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How to Feed a Pet Lion

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Red meat

  • Horse meat

  • Chicken backs and necks

How to Feed a Pet Lion. Pet lions require a high fat, high protein diet. Without a properly balanced diet, a pet lion can be susceptible to eye sight problems, heart conditions and a weakened immune system. These problems are rare in the wild where lions consume entire animals for food, but in captivity it is your responsibility to provide proper nutrition to your pet lion and avoid illness.

Feed Your Pet Lion

Feed your lion by sliding his food off a tray and placing the food on the ground. Pet lions have been known to take metal or plastic bowls and destroy them in a matter of seconds because they do not understand the concept of eating out of a container.

Pay close attention to the amount of calcium you feed to your baby lion. To provide adequate calcium, feed your baby lion bones with a small amount of meat attached once or twice a week. Bones also works like a toothbrush for your lion by cleaning tarter from the teeth when chewed.

Provide portion control for your pet lion. In the wild, lions eat their large prey in one sitting and then fast for several days before hunting again. Because captivity does not allow for lions to find their own food you must provide them with enough food for each day. Your pet lion should eat between 15 to 25 pounds a day of food, or roughly 5 to 7 percent of his body weight.

Feed your pet lion a commercial prepared diet for balanced nutrition. While prepared food will not allow your pet lion the pleasure of dissecting its prey before eating it entirely, your lion will have all the nutrients it needs.

Mirror your lion's natural eating habits by feeding a diet of raw, chunk meat. Feed your lion red meat or horse meat if it is available for its nutritional value. Just as lions would eat in the wild, alternate 5 days of chunk meat, and then allow them to fast for 1 or 2 days.


  • Alternate 1 or 2 days of red meat (or horse meat) with chicken backs and necks if you notice a dull, dry coat on your lion. Chicken backs and necks will boost your lion's fat intake and improve his coat. Supplement a prepared commercial diet with bones for dental health. Most pre-packaged diets available for your pet lion will not provide adequate teeth cleaning.


  • Feed your lion raw meat, since cooking meat removes some of the essential nutrients lions need. Refrain from feeding your pet lion raw fish products. Fish have oils which turn rancid quickly and can damage your lion's tissue, causing health problems later on.