Lonely Planet Writer

Tourists are loving this Hawaiian cat sanctuary with 500 furry felines

If Hawaii’s sun-kissed beaches, warm tropical climate or world famous prime surfing spots don’t take your fancy, perhaps a visit to this popular cat sanctuary will make you want to say “Aloha” to the islands.

The Lanai Cat Sanctuary in Lanai city is home to nearly 500 cats and has proven to be a popular destination for animal-loving travellers from all over the world

The Lanai Cat Sanctuary has a 25,000 square foot area for the cats to enjoy.
The Lanai Cat Sanctuary has a 25,000 square foot area for the cats to enjoy. Image by Lanei Cat Sanctuary

Their mission is to assist cats on the island by providing sustenance, foster homes, shelter, adoptions and veterinary care whenever possible.

For an island famous for beaches and surfing, the cat sanctuary has proven to be one of the most popular attractions in Lanai.
For an island famous for beaches and surfing, the cat sanctuary has proven to be one of the most popular attractions in Lanai. Image by Lanai Cat Sanctuary

First opened in October 2009, the centre is a non-profit organisation and relies on donations to make the lifelong care of the kitties possible

The "Lanai Lions" have cubicles for sleeping and irrigation pipes to play in.
The “Lanai Lions” have cubicles for sleeping and irrigation pipes to play in. Image by Lanai Cat Sanctuary

It features a spacious, open-air 25,000 square foot enclosure for the cats to enjoy and is complete with cubicles for sleeping, “pallet palaces” for hiding and large 8-foot-long irrigation pipes for them to play in. 

The enclosure also contains a selection of grasses, bushes and trees for the animals to interact with.

The Lanai Cat Sanctuary is home to cats of all different ages.
The Lanai Cat Sanctuary is home to cats of all different ages. Image by Lanai Cat Sanctuary

The sanctuary is listed as the top island attraction on many travel sites, with volunteers and visitors flocking to the grounds to see the “Lanai Lions” as they are affectionately called.

There is a Pet-n-Purr Open House every day from 10 am to 3 pm which is open to everyone wishing to meet the cats.

The sanctuary welcomes adoption and rehousing, holding meet and greets daily.
The sanctuary welcomes adoption and rehousing, holding meet and greets daily. Image by Lanai Cat Sanctuary

More information is available on the Lanai Cat Sanctuary website, where anyone wishing to support the sanctuary in their work can donate.