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|
Loved the cats but hard to see
|bjlerew||Tue, May 24 3:00 PM||Female||50-59||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family Without Children|
I love this facility and what they stand for. It was very hot the day we toured so most of the cats stayed under shelter to stay out of the sun making it difficult to see them. several of the elderly guests became exhausted during the tour and the staff was quick to bring a golf cart for them to ride in so they could complete the tour. My only real complaint was that although there were two water stops provided the water was warm and it was not really enough for a 90 degree day in Florida. The staff did mention prior to the start of the tour that we might want to purchase bottles water from their gift shop to take along but since they also noted that water would be available along the tour we opted not to buy any. I wish we had or that they had provided cold water at their water stops. The staff were all very nice and accommodative and knowledgable
Big Cat Living
|FloridaLife||Tue, May 24 3:00 PM||Female||40-49||Domestic Tourist(s)||Couple on a Date|
I enjoyed my visit to the big cat rescue. securing tickets and entrance to facilities were all very easy. staff is very friendly. My only disappointment was not seeing more of the animals. I guess it's much better to go on their feeding days so you see them up moving around. The cats all look very well taken care off and I think it's a great thing they are doing. I would recommend folks go visit but on feeding days to get a better experience.
It was pretty ok
|Clayhew||Tue, May 24 3:00 PM||Male||Under 20||Local||Couple on a Date|
The tour has a lot of potential but my only problem was many of cats were either sleeping or not visible due to the heat. Obviously I don't want them to suffer in the heat but either and earlier or later tour time I think would be a good solution. Also the whole electronic cat story device they give you is pretty useless. The tour became walking to a cage and hitting play then moving to the next one. I would rather have more interaction with the guide and talk about the species in general less than the environment every single cat was in when it was rescued.
Big Cat Rescue
|DawnMcFee||Mon, May 23 3:00 PM||Female||50-59||Domestic Tourist(s)||Individual|
The cause and information given by our tour guide was great! However, the time of the tour was 3:00pm. We were told at the beginning of the tour that this is when they sleep so hopefully we would get to see some cats. Well, we did not get to see many big cats because they were in their shelters sleeping. Maybe the time could be changed or you could inform visitors up front. Thank you!
Visit of Big Cats
|adrianamcgee||Mon, May 23 3:00 PM||Female||30-39||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family With Children|
I thought that the tour was informative
excellent and educational
|bjdwyer||Mon, May 23 3:00 PM||Unspecified||60-69||Domestic Tourist(s)||Individual|
anyone who believes that it's OK to "pay to pet" wild animals or who doubts that circuses are cruel should visit. I would like to see a longer tour, perhaps split into late morning and early afternoon sections. Certainly I will visit again when in Tampa. I also will become a donor.
|Camillicent||Mon, May 23 3:00 PM||Female||20-29||Domestic Tourist(s)||Couple on a Date|
Our tour guide was funny, insightful and also taught me a lot! I loved the way they handled their establishment because it was what was best for the cats! I highly recommend this place and I am so happy that I got to experience this! I would love to go to a night tour or feeding tour!
|FloridaGary||Mon, May 23 3:00 PM||Male||40-49||Domestic Tourist(s)||Individual|
If you have an interest in seeing big cats that you would only see in the wild if lucky, this is the place to go. Our Docent's knowledge and humor made this tour extremely enjoyable. Well done Dennis!
|tharenleesch||Sun, May 22 3:00 PM||Male||40-49||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family With Children|
Educational and entertaining. The big cats as well as the small are beautiful!
|Rolavender||Sun, May 22 3:00 PM||Female||70+||Local||Group of Friends|
We enjoyed the tour....it was overly slanted in the negatives that are present in the realities of the residents' situations and not counterbalanced by positives....Over all it was a worthwhile experience.
- 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://bigcatrescue.org/release 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.
- Pets are not allowed at Big Cat Rescue.
- If you are traveling with pets, including dogs, you cannot bring them onto the property, which includes the parking lot.
- 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://bigcatrescue.org/release. 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