroll, one of the creators of the cat sanctuary, tells CBS News, “Those birds are protected by state law and federal law.” She continues, “And we wanted to find a way to love and protect the cats, love and protect the birds, and help the community.”
The cat sanctuary is an enclosed safe space for the cats that allows them to live out their feline lives safely and without harming the local wildlife populations. It is a nonprofit organization, so they are funded by donations from tourists that come to visit and hang out with the cats. And while many of these cats may start out as feral, their time at the cat sanctuary offers them lots of socialization and positive human interactions, helping to turn their Lanai lions into adoptable cats.
All of the felines at the Lanai Cat Sanctuary are available for adoption, so check out their website to see some of their adoptable cats!
Video via CBS Sunday Morning/YouTube
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