If you are a cat lover, Lanai Cat Sanctuary (@LanaiCatSanctuary), housing 500 cuddly cats in Hawaii is a perfect way to spend International Cat Day.
Many know about Japan’s famous cat island (@aoshima_cat) at Aoshima Island, in Ehime, Southern Japan, where cats outnumber humans six to one on the island. However, the cat sanctuary at the small Hawaiian island of Lanai is relatively undiscovered.
The non-profit community service organization opened in 2008 and includes an 25,000 square feet of open air space to house cats.
The main aim is to assist cats that need foster homes, shelter and adoption on the Hawaiian island.
The sanctuary is open to visitors for a few hours per day and volunteers help with feeding, grooming and taking care of the cats.
Whereas cat cafes are small enclosures, this Hawaiian sanctuary offers space and proper care to all animals including: cubicles for sleeping, large 8-foot-long irrigation pipes for playing and climbing.
Dr. Johannes Odendaal, Research Professor of the Life Sciences Research Institute, and author of Pets and Our Mental Health found that:
positive brain chemicals were increased in both humans and dogs, whilst a person petted a dog. Petting cats also had the same benefits
There was also a decrease in Cortisol, a chemical that is released when stressed.
Dr. Odendaal noted that:
“In the context of petting a cat where blood pressure decreases, it is expected that the same neurochemical changes in the brain would have taken place”
This is “not because of the decreased blood pressure, but as part of the complex physiological processes taking place during positive interaction.”
If you cannot go to the Hawaiian cat sanctuary you can sponsor one of their cats or donate to keep the furry friends healthy and their home well maintained.