Last Updated on: July 26, 2023 by Crystal Uys

turkish angora cat odd eyes blue and green

There are plenty of places to adopt cats in America, from large charities to independent rescue homes. But what about cats that are deemed “unadoptable”? Blind, challenged, and older cats often get left behind in shelters full of cute kittens, but The Odd Cat Sanctuary aims to change that. So instead, the Odd Cat Sanctuary was founded to focus on seniors, kittens, cats with special needs, or those that have been neglected or abused. The Odd Cat Sanctuary operates in Salem, Massachusetts, but has satellite foster homes throughout the state


When Was the Odd Cat Sanctuary Founded? Who By?

The Odd Cat Sanctuary was started in 2015 by veterinary technician Tara Kawczynski, who has worked with animals in some capacity for most of her life. The Odd Cat Sanctuary cares for cats who don’t get adopted in regular shelters due to their special needs.

These cats and kittens are often left and forgotten, which is a sad but true fact of life for most shelters in the US. The ASPCA (one of the largest animal welfare charities in the country) spent 20.6% of its budget on veterinary and shelter care for animals in 2019, highlighting the cost of housing and medical care that animals in shelters require. Cats with additional physical, behavioral, or medical needs cost more, which is why euthanizing them is usually the outcome.

Blind tabby cat lies on windowsill
Image Credit: Jana Shnipelson, Unsplash

Where Is the Odd Cat Sanctuary Based?

The Odd Cat Sanctuary operates out of Salem, Massachusetts, but many satellite foster homes are part of the sanctuary’s network throughout the state. Some foster homes even reside in neighboring states, so the reach of The Odd Cat Sanctuary is wide.

Which Types of Cats Does the Odd Cat Sanctuary Rescue?

The Odd Cat Sanctuary rescues cats with physical disabilities, deformities, or behavioral issues. The shelter rescues cats and kittens of all ages for a variety of reasons, and the mission of The Odd Cat Sanctuary is: “To help odd cats who have no place to turn.” In Tara’s eyes, the definition of an odd cat (the sort of cats the shelter takes in) is:

  • Medically unwell cats
  • Cats that have physical deformities or challenges, such as cerebellar hypoplasia or blindness
  • Behaviorally challenging cats
  • Cats that have been abandoned
  • Cats that have been abused or neglected
  • Senior cats
  • Feral or semi-feral cats
  • Cats on “death row” (awaiting euthanization)

How Are the Cats at The Odd Cat Sanctuary Rescued?

To begin with, cats who need placement at The Odd Cat Sanctuary are found, or the center is contacted about them, and they are placed in a foster home. While there is a central location, almost all of the cats in The Odd Cat Sanctuary’s care are placed in loving foster homes for assessment and, in some cases, treatment. The Odd Cat Sanctuary stipulates that the most important thing for these cats is a loving home, which a foster family model helps to achieve. The shelter is foster-based, but a network of volunteers also work for them who assist with all aspects of cat care and socialization. This includes a partner program with PetSmart in Danvers, Massachusetts.

To fund the charity, The Odd Cat Sanctuary relies on the kindness of cat lovers via donations, contributions, and fundraisers.

What Does the Odd Cat Sanctuary Charge to Adopt?

The Odd Cat Sanctuary charges set fees to adopt its cats based on age. For example, kittens require a $250 adoption fee, while adults and seniors have a $200 adoption fee. A discounted price for cats adopted in pairs is $400.


Final Thoughts

The Odd Cat Sanctuary has a singular mission statement to provide loving homes and families for cats that might not have survived. Cats with additional needs undoubtedly take more work to care for, but they have just as much love to give their owners (if not more). It takes a special kind of person to adopt or take in cats who need additional care, and The Odd Cat Sanctuary is certainly run by one.


Featured Image Credit: AyhanTuranMenekay, Shutterstock

About the author