Big Cat Rescue is the world’s largest accredited sanctuary dedicated entirely to abused and abandoned exotic cats. Celebrity supporters of the work being done by BCR include Bo Derek, Harrison Ford and Leonardo DiCaprio, and more.
Confiscated from a drug raid, got too old for the circus, neglected by an owner: these are just a few of the stories of this facility’s cats. But now they can enjoy a dignified life of leisure, play and socializing at this accredited big cat sanctuary, which is one of the largest in the world!
Let your tour guide relate their tales of hardship and triumph and take you to see some of the following:
- Meet a pair of frolicking leopards that leap from platform to platform in their fenced-in enclosure.
- See a chirping serval rescued from a basement and enjoying the sunlight it was denied during its ordeal.
- Witness the biggest and most impressive creatures in the refuge; the lions and tigers. Though they cannot be returned to the wild, discover how the sanctuary gives them the most natural existence possible!
We are closed on Thursdays. We offer guided tours on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday at 3 PM for adults and children 10 and over. On Saturday & Sunday we offer tours at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. for adults and children 10 and over.These are walking tours and take about an hour and a half. If you have children under the age of 10, they can ONLY visit by attending the noon Tour on Saturdays or Sundays.
|Sort by:||Date Attended||Gender||Age||Where From||Group Type|
Disappointment of the life
|milaska||Sun, May 24 10:00 AM||Female||Unspecified||Unspecified||Unspecified|
I really like cats. I have heard about Big Cat Rescue for ages, but never was in Tampa before.
First, the place is very-very difficult to find. Name of the street is covered by trees and there is a sign, but after the road.
The tour itself looks the following. You stop next to place where a cat suppose to be, but a cat is hiding (well, thet are cats) and you see only a picture of a cat. Not end of the world, but you must stay there and listen how that place need more money.
If a cat is finally there, they mive out of cat
|Angemarcel||Sat, May 23 3:00 PM||Female||20-29||Domestic Tourist(s)||Couple on a Date|
At first we didn't know what to expect when it came up on the searched. We love animals and we figured why not give it a try. When we got to the big cat rescue and learnt what it was about our hearts were broken yet at the same time relieved that they had a home where they can be a wild again. When we started the tour we got to hear the story of each cat and how they were rescued. It's amazing to learn how terrible some people can be. Any how, regardless of the horrible stories and how they had to live for so long, my husband and I were beyond happy to see how well fed and maintained they were. They had their own pool to deep in and air conditioned house.
Going to the big cat rescue made me realized how incredible of a place it is. They house all these animals that were meant to be in the wild from horrible situations like living in a cage where all they can do is standup, turn, and lay down again.
Great experience! Next time I come down to Tampa I will visit again and tell everyone at home about it.
Opened my heart
|Andrea218||Sat, May 23 3:00 PM||Female||40-49||Local||Family With Children|
I am a cat lover and so is my 15 year old son, but our visit to Big Cat Rescue really opened our eyes and hearts to these magnificent animals. We are so happy they have a loving home. It breaks our heart what some of them have gone through in their lives before they found your safe haven. We pray for the day that no more cats big or small ever suffer the inhumane cruelty these beautiful and innocent creatures have. Thank you for sharing them with us and keep up the great work.
Good not great
|ky2cal||Sat, May 23 10:00 AM||Male||30-39||Combination||Individual|
Great on information that you would never receive any where else. However, the individual tour is not impressive. The cats are all sleeping and hiding in the back. No picture opportunities here. I have personally had my picture taken with a Bengal overseas and it came with a great show of how interactive the massive cat can be. Here they steer you in a direction to be afraid...but ask for money for support. The whole tour, you hear comments "to make you feel sorry" for what the cats and staff go through daily, I personally love the one about hurricane season, ha. I had every intent to donate beforehand. Also the acreage is there to expand, please do so, the tour was too short, find more cats to house because I personally will take the worst zoo over your place any day.
great place to visit, great beautiful cats
|ele2783||Sat, May 23 10:00 AM||Female||60-69||Unspecified||Unspecified|
I loved visiting this place. I will become a volunteer when I retire there. Great information and knowledgeable guides. I wish I was there again. I love tigers and would love to help out. I will be retiring in about 4 years. Can't wait. Thank you for the experience.
Educational, entertaining and enlightening
|SupraDad||Sat, May 23 10:00 AM||Male||50-59||Domestic Tourist(s)||Couple on a Date|
A sobering experience - the stories about the rescued cats can be heartbreaking - but the tour guide entertained us with stories, explained the progress made, and was quite clear on how we can help improve the safe guarding of large cats. The facility was sufficient for the number of people, had adequate amenities, and the actual tour itself was well-conducted w/ a wireless communication system that enabled us to clearly hear the guide even though he was talking quietly (to not disturb the cats). The tour itself was of reasonable duration and enabled us sufficient time to view the cats at a reasonable distance. Highly recommended.
nice and educational experience
|niinapitkan||Tue, May 19 3:00 PM||Female||50-59||International Tourist(s)||Individual|
Speak of the quide was little bit too fast speaker for foreign person
Liked to see more activity of cats, like feeding, playing etc.
the big fensed area was empty...
anyway, I liked visiting there and got some pictures :)
|katiee21||Tue, May 19 3:00 PM||Unspecified||Unspecified||Unspecified||Unspecified|
Most animals couldn't see either to far away or in shelters
also animals still looked under fed . So if they are taking better car ? Also they cept blanking smell on pig farm next door...
RULES SHOULD BE FOLLOWED
|99skyking||Tue, May 19 3:00 PM||Male||60-69||Combination||Group of Friends|
YOUR WEBSITE SAYS NO OPEN TOE SHOES, YET THERE WAS 5-6 PEOPLE ON OUR TOUR TUESDAY, 5-19-15 @ 3 pm WHO HAD OPEN TOES/FLIP FLOPS. ALSO, THEY ANNOUNCED JUST BEFORE THE TOUR TO TURN ALL CELL PHONES OFF, FOR THEY WOULD SCARE THE CATS. ONE PERSON IN THE GROUP WAS ON THE PHONE CONSTANTLY. IF YOUR GOING TO HAVE RULES THEN THEY NEED TO BE ENFORCE. THE WOMEN IN MY GROUP ASKED ABOUT THEW KIND OF SHOES AND I SAID THEY HAD TO BE A CLOSED SHOE. AFTER GETTING THERE I FELT LIKE A FOOL WHEN THEY LET OTHER PEOPLE WEAR THEM.
|LudaSemeniuk||Mon, May 18 3:00 PM||Female||50-59||Local||Group of Friends|
I learned a lot of interesting facts to help me understand these animals and how our self esteem or lack there of has damaged the balance of our Eco system that these wonderful cats are a part of. God created them for a darn good reason and in the long run we are just hurting ourselves when we hurt them.
- Do I have to purchase tickets in advance?
- Advance purchase is required, and tours do sell out quickly. To maximize your chances of getting the day that you prefer, please book well in advance! Tickets can be purchased online or over the phone with a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express.
- Is there an age limit?
- Children under 10 years old are not permitted due to the topics covered on this tour and so that adults can enjoy the tour. Kids 10 years of age or older are welcome to attend as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. We do not make exceptions, no matter how well behaved you think your child is; only ages 10 and over on this tour. All attendees must purchase a full-price ticket.
- Can I bring food or toys for the cats?
- No, our diet is specific to their needs and we do not allow foods to be given to the cats that have not been approved by our vet and maintained under the most stringent quality controls. We do not give our cats toys that could cause harm if ingested so we do not permit toys from outside our own preselected vendors.
- Can I take pictures during my tour?
- YES! You are welcome to take photos and / or videos during your tour.
- Do I have to stay with the group, or can I wander?
- The only way to see the cats is on a guided tour, so you will not be able to wander away from the group.
- Are there restrooms?
- Yes, but we strongly suggest that you go before you get here because we have limited facilities and are on septic systems which cannot handle a lot of volume if there has been recent rain. There is a McDonald's right at the corner of Easy Street.
- What if it rains?
- The DayTour will still go out in a light rain as long as there is no lightning. If it is thundering or pouring rain, we may try to wait it out, or will offer a refund, or rescheduling.
- Can I bring my pet?
- Is there a charge for parking?
- Parking is always free and there is plenty of it except for our busiest times in Nov, Dec and March. During these busy times it is tight, but we will help you park at no additional fee.
- Are you ADA compliant?
- If you are unable to walk for two hours, we have golf carts available for $10 extra, per person riding. Our paths are dirt, so wheel chairs are hard to push, but scooters do well. There are no seats along the tour paths.
- How do the golf carts work? Are they offered on every tour?
- On some tours (but not all), we offer seats on a golf cart for guests who have difficulty with mobility. Each cart can hold 3 guests plus the driver. The cart will follow the tour guide closely so that guests can hear the narration. Depending on different circumstances, these seats can sometimes be booked in advance, but otherwise they are first come-first serve.
- Do you offer gift certificates?
- Yes! Gift certificates are available and they make perfect gifts for holidays, birthdays or any other occasion! To purchase a gift certificate please click on the "Gift Certificates: Purchase" link in the box above.
- Do you offer private tours?
- Yes! Please see the list of all activities to get more information about our private tours.
- What does the Big Cat Rescue Release and Hold Harmless Agreement state?
- The Big Cat Rescue Release and Hold Harmless Agreement states that all buyers understand and agree to 1.) the potential dangers associated with attending Big Cat Rescue and the rules in place to prevent such dangers from occurring and 2.) the Release and Hold Harmless Agreement, which states that Big Cat Rescue cannot be held responsible for any harm, injury or damage taking place at Big Cat Rescue. Please visit https://www.votervoice.net/BCR/campaigns/30112/respond to view the agreement in its entirety.
- Non-refundable, can be rescheduled with 24 hours notice.
- Once purchased, tickets cannot be refunded. You may reschedule your tickets (subject to availability) only if you do so at least 24 hours in advance.
- Activity may be cancelled due to severe weather.
- The activity usually runs in light rain and other moderate weather conditions, but the seller may cancel the activity up to an hour before the start time in the event of severe or unsafe weather conditions. If the seller cancels the event, ticket-holders will be allowed to reschedule tickets (subject to availability) or receive credit for a future event.
- All participants must be 10 years of age or older.
- No children under 10 years old are permitted on this tour. Children 10-17 years old are welcome to attend as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Children under 10 years old are not permitted due to the nature of this tour.
- There is no smoking allowed at Big Cat Rescue.
- We do not allow smoking at Big Cat Rescue, except in the parking lot.
- All participants must agree to the Big Cat Rescue Release and Hold Harmless Agreement.
- By purchasing tickets you are agreeing to the Big Cat Rescue Release and Hold Harmless Agreement, which appears in its entirety at https://www.votervoice.net/BCR/campaigns/30112/respond. The waiver web address also appears on your e-ticket if you would like to review the waiver later.
- If you purchased a donation Extra, please take note of the following:
- Big Cat Rescue is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, FEID 59-3330495. Note that we do not utilize professional solicitors, so 100% of your donation goes to Big Cat Rescue and supporting the cats and stopping the abuse. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION FOR BIG CAT RESCUE, A FL-BASED NONPROFIT CORPORATION (REGISTRATION NO. CH 11409), MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-435-7352 WITHIN THE STATE OR BY VISITING www.800helpfla.com. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.
Big Cat Rescue
Big Cat Rescue has a dozen species of cats, many of whom are threatened, endangered or extinct now in the wild, including: Tigers, Lions, Leopards, Cougars, Bobcats, Lynx, Servals, Ocelots, Caracals, a Geoffroy Cat and exotic cat hybrids!
The non-profit organization is:
- Accredited by the Global Federation of Sanctuaries
- Certified by Independent Charities of America as a “Best in America Charity”
- Member of the World Society for Protection of Animals
- Rated 4 Stars by Charity Navigator (their highest rating) and has the one of the highest scores of any animal based charity