Animals have four regular care requirements. They can be fed, watered, groomed, and cuddled. This is done by clicking on the habitat and manually selecting the care to provide, or by hiring and invoking Assistants. While these upkeep tasks are central to gameplay, failing to perform them does not result in animals dying, or any negative effects. Performing these tasks is the main way a player accrues experience points and pawprints in ZooMumba, and is the only way to obtain some collection items. Animals requiring care cannot be moved to the Zoo Depot until they are cared for.
When a habitat's level of feeding, watering, or grooming fall from being fully satisfied by more than 10%, an icon of an animal face appears over the habitat. Depending on what the habitat is lacking, different symbols will accompany the face. Hunger causes a hand to appear with a knife and fork, thirst causes a hand to appear with a glass of water and straw, lack of grooming causes mud to appear on the face, and lack of cuddling causes a teddy bear to appear beside the face. A habitat which only requires cuddling will not have a face appear over it, but if another need triggers the face to appear, the teddy bear symbol for cuddling will show when it is needed.
Clicking on a habitat reveals to what extent the animals in that habitat need food, water, grooming, and cuddling. This is shown on four meters, one for each care type. A full green meter signifies that the need is satisfied, but over time, the meter will empty. How quickly the meter empties depends on the animal species and what the type of care it is. Animal species which are unlocked at higher levels are lower maintenance and do not need care as frequently as lower-level animals. In general, for all animals, the cuddling meter will deplete the fastest, followed by water, food, and then grooming. Clicking a care symbol will refill the corresponding meter and reward the player with experience. How much experience is awarded depends on the animal species, the type of care, and how much care was given (how empty the meter was for that care type).
Each animal species has a specific feed type (grass, meat, grain, fish, or fruit) which they eat exclusively. Alternatively, any species may be fed with XP Booster Feed or Pawprint Booster Feed. Every animal requires a certain number of feed units, depending on it's species. Habitats cannot be partially fed. A player must have enough feed on hand for all the animals in a habitat to feed that habitat. While the experience awarded for feeding varies according to how depleted the feed meter was, the same amount of feed units are consumed in all cases. Every time a habitat is fed, pawprints are awarded.
While there are seven different types of food (five regular and two premium), the only resource necessary to provide animals with a drink is water. Every animal requires a certain number of water units, depending on it's species. Habitats cannot be partially watered. A player must have enough water on hand for all the animals in a habitat to water that habitat. While the experience awarded for watering varies according to how depleted the water meter was, the same amount of water units are consumed in all cases.
Grooming & CuddlingEdit
Neither grooming nor cuddling consume any resources. Cuddling rewards much less experience per action than grooming and the least experience of all the upkeep care tasks, but it's meter depletes the fastest, and it can be clicked many times before the grooming meter needs to be clicked.
Sickness & HealingEdit
In addition to feeding, watering, grooming, and cuddling, it's possible for animals to become ill. The indicator face above the habitat will look sick and have a thermometer in it's mouth. Providing medicine will heal the animals in the habitat over time. Whereas the other care meters slowly deplete, the healing progress meter slowly fills. Power Pills may be given in lieu of medicine, and can even be administered after medicine, if healing is not yet completed. Power Pills instantly heal a sick habitat. Both medicine and Power Pills award pawprints, but healing sick animals does not award any experience. Habitats with sick animals cannot be moved to the Zoo Depot.