regional animal protection society

RAPS Cat Sanctuary

Canada’s largest cat sanctuary is home to hundreds of mostly unadoptable cats, many of whom would have faced euthanasia in other jurisdictions. It is the heart of our no-kill commitment.



About Our Cat Sanctuary

The RAPS Cat Sanctuary opened in 1999, several years after a group of deeply devoted volunteers began humanely trapping and spaying/neutering feral and stray cats in Richmond.

At the time known as Richmond Homeless Cats Society, the group employed a common practice called TNR – trap, neuter, release.

The procedure, still common in many places, is far better than not addressing the problem at all.

However, while it massively reduces the exponential growth of feral animals, it does not alleviate the broader issue of homelessness, which affects not only the individual cats affected, but the birds and mammals on which they prey and the entire ecosystem that depends on those animals.

When the RAPS Cat Sanctuary opened, we were able to stop TNR and begin accommodating ferals and strays at what has become North America’s enviable “Kitty Club Med”!

Since then, the Sanctuary has become home to animals from throughout British Columbia and beyond, especially from jurisdictions where they might have faced euthanasia.

Our team of staff and volunteers have become experts in caring for cats with physical and behavioural issues, including FIV (“feline AIDS”), leukemia and other chronic but manageable conditions.

 While the Sanctuary is envisioned as a forever home for the residents, we occasionally see a cat who came to us feral (or with other challenges) who has become socialized and is determined to find a place at the heart of a family home.

So, each year, a few adoptions take place from the Sanctuary.

Above all, the Sanctuary is a “safety valve” that too many other animal rescues do not have. Without the space and resources to care for animals for the duration of their lives, even animals who can live happy, comparatively healthy lives are euthanized all over North America because the organizations simply cannot accommodate them.

The RAPS Cat Sanctuary is a model for no-kill animal welfare. It is foundational to our organization, to our no-kill promise and the RAPS difference.

On top of all the joy the place brings to the residents and the volunteers, it is also a place of love for hundreds of people throughout the year, especially those who are unable to have pets in their homes, who visit and socialize with the cats.

We also welcome people with physical and developmental challenges, school groups and others who benefit from interactions with the animals. 

The RAPS Cat Sanctuary is the oldest component of the RAPS organization. As it has grown across the decades, so has the organization itself, which has become one of Canada’s fastest-growing and most innovative animal-serving agencies.



Little John is a 5 year old, Bluepoint Siamese Cross, originally from Kamloops. He doesn’t like feet!


Cricket is a semi-feral, brown tabby who arrived at the Sanctuary as a 16-week old kitten in 2015. She has a recurring limp.


Smithy came to the Sanctuary in 2012 as a stray and feral male. He has a distinctive, fold on his left ear.


Minuet has an orange ruff and a matching orange toe. She is semi-feral and fearful of humans and is an escape artist!


Mango is a recent arrival to the Sanctuary. While tame, he shows an aggressive streak that makes him difficult to rehome.


Tucker is a fractious, young cat that was transferred from a rescue in Comox. He has a partially amputated tail.


Due to fluctuations in COVID rates in the province, we have taken the difficult step of temporary closing the RAPS Cat Sanctuary to non-essential visitors again. We know how meaningful visits are for so many individuals and families and we hope to reopen to the public again safely … and as soon as possible. We will keep you updated as changes occur. Thank you for your understanding and continued support!