300 Cats Rescued From Hoarding in Toronto Apartment

Authorities have removed 300 cats from a single apartment unit in Toronto in one of the most extreme hoarding cases ever seen.

The stench from the apartment was so awful that neighbors could smell it out in the shared hallways of the building, CTV News reports. After numerous complaints to the building’s owners, Toronto Cat Rescue and Toronto Animal Services were finally called to investigate.

On entering the apartment on May 4, the rescuers were overwhelmed by the number of cats present. Unfortunately, some were found already dead. Many of the cats were dehydrated. And the majority were quite thin, which is a common occurrence in hoarding situations due to competition for food, The Toronto Star reports. Most of the cats were also neither spayed nor neutered.

Toronto Cat Rescue took around 80 of the cats and got them checked by vets and into foster homes. “Some of the 80 cats we rescued on Saturday have already been spayed or neutered, had their vaccinations, and are friendly and healthy,” the rescue’s executive director, Belinda Vandersluis, told People. “They are already up for adoption.”

The remaining cats are being cared for by Toronto Animal Services, the Toronto Humane Society and other Toronto-area animal rescues. Birch Dan Animal Hospital is one of the veterinary providers checking the cats. And hospital employees were surprised by how healthy the cats are, considering their ordeal. “Thereís no fleas or infection,”†veterinary assistant Karley Lux told CTV News. “I think one of them needs a dental, but thatís about it, which is pretty surprising.”

It is not yet known whether the owner of the cats will face criminal charges, though Toronto municipal code states that residences can only have a maximum of six cats. For Toronto Cat Rescue, this actually was the second large cat hoarding situation it attended in roughly the span of a month.

“Itís a terrible way for cats to live,” a statement from Toronto Cat Rescue says. “If you know that someone has too many cats, it is best to report it sooner rather than later. Unsterilized cats breed prolifically, and with only a nine week gestation things get out of control VERY quickly.”

Hoarded cats can become aggressive, fearful and malnourished, and they face a number of health problems. This means they often are difficult to place in foster homes or may even be euthanized. Toronto Cat Rescue is asking for responsible owners to ensure their cats are spayed and neutered to help prevent overpopulation problems.

Toronto Cat Rescue also hopes to take more of the hoarded cats into its foster homes, as cats already in their care are adopted. The group has 400 foster homes around the city and around 1,100 volunteers, but what it really needs are people willing to adopt these cats.

Are you looking for a new feline friend? Visit the rescue’s website to see which bundles of fluff are ready for a home!

Photo credit: Okssi68/Getty Images


hELEN hEARFIELD16 days ago


Tabot T
Tabot Tabout a month ago

Poor kitties

Christine Stewart
Christine Stewartabout a month ago


silja salonen
silja salonenabout a month ago

hope they are adopted out, not destroyed

Mind Embrace
Mind Embraceabout a month ago

Hording is a psychological illness and it is awful anyway. Endangering other beings is so sad. I am glad some of the cats are okay. I hope the human gets help too.

Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan Habout a month ago


sue higgins
sue higginsabout a month ago

This is so sad for all those imprisoned cats who lives only ever consisted of being trapped and possibly looking at life through a window. To be able to go outside now for the first time even if its just an exercise place will be a experience NEVER felt before and will obviously be a long road to recovery I wish all these furry guys love and hope that one day they WILL have a forever home !

Shirley S
Shirley Sabout a month ago

Hoarding anything is an obsessive compulsion disorder.

Rosemary Rannes
Rosemary Rannesabout a month ago

Kelly thank you for caring2share:
300 Cats Rescued from Hoarding in Toronto Apartment
This situation begs the question why? Why would someone, anyone, hoard cats like this? If they truly loved cats, then they would never do such a thing. Cats breeding over and over again, cats emaciated because they were unable to compete successfully for food, and then, the dead cats just lying there amidst all the other cats! I don't understand the mentality of a human being who would just allow this to continue, and for how long was this going on? who knows? maybe the neighbours, or the family?
The good news is that these 300 cats have been rescued and are now going through the adoption process, after being seen and cared for by a vet for neutering/spaying and vaccinations.
Cats have a very special soul, like every other animal, their awareness, and their capacity to love and be loved is a blessing for us humans to be the recipients of their unconditional love!
My purr babes are rescues, one from the Humane Society, and the other from my feral colony. ( see my profile page ) Their journey of being saved is such a gift to me because they save me everyday, offering their gentle, oh so unconditional, sweetness and love. Whoever said feral cats can never be given their forever family because they are " wild " obviously was clueless about the soul of a cat!
These 300 cats were never loved, but patience and time go hand in hand and befor

darcia hurst
darcia hurstabout a month ago

Terrible, I feel bad for the cats and the person needs help. I hope the rescue place doesn't discourage adopters by a 20 page form like so many rescue groups