Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary

#5 in Best Things To Do in Jacksonville
Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary picture
Jearu/Shutterstock

Key Info

1860 Starratt Road

Details

Tours, Zoos and Aquariums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.3scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Lions and tigers and … well, there are no bears, but you'll certainly find lions and tigers at the Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary, as well as leopards, cougars and bobcats. This nonprofit organization specializes in rescuing big cats and providing them with a safe place to live. For visitors to the Jacksonville area, Catty Shack offers the opportunity to get up close and personal with these amazing animals. The sanctuary offers guided tours of the facility — both during the day and at night — that introduce visitors to the more than 40 animals. During the 45-minute guided tour, Catty Shack staff will tell you all about the sanctuary's residents, their natural habitats and personal anecdotes about interacting with the cats. Stay up late for a nighttime tour and you can see the animals during feeding time.

Catty Shack Ranch is a bit of a drive from downtown Jacksonville — about 16 miles north along I-95, to be exact. But those who have made the trip say it's well worth it. "We all had a great time watching these beautiful animals and hearing their stories," said one TripAdvisor user. "I'm glad there are places like this to care for them."

Daytime tours of Catty Shack Ranch are offered from 1 to 4 p.m., while nighttime feeding tours take place between 6 and 8:30 p.m.; tours are not offered every day, so you'll need to check the website for the most recent schedule. Tours can be purchased online; day tours cost $10 for adults and $5 for children, while evening tours cost $15 for adults and $10 for children.

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