I can’t quite remember where I learned about the Exotic Feline Rescue Center, but I know it’s been a place I’ve wanted to visit for a while. However, having heard about the set up, I knew I had to wait till my kids were old enough to follow instructions and be safe around the animals. The EFRC isn’t like visiting the zoo where the animals are in multimillion dollar enclosures separated from the public by a moat. They are often just a few feet away.
Tip – Best for children who are capable of following instructions, understand safety rules and respect the cats’ space.
Located about 90 minutes west of Indy, this non-profit rescue organization is home to more than 200 exotic cats. According to their mission statement, they “provide permanent homes for exotic felines that have been abused, abandoned or for some reason have nowhere to live out their lives, while educating the public about these beautiful cats.”
Touring the center gives visitors an amazing view of the cats, with the trail being just feet from the enclosure fence. While we learned the stories of how each cat came to live at the center, we were reminded which ones could be aggressive and which ones liked to “spray” visitors. Thanks to this warning, we were able to dodge a spray by one particular cat. But, we were told that many visitors aren’t so lucky. Good to know!
While walking the trail, we also learned interesting tidbits about the cats. For instance, did you know that a mountain lion, puma and cougar are really the same animal? I did not! The kids were also able to learn a little about why exotic cats really shouldn’t be kept as pets.
Hours – daily 10 – 5
Cost – $10 for adults, $5 for kids 12 and under
The tour lasts about 45 minutes over a relatively easy path that varies from dirt to gravel. A stroller would not be ideal.
Bonus – The EFRC offers special events for families throughout the year including a pumpkin party and seasonal tours that provide a look at some of the cats not included in the general tour. Make sure to check the website for these special treats.
2221 E Ashboro Rd