They Allowed The Cat To Sleep With The Lion Cubs, But It Wasn’t A Good Idea

When a lion cub and a house cat were introduced to one another, no one had any idea just how close they would get. Their friendship absolutely bloomed into a strong and loving bond. Now, however, the zoo is that brought them together is going to have to deal with the consequences. These two are set for a rude awakening and you won’t believe why!

20. Cute Couple

Image: Daily Mail

All snuggled up with nowhere to go, Zara the lion cub and Arnie the house cat make an adorable pair. These two love to cuddle up with each other. However, this beautiful friendship is slowly coming to an end…

19. Sad News

Image: Daily Mail

In just a matter of weeks, Zara will have to say her farewells to her best friend Arnie. But how come? Well, Zara is going to be moving very soon and Arnie won’t be able to stop by for visits.

18. New Life

Image: Daily Mail

Zara is going to be starting a new life in Africa. During her first six weeks of life, Zara was introduced to Arnie, who gave her tons of love and affection. So why would the zoo introduce these two if they knew that they wouldn’t be able to stay lifelong friends?

17. Bad Circumstances

Image: Just Lions

When Zara was first born, she was living with her young parents Safina and Zuri. The parents were really struggling to take care of Zara and were leaving her neglected for a lot of time. This was turning out to be very unsafe…

16. Unsafe

Image: Just Lions

The young parents were at the Linton Zoo in Cambridgeshire. Zoo workers began to realize that Zara was being neglected so they decided to act. They quickly took her out of her parents care and brought her somewhere else.

15. Moving

Image: Just Lions

Zara was promptly moved to the family of zoo director Kim Simmons. The zoo staff knew that if they had left Zara under the care of her parents that she would have most likely died. This was a life or death situation that they were being faced with.

14. New Friend


It was at the zoo director’s home where Zara met Arnie, the director’s male house cat. Zara immediately fell for Arnie and wanted to be around him at all times. The feelings were definitely mutual!

13. Cuddle Partners

Image: Cat Defender

Zara and Arnie have become serious cuddle partners. The pair can often be found lounging around somewhere around the house. Simmons is thrilled that the two of them get along so well.

12. New Life

Image: Cat Defender

However, Zara and Arnie will soon have to say goodbye as Zara is steadily becoming bigger and bigger. Soon she will embark on a journey to the shores of Lake Victoria in Entebbe, Uganda, East Africa. There she will join the Ugandan Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC).

11. Bittersweet


When asked about Zara’s leaving, Kim said: “As long as she’s going to a good home with a good quality of life, I have to be happy. I’ll find it a struggle to part with her but I know she will never forget me.”

10. UWEC

Image: Gorilla tracking Uganda

So what does the UWEC do? The organization is in charge of rescuing and rehabilitating animals in the area. Their goals are to promote the conservation of wildlife in Uganda and educate children on all of the various animals Uganda has to offer.

9. Feeding Time

Image: Daily Mail

In the meantime, Kim is still very much babying young Zara. She will still hold her and cuddle up while feeding Zara her bottle. The young cub will remain with Kim until it is time for her to go.

8. Doing Better

Image: Cat Defender

When Zara was first brought to Kim’s home she was a malnourished mess. Now, Zara is doing so much better! She has gone from a helpless 2lb baby to a stunning 10lbs of mischievous personality.

7. Hand-Rear

Image: Daily Mail

“We only hand-rear the cubs if it is absolutely necessary, but this was Safina’s first baby and she couldn’t feed her due to her young age and inexperience,” Kim explained. “She lives in the house and is bottle-fed by us daily.”

6. Great Personality

Image: Daily Mail

Zara’s personality is also a ton of fun and Kim and her family love having the little cub around!

“She’s got an absolutely wonderful personality and is very laid back and affectionate,” Kim said.

5. Kitty Love

Image: Linton Zoo

“Arnie the cat loves having cubs in the house and the two are great friends, but we’ll have to guard him as Zara gets bigger and stronger,” Kim explained.

So how many cubs are there in the house? You’ll be surprised by the answer.

4. Five Lions

Image: Trip Advisor

Right now there are currently five lions at the family-run Linton Zoo. The zoo has been in operation since 1972 and has quite a lot of visitors as they allow people to get quite close up. The other lions at the zoo happen to be Zara’s grandparents Riziki and Karla.

3. New Cubs

Image: Trip Advisor

Zara’s parents, Safina and Zuri, are going to become parents again very soon. They are expecting a new litter of cubs in October and Kim believes that they will have more experience now to better care for this litter.

2. All Lions

Image: BBC News

Any and all of the lions that are born at the Linton Zoo will be transferred over to Uganda as they get old enough. This is part of a joint project between West Midlands Safari Park and Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire.

1. Remaining Time

Image: BBC News

For now, until they have to part, Zara and Arnie will remain cuddle buddies. Even though he is a house cat and Zara is a lion cub, these two were able to be there for one another and create an amazing bond.

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    Jessica Aguero

    Jessica Aguero is a content marketing professional at, a lifestyle and pop culture community that helps people stay in touch with trends. Previously, Jessica wrote content for several magazines and websites. She graduated with honors from Columbia University with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing.

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