The Cat House on the Kings


It is early in the morning and the migrant workers are starting their day in the dark as I race across the flat black top on Central California. When I arrive at the Cat House on the Kings the small army have been at work cleaning and feeding for two hours already. The only smell in the air is the special mix of food that includes a dry food and soup mix that has essential vitamins. It also includes garlic.

From my walk from the gate to the main house there are cats everywhere. One cat greets me at the gate and escorts me into the house. Inside, each of the dozens of trays of food has little bobbing heads nom-noming away. Bowls of cool clean water are found in every room. Cats rub against my leg for attention, sit pretty on counters in hopes of petting, and meow to greet me hello.

I meet a few of the staff and volunteers who keep and maintain the facility. We walk from the main house to a smaller house where kittens are ready to be fed and find a new home. I also get to meet the new cats that were just flown in from Oman for asylum and care. One has three legs, another a single eye, all are separated from the herd for until they are processed and ready for assimilation.

After breakfast, just at sunrise over the mountains, we walk to the Kings River. Several dozen cats join us for the stroll down to the river. The river is down. Spirits are high as we find new friends ready for attention. One cat literally climbs up my leg, shirt, and perches on my shoulder for a free ride back to the house.

At the main house again I have to be cautious. Each time I stoop down to pet one, dozens more get in close for attention until I am over whelmed by felines. They crawl onto my lap, sit on my shoulders, and climb into my camera bag.

Spay and neuter your pets. That is the one message The Cat House on Kings would like you understand. This no kill / no cage animal shelter specializes in cats has roughly 800 – 1,000 feline friends on site at any one time during the year.

Located on 8 acres of land along the Kings River in central California, they offer discounted spay and neuter procedures to aid in the reduction of the cat population.

There is a house dedicated to kittens, a retirement home, feline HIV, nerve damage, and even one caged trouble maker that refuses to get along with any other cats.

Animals at this shelter are safe and well cared for from a staff of 25 each day they are fed, provided shelter, have a large support group of volunteers who range from petting cats to veterinary procedures.

There are several great videos about this location, some of the best are:

The main website for The Cat House on the Kings:

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