Eccentric ‘crazy cat lady’ turns her home into largest cat sanctuary in California

Lynea Lattanzio refers to herself as an “eccentric crazy cat lady”, and since 1981 has lived with and taken in approximately 28,000 cats.

It all began when her father asked her to accompany him to an animal shelter to help him pick out a new cat after his two beloved Manx cats died of old age.

Lynea ended up coming home from that shelter with a box of 15 kittens.

She had, as they say, found her calling.

Lynea began small, rescuing feral and stray cats and kittens in her home, but would go on to establish The Cat House on the Kings — the largest no-cage, no-kill cat sanctuary and adoption center in California, USA.

Lynea’s home, the location of the facility, has an average of 1,000 cats living there at any given moment, a mixture of cats, kittens and seniors.

Forever homes

The ideal scenario for Lynea would be for all the cats to get adopted out, finding stable forever homes.

But if not, The Cat House on the Kings will still be there for those who don’t.

The facility, which used to be Lynea’s home, is surrounded by 12 acres of land with cat-proof fencing around the perimeter, meaning that all the cats that are able can roam free.

As of 2022 the facility has built quarantine wards and senior cat wards for cats that have more urgent requirements.

Lynea also employs several vet techs, spay and neuter coordinators, and foster and adoption teams to help manage the health and well-being of the cats.

This is on top of regular visits by veterinarians to the shelter as well as daily rounds of cats being brought to vet clinics individually.

It is safe to say that Lynea loves cats.

More that just a shelter

As Lynea herself says, “It wasn’t like I set out to say ‘I think I’ll have a thousand cats, what a novel idea, wouldn’t that be something!’ That’s not how it happened. It just was one. There was always room for one more”.

The shelter not only takes in cats, but is a part of implemented local TNR programs and offers low cost spay and neuter rates through their contacts at veterinary clinics.

It’s estimated that The Cat House on the Kings has helped spay and neuter over 56,000 animals since its inception.

It continues to offer support and education in improving the quality of animal welfare for primarily cats, but also dogs and other rescued animals too.

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