This Sanctuary Is Dedicated To “Odd” Cats Because All Cats Are Special

Written by: Adri Sandoval
Adri Sandoval is the Special Projects Manager for iHeartDogs and iHeartCats. Her work has deepened her love for animals, fostering a strong passion for rescue and animal advocacy.Read more
| Published on October 10, 2017

Imagine a world where cats aren’t discarded for any reason, where people give them the same consideration they would give a person, and “broken” means “beautiful.” This is the world that Odd Cat Sanctuary hopes to create!

Odd Cat Sanctuary began as a small rescue by cat enthusiast and vet tech Tara. She hoped to build a haven for cats no one wanted, and to be an advocate for the ones who were old, sick, or otherwise considered “unadoptable.” Although Tara loves all animals, she felt that dogs had more people speaking up for them than cats, and that odd cats had the least voice of them all.

Shelters have few problems finding homes for pretty, fluffy young kittens, but Odd Cat’s focus is on the ones who are the opposite of those. You may have heard of Odd Cat Maya, who was abandoned and sent to a kill-shelter. Because of her unusual face, any other shelter would have considered her a challenge, if not outright hopeless – but Odd Cat saw the perfect kitty for their rescue! They took her in and found her a home!

Maya is just one of the many unusual kitties who have passed through Odd Cat Sanctuary’s doors. Other cats who found a safe haven there have been blind, FIV-positive, handicapped, or other cats who just needed a little extra love and care. Some have lifelong, manageable illnesses that don’t affect their quality of life with proper care, but it may have meant the end of the road had they found themselves in less compassionate hands.

Tara tells iHeartCats:

“We want to be known across the country as a safe haven for cats with issues or their time is up. We hope to spread awareness so other rescues and shelters reach out to us if they have an ‘unadoptable cat.’”

Odd Cat Sanctuary is run mostly by cat-ladies, but they have a few cat-gentlemen who are just as dedicated and crazy about the cats in their care. Other shelters may consider it impossible to find homes for odd cats, but the team at Odd Cat Sanctuary has had incredible success!

Pretzel was saved from euthanasia.


Tara attributes their success to their love of talking about cats, the dedication of their volunteers, and their determination in matching the right cat with the right home. It’s not just about getting them out the door! Tara explains:

“I sometimes pinch myself, how did I get so lucky to find all these amazing people willing to help underdog cats out of the goodness of their hearts for free? It takes a village to save cats.

We do face some challenges trying to match up the right special needs cat to their perfect forever home… We get SO many applications for each special kitty, it’s tough finding the man power to help weed through all those applications. Our adoption process is pretty thorough, we pride ourselves on matching up the right kitty’s personality with the perspective adopters’ home life.”

Odd Cat Sanctuary continues to prove that nothing is impossible. Tara recalls Jason, who was semi-feral with a broken jaw and on the euthanasia list at another shelter.

“His notes reflected that he required a lot of care (surgery) and he was not particularly friendly and his prognosis was not known. Seeing his picture and medical notes, I knew he was just the kind of kitty The Odd Cat wanted to save!”

Jason/Finn, saved from euthanasia


Jason was in the care of Odd Cat for four months, eating wet food and learning to purr. He required surgery, and twice while under anesthesia, Tara was advised to let him go.

“I told them both no, that he was wasn’t ready to leave us. He did have so many issues but through it all I got from Jason that he was happy and content with his constant purring and voracious appetite.

I’m so glad I stuck to my gut as Jason continued to flourish and went on to be a happy adjusted adopted cat … who eats dry food and crunchy treats! For these reasons, I definitely consider Jason my greatest success story. He is now named Finn.”

At any other shelter anywhere else in the world, Jason would have never known a family, and died a broken, semi-feral cat who couldn’t eat solid food. Tara and the team at Odd Cat Sanctuary want all cats to have the chance he had.

“We believe all cats are adoptable, and there is someone out there for every kitty.”



Follow Odd Cat Sanctuary on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to see them make more success stories. 

Caring for odd cats requires a lot of trips to the vet! You can help these cats by donating to their veterinary care or donating supplies on their Amazon wishlist.

Featured Photo: theoddcatsanctuary/Facebook