Big Cats in Zoos: Do they get "treats"?

A few monents ago, my cats clustered around my legs and demanded their Whiskas Temptations treats (crunchy outside, chewey inside). As my vet describes them, they are “kitty crack.”

But what about lions and tigers in the zoo? Do they get similar treats?

Apparently they love pine trees, there is currently a drive to donate your old Christmas tree to local zoos!

Seems like they mostly like hunks of raw meat, but that they also like catnip, watermelon, and ice cream.

They also go crazy for pumpkins!

We, too, call it “kitty crack”. Our youngest is hopelessly addicted. If you walk into the kitchen, he immediately runs to the cupboard where this is kept and looks at you expectantly.

Lions and tigers get treats. They’re called “interns” and “docents”.

Like their domestic cousins, big cats also seem to like boxes:

But they're split when it comes to laser pointers:

Not as much nowadays, but they used to offer a buffet

They also enjoy bloodsicles in the hotter weather.

A pharmacist I know tells me that a lot of the big cats get anti-depressant meds at a nearby zoo. I don’t know how they intake these feel good meds but it probably is a highlight of their day.

I was told that the tigers in the Bronx Zoo also are given fishsicles (large frozen fish) in the winter, which is also mentioned as a treat for polar bears in Detroit.

Big Cats in Zoos: Do they get “treats”?

Depends on how many little kids fall in their pit.

Goats milk popsicles are popular among the lions in the San Francisco zoo, I was told. Apparently goats milk doesn’t keep well so they freeze left over portions, and the lions luuuuv it.

A recent news story: Unfortunate Deer Hops Into Cheetah Enclosure At National Zoo.

Heheheh. Nice touch to show the cheetah licking its chops.

I was gonna ask…do they get many free-roaming rodents? Gotta assume a place like a zoo has a lot of mice and chipmunks. Do they wander into cat enclosures?



A bit like having a pizza delivered.:slight_smile:

I think of it more like finding a free slice of cake in the break room. The leopard even pauses for a moment… “Anyone gonna eat this? No? Okay, it’s mine then.”

More like the pizza delivering itself. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the answers, folks. Interesting to hear about the treats that big cats in zoos get!