Zoo partners with Banfield Pet Hospital on 'Big Cat Care'

March 27, 2018 - 7:35pm

New program shares preventive care and enrichment tips for cats large and small

Whether you're caring for a 500-pound African lion or a cuddly 10-pound tabby, many elements of essential cat care remain the same. With that in mind, the Oregon Zoo is partnering with Banfield Pet Hospital to expand its popular lion-keeper talks this month, presenting information about enrichment and preventive care for cats, both big and small.

Big Cat Care, presented by Banfield, launches March 31 and is free with zoo admission. At the Big Cat Care stage, visitors can see firsthand how zoo animal-care experts keep the lions active and engaged, and train them to participate in their own preventive care. Keepers will also share information on how guests can provide preventive care and enrichment for their domestic cat companions.

"We're excited to share our big cat care training and enrichment tips with visitors, and we hope they apply them to their little cats at home," said Becca Van Beek, who oversees the zoo's Africa section.

The Big Cat Care program is part of a larger partnership between the zoo and Banfield Pet Hospital, which provides opportunities for kids and families to learn about the fundamentals of responsible pet ownership. One result of this collaboration is an enrichment guide for cats, produced by zoo and Banfield experts in 2016 and recently updated.

"Although cats at home may not get the meatballs keepers feed to Zawadi, Kya and the rest of the pride, they share many of the same needs, from enrichment to veterinary care," said Dr. Daniel Aja, chief medical officer at Banfield. "We hope our partnership with the Oregon Zoo inspires visitors to take tips from the lions straight to their living room."

Big Cat Care runs every Saturday, March 31–May 25, then weekends May 26–June 3. Daily talks begin June 9 and run through the summer season. Talks take place at 11 a.m. at the Big Cat Care stage in the zoo's Predators of the Serengeti habitat.

About Banfield Pet Hospital:
Founded in Portland, Ore., in 1955, Banfield is the largest general-veterinary practice in the world. In 2007, Banfield joined the Mars, Inc., family of businesses, and today has more than 1,000 hospitals across the United States and Puerto Rico. More than 3,500 Banfield veterinarians are committed to providing high-quality veterinary care for 3 million pets annually. Banfield's charitable arm, the Banfield Foundation, was established in 2015 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the well-being of pets and communities. In 2017, Banfield Pet Hospital — including the work of the Banfield Foundation — was named among Points of Light's Civic 50 as one of the most community-minded companies in the U.S. Press seeking additional information are invited to call the Media Hotline: (888) 355-0595.