What do big cats eat. some big cats eat elephants and some eat even smaller big cats like ocelots and bobcats. the only time a big cat eats a person that is because the big cat did not fell safe. What do big cats eat? I will go through the 8 largest cats, not just the panthera genus big cats. Lions- Lions can hunt the biggest game because of teamwork. Lion prides will prefer to hunt wildebeest, zebra, cape buffalo, and giraffe.
There is also an extended definition of big cats that includes the lion, tiger, jaguar, leopard and snow leopard, plus four other large wild cats — cheetahs, cougars also called pumas and mountain lionsclouded leopards and Sunda clouded leopards. Big cats are all members of the Felidae family cat-family, a biological classificationalong with small wild cats and domestic cats. The lion, jaguar, tiger, leopard, and snow leopard are members of the Felidae family, the subfamily Pantherinae and the genus Panthera.
The clouded leopard and Sunda clouded leopard are members of the Felidae family and the subfamily Pantherinae what did i just say well, but their genus is Neofelis. The cougar and cheetah are members of a different Felidae subfamily called Felinae. Within the Felinae subfamily, the cheetah is a member of the Acinonyx genus, and the cougar is a member of the Puma genus.
Read more about big cat classifications. Only four of the big cats, the lion, tiger, jaguar and leopard can roar. The lion has the longest larynx, and the biggest roar. They live in many different habitats, including grasslands, savannas, swamps, forests and mountain regions. The only big cats that inhabit North America are the cougar mountain lion what country was the statue of liberty originally made for jaguar very rarely.
There are also jaguars and cougars in Central and South America. Asia is home to several species of big cats, including cheetahs, leopards, lions, tigers and clouded leopards. African big cats include cheetahs, leopards and lions. The Persian leopard and Asiatic cheetah inhabit the Middle East. Excluding the lion and cheetah, big cats generally lead a solitary life. Lions live in prides a group of lions that include females related to each other and their offspring, as well as some adult males.
Adult male cheetahs what do big cats eat live and hunt with brothers in pairs or larger groups of male siblings. Sometimes lone male cheetahs will join up with what do big cats eat groups.
All big cats are carnivores meat eaters. Their diet varies depending on the cat and location. Big cat prey includes hoofed animals like deer, boar and wild pig; rabbits, birds, rodents, reptiles, amphibians, fish and even insects. Some big cats will also eat vegetation.
Big cat populations have declined dramatically around the world due to habitat loss, hunting, poaching and illegal trading of their fur and body parts.
Those wild animals cannot survive in sufficiently large numbers unless their habitats remain intact. Humans have been encroaching on these habitats, while poverty, greed and ignorance have been driving the illegal trade in wildlife. So big cats, like many other species of wild animals, are under threat as never before. Want to learn more about big cats? Check out our List of Big Cats, which is a compilation of all the big cat species and subspecies, along with their conservation status.
What interests you the most about big cats? Leave a comment below. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Very few people can meet the needs of a wild cat, especially a big cat. The cat will often end up spending its life in a small cage. Many are eventually euthanized killed.
They are also dangerous, and have injured and even killed their owners. As I want to become what do big cats eat officer in india. I will dedicate my whole life in conservation of flora and fauna. Search for:. The clouded leopard is considered a link between big what do big cats eat and small wild cats.
Classifying Big Cats Big cats are all members of the Felidae family cat-family, a biological classificationalong with small wild cats and domestic cats. There are two Felidae sub-families, the Pantherinae and the Felinae. Share and Enjoy! Most reacted comment. Hottest comment thread. Recent comment authors. Notify of. Vote Up 0 Vote Down. Vote Up 3 Vote Down. Marthe Carey. We are curious who would win a battle between a tiger or a lion?? Vote Up 4 Vote Down. Mandar Kokate.
Some protein-rich foods cats like to eat are: Salmon Trout Herring Mackerel Tuna Whitefish Chicken Turkey Pheasant Beef.
This means that meat is essential for their diet. But of course, to get a better sense of what cats naturally eat, we must look at wild cats. They are self-sufficient animals that fend for themselves and pick exactly what is needed for their bodies. We mentioned that cats depend entirely on meat. Vitamin C, however, is pretty much the only thing their bodies produce. Their hunting skills and sharp instincts provide them with the rest.
For that reason, cats usually eat their prey whole. Unfortunately for them, that amino acid is essential for eyesight and heart function. Fortunately for them, they can hunt. Taurine is mostly found in muscle meat, where cats get it from their prey. Well, when we said cats eat every part of their prey, we meant literally every part, except, the guts. Cats get their B vitamins and minerals from the organs. Now that we understand why and how essential it is for cats to eat meat. Now that we understand why cats are obligate carnivores.
Cats are practical. They will take advantage of all of their opportunities and hunt whenever they can and eat whatever they get. But, generally, there are several factors that come into play when it comes to what cats hunt in the wild. European wildcats mostly depend on small mammals like rabbits, rodents, and birds. Especially poultry birds if they live near human settlements. A general rule is, the bigger the cat the bigger the prey.
Smaller cats focus on rodents, birds, and fish. And bigger ones, like lions and leopards, will focus on deer. Lions, for example, can also hunt and eat giraffes and elephants. As it has a lot to do with hunting skills too. Because of hibernating and other climate factors, the variety of prey changes from season to season. That affects the diet of wild cats. It gets them to adapt to the prey they could find even if it makes it harder for them.
The sex of the cat is a big factor when it comes to hunting. Contrary to expectations, female cats are both better at hunting and hunt more frequently.
This is logical. So they need more food. They also have to hunt faster and catch better prey to provide for their young. Cats usually start hunting for themselves around 6 months and sometimes even younger. Male cats are usually good at hunting too when they have a mate or litter. Social structure is an important factor as it affects the variety of prey.
Depending on that particular location and animal society, cats would go higher or lower on the food chain hierarchy. That is also influenced by all the other factors like the size.
For example, lions are usually on the highest levels of the hierarchy. That goes back to not just their size, but their social skills mixed with their hunting skills.
Those following living things are the most commonly eaten as preferred prey. Rodents, alongside rabbits, are most likely the largest part of the diet of average-sized cats.
Actually, in Europe, rodents are the main source of protein for wild cats. Even for domesticated cats, rodents are the most hunted and sometimes eaten.
The size of the bird correlates with the size of the cat. Bigger cats catch bigger birds. They exist in large numbers in most locations of the world and are easily caught.
Bats, considered small mammals, are also majorly hunted by cats. Cats who live closer to bat caves have bats as their main source of food. A cat with advanced hunting skills can take a squirrel by surprise.
Reptiles are more relevant to location than the other animals mentioned as they usually live in warmer places. Cats get around that by sometimes only eating the head and leaving the body. In deserts, wild cats depend almost solely on snakes and other reptiles for food. In Australia, feral and pet cats, let alone wild cats, hunt over a billion reptiles a year. Fish is also extremely relevant to location. But wild cats living near lakes have fish as a major part of their protein intake.
Insects like grasshoppers offer wild cats a big intake of protein in certain seasons. So generally, spiders are harmless except for a couple of types, like Black Widows or Hobo Spider. While not a nutritious source most of the time, cats still need it to clean their digestive systems of hairballs. They also purposely eat upsetting plants when they eat bad meat and need to get it out of their system.
Some of their favorite plants are grass, bean sprouts, and catnips. Catnips specifically are likable by cats, because even though they could cause diarrhea and other health issues, it has a sedative and euphoric effect on cats. Due to the recent health issues of cats and reevaluation of how we feed them now, people are starting to look back to what wild cats eat.
Not all cats are the same. They have their own preferences too. Raw food does have its benefits, of course, it is the natural nourishment for cats. For example, cooking bones will take the calcium out of them and also make them brittle with sharp pointers. However, if you make the choice to go that way, you should do it with carefulness. Only bones that are easily chewed by them, like chicken ribs or wings.
They still remain absolutely fascinating with their effect on wildlife. Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links; we will earn a commision, at no additional cost to you, if you make a purchase through one of our links. Table of Contents. Should we feed our pet cats like their wild cousins?