Many small exotic cat species including black footed cats, servals, bobcats, fishing cats, African wildcats and caracals reside at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo. In addition, species such as Pallas cats, ocelots, sand cats and Canada lynx are found in AZA institutions throughout North America. Many of these species develop health concerns thought to be nutritionally related.
The Comparative Nutrition Department at Omaha's Zoo has been conducting studies with small cats fed grain-free domestic cat foods, raw beef based diets, or whole prey (in the form of rodents or fish) to determine nutrient digestibility, blood parameters and gastrointestinal tract health. These results will be used by Omaha's Zoo to develop the best diets possible for these small cat species.