Founder Lynea Lattanzio with dozens of cats inside the main living room at The Cat House on the Kings in Parlier, CA, on May 11, 2012.  The Cat House on The Kings is a sanctuary for cats that was started by Lynea Lattanzio in her own house. There are now over 700 cats on the 12-acre property.

The Lady with 700 Cats

Lynea Lattanzio loves cats. She loves them so much that she now has over 700 cats. They have taken over her entire house and 12-acre property in Parlier, California, 200 miles south-east of San Francisco.

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Lattanzio, 63, started rescuing cats shortly after her divorce over 30 years ago. A few years later, their ever growing numbers forced her to move out of her home, that she later renamed “The Cat House on the Kings” because of the nearby Kings River. Today, she lives in a trailer on the property and runs California's largest cat sanctuary and adoption center. Cats and kittens are fed and cared for while roaming free on her property. There are feeding stations and water everywhere on the facility.

All the cats live in the sanctuary until they are either adopted or die of old age. No animal is ever put to sleep except to relieve suffering. This is why they call it a “No Kill, No Cage” Cat Sanctuary. Every year, The Cat House welcomes over 1000 animals. They are either brought to the property, found on the side of the street or rescued from local animal shelters.

Lattanzio is not a cat hoarder. Every single cat is up for adoption. Those who wish to adopt can do so through her website, or come to the sanctuary to choose the animal they want. They fill out a form, pay a small adoption fee to cover costs, and are helped by the adoption coordinators in the process. All adoptable animals are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, micro- chipped and treated for fleas.

Upon arrival at the refuge, every cat is given any necessary medical care, vaccinated and spayed or neutered. They are then placed in cottages where they can become familiar with their surroundings. Once they get used to their new situation, they are released onto the property where they are free to go where they please. Some remain segregated due to age, illness or sociability.

Since its founding, The Cat House on the Kings has saved over 20,000 cats. It is a non-profit corporation that relies on donations from the public to carry out its mission. The operating costs of the sanctuary exceed US$800,000 per year. It also runs a program that has neutered and spayed over 40,000 animals.

The sanctuary has 25 employees who stay very busy with administrative tasks, and cleaning and feeding the animals. Despite the number of cats, the house and property are very clean and almost smell free, thanks to a daily routine of sweeping, changing soiled litters and disinfecting.

Food and litter are either donated or purchased in large quantities at a discounted price. The sanctuary also offers temporary boarding services and spay/neuter surgery for outside cats. They work with local veterinary clinics to provide affordable health care. Lynea Lattanzio is very active in promoting spaying and neutering to prevent overpopulation and in educating the public about responsible pet ownership.

For someone whose mother did not allow her to have a cat when she was a child, Lynea Lattanzio is now in Cat Heaven.

The website of The Cats On The Kings is at http://www.cathouseonthekings.com

Text by Frederic Neema
© 2012 Frederic Neema



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Founder Lynea Lattanzio with dozens of cats inside the main living room at The Cat House on the Kings in Parlier, CA, on May 11, 2012.  The Cat House on The Kings is a sanctuary for cats that was started by Lynea Lattanzio in her own house. There are now over 700 cats on the 12-acre property.
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The Lady With 700 Cats
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The entrance to The Cat House on the Kings, a sanctuary for hundreds of cats  in Parlier, CA on May 10, 2012. The Cat House on The Kings is a sanctuary for cats that was started by Lynea Lattanzio in her own house. There are now over 700 cats on the 12-acre property.
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The Cat House on the Kings, a sanctuary for hundreds of cats  in Parlier, CA on May 10, 2012. The Cat House on The Kings is a sanctuary for cats that was started by Lynea Lattanzio in her own house. There are now over 700 cats on the 12-acre property.
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Cats inside The Cat House on the Kings, a sanctuary for hundreds of cats in Parlier, CA, on May 11, 2012. The Cat House on The Kings is a sanctuary for cats that was started by Lynea Lattanzio in her own house. There are now over 700 cats on the 12-acre property.
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Cats inside The Cat House on the Kings, a sanctuary for hundreds of cats in Parlier, CA, on May 11, 2012. The Cat House on The Kings is a sanctuary for cats that was started by Lynea Lattanzio in her own house. There are now over 700 cats on the 12-acre property.
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Dozens of cats lay down on May 11, 2012,  in front of what used to be the house of Lynea Lattanzio, founder of The Cat House on the Kings, a sanctuary for hundreds of cats  in Parlier, CA.  The Cat House on The Kings is a sanctuary for cats that was started by Lynea Lattanzio in her own house. There are now over 700 cats on the 12-acre property.
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Dozens of cats lay down on May 10, 2012,  in front of what used to be the house of Lynea Lattanzio, founder of The Cat House on the Kings, a sanctuary for hundreds of cats  in Parlier, CA.  The Cat House on The Kings is a sanctuary for cats that was started by Lynea Lattanzio in her own house. There are now over 700 cats on the 12-acre property.
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Dozens of cats lay down on May 10, 2012, in front of what used to be the house of Lynea Lattanzio, founder of The Cat House on the Kings, a sanctuary for hundreds of cats  in Parlier, CA.  The Cat House on The Kings is a sanctuary for cats that was started by Lynea Lattanzio in her own house. There are now over 700 cats on the 12-acre property.
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Founder Lynea Lattanzio at The Cat House on the Kings in Parlier, CA, on May 11, 2012.  The Cat House on The Kings is a sanctuary for cats that was started by Lynea Lattanzio in her own house. There are now over 700 cats on the 12-acre property.
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Founder Lynea Lattanzio at The Cat House on the Kings in Parlier, CA, on May 10, 2012.  The Cat House on The Kings is a sanctuary for cats that was started by Lynea Lattanzio in her own house. There are now over 700 cats on the 12-acre property.
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One of the cottages especially built for the cats at The Cat House on the Kings, a sanctuary for hundreds of cats  in Parlier, CA on May 11, 2012. The Cat House on The Kings is a sanctuary for cats that was started by Lynea Lattanzio in her own house. There are now over 700 cats on the 12-acre property.
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One of the cottages especially built for the cats at The Cat House on the Kings, a sanctuary for hundreds of cats  in Parlier, CA on May 11, 2012. The Cat House on The Kings is a sanctuary for cats that was started by Lynea Lattanzio in her own house. There are now over 700 cats on the 12-acre property.
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Inside one of the cottages especially built for the cats at The Cat House on the Kings, a sanctuary for hundreds of cats  in Parlier, CA on May 10, 2012. The Cat House on The Kings is a sanctuary for cats that was started by Lynea Lattanzio in her own house. There are now over 700 cats on the 12-acre property.
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Cats took over the garage of The Cat House on the Kings, a sanctuary for hundreds of cats in Parlier, CA, on May 10, 2012.  The Cat House on The Kings is a sanctuary for cats that was started by Lynea Lattanzio in her own house. There are now over 700 cats on the 12-acre property.
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One of the original bedrooms converted into a cat room at The Cat House on the Kings in Parlier, CA, on May 11, 2012.  The Cat House on The Kings is a sanctuary for cats that was started by Lynea Lattanzio in her own house. There are now over 700 cats on the 12-acre property.
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One of the original bedrooms converted into a cat room at The Cat House on the Kings in Parlier, CA, on May 11, 2012.  The Cat House on The Kings is a sanctuary for cats that was started by Lynea Lattanzio in her own house. There are now over 700 cats on the 12-acre property.
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Some old cats rest inside the Senior House at The Cat House on the Kings in Parlier, CA, on May 11, 2012. The Senior House is reserved for older cats. The Cat House on The Kings is a sanctuary for cats that was started by Lynea Lattanzio in her own house. There are now over 700 cats on the 12-acre property.
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Two cats enjoy watching live fishes in a pound inside the main house at The Cat House on the Kings in Parlier, CA, on May 11, 2012.  The Cat House on The Kings is a sanctuary for cats that was started by Lynea Lattanzio in her own house. There are now over 700 cats on the 12-acre property.
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A cat inside the main living room of The Cat House on the Kings in Parlier, CA, on May 11, 2012.  The Cat House on The Kings is a sanctuary for cats that was started by Lynea Lattanzio in her own house. There are now over 700 cats on the 12-acre property.
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Dozens of cats lay down on May 10, 2012, inside and outside of what used to be the house of Lynea Lattanzio, founder of The Cat House on the Kings, a sanctuary for hundreds of cats  in Parlier, CA.  The Cat House on The Kings is a sanctuary for cats that was started by Lynea Lattanzio in her own house. There are now over 700 cats on the 12-acre property.
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A cat cleans itself in front of a window inside The Cat House on the Kings, a sanctuary for hundreds of cats in Parlier, CA, on May 11, 2012.  The Cat House on The Kings is a sanctuary for cats that was started by Lynea Lattanzio in her own house. There are now over 700 cats on the 12-acre property.
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A white cat waiting to be adopted at The Cat House on the Kings in Parlier, CA, on May 11, 2012. The Cat House on The Kings is a sanctuary for cats that was started by Lynea Lattanzio in her own house. There are now over 700 cats on the 12-acre property.
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Two adorable Ginger cats are waiting to be introduced to potential adopters at The Cat House on the Kings in Parlier, CA, on May 11, 2012. The Cat House on The Kings is a sanctuary for cats that was started by Lynea Lattanzio in her own house. There are now over 700 cats on the 12-acre property.
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Joshua Wang (L) and Shannon Kumaga spend some time with two Ginger cats who are up for adoption at The Cat House on the Kings in Parlier, CA, on May 11, 2012. They later decided to adopt both of them. The Cat House on The Kings is a sanctuary for cats that was started by Lynea Lattanzio in her own house. There are now over 700 cats on the 12-acre property.
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