Camila Villafañe

By Camila Villafañe

LifeBuzz Staff

Cat Lady Thought She Could Handle1,000 Cats, But She Had No Idea.

Not Big Enough

Not Big Enough

Lynea Lattanzio / Facebook

The Cat House on the Kings is a six-acre sanctuary for homeless cats. It’s considered one of the largest no-cage, no-euthanasia refuges in California. 300 kittens, 800 adult cats, and a couple of peacocks call this sanctuary their home. All the animals roam free thanks to the cat proof perimeter fencing the shelter. But there's just not enough space.

Far Too Generous

Far Too Generous

Western Journal

In 2004, Lattanzio was gifted an entire estate by a generous donor. This allowed her to make a profit from the sale, which helped her to buy the neighboring property. Soon, she managed to expand the grounds to 12 acres. And still, her love for cats pushed her to do more.

Total Cost

Total Cost

The Cat House on the Kings / Facebook

“I started taking in cats, but it wasn’t my intention to have 1,000 plus cats - but it’s happened one step at a time,” Lattanzio explained. But unfortunately, the more cats she brought in, the bigger the financial burden became. It wasn’t easy paying for food, litter, staffing, vet visits, and maintenance. The total cost of her expenses was about $1.6 million a year. This proved to be quite a challenge because she had no clue how she would keep the sanctuary running.

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life

Daily Express

As a sanctuary staff member, Teresa Angel knew what to expect each day, which started at 4 am. They fed the cats, which took anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Fellow staff member Frank Lavers admitted he wasn’t a big fan of cats when he started working there. But that quickly changed for him as he grew more and more attached to the felines. “Every cat has different characteristics; you get to know them, they get to know you and kind of wait for you when you walk through the gate, it’s pretty cool,” Lavers explained.

Her Only Focus

Her Only Focus

Lynea Lattanzio / Facebook

Lattanzio eventually realized this was too much for her to handle. Both she and her team had given over 24,000 cats and 7,000 dogs a second chance. She even handled about 40,000 animals who were spayed and neutered. But she’s recently come to the conclusion that she’ll have to find new homes for her cats. They’ve already forced her to give up a comfortable life in order to ensure their well-being, and she simply can’t take it anymore.

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