An adult tiger eats from 18 to 27 kilograms of food a night (40 – 60 pounds). Other examples of how much tigers eat at one sitting or during one day are as follows:
- A male tiger ate 35 kilograms of flesh in one night (77 lbs).
- A tigress consumed 30 kilograms of flesh at one sitting (an adult chital). It took her from mid-morning on one day to the morning of the next day to do it.
- A tigress and and two young ate 102 kilograms (225 pounds) of flesh in two days (17 kgs per animal per day).
- One large buffalo plus an adult cow were eaten in six days by four tigers.
The maximum a tiger can eat over 24 hours is a fifth of its body weight. At the end of eating the carcass of the prey, it will be decomposing. The flesh of a carcass decomposes in two days in hot weather. Tigers will eat putrified flesh covered in maggots. The information above comes from Wild Cats of the World by Mel and Fiona Sunquist (ISBN: 0-226-77999-8). It is the best book on the wild cats. If you want specific references for the above information, please ask in a comment.
Dr Desmond Morris writes in his book Cat World that tigers ‘will set about gulping down as much as 30 kg (66 lb) of meat in a single sitting’.
When a tiger is sated on their flesh they may stay with the carcass until ready to restart eating or they may cover it to return and restart. The tiger is a ‘careful eater, leaving little for scavengers’. This is because despite its enormous strength and hunting prowess of the tiger it is not as efficient at hunting as some people think. Observations by scientists reveal that its hunting success rate is 1 in 20 or five percent.
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