The Hermitage Cat Shelter

Rating: 4.97 stars   61 reviews

Issues: Animals

Location: 5278 E 21st Street Tucson AZ 85711 USA

Mission: Founded in 1965, The Hermitage Cat Shelter is a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) organization supported entirely by donations. We are dedicated to the shelter, protection, and care of homeless cats, especially those that are often not considered adoptable by other organizations. We are both an adoption facility and long-term sanctuary for those felines who are “adoption-challenged,” including felines who are FIV or FeLV-positive, and other types of chronic health issues. We were awarded sanctuary designation in mid-2013, by the American Sanctuary Society. All of our kitties roam free within 9,000 sq. ft. of outdoor/indoor living space.
Results: 2013 was a banner year for The Hermitage; we rescued 800 kittens and cats, and found homes for over 600 of them! We also instituted our Lease for Life program, helping us find loving homes for over 75 special needs kitties since then. In 2014, while we only rescued 615 kittens and cats, we found homes for over 400! We're looking forward to celebrating out 50th birthday in 2015, and finding homes for many more kitties!
Target demographics: abandoned cats find their forever homes, as well as help families keep their pets during financial difficulties
Direct beneficiaries per year: find homes for almost 650 kitties, and provided food for over 60 families each month
Geographic areas served: Southern Arizona
Programs: Adoptions: our full service adoption facility rescues cats and kittens and gives them a second chance at a forever home! All our cats are altered, micro-chipped and vaccinated before they're ready for adoption. Lease for Life: a program created to find homes for our FIV and FeLV kitties! The adopter is responsible for core vaccinations, food and annual vet visits; The Hermitage covers medical costs resulting from their chronic health issues. Food For Peoples Pets- The Hermitage collects cat & dog food that is then distributed to food banks in Tucson to help people having trouble feeding their pets so that they can keep them and not turn them into shelters.
2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
Write a Review

See How $25 Can Help

See How 3Hrs Can Help

Invite people to share their experience with this nonprofit!

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

When I walked into the Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter, I knew it was the place I had been looking for: a place where cats are loved and lovingly cared for.

After my move to Tucson last year, a top priority was to find an Animal Shelter to support, advocate for, and volunteer at. I visited many: one where cat socialization was not allowed (in an attempt to control the spread of disease); another where their attempt to rescue and care for diseased cats and dogs that had been slated for euthanasia at a county facility was doomed to failure due to a severe lack of adequate space and medical expertise; one where the animals were simply numbers, waiting to either be quickly adopted or euthanized to make space for the seemingly endless intakes they have.

Then I found the Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter and Sanctuary – Arizona’s 1st no-kill, cage-free cat rescue.

The staff at The Hermitage carries on the vision of its founder, Sister Seraphim, a Russian Orthodox nun who started the Shelter in her home in 1965, believing that caring for unwanted cats was her highest calling.

Still in the Sisters’ original home, expanded to over 9000 sq. ft., the 150 – 250 cats at the Hermitage live in a cage-free, cat friendly environment. It has “catioes” (cat-patios), cubbies, cat-shelves, overhead catwalks, sisal-covered climbing posts, and colorfully decorated rooms with wall art specifically designed to enrich their lives. In addition to the “General Population” areas, there are sections for: FIV, FeLV, Seniors, Diabetics and Over-Weight, Allergy (food) and even a place for cats with Manx Syndrome.

Many cats were deemed unadoptable by other shelters, and, if not for the intervention of the Hermitage staff, would have been euthanized. Some were rescued from abusive homes; others were abandoned. Whether it’s their retirement home, their sanctuary, or just a temporary place of transition - while they wait for their forever family to come find them – for all cats The Hermitage is a safe haven. No cat is euthanized unless it is to prevent undue suffering that cannot be otherwise alleviated. In 2013 it earned the added accolade of being a certified “Sanctuary”.

All of the cats in the house have a story to tell. What helps to make The Hermitage special and unique is that the Staff takes time to hear and care about each and every cat’s story. They are exceptional people, with huge hearts, generous spirits and endless compassion. Every day they tackle the daunting task of trying to improve the lives of these cats, find loving homes for them, and make room for more.

The Hermitage relies solely on the donations, charity and goodwill of like-minded supporters. Right now they are trying to raise funds to upgrade the home – which, at being over 60 years old, needs extensive repairs.

If you’re in Tucson, stop by for a tour: chat with the staff and visit the kitties.

Whether you can visit or not, please support The Hermitage: Adopt. Advocate. Donate. Volunteer.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

The hermitage cat shelter is a wonderful safe haven for all kitties big and small. You are filled with love and serenity once you cross the threshold. The staff is very hard working and determined to find furever homes for their beautiful kitties. I love being a part of a terrific team who values the life's of their fur babies. I love knowing that I am making a difference in the lives of God's creatures. Once you have experienced the hermitage you will want to come back again and again. The hermitage is unlike no other shelter!

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Hermitage is a fantastic unique shelter that serves Tucson well. As a volunteer and foster, I have seen the deep workings of the shelter. The staff truly care for the well fare of the cats and making sure everyone gets the perfect home. I come into the shelter every Saturday to socialize with the special needs cats. The staff always appreciate us volunteers and treat us like family. The cats are able to live in a low stress home and enjoy the good life of pets, love, and finding their forever home.

I would highly recommend volunteering, fostering, donating, and adopting from Hermitage Cat Shelter.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

This place is unusually
beautiful and compassionate. The love and care is tremendous. Their willingness and acceptance of special needs cats is beyond words. May God bless the Hermitage cat shelter and all the the workers and
volunteers. You're all superb!!!

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I volunteer at the Hermitage as much for myself as for the cats, and I know that their care and lives count to every employee there! Because this is a no-kill facility, all of the cats (including special needs cats) will have a home there for the rest of their lives if necessary. As human beings I think we will be judged by how we care for our animals (among other things), and the Hermitage is an excellent example of that. It is also fun to share in the joy of adoptions of both the adult cats and the delightful kittens, knowing that they will become members of a new family.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I was so happy to volunteer here and felt like even the first day there I made a difference.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

A year or two ago, I was at church and noticed 2 plastic boxes that were duct taped out front, didn't think much of it until I came out of mass and a woman was beside herself. She was furious that inside the nearly airless, duct taped boxes were 8 kittens, different litters. They were put in with some kitty litter, they could barely breath and were scared, hungry and probably sick.
No one at church wanted to take them, so I took them home, gave them a bath, washed them up and fed these kitten's that were about 6 weeks old, one of them was about 8-10 weeks old.
My husband reminded me that our two 15 year old cats (at the time), were not happy about this, so as much as I was enjoying the babies, I had to find a solution that was humane; I was NOT going to take them to PACC because I KNOW they put them down, and that wasn't going to happen on my time. I strongly believe that the Ten Commandments when it says 'Thou shalt NOT kill' means animals, as well, for me (and probably many others)

So, I contacted Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter, I knew of them but never contacted them prior to this, and they took them in. They nursed them back to health, and found homes for all of them. They were so nice to keep me in the loop of their results. I was so happy that they were the ones I brought them to be saved. SPCA at the time was full.

Since then, I offered to do murals for them. I donated a mural in thanks for their kindness to animals. Bless ALL those who work with these animals. Thank for Sr. Seraphim for starting such a wonderful thing.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If I had to make changes, gosh! I wish I had the money, I'd get them a new floor that they desperately need, maybe some new run areas for the kitties, and well, they need everything. I have seen some cool fun wall blocks that are fun for cats, that would be nice to do too. I hope that they bring awareness to having cats as a wonderful family member is a long wonderful life.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Hermitage was an amazing in helping me with 2 boxes of kittens that were abandoned at my church; I took the kitties home that were ducted taped into a couple of plastic boxes with the tiniest of holes for breathing; nearly suffocated them in the kitty litter the 'human' left them in. I washed them, fed them and knowing I couldn't keep these babies; I called and found Hermitage, they took them all in, 8 I think there were. They got them back to health; and found them all homes. I was so moved that I being an artist, felt I need to do something nice for them, I painted a room with a mural for them.. the whole room in thanks for doing this for the kittens. These people have been exceptional in kindness towards animals, they even helped someone find their pet mouse, dogs even to post on their internet sites. We need more people like the ones who work/volunteer at Hermitage No-Kill Cat shelter. It gives me hope for humanity towards animals.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If I had the money! I'd build them a whole new facility, they need new concrete floors, new building, new cat area's, specialty areas for special needs cats, and hospital area. I know myself well, I'd do that for them if I had money to do it for them, but I can't so I paint murals for them. It's the least I could do as a caring human.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I have been volunteering at the Hermitage No Kill No Cage Cat Shelter for almost 2 1/2 years. The 8000+ square foot indoor/outdoor facility gives the kitties the best of both worlds--safe outdoor area for the feral or unsocialized kitties to hide and an indoor area for those days that either get too cold or too hot. Sister Seraphin started an awesome shelter for animals that has grown immensely over the years and continues to get better. I think of nothing else when I am there--whether it be cleaning, socializing, or just giving an extra pet to each one. If you've never been at this shelter, it is a must see!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

AWESOME ORGANIZATION......I have been volunteering at the Hermitage for just about a year now and I started out with grooming and working with the shy cats 2 hours a week....now I'm there 3-4 days a week. They are a great organization and have rescued many cats from the Pima Animal Control Center giving them a chance at a full and loving life, whether it be at the shelter or with their furever family! They provide loving care to the sick and aging kitties that need a little extra TLC as well as the little ones with URIs. Their #1 priority is the cats..................and that's the way it should be! I'll be volunteering there for a very long time to come!!!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I cannot say enough good things about this place. I first encountered the Hermitage when I was trying to place a cat whose owner could no longer care for them. The shelter took him in, even though they were filled to capacity, and worked so that he were almost instantly adopted out. I began volunteering there and one thing that impresses me is the overall kindness and respect given to every cat who is accepted through the doors. Even special needs cats whose prospects of adoption are low are treated with loving kindness and affection. This means that potential owners are vetted carefully to ensure that each cat receives optimal placement. I love this place--volunteering there is the highpoint of my week.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Try to update and upgrade the physical plant.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Soon after I moved to Tucson seven years ago I discovered The Hermitage. The shelter was clean, the cats were healty, the staff had gone thru the process of becoming a 501(c)3, and I decided that was a place I wanted to volunteer.
I was impressed that all cats were healthy, chipped, and neutered before they were adopted out. (And there have been many, many adoptions through the years.) I think the one thing that made me want to belong there was I knew if a cat was never adopted, it had a good place to live out its years.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful?