Villa Kitty Foundation: Guardians of Bali's Cats in Need

Bali has a significant stray cat population, with many cats living in harsh conditions, facing abuse, abandonment, and struggling for survival from a young age.
Cats and kittens are often subjected to cruel disposal and frequently sustain injuries from roadside accidents.
Unwanted cats in Bali usually face a bleak future, and injured animals have little chance of survival. However, this is slowly changing thanks to the efforts of animal sanctuaries. One of them, the Villa Kitty Foundation, is a leading Bali sanctuary and rescue center dedicated to providing shelter, medical care, fostering, adoption services, and community education for the welfare of cats and kittens. visited Villa Kitty Foundation to meet its founder, Elizabeth Henzell. Elizabeth gave us a tour of the premises, treated us to a delicious vegan lunch featuring perfectly prepared brown rice, and shared insights about all things feline.
Image: Olga Vetrova @olgavetrova,

About Villa Kitty

Villa Kitty Foundation is a sanctuary and rescue center dedicated to the welfare of cats and kittens in Bali. 
Founded with the mission to provide a safe haven for abandoned, sick, and special needs cats, Villa Kitty offers shelter, medical care, fostering and adoption services. 
The foundation also works to educate the community about the importance of responsible pet ownership and animal welfare.
Established in 2009, Villa Kitty has grown from a small corner at a dog shelter to a 3,500-square-meter facility in Banjar Tegal Bingin, Mas, Bali. It has become a vibrant and busy haven where disadvantaged felines, and occasionally canines, are treated, loved, and adopted.
Currently home to 560 cats and kittens, most of whom are brought in by members of the public, Villa Kitty shelters animals found on the streets, in garbage bins, and on the grounds of hotels and restaurants.
Rescuers frequently contact Villa Kitty for assistance. Before rescuing tiny kittens, those who find them are asked to ensure no mother cat is nearby, a process that sometimes involves waiting at the site for hours.
Villa Kitty is well-prepared for new arrivals. For tiny kittens there are supplies of cat milk replacer, bottles, teats, and hot water bottles for warmth. 
The ultimate goal is to rehabilitate, vaccinate and sterilise the cats and find loving homes for them. The length of stay varies based on health, both physical and mental. 
Villa Kitty has 40 full time staff caring for the abandoned and abused cats and kittens of Bali.

Meet Elizabeth - the Founder of Villa Kitty

Meet Elizabeth Henzell, the founder of Villa Kitty Foundation, and the heart and soul behind all processes at the cat sanctuary. 
Image: Olga Vetrova @olgavetrova,
Image: Olga Vetrova @olgavetrova,
Image: Olga Vetrova @olgavetrova,
Originally from Australia, Elizabeth has called Bali home for the past 17 years. She first visited Bali in the early 90s as a tourist but later returned to work for a local organization and eventually decided to settle on the island. 
Image: Olga Vetrova @olgavetrova,
It was here in Bali that she discovered her true calling: caring for the island's stray cats.
Image: Olga Vetrova @olgavetrova,
Elizabeth is a vibrant presence at Villa Kitty, bustling energetically while effortlessly switching between her native English and Indonesian — her second language learned as part of her degree in Indonesian studies at the University in Australia which included time in Padang, West Sumatra. 
Despite describing her Indonesian as "terrible", Elizabeth effectively communicates her passion for animals in both languages. Whether speaking with staff or visitors, Elizabeth's dedication to the well-being of Villa Kitty's feline residents shines through.
Image: Olga Vetrova @olgavetrova,
In addition to her role at Villa Kitty, Elizabeth shares her home in Bali with 21 cats and 4 dogs. Her life is a testament to her unwavering commitment to caring for Bali's abandoned animals, embodying the spirit of compassion and advocacy that defines Villa Kitty.
Image: Olga Vetrova @olgavetrova,

Meet the Animals

Villa Kitty currently provides care for 550 cats and kittens, with 13 more in foster care, each with a unique story. In addition to cats, the sanctuary also currently houses 52 dogs. These numbers increase and decrease depending on arrivals, adoptions, and, sadly, deaths.


On average, Villa Kitty treats 220-230 cats and kittens monthly. Many cats come to Villa Kitty sick or injured, picked up from the roadsides by by-passers. Some animals that come through their doors are sent for treatment at Sunset Vet – a private veterinary clinic which Villa Kitty works with when difficult surgeries are required. Two of their cats are there at the moment having had eye enucleation surgeries. 
Image: Olga Vetrova @olgavetrova,
What unites the cats is the traumatic experiences that they have undergone that prompted their arrival in the sanctuary. Not all trauma is physical. For example, the cat Abigail came distressed and aggressive after losing her kittens to a feline virus. With time and loving care at Villa Kitty, she transformed into an affectionate and content cat. 
Image: Olga Vetrova @olgavetrova,
Some cats remain permanent residents due to ongoing health issues requiring continuous medical attention. For instance, paraplegic cats require vet care including assistance with toileting. 
Image: Olga Vetrova @olgavetrova,
The shelter has a policy against accepting foreign breeds. Elizabeth explained that breeding cats for profit constitutes animal cruelty. However, Villa Kitty does occasionally receive pedigree cats. This happens because breeds also get mistreated. Villa Kitty has previously taken in abandoned cats with conditions like scabies or fungal infections, only to discover their breed once they've been treated. These cats face even slimmer odds of survival on the streets as they aren't accustomed to fending for themselves. Given Bali's unchecked and growing cat population, supporting commercial breeding is simply unjustifiable.
Image: Olga Vetrova @olgavetrova,
Upon arrival at Villa Kitty, all cats undergo comprehensive medical examinations, receive necessary treatments, vaccinations, and are sterilized. These procedures are essential to maintain the health and harmony of the large cat population residing at Villa Kitty.
Given the size of the cat population at the sanctuary, we asked Elizabeth about their interactions with each other. "They get along well," she replied. "Cats generally adapt to living together harmoniously, with the exception of older, unneutered males, which can sometimes cause conflicts."


"It's going to be loud," Elizabeth cautioned as we stepped into one of the gated areas at Villa Kitty. Her warning was promptly confirmed by the cacophony of barks filling the air. "Here are a few of our dogs; we have over fifty of them living here."
The presence of rescued dogs at a sanctuary dedicated to cats was quite unexpected for us. Elizabeth explained that they cannot turn away any animal in need. Despite being primarily a cat sanctuary, Villa Kitty currently houses 52 dogs and puppies in need of care.
Image: Olga Vetrova @olgavetrova,
Dogs like Yoyo, who suffered abuse, and Nathalie Woods who was saved from being eaten, exemplify Villa Kitty's dedication. Nathalie, once destined for a grim fate, has become one of the most affectionate dogs at the sanctuary.
Image: Olga Vetrova @olgavetrova,
Elizabeth humorously remarks, "These aren't dogs; they're cats who identify as dogs."

A Tour of Villa Kitty

As you step onto the premises, the first thing that strikes you is how well organised the space is. 
Image: Olga Vetrova @olgavetrova,
At the entrance there is a sink and a sign asking all visitors to wash their hands. On the floor there is a dedicated place for washing your shoes. 
Image: Bowls washed meticulously after each meal, ensuring cleanliness and hygiene.
The grounds of Villa Kitty are divided into several areas, each tailored to accommodate cats based on their specific needs and social dynamics.
Each area includes a sink for visitors to wash their hands, essential for preventive care when moving between areas.
A few gated areas house cats awaiting adoption, each equipped with bamboo gazebos providing elevated resting spots.
Upon entering, you'll be greeted by furry friends seeking cuddles, with more joining as you spend time. Every cat in these spaces is fully vaccinated and sterilized, eagerly awaiting their forever family.
All visitors receive a guided tour on their first visit, following which they can spend time interacting with the cats. 
Many visitors come regularly. Villa Kitty even has a bed in one area dedicated to a frequent visitor who used to come tired after work and often was found nodding off in the corners of the sanctuary.

The Hospital

The hospital at Villa Kitty is well-equipped to handle a variety of health needs, offering services such as check-ups, sterilizations, and vaccinations. It comprises four wards, including one dedicated to cat flu patients and another smaller ward for kittens affected by cat flu. The clinic and operating room are temporary housed in a facility designed to isolate patients with feline parvovirus (Panleukopenia).
For more severe medical cases, Villa Kitty collaborates with Sunset Vets, a private veterinary clinic. However, the ultimate goal is to conduct all medical procedures on-site to ensure swift responses and cost-effectiveness.

Quarantine Rooms

This specialized area is dedicated to kittens and cats receiving vaccinations. It is meticulously organized with several rooms, each equipped with whiteboards outside listing the animals, their vaccination statuses, and observation notes.
Image: Olga Vetrova @olgavetrova,

Mother and Baby Area

The Mother and Baby Area at Villa Kitty is a nurturing haven designed for feline mothers and their kittens. Pregnant cats often arrive at Villa Kitty, where they are housed to ensure they receive the care and tranquility they need. After nursing their kittens, the mother cats undergo neutering.


The Nursery is a specialized facility for orphaned kittens and those needing intensive care. Equipped with incubators and warming pads, Villa Kitty’s staff provides round-the-clock monitoring, feeding, and medical care. 

Retired Mothers Area

This section is for retired mother cats, all sterilized and no longer having kittens. It provides a peaceful environment for them to live out their lives comfortably.

Special Needs Area

This area houses cats with unique medical or behavioural needs. Each cat receives individualized care, ensuring their specific requirements are met.

Learning Centre and Café

The Learning Centre at Villa Kitty serves as an educational hub, offering workshops and informational sessions on cat care and animal welfare. Adjacent to the Learning Centre is the Café, where delicious vegan lunches are served every Sunday at noon. For visitors on other days of the week, Villa Kitty is happy to prepare packed lunches upon advanced notice; contact them at +62 812 37024930.


Villa Kitty Foundation offers a comprehensive range of services to meet the needs of Bali's cats. 
Before delving into the detailed services they provide, let's first examine their 2023 statistics, which offer an overview of the Foundation's work.
Image: Villa Kitty's statistics for the year 2023
The first thing to note by looking at the chart is the significant gap between the number of cats arriving at the sanctuary and those finding adoptive homes. This indicates prolonged stays for many cats whilst awaiting adoption. 
The statistics also reveal a notably higher number of sterilizations and vaccinations compared to the number of animals arriving at Villa Kitty. This reflects the Foundation's commitment to extending these crucial services not only to its residents but also to local pets whose owners may face financial challenges in providing such care.
Unfortunately, another notable statistic is the annual number of deaths, which surpasses adoptions—a stark reminder of the ongoing need for support and adoption from Villa Kitty. 
Image: Olga Vetrova @olgavetrova,
The Foundation's work includes providing the following key services to meet the needs of Bali's cats:

Cat and Kitten Rescue

Villa Kitty Foundation rescues cats and kittens of all ages found on the streets, in garbage bins, and in hotel grounds. 
When rescuers find tiny kittens, the first question is always about the mother’s whereabouts. Prepared for their arrival, Villa Kitty keeps a stock of cat milk replacer, bottles, teats, and hot water bottles for warmth. 

Sterilization and Vaccination

Villa Kitty provides free sterilization services three times a month, accommodating up to 20 cats per session. Male cars can also be sterilized by appointment from Monday to Friday.
This service is offered at no cost to local residents. While there is no fixed fee for foreigners, donations are encouraged as the clinic operates solely on contributions. Commercial vets typically charge over 500,000 IDR for the same service, highlighting the importance of donations to sustain Villa Kitty's operations.
Kittens under Villa Kitty's care receive vaccinations starting at six weeks, with subsequent doses given every 3-4 weeks to protect against the Panleukopenia virus. These vaccinations are also provided free of charge to foster families and local residents who cannot afford them.

Adopting and Fostering

Villa Kitty is dedicated to finding safe homes for cats and kittens through adoption. Potential adopters are encouraged to consider adopting two kittens if they don’t already have cats at home, as kittens benefit greatly from socializing with their siblings for development and learning.
Foster families play a crucial role in caring for unvaccinated kittens, providing them a safer environment away from the shelter where they may be exposed to viruses. Fostering is a meaningful way to support Villa Kitty’s mission, especially for those staying in Bali temporarily. The Foundation deeply values its foster families and the positive impact they make.


Villa Kitty is committed to enhancing the welfare of animals in Bali through a range of initiatives:

Educational Programs

Villa Kitty runs programs for schools, promoting responsible pet ownership and animal welfare. 

Every Child Deserves a Kitten

This sponsored program connects children with kittens to foster empathy and responsibility.

Emergency Services

Villa Kitty provides emergency services for injured cats and home visits for those unable to come to the sanctuary.

Sunshine House

One recent initiative reflects the community's support: an American donor contributed funds in memory of her son, affectionately known as "Sunshine." This donation resulted in a creation of a new area at Villa Kitty named the Sunshine House.


The on-site café serves delicious vegan meals on Sundays, with proceeds supporting the sanctuary. It also hosts monthly Balinese vegan lunches and celebrations, including Villa Kitty's birthday parties.

Toileting Initiative

Villa Kitty is exploring the use of both clumping litter and coco peat for cat toileting. Coco peat, in particular, offers a revolutionary toileting method for cats, replacing clumping litter with a natural fiber made from coconut husks. 
Image: Coco peat, made from coconut husks, serves as an effective toileting solution for cats.
This method also suits cats who prefer toileting directly into earth rather than using clumping litter. Toileting directly into garden soil poses health risks, as it can release toxins linked to toxoplasmosis if left uncleared for several days. Providing cats with coco peat in their litter trays and ensuring regular cleaning is a beneficial solution for both cats and their owners.
Those interested in purchasing coco peat can contact Villa Kitty, who are pleased to share from their bulk order. The price for a 25kg bag of coco peat is 125,000 IDR. It's advisable to contact Villa Kitty in advance to confirm availability, as they do not typically stock it for commercial purposes.

Locally Sourced Cat Food

Villa Kitty uses locally sourced tinned cat food made in Bali from offcuts of tuna and sardines. The tins contain generous pieces of fish in jelly. The contents smell fresh and appetising even for us humans.
We have tested the food with our cats, and they absolutely love it!
Image: Locally sourced cat food.
A single tin provides four feedings for an adult cat and costs 10,000 IDR. You can also purchase a box of 48 tins for 400,000 IDR.
Villa Kitty does not typically stock the cat food for commercial sale but is happy to share from their bulk order. If you wish to purchase cat food, please contact Villa Kitty in advance. 
Arrangements can be made for a Gojek delivery to your home for both coco peat and cat food.

Villa Kitty Merchandise

Villa Kitty offers a range of merchandise including cat carriers and shopping bags made locally from recycled materials like plastic used for packaging pet food.
Their cat carriers, that include foldable hoods to keep away the rain, are known for their comfort and durability.
Prices are reasonable, and all proceeds directly benefit the sanctuary’s cats.

Needs and Expenses

Villa Kitty relies heavily on donations to sustain its operations and care for Bali's abandoned cats (and dogs). Financial support is crucial for covering ongoing expenses such as medical supplies, food, and maintenance of the facility. 
With a monthly operational cost of approximately 30,000 Australian dollars (about 300,000,000 Indonesian rupiah) that includes wages for their 40 members of staff, Villa Kitty depends on regular donations to meet these expenses. 
The staffing at Villa Kitty is stretched beyond capacity, as the sanctuary requires constant maintenance and cleaning. Feeding alone is done three times a day, with all plates meticulously washed by hand after each meal. Staff members caring for orphaned kittens must bottle-feed them around the clock, while those attending to cats with illnesses or disabilities undertake the substantial task of administering medications and meeting specialized care needs.
With over 600 animals onsite, ensuring cats and dogs receive quality human attention is challenging for a team of 40 staff members alone. Visitors to the sanctuary play a crucial role in Villa Kitty's daily operations, providing socialization and playtime that enriches the lives of the animals.
Villa Kitty faces multiple challenges caring for the felines of Bali. For example, their infant milk – administered to the tiny kittens who lost their mothers – cannot be found in Indonesia. It is shipped here from Australia, with the help of the generous support of the people who share a passion for animal welfare.
In addition to day-to-day needs, Villa Kitty is committed to improving its facilities. When Villa Kitty Foundation moved to their current premises in 2022, their buildings were not completed, and their funds were depleted. They had to use their isolation building as a makeshift clinic and operating room. In 2023, the number of cats in their care nearly doubled, making the need for a new clinic urgent. 
The new clinic will provide a safer environment for medical treatment, reduce their reliance on external clinics, and include consultation rooms, a clinic, and an X-ray room.
Projects like these require significant financial investment. Villa Kitty Foundation is now actively raising funds to build a new hospital and consultation rooms.
Image: A Blueprint for New Clinic, Operating Room and Reception;
The Foundation relies on continued support from donors and visitors to ensure they can meet the needs of their furry residents and expand their capacity to rescue, rehabilitate, and find loving homes for Bali's stray and abandoned cats.

Get Involved

There are various ways to get involved and support the work of the Villa Kitty Foundation:

Make a Donation

Currently, Villa Kitty operates its hospital from makeshift premises. With 550 cats and kittens and 52 dogs and puppies under their care, and numerous arrivals daily from Bali's streets, the need for a new clinic is urgent.
Your generous donation today will support Villa Kitty in raising funds to build a new, larger, safer, and better-equipped clinic, operating room, and reception area. These facilities are essential for caring for vulnerable, sick, abandoned, and injured animals of Bali.
Villa Kitty already has the land, construction plans, and a dedicated team ready to begin; they now need the necessary funds. The estimated total cost for this project is approximately 1,528,472,896 IDR (145,000 AUD). 
If you consider making a donation to help save furry lives, strongly recommends supporting this cause. Your donation will make this project a reality and ensure Villa Kitty can continue its lifesaving work.
Donate by Bank Transfer & Wise
Name: Villa Kitty Yayasan
Branch: Denpasar
Account Number: 0808881140
Bank Name: Bank Negara Indonesia
Donate by Crypto
- Bitcoin: bc1qctpp5agvytutsu56jcn94600u22z8p7u3fu6za
- Ethereum: 0x622FFaf1369985800Fd01E7e3Aa64b244e810819

Sponsor a Cat

Many felines live in terror on Bali’s streets, struggling for survival. Since 2011, Villa Kitty Foundation has taken in thousands of unwanted, injured, and abandoned cats and kittens. 
Cats in their sponsorship program are those who have been unable to find their forever homes, including cats with disabilities requiring constant medical care.
Image: Olga Vetrova @olgavetrova,
Your regular monthly donation will make a huge difference, supporting shelter, food, veterinary care, and a safe environment for these cats. 
Sponsors receive regular updates, pictures, and videos of their sponsored cats.
To sponsor a cat, contact, follow this link.


Adopting cats and kittens into safe homes is Villa Kitty’s primary goal. For kittens, Villa Kitty encourages adopters to consider taking two kittens together, as they benefit from socializing with their siblings for development. 
Adopting an adult cat can also be particularly rewarding, as they are often overlooked in favor of kittens.
Image: Olga Vetrova @olgavetrova,

Become a Visitor

Visitors are warmly welcomed to spend time with the feline (and canine) family at Villa Kitty, playing an essential role in their socialization and care.
Visiting hours are from 10:00 to 16:00 daily, except on Mondays. Please contact Villa Kitty in advance to schedule a tour for your first visit.

Spread the Word

Share the work of Villa Kitty with friends and family to raise awareness and support for the foundation. By getting involved, you help Villa Kitty continue to provide a safe haven for cats and educate the community on the importance of animal welfare.
Contact Villa Kitty at: or +62 812 37024930
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