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Cat Sanctuaries: Unique Feline Shelters Around the World

June 08, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 172

Cat sanctuaries are located all over the world, and are often thought to be an average building to house feral and stray cats. However, there are several unique and interesting cat sanctuaries located in Europe and North America. These sanctuaries range from ancient ruins to miniature political buildings. Where are these sanctuaries located?

Parliament Hill, Canada

The Parliament building in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada is typically thought of as a beautiful building where the Prime Minister spends his time. Although this assumption is true, there is an even more remarkable, miniature parliament building located on the hill where stray cats spend all of their time.

A colony of stray cats has been living on Parliament Hill since the 1950s. This colony was given a proper shelter in the 1970s thanks to a woman named Irene Desormeaux. This sanctuary was upgraded in 1997 to look like the Parliament building, and now has room for 10 to 20 felines per house. The cats are able to freely roam the area, which is a delight to visitors to Parliament Hill.

Stanford University, United States

The Stanford University Cat Network was founded in 1989 due to the large amount of feral cats living on campus. The Cat Network chose to use a Trap, Neuter, Release program to control the population of cats in a humane way. Trap, Neuter, Release is a proven way to reduce the population of feral cats by safely trapping feral cats, neutering or spaying them, and releasing them back into their home environment.

In addition to caring for the cats on a daily basis, the Network has been working to educate people on the importance of Trap, Neuter, Release as a positive choice to help with cat overpopulation concerns.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam has a very unique sanctuary located on the Singel Canal. The sanctuary was created in 1966 with help from a woman named Henriette van Weelde. Henriette was a cat fanatic, and always loved caring for stray and feral cats. She began bringing home stray cats to give them shelter in her home, and soon her house was so full of cats that she had no more room for new cats.

In 1968, Henriette decided to purchase a houseboat on the Singel Canal to make room for more felines. She renovated the interior of the boat so that it was feline-friendly, and she soon began housing cats on the boat. Henriette was able to recruit several volunteers and soon had a perfect home for the stray felines.

Today, there are two boats on the Singel Canal. They have been renovated over the years to meet the legal requirements for an animal sanctuary, but still serve the same purpose as a cat sanctuary.

Largo di Torre Argentina, Rome

Roman ruins would not be the first location someone would imagine as a cat sanctuary. However, some of the most famous Roman Ruins are just that. The Theatre of Pompey, the site of Julius Caesar's assassination in 44 BC is also the site of the cat sanctuary, Largo di Torre Argentina.

Largo di Torre Argentina is a home for over 250 cats. If you look close enough, these felines can be spotted lounging on the Roman Ruins in the area. Cats began taking up residence in the area in 1929, shortly after the area was excavated. For over half of a century a local woman cared for the cats, and not until 1994 was a safe building built for the felines. Today, Largo di Torre Argentina is run by volunteers 365 days a year to ensure that the felines are healthy and happy in the shelter.

The Pyramid Cat Colony, Rome

Largo di Torre Argentina is not the only cat sanctuary in Rome. In fact, the Pyramid Cat Colony is only 15 minutes away from Largo di Torre Argentina.

The Pyramid Cat Colony is located just outside of the Protestant's Graveyard in Testaccio, Rome. This colony was founded in 1850, though it was not officially recognized until 1984. The colony received proper recognition thanks to a woman named Matilde Talli who fought for years to get into the archaeological site to build a proper shelter for the cats. Today, the graveyard acts as a sanctuary for over 200 abandoned and stray cats.

As you can see, cat sanctuaries all over the world not only play an important role in caring for feral and stray cats, but they also do so in their own unique way. Most of the sanctuaries do allow visitors, so if you are in one of these areas perhaps you can stop in to see these incredible shelters and their cats.

Niki Rebin, along with her parents Norm and Delva have helped over 3,000 stray and feral cats through their non-profit cat sanctuary Paws On Your Heart. Having worked with cats for over 70 years, the Rebin family is often asked: "Why do cats do such strange things?" To find out what makes cats such unique animals, download our FREE e-book "95 Fun and Fabulous Feline Facts" here:

Source: EzineArticles
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