Big Cat Rescue

Vacation Travel Guide
Big Cat Rescue featuring zoo animals and dangerous animals

Hear lions, tigers and leopards roar at this animal sanctuary for abandoned and abused exotic big cats.

Big Cat Rescue claims to be the world’s largest accredited animal sanctuary dedicated to rescued big cats. It provides a permanent home for abused and abandoned animals, as well as retired performing cats. There are more than 100 big cats representing no fewer than a dozen species at this 45-acre (18-hectare) site. They include lions, tigers, leopards, ocelots and cougars.

Guided tours are the only way to see the animals. You are led along a winding trail to each of the cat habitats. Observe cougars at play and take photos and videos of lions stretching out in the sun. Learn about big cat behaviors and discover how the animals were rescued from cruel conditions.

There are a variety of tour options available. These include the one-hour and half-hour day tours, and the feeding tours where you watch big cats being fed by their keepers. Join the animals for dinner during the special night tour, held on the last Friday of each month. The Kids Tour on Saturday and Sunday is the only time children under the age of 10 can visit the animals. For a full list of tour types, schedules and restrictions, visit Big Cat Rescue’s official website.

For those unable to walk for long periods of time, a limited number of golf carts are available for rent.

Big Cat Rescue started in 1992 during the owners’ search for a pet bobcat. When they came across a breeder who was primarily raising the animals for fur, they bought all 56 kittens to save them from slaughter. The sanctuary’s dual mission is to provide a good home for the animals and to educate the public about the plight of big cats in the wild and in captivity.

Big Cat Rescue is open every day except Thursday, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The animal sanctuary is 15 minutes’ drive from Tampa International Airport, and approximately 75 minutes from Orlando and Walt Disney World® Resort. Parking is free.

Top things to do in Big Cat Rescue

Top Hotels Close to Big Cat Rescue

Courtyard by Marriott Tampa Northwest/Veterans Expressway
Courtyard by Marriott Tampa Northwest/Veterans Expressway
3 out of 5
12730 Citrus Park Lane, Tampa, FL
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $154 per night from Jan 23 to Jan 24
Situated in the business district, this hotel is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Westfield Citrus Park and 0.7 mi (1.2 km) from Big Cat Rescue. Lake Rogers Park and Westchase ...
4.6/5 Exceptional! (648 reviews)
"Suggest more soap and lotion in bathroom"

Reviewed on Jan 11, 2022

Courtyard by Marriott Tampa Northwest/Veterans Expressway
Quiet  comfortable , Cozy  Our place has been kept with love and dedication
Quiet comfortable , Cozy Our place has been kept with love and dedication
Tampa, FL
Located in the heart of Tampa, this vacation home is 2.6 mi (4.3 km) from Westfield Citrus Park and 2.7 mi (4.4 km) from Big Cat Rescue. Raymond James Stadium ...
Quiet comfortable , Cozy Our place has been kept with love and dedication
Newly Built newly furnished 3 bedroom townhome
Newly Built newly furnished 3 bedroom townhome
Tampa, FL
Situated on a lake, this vacation home is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Big Cat Rescue and 1.3 mi (2 km) from Westfield Citrus Park. Lake Rogers Park and Westchase Golf ...
5/5 Exceptional! (4 reviews)
Nice Comfortable/Lakeside Townhouse
"The townhouse is very nice and comfortable. True to the pictures. Really loved that it faced a lake, especially because of being self-isolated. The birds were soothing and beautiful to watch during that time. Many food delivery options for this address. I would recommend more cooking utensils, and ..."

Reviewed on May 28, 2020

Newly Built newly furnished 3 bedroom townhome
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Big Cat Rescue

Private beautiful studio apartment
Private beautiful studio apartment
Tampa, FL
The price is $96 per night from Jan 27 to Jan 28
Private beautiful studio apartment
Courtyard by Marriott Tampa Northwest/Veterans Expressway
Courtyard by Marriott Tampa Northwest/Veterans Expressway
3 out of 5
12730 Citrus Park Lane, Tampa, FL
The price is $154 per night from Jan 23 to Jan 24
Courtyard by Marriott Tampa Northwest/Veterans Expressway
Quiet  comfortable , Cozy  Our place has been kept with love and dedication
Quiet comfortable , Cozy Our place has been kept with love and dedication
Tampa, FL
Quiet comfortable , Cozy Our place has been kept with love and dedication
Newly Built newly furnished 3 bedroom townhome
Newly Built newly furnished 3 bedroom townhome
Tampa, FL
Newly Built newly furnished 3 bedroom townhome
✪Large Family Retreat✪2 King Beds✪Heated Pool & Hot Tub ✪Game Room & Mini Golf
✪Large Family Retreat✪2 King Beds✪Heated Pool & Hot Tub ✪Game Room & Mini Golf
Tampa, FL
✪Large Family Retreat✪2 King Beds✪Heated Pool & Hot Tub ✪Game Room & Mini Golf
Comfortable and Stylish room at Citrus Park, Tampa (Solo/couple travel)
Comfortable and Stylish room at Citrus Park, Tampa (Solo/couple travel)
Tampa, FL
Comfortable and Stylish room at Citrus Park, Tampa (Solo/couple travel)
Tropical Paradise - Such a House
Tropical Paradise - Such a House
Tampa, FL
Tropical Paradise - Such a House
Happy Place B . Such a house
Happy Place B . Such a house
Tampa, FL
Happy Place B . Such a house
Residential
Residential
Tampa, FL
Residential
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.