Bobcat Kitten at WildCare
When WildCare Medical Staff got the call from the Marin Humane officer that she was bringing in an orphaned Bobcat kitten, they expected a lanky juvenile, probably hit by a car. True wild kittens don’t usually leave their den and its surrounding area until they’re old enough to keep up with Mom on her hunting forays. Very young Bobcats are hardly ever seen by humans.
But the shoebox-sized carrier in the officer’s hand told a different story. This truly was a very small cat, and she needed the care only WildCare could give!
She had been found on a Marin County hiking trail. Her rescuer had seen her following another hiker, but when he and his dog walked up, the kitten switched her focus and began following him. On her wobbly little legs, the kitten couldn’t walk very fast, and it was very clear that she needed help. Borrowing a sweatshirt from a fellow hiker, he brought her to the Ranger station.
The Rangers saw that she was a healthy kitten, but with no idea where the den site was and a busy hiking trail as the site of rescue, attempting to reunite her with her mother was impossible. There was no way to know how this tiny kitten got separated from her mother. Fortunately, the Rangers knew about WildCare!
Our Wildlife Hospital is here for orphans like this one. With our help, this young cat will grow up to be wild and will eventually be set free. Click here to help us always be ready to care for a wild orphan in need!
Bobcats are powerful cats with razor-sharp claws and sharp teeth. They’re fast, fierce and aggressive, and they don’t take well to being examined in the Wildlife Hospital. As you’ll see in the videos, this spotted kitten was decidedly less menacing, but she still has sharp claws and teeth. Those, and her sensitive hearing and high stress levels meant Medical Staff wore gloves and kept their voices low during her exam.
Clinically healthy, but dehydrated, and with the usual allotment of ticks and fleas, Medical Staff gave the kitten hydrating subcutaneous fluids and a dose of flea and tick treatment. Then they offered her a dish of chopped up mice, which the kitten jumped into immediately.
Watch WildCare Medical Staff examine the Bobcat in the video below.
Bobcats are very difficult to raise in captivity, and, like all wild babies, they should never be raised solo. As cute as this kitten is, it might be tempting to think of her as a pet… maybe a slightly wilder version of a tabby cat.
But THIS kitten is going to grow up to be a Bobcat! An adult Bobcat will weigh between 15 and 19 pounds. That’s not terribly large for a wild cat, but these animals are unbelievably fierce! Watch this video of a WildCare Bobcat patient from a couple of years ago. She’s a young cat, and she probably doesn’t weigh more than 12 pounds, but we dare anyone to watch this cat and think of her as a cuddly pet (stay tuned till the end for the best part of the video!)
Once the Bobcat was stable, WildCare Director of Animal Care Melanie Piazza immediately began calling other wildlife centers in California to see if anyone had other young orphans with which this Bobcat could be placed. Fortunately Sierra Wildlife Rescue had two kittens only a few weeks older than our baby. After a week at WildCare to make sure she was stable enough to travel, this young Bobcat (and a large bag of food for her) traveled north to her new temporary home.
Sierra Wildlife Rescue has been giving us regular updates on her progress, and we are happy to know that she is thriving in the company of her two new siblings. She will remain at their center for at least another two months, and will return to WildCare, healthy, fierce and wild, to be released back into her home territory.
Stay tuned to our emails and “like” us on Facebook for updates on this gorgeous little patient!
Enjoy the videos below, taken on a motion-capture video camera, of the Bobcat kitten in her enclosure.