Big Cats, Big Appetite

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In the 26 years that the Exotic Feline Rescue Center has been open the population has grown from three to more than 200 exotic cats.

With the rescue center sometimes having as many as 250 animals, that means a lot of food.

Founder Joe Taft, says that they get creative in where they get their food.

“We feed several thousand pounds of meat a day, farmers will bring us down livestock,’ said Taft.

But these cats don’t eat a simple can of food, they eat big meat and a lot of it.

Taft says that the appetite of the cats changes by season.

“On a cold day, tigers like this could eat 30 to 40 pounds of meat a day and they will want that every day, they will say give it to me, give it to me. On a day like this, this guy will eat 6 to 8 pounds, at 10 pounds he might have leftovers.”

The rescue center feeds the cats an assortment of meats from different animals like chicken, cows, horses, or road kill dear.

“So everybody with a dead cow likes us, and that has been a real boom for us over the years.”

And Taft says, just like humans, each cat has a favorite.

“By feeding them all every day we sort of develop a sense for what they like the best and we try to cater to that as much as possible.”

The rescue gets a lot of food donated from Tyson and local grocery stores and the local community helps out too by bringing in their own donations as well.

So they do not have to purchase a lot of the food they use.

Taft says that they can only use road kill if it is fresh and with all the donations they get they do not travel far for it.

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