Just what do tigers eat anyway? The answer to that may seem obvious, and in a sense it is. Tigers are carnivores, meat eaters, but they occasionally supplement their diets with vegetation as well. When it comes to describing the dietary needs of the tiger, it needs to be taken into account that this is a big animal, the largest of the cats, and requires a fair amount of food in order to stay healthy and alive. How much food? One estimate is 20 to 25 pounds of food a day, mostly meat.
Tigers Eat What Is Fair Game. Mostly Anything - What do tigers eat to get the needed amount of meat they need? Mostly deer and wild pigs. Tigers are not the most efficient hunters in the cat family, though they generally do well, but usually need to cover a wide area to be able to get at all the food they require.
While deer and wild pigs make up the typical tiger's diet, they are not adverse to attempting to take down anything else that ventures near, including buffalo, wolves and even baby elephants, though the tiger normally won't mess with an adult elephant, or a rhino for that matter. Tigers also eat monkeys and birds, at least those they can catch, and will eat fish as well. While most cats don't like water, except for drinking, and most can't swim, the tiger doesn't mind the water at all, in fact is an excellent swimmer. While a tiger doesn't spend much time fishing, that option is open.
Dogs Eat Grass – Tigers Eat Grass - Although the tiger is a carnivore, it will on occasion eat grass, and sometimes fruit. That doesn't exactly make it an omnivore. The tiger eats just enough grass to fulfill whatever needs it thinks necessary, which is usually to help the digestive process along. This is no different that the situation where our domestic dogs and cats occasionally eat a little grass, often to be vomited up later.
Pet Tigers And Captive Tigers - A pet or captive tiger obviously isn't going to eat the same as it does in the wild. What do tigers eat when in captivity? The staple food is of course meat, usually carcass meat, provided to satisfy the tiger's need for fat and protein. To ensure the health of captive tigers, the carcass meat is usually fortified, or if not, supplemental feed is provided, to ensure the tiger gets all the essential nutrients it requires.
In the wild, a tiger will eat every day when food is available, but on some days may go without when it is not. Captive tigers are often fed almost every day, but are required to fast once or twice a week. This practice appears to benefit the overall health of the cat. On fasting days, a captive tiger may be given some large bones to work on, not just to keep it occupied, or to keep its mind off food, but to help keep its teeth in prime condition. Captive tigers, and pet tigers as well, usually need a little less food per day, as much as 20% less than they would normally consume in the wild, due to their more sedentary life style. Prowling back and forth in an enclosure, no matter how large, isn't the same as traversing several miles each day the search of something to eat.
Keeping a pet tiger well fed could be somewhat of a challenge, unless you have a slaughterhouse nearby and a large capacity freezer. Yet tigers in captivity often tend more to be overweight than trim and lean, especially pet tigers who may live a very sedentary lifestyle, while being pampered with too many extra treats. Captive tigers, in zoos, are much more apt to be given a well-regulated and balanced diet, designed to keep them fit and trim.