Maricopa County sheriff's deputies were forced to wear breathing equipment to enter the residence in Mesa, Ariz., early Tuesday. They had been called to check on the woman, whose name wasn't immediately released.
It's unclear how long the woman had been dead or what she died from. Authorities say it appears she was a hoarder and the home was in poor condition.
The sheriff's office and the Humane Society are trying to rescue as many cats as possible and decide where to keep them.