RAPS Cat Sanctuary – Richmond, British Columbia - Atlas Obscura

Richmond, British Columbia

RAPS Cat Sanctuary

One of the largest cat sanctuaries in North America is considered a "Club Med" for felines.  

RAPS Cat Sanctuary—or the Regional Animal Protection Services Cat Sanctuary—was built to house and protect the many homeless cats and kittens in Richmond. Now considered one of the largest cat sanctuaries in North America, this veritable Camp for Cats is now a safe, forever home for feral, abandoned, and surrendered felines. 

Operating in British Columbia, the philosophy of RAPS is simple: “no animal will be euthanized unless it is absolutely unavoidable.” According to the RAPS website, “every life is precious and every animal—not only the young, the healthy, the attractive and the docile—deserves a chance to be safe, healthy and loved.”

The RAPS cat sanctuary is made up of three main buildings, a dozen smaller buildings, and two main courtyards. Enclosures connected to the main buildings provide indoor cats a chance to enjoy fresh air and sunshine, while fenced outside yards and cedar cottages are home to more than 500 free-roaming cats. The grounds that the cats enjoy are lovely, featuring gardens abundant with flowers planted by volunteers. 

The RAPS sanctuary is funded by private donations and has over 100 active volunteers. Considered a “Club Med for Cats,” the sanctuary is a paradise for animal-lovers who are keen to help furry friends or adopt a new pet. Beyond cats, the RAPS also operates the City of Richmond no-kill animal shelter housing surrendered or abandoned animals of all shapes and sizes.

For those keen to support RAPS, there is an opportunity to sponsor one of the over 400 homeless cats that live at the sanctuary. For less than a dollar a day, sponsorship goes towards the ongoing medical attention and care to keep these felines healthy. Likewise, adoption is available—and often the goal—to give one of these animals a warm, forever home. 

Know Before You Go

There is a suggested donation of $5 for visitors to the cat sanctuary. Donations of dry and wet cat food are also encouraged. Children under the age of six are not permitted, while kids under the age of 13 must be supervised at all times. While it may be tempting to pet every cat that comes across your path, not all cats at the sanctuary are receptive to humans. Pet with caution. There are band-aids and antiseptics available on-premise, in the bathrooms. For visitors, parking is extremely limited so taking public transport is encouraged. 

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