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"Feed the Kitty"
Season 2, Episode 24
A lion washes up on the island, and Gilligan makes a pet out of it.
Basic Info
Air Date: March 3, 1966
Written By: J.E. Selby and Richard Sanville
Directed By: Leslie Goodwins
Guest Cast: None
Episode guide
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Feed the Kitty is the 60th episode of Gilligan's Island and the twenty-fourth episode of the second season. It first aired March 3, 1966.


Running through the jungle along the Lagoon, Gilligan catches up with the Skipper sawing up an old crate that washed up on the Island. When he asks him about the roars from the island, the Skipper dismisses them as the echoes from his sawing. However, as Gilligan analyzes the writing on the crate, the Professor reveals there must have been a lion in the crate. Its roars send them running in a panic, but eventually they realize they have to catch and contain it. While sitting behind a large boulder with the girls, Mrs. Howell's allergy to cats kicks in and she starts sneezing, caused by the lion sitting above them on the rock. They scatter with Mrs. Howell running into her hut and the lion following her in to it. When she runs out, Ginger and Mary Ann barricade it inside then rush off to tell the men. Gilligan soon returns to camp to protect the ladies, but upon hearing the lion roaring, he crawls into the Howell's Hut for protection and barricades himself up in it without noticing the lion until he turns around to face it. Although terrified at first, he notices it licking its foot and realizes it's hurt. Pulling a splinter from the crate out of the lion's paw endears the lion to him, and everyone shows up to camp expecting the worst, only to learn Gilligan has made the lion a pet, calling him Leo. Realizing how dangerous the lion is, the Skipper asks Gilligan to make a choice between Leo and his friends, and Gilligan chooses Leo, keeping him sedated with cans of corned beef. Playing with Leo, Gilligan soon starts teaching Leo some tricks and convinces Mr. Howell to build a circus around them when they get rescued. Everyone else gets into the act as well with different acts, even the Skipper who eventually gets tired of the mess Gilligan is leaving. With the corned beef running out, Gilligan briefly believes Leo has eaten the Skipper, and he has to relent to Leo being caged up to protect the other Castaways. With everyone's circus plans falling through, Gilligan sits by Leo caged up at the lagoon with him licking his page. When he returns later with corned beef scraped out of the used cans, he notices the tide has washed the cage with Leo out to sea and it's heading back to Hawaii. That night, the radio reports that Leo was recovered by a Navy Destroyer and in good shape despite being fed thirty-six pounds of corned beef.


  • "You can never be sure you've taken the "wild" out of wild animals."


  • The lion sees the Castaways as various animals.
  • Mr. Howell playing "dead" per Gilligan
  • Gilligan's responses after thinking the lion ate Skipper.
  • Skipper showing Gilligan his juggle act, only to get hit with a third coconut.
  • The Skipper roaring like a hungry lion into letting Gilligan feed him corned beef.


Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • Unidentified actor as Gilligan's Stunt Double


  • The lion's off-screen name was Zamba.
  • Either the lion washed up sometime prior to this episode or there's a second lion on the island because in Gilligan's Mother-in-Law, Gilligan rushes out of a cave terrified of a lion's roar.
  • According to Dawn Wells, upon seeing the lion, they were required to fake their screams and walk away a short distance before running away so they would not scare the lion. Natalie Schafer also had a double for some of her scenes.
  • In one failed take, the lion actually jumped from the bed at Bob Denver, and a trainer ran in to grab it mid-air. Thankfully, due to the bed not being secure to the ground, it slid back, cancelling the lion's forward momentum, so it landed about two feet in front of Bob Denver, completely missing him. Surprisingly, Denver shrugged it off and agreed to do the take again, joking that the bed be kept unsecured in case the lion jumped again.
  • Gilligan thinks of the Lion as a pet, however, the Lion has different thoughts. To Leo, the Skipper is a cow, Mr. Howell is a bull, Mrs. Howell is a llama, Ginger and Mary Ann are does, the Professor is a owl and Gilligan is a big can of corned beef!
  • In this episode and in Love Me, Love My Skipper, it's suggested that from the relative positions of the huts that the Howell's Hut is between the Supply Hut and the Girl's Hut which face each other with the communal table and one tree in the center. (The Boy's Hut is never shown in this arrangement.) However, in most episodes, it's suggested that each hut is part of it's own clearing with nothing but jungle outside the entrance.
  • No one on the island must care for corned beef if they are willing to let Gilligan give it all up to the lion.
  • The appearance of the cans of beef on the island are a mystery, although they might have washed up on the island sometime prior after a storm.
  • When Gilligan suggests Mr. Howell promote a circus with him as a lion-tamer, Mr. Howell wants to be a ringmaster, Mrs. Howell wants to be a horse rider, Ginger a trapeze artist and the Skipper a juggling clown with Mary Ann as his hatchet-throwing assistant. The Skipper's costume possibly comes from the movie crate.
  • In several scenes in which very close interaction with the lion is required, a stunt double for Gilligan is used. It is very easy to tell which scenes these are by the double's unnatural attempts at covering his face with his arm. This "actor" might actually be the lion's owner and trainer.
  • The view of the lion as it drifts away in the lagoon looks unrealistic; it may be a prop.
  • It's unrevealed as to how the Navy deduces that Leo was fed thirty-six cans of corned beef.
  • When Gilligan is wondering what to do with the last can of corned beef, the Skipper roars like a hungry lion. This scene is usually cut from the syndicated versions of the episode. Other scenes sometimes edited out in syndication are when the lion sees the Castaways as food and the scene when the Skipper tries making Mary Ann his assistant.
  • "Feed The Kitty" is also the name of a Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Chuck Jones and written by Michael Maltese in which a bulldog named Marc Antony adopts a small cat, Pussyfoot, and tries to hide it from his owner.


  • Skipper - "Well, what do you know... he chose the lion!"
    Professor - "I wonder how long it'll be until the lion chooses him?"

  • Gilligan - "Leo? We gotta find him!"
    Mr. Howell - "We better find him or we won't find anyone!"

  • Skipper - "I'm fed up with Gilligan and his ideas."
    Mary Ann - "Just make sure his friend doesn't get fed up with you."