Influence of feeding raw or extruded feline diets on nutrient digestibility and nitrogen metabolism of African wildcats (Felis lybica)

  • Published source details Vester B.M., Burke S.L., Liu K.J., Dikeman C.L., Simmons L.G. & Swanson K.S. (2010) Influence of feeding raw or extruded feline diets on nutrient digestibility and nitrogen metabolism of African wildcats (Felis lybica). Zoo Biology, 29, 676-686


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Carnivores: Feed commercially prepared diets

Action Link
Management of Captive Animals
  1. Carnivores: Feed commercially prepared diets

    A replicated, randomized study in 2013 of African wildcats Felis silvestris lybica in a zoo in the USA found that when fed a high protein commercial extruded diet, crude protein digestibility was lower and food intake and faecal output were higher compared to feeding a raw meat diet. Crude protein digestibility was lower when consuming a commercial diet (84%) compared to a raw meat diet (92%). Food intake and faecal output were higher on a dry matter basis when fed the commercial extruded diet (61.8 and 12.9 g/day respectively) compared to a raw meat diet (43.7 and 6.7 g/day respectively). There were no differences in faecal scores, ammonia or fatty acid concentrations between diets and no differences in the apparent digestibility of other nutrients, most blood metabolite levels or nitrogen retention. If commercial diets are nutritionally similar to raw meat diets then they may be preferred to reduce the risk of pathogens. Five adult wildcats were fed a raw meat or a high-protein dry commercial extruded diet and then switched to the other diet. Food offered and refused was weighed daily. Urine and faeces were collected in metabolism cages. Blood samples were collected from anaesthetised wildcats and serum metabolite was determined.

Output references

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, terrestrial mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 18

Go to the CE Journal

Subscribe to our newsletter

Please add your details if you are interested in receiving updates from the Conservation Evidence team about new papers, synopses and opportunities.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust