Visit Lana’i’s Hawaiian lions

Posted on February 5th, 2016 by Aloha

The facilities at the Lana’i Cat Sanctuary are so well-maintained that it is one of the top places to visit on the island, according to TripAdvisor. Image from theplanetd.com.

Touched. Blown away. Inspired. Recharged. These are the common thoughts visitors have upon leaving the Lana’i Cat Sanctuary. No, there are no lions or tigers, but this little-known haven on the island is a must-see — barring allergies.

The outdoor enclosure is home to 400 of the island’s feral cats. It’s been this way since 2008, when Kathy Carroll founded the sanctuary with the mission of protecting the native birds, the community, and the cats themselves.

Members of the sanctuary gather the homeless cats on the island, spay and neuter, vaccinate, and then relocate them to the 15,000 square foot facility where they can live for the rest of their lives, or until they are adopted.

Lāna`i Animal Rescue Center - an open-air cat sanctuary with a prrrr-pulation of some 340 felines. Located just outside Lāna‘i City, Lanai, in Maui County, Hawaii, the 501(c)(3) non-profit community service organisation recently changed its name from Lāna`i Animal Rescue Center to Lāna`i Cat Sanctuary - a more accurate reflection of their raison d'etre. The sanctuary is dedicated to spaying and neutering homeless cats and providing compassionate care for them in an outdoor cageless sanctuary for the rest of their lives, or until they can find homes for them.  Their efforts also help protect native birds, by reducing the population of roaming cats and relocating the cats to the sanctuary. It all started in 2004, when a small team of volunteers started Lāna`i’s first spay/neuter program for homeless cats.  In 2006, a colony of Hawaiian Petrels, an endangered seabird, was discovered on Lāna`i.  After this discovery, Lāna`i Cat Sanctuary reconsidered its approach of releasing cats after they were spayed and neutered.  The concept of an outdoor, cageless cat sanctuary was inspired by wildlife parks, budget realities, and Lānai’s near-perfect weather.  They incorporated as a community service organization in 2007, obtained non-profit status in 2008, created a temporary sanctuary in 2008, and have been in their current location since 2009. In their own words: "We believe native birds and cats can co-exist in harmony through intervention, collaboration and management.  From the mountains to the sea, cats found island wide are brought to live in our sanctuary where they enjoy life as one family, to ensure the perpetuation of the island’s endangered birds.  Our efforts have made a positive difference for cats, birds and our community.  "Lāna`i serves as a model for stewardship and responsible management that inspires others to consider innovative solutions for helping homeless cats in their communities. "We invite cat lovers to visit the sanctuary (open daily from 11AM-3PM) for a pet n’ purr session with “formerly feral” cats, or watch cats playing in Lāna`i’s sunshine and snoozing under shady trees." Where: Hawaii, United States When: 24 Aug 2015 Credit: Supplied by WENN.com **WENN does not claim any ownership including but not limited to Copyright, License in attached material. Fees charged by WENN are for WENN's services only, do not, nor are they intended to, convey to the user any ownership of Copyright, License in material. By publishing this material you expressly agree to indemnify, to hold WENN, its directors, shareholders, employees harmless from any loss, claims, damages, demands, expenses (including legal fees), any causes of action, allegation against WENN arising out of, connected in any way with publication of the material.**

 When life is good, you don’t sweat the small stuff. Image from webocoist.momtastic.com.

It is a serene setup, and the cats seem to appreciate how well they have it. They are well behaved, don’t fight, and are always welcoming of visitors. The facility is equipped with natural litter boxes made from local pine trees, so the place doesn’t smell at all (serious!), and the cats are flea-treated once a month, making this place a cat lover’s heaven.

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