Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What Does Jasper Like to Eat?

We were concerned when our new little bobcat, Jasper (formerly known as “Faith”) refused to eat the raw meat, treats, and bones we provide all our bobcats.  Each time he was presented meat or bones, he would turn his head away. 

Is that a lizard in the side of his mouth?
We tried all kinds of meats in the hopes that the boy would like something, anything at this point.  We noticed he caught a lizard, but we didn’t know if he actually ate the reptile.  

Even though bobcats are able to go for long periods without food, we just couldn’t allow this situation to continue.  A solution to this problem had yet to surface until… 

…Vicky thought of trying to feed Jasper regular canned cat food made for domestic cats.  Vicky popped the top, placed the cat food in his dish, and wouldn’t you know it, Jasper immediately began to eat!  Hallelujah! 

There’s no doubt about it—Jasper was raised as a pet in someone’s home (as if his collar didn’t give that fact away already)! 

Jasper will be visiting the vet soon and we will be working on a dietary plan to slowly transition him from wet canned cat food to a raw meat diet.   Our first step will be to offer Jasper a canned meat formula made especially for exotic cats.   Once he accepts the change in his diet, then we will transition from the formulated canned food to raw meat.

Our goal?  A healthy, happy Jasper!
Exotic cats require a special diet to maintain optimal health.  Their diet should consist of raw meat only because commercial wet and dry foods are made for domestic cats and may not necessarily be a healthy choice for a wild exotic animal. Domestic cat food, for the most part, is loaded of chemicals, fillers, and processed meats and may not meet the exotic cat’s vitamin and mineral needs. 

For instance, if the cat food provided contains phosphorus and not enough calcium, then the result may be brittle bones and other health problems for the animal.  Exotic cats need the correct ratio of the two minerals to be able to utilize the calcium for proper bone growth. 

Once Jasper transitions from wet cat food to a raw meat diet, enriched with vitamins and minerals, we believe his dietary needs will finally be met.  Hopefully by then, Jasper will enjoy treats and bones—but for now, it looks like he’ll be dining on a big old can of Friskies cat food tonight!


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