Tiger smiling for the camera

Catty Shack Ranch And Wildlife Sanctuary

Many parents find associating their child’s dental appointments with a fun activity a good way to create positive associations towards going to the dentist.

If you’re looking for an amazing place to visit, you should check out the Catty Shack Ranch And Wildlife Sanctuary. Less well known than the Jacksonville Zoo, this hidden wonder is one of the best places to visit in the Duval area.

Catty Shack Ranch has been in the making for nearly 40 years. Curator Curt LoGiudice began his journey in 1982 caring for exotic animals and over the next decade obtained both his state and federal licenses.

The Florida Panther Project was subsequently founded in 1994 and the sanctuary’s mission to provide forever homes to endangered animals continues to this day.

Top Attraction

Considered the #1 attraction in all of Jacksonville FL, Catty Shack Wildlife Sanctuary is located at 1860 Starratt Road. None of the animals housed in this sanctuary are bred or sold. Current residents include pumas, lions, servals, tigers, and more. Tours are self-guided, and families even have the chance to watch staff feed the animals at their designated time.

Tours are available every day between 1:00 and 3:00 pm and on Fridays and Saturdays between 6:00 and 7:00 pm. Feedings begin promptly at 7 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Volunteer staff is available to answer all your questions. Habitats are kept immaculately clean, and the animals are quite lively. In fact, the tigers like to strut their stuff and are a sight to behold.

A jitney ride is available for those who do not wish or are not able to walk the gravel road that winds through the sanctuary. Entrance fees help maintain the ranch. Cold water is available to patrons. Staff know the animals quite well, and will speak to their unique personalities.

Sanctuary Rescue Mission

The cats housed at Catty Shack Ranch have been rescued from various situations, including illegal ownership and improper enclosures. Maltreatment of these animals is inexcusable, and the sanctuary has built its mission around caring for these animals and educating the public about them.

Since the sanctuary is run by volunteers, 100 percent of the proceeds generated go directly to the resident cats and their livelihood. The non-profit wildlife sanctuary has provided a forever home for these endangered big cats, including honorary big cats like the arctic foxes and coatimundis.

Staff shed light not only on each cat’s personality but how each of them found its home at the wildlife sanctuary. If you prefer a guided tour vs a self-guided tour, they are available once a week on Thursday afternoons. Tickets may be purchased in advance on the website or at the ranch upon arrival.

Importance of Animal Wildlife Sanctuaries

Animal sanctuaries are important for a variety of reasons. They provide a safe haven for wildlife, educate the public about wildlife, conduct research to help wildlife, rescue and rehabilitate sick and injured wildlife, promote conservation of wildlife and their habitats, and provide eco-tourism opportunities.

1. Safe Haven for Wildlife.

Animal sanctuaries provide a safe haven for wildlife. They are a place where animals can live without fear of being hunted or harmed by humans. Sanctuaries also provide a place for animals to live that is similar to their natural habitat. This allows animals to live as close to their natural way of life as possible.

2. Public Education

Animal sanctuaries educate the public about wildlife. They provide information about the animals that live there and the importance of conservation. Sanctuaries also teach people how to live in harmony with wildlife.

3. Wildlife Research

Animal sanctuaries conduct research to help wildlife. They study the animals that live there and their habitats. This research is used to help develop conservation plans for endangered species.

4. Rescue and Rehabilitate

Animal sanctuaries rescue and rehabilitate sick and injured wildlife. They provide a place for these animals to receive the care they need to recover. Sanctuaries also release rehabilitated animals back into the wild.

5. Promote Conservation of Wildlife

Animal sanctuaries promote conservation of wildlife and their habitats. They work to protect endangered species and their habitats. Sanctuaries also work to educate the public about the importance of conservation.

6. Eco-Tourism Opportunities.

Animal sanctuaries provide eco-tourism opportunities. They allow people to visit and see the animals in their natural habitat. This helps to raise awareness about the importance of conservation. It also provides an opportunity for people to learn about the animals and their way of life.

Additional Donations

If you would like to make additional donations, you can add the sanctuary as your favorite charity on Amazon Smile. Additionally, the sanctuary features an Amazon Wish List with items available for purchase. Consistent visitors have even donated their time to help these big cats live out their best lives.

Consistently ranked as the #1 attraction in all of Jacksonville FL, Catty Shack Ranch and Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the best things to do for families visiting The River City. The sanctuary is comprised of over 100 acres, and you and yours are in for some close encounters. Be a part of big cat conservation and stop by this wonderful wildlife sanctuary guided by loving hands.


Looking to visit the sanctuary?  Here are directions between Farnham Dentistry and Catty Shack Ranch.

Catty Shack Ranch And Wildlife Sanctuary was last modified: July 27th, 2022 by Farnham Dentistry