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“Wonderful Sanctuary”

Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary
Ranked #1 of 180 things to do in Jacksonville
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our mission is to provide a safe, loving, forever home for endangered big cats, and to educate the public about their plight in the wild and captivity. We do not breed, sell, or trade any of our animals. Our current residents include tigers, lions, cougars, leopards, bobcats, foxes, and coatimundis (the last two are "honorary cats"). We are only open on select days, and last admittance is 45 minutes before closing. Our annual Haunted Forest is happening again! There are no public feedings during haunted forest, but night feedings will occur each Wednesday. Refer to the Events section of our website for more information. Dates and times for the haunted forest are: Friday, October 13: 6-10 PM Saturday, October 14: 6-10 PM Friday, October 20: 6-10 PM Saturday, October 21: 6-10 PM Sunday, October 22: 1-6 PM Friday, October 27: 6-10 PM Saturday, October 28: 6-10 PM Last admittance 30 minutes before closing.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase, Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children
Reviewed December 16, 2013

I visited the Catty Shack Ranch Sanctuary on my recent visit to Jacksonville. They currently have 51 Big Cats, including Siberian Tigers and African Lions. It is wonderful that these animals have found a home there. The staff is very friendly and knowledgeable about the animals in their care. When they saw my father, who suffers from Parkinson's, walk slowly across the parking lot, the staff offered to show us around on an electric cart.

1  Thank random_tangent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"night feeding"
in 178 reviews
"big cats"
in 354 reviews
"volunteer staff"
in 30 reviews
"beautiful animals"
in 65 reviews
"feeding tour"
in 23 reviews
"forever home"
in 21 reviews
"lions and tigers"
in 40 reviews
"run by volunteers"
in 16 reviews
"non profit"
in 21 reviews
"well taken care"
in 44 reviews
"bug spray"
in 33 reviews
"golf cart"
in 15 reviews
"animal lovers"
in 14 reviews
"their lives"
in 19 reviews
"all ages"
in 51 reviews
"unique experience"
in 20 reviews
"great place to visit"
in 26 reviews

936 - 940 of 1,270 reviews

Reviewed December 14, 2013

Just got back from the night-feeding. What a great experience!!! You can observe the big cats up close and personal...volunteer staff friendly and enthusiastic. My 17 year old son is hard to please...he really enjoyed it!!! I highly recommend visiting the Catty Shack!!!

1  Thank Carolina S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2013

We visited the Catty Shack for a night feeding, and had mixed feelings. The place is clean, and well run by very friendly volunteers. Many of the cats are in confined spaces, although our tour guide said they exceeded Florida regulations. Sad. All of the cats were healthy looking enough. You could tell they were well fed, but not overfed. The back of the property had new and improved containment areas being built that were exponentially larger than the spaces at the entrance. The night feeding did, as advertised, elicit some growling and romping, but I think I set my expectations a little high. The head zoo keeper (?) entered many of the cat's areas and played with them, or taunted them from outside their cages while they ate which I found extremely worrisome. I understand that many patrons are looking for a show, but I could not shake the feeling in my gut that the guy was going to lose an arm in front of 100 people, many of them children. All in all, I understand that if the cats were not at the Catty Shack, they would not be alive, and I am a huge proponent of environmental/wildlife education, but I think larger containment areas, and greater caution and respect by the zoo keeper is a must to make this attraction an EXCELLENT one.

1  Thank Rachel C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2013

I have a good time here. It was fun to hear the stories of each cat. And super cool being so close to them for feeding time.

Thank Beverly G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 5, 2013

I have been to the Catty Shack several times and enjoy it more and more. The staff are so friendly and everyone are very passionate about the animals! This place is great for everyone including families. A must see (again and again)!

1  Thank Cynthia C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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