The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden invites guests to the “purr”-fect family fun morning to learn about the Zoo’s cats and cat conservation efforts at International Cat Day. In addition to participating in activities and games, Zoo guests will have the opportunity to observe animal enrichment opportunities throughout the morning.
               International Cat Day will be held at the Zoo’s Lion Overlook and Cat Forest areas on Saturday, July 6, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Attendees can participate in fun cat activities, learn about cat conservation, observe animal enrichment activities, and adopt their own lion cub plush. Activities include International Cat Day Olympics such as the clouded leopard balance beam, cat species long jump, and feline coat pattern matching activity.
               Carnivore caretakers will be located at Lion Overlook at 9:30 a.m. for a caretaker chat and lion feeding.  During the caretaker chat, guests can ask questions about the Zoo’s African lions, Sumatran tigers, and other cat species. If you can’t make it to International Cat Day, join us virtually at 8:45 a.m. for our live caretaker chat on Facebook @okczoo. In addition to the International Cat Day caretaker chats, the carnivore team will be demonstrating how the Zoo’s animal and veterinary care teams performs animal-led wellness exams. Guests can find them at Lion Overlook throughout the event and get an inside look at how the Zoo cares for its cat species.
              Cat lovers can adopt their own plush lion in celebration of the birth of our newest five lion cubs by making a $25 donation to lion conservation through the Oklahoma Zoological Society (OZS). All donors will be entered into OZS’s Cub Club, a social media campaign that provides donors with quarterly “cubdates,” keeping them informed about the lion pride’s growth and progress. Donors at a specific level will also enjoy exclusive engagement opportunities. The cubs, who are Dunia’s second litter, were born on May 20, 2024 at Lion Overlook, between 4:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. with the fifth cub born later in the evening. While the lion cubs will not be making their debut until after their first round of their vaccinations, a den camera will be set up at Lion Overlook for guests to view the cubs while they are behind the scenes in their den, an exclusive opportunity during International Cat Day only.

“We are excited to host this cat awareness day and have a fun morning planned for guests to enjoy,” said Tyler Boyd, OKC Zoo’s Curator of Carnivores. “Fans will be able to see the lions participating in enrichment activities at Lion Overlook and learn more about how the Zoo contributes to the conservation of their species and habitat through programs such as the Association of Zoos and Aquariums SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction Program for lions. Through programs like this, we are able to help conserve cat species around the world and help protect them from extinction.”
               The OKC Zoo is a proud program partner for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Lion SAFE program and participates in the Species Survival Plan® (SSP) for African lions which made the recommendation for lioness Dunia to breed with male Huey. SSP programs oversee the population management of select species within AZA member zoos and aquariums. Since the opening of Lion Overlook in 1997, the Zoo has proudly celebrated the births of 21 lions.
               African lions are classified as vulnerable according to the IUCN with wild populations decreasing due to illegal hunting, habitat loss, loss of food sources and conflict with humans. It is estimated that the total population of lions in Africa is less than 40,000 mature individuals. Lions can be found in African ecoregions such as the forest, savanna, shrubland, grassland, and desert. Lions are extremely social and live in family groups called prides that can have between 10-30 members. Female lions frequently live with their mother’s pride for life but it is common for male lions to leave their pride when they are a few years old.
               The OKC Zoo proudly cares for six species of big cats including Sumatran tigers, African lions, mountain lions, cheetahs, jaguars and clouded leopards as well as four small cat species–caracal, serval, fishing cat, and ocelot. Guests can learn more about all of the Zoo’s cat species during International Cat Day through educational games like an activity card where guests match the cat species to the continent, they are native to, a caretaker chat with the carnivore team, and viewing animal enrichment activities. It’s going to be roaring with fun!


  • The Tiger is the most popular high school mascot in Oklahoma! The wildcat is the 4th most popular followed by panther/jaguar in 5th place. Lion is the 9th most popular.  For a full list of Oklahoma High School mascots and which are animals, visit
  • Caracals can leap nearly 10 feet into the air in order to catch birds and other prey.
  • Lions are the only truly social cats, living in groups with adult females and males.
  • Adult jaguars have no natural predators as they are an apex predator. Mother jaguars hide their cubs to keep them safe.
  • A tiger’s back legs are longer than its front legs, making running, jumping, and pouncing a breeze.
  • Young lions are born with rosettes and spots on their coats, which disappear as they get older.
  • A serval’s ears can rotate 180 degrees- all the better to hear you with! The backs of their ears have a white dot on them that mimics the shapes of eyes and is thought to make predators think twice before sneaking up on them.
  • Clouded leopards get their name from the cloud-like pattern on their coats.
  • Lions can eat roughly 18 pounds of meat per day, which equals to around 70 hamburgers for a human!
  • The cheetah is the world's fastest land mammal, capable of running up to 70 miles an hour.


Have you always wanted to know how lionesses Moto and Dunia participate in voluntary vet checks? Our special caretaker chat will deep dive into how the Zoo’s skilled animal and veterinary care teams perform animal-led wellness checks on all of our cat species. Join the Zoo on Saturday, July 6, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and spend the “purr”-fect day celebrating cat species. All International Cat Day activities are free with purchase of general admission.

The Oklahoma City Zoo is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with the last entry no later than 4 p.m. Through Labor Day, Monday, September 2, the Zoo is open daily at 8:30 a.m. for ZOOfriends with current memberships. Purchase advance Zoo admission tickets at and avoid the entry lines. Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the OKC Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, and Oklahoma City’s Adventure District. Zoo admission is $16 for adults and $13 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free.

Enjoy 12-months of fun and adventure with an OKC Zoo membership! As a ZOOfriends member of the Oklahoma City Zoo, enjoy free admission all year-long, plus many additional benefits and discounts. You will also be supporting the Zoo’s animal family, education programming and conservation initiatives both locally and globally. Join or renew today at

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