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Californian woman gave up everything to care for 1,000 troubled felines

Cat On The Kings Sanctuary cat-happy
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She had the big house, flash car, and even a diamond ring, but she sacrificed it all. Sounds crazy, right? Well, she did it all for the love of cats, and she regrets nothing.

By Zoe Monk

Published on the 21/09/2019, 11:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:40

You might consider yourself to be a huge lover of cats, but one woman especially, has shown her incredible dedication to the feline community.

She’s the cat’s whiskers

Meet Lynea Lattanzio, a real-life cat woman, who gave up luxury cars, a retirement fund and even her five-bedroom house to look after more than 1,000 cats.

Second chance home

Sixty-seven-year-old Lynea gave up her 4,200 square foot home to open the Cat House On The Kings, which is California’s biggest no-kill, no-cage sanctuary for abandoned and feral felines.

The sanctuary is currently home to 700 adults and 350 kittens, while a further 50 felines are living in foster care.


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Foster mum

Lynea first began to foster cats back in 1992 and even trained as a veterinary technician so she could keep her cats’ medical costs down as much as possible.

Since she opened her sanctuary, Lynea has helped save over 24,000 cats and 7,000 dogs. The sanctuary has also helped 40,000 animals be neutered or spayed.


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Day in the life

If you are wondering what it would be like to live with over 1,000 feisty felines, then you are in luck. The sanctuary has created a lovely film that reveals what a day is like at The Cat On The Kings.


The sanctuary was awarded non-profit status which allowed it to receive donations. However, to get the sanctuary up and running depended heavily on Lynea to raise the funds needed. This meant Lynea used her retirement savings, sold her Cadillac and Mercedes and even sold her two-carat diamond wedding ring.

But to keep the gates open, Lynea and the sanctuary urgently need donations.

Crazy cat lady?

While some people may call her a crazy cat lady, Lynea is very happy with the title, according to The Telegraph"I’m at the top of the list of eccentric cat ladies - I don’t think there has been anyone who has lived with 28,000 cats in 24 years. That’s probably a record.

"I love cats because they’re independent, they’re beautiful and graceful.

"Back then I was single, had no kids and bought this 4,200 square foot home and thought what am I thinking. 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.”

While there can be no doubt how much Lynea loves all the cats she has helped over the years, her aim is always to find them new loving homes. She currently has more than 500 cats waiting to be adopted who she says are all “friendly and ready to go.”