We received a call from a Minnesota owner looking to relinquish the four bobcats he owned. His 3-year old granddaughter had a very close call while near one of the cages and he was also scratched severely, requiring stitches. His family convinced him to reach out to The Wildcat Sanctuary in order to spare the bobcats’ lives.
He had purchased these four bobcats online from a Montana breeder. The owner’s intention was to breed them here in Minnesota and eventually kill them for their pelts. Montana breeders have been selling kittens for decades, for as much as $1,750. They will ship the cats anywhere, apparently with no questions asked, as long as the buyer can pay. Many of the cities and states where these wild cats end up have laws and ordinances that make it illegal to own them. But, for years, nothing has been done. It’s outrageous and heartbreaking that we have been called on to rescue so many, just like these four.
Sadly, the owner hadn’t even named the bobcats, hoping to remain detached. Even though all of our permanent habitats were full, we agreed to take them in since we were concerned about the safety of this family and the lives of these bobcats. This meant we quickly had to build temporary enclosures for the bobcats in order to rescue them.
The bobcats lived in 4×8 wire suspended cages in the owner’s backyard. The pick-up went extremely well and the owner was helpful. Once we safely captured and transported the bobcats back to the Sanctuary, our vet performed intake exams, as well as spay and neuters, on them. Three of the four bobcats need full dental treatments due to advanced dental disease. Two of the bobcats were spayed and neutered right away, with the remaining two scheduled soon after. All were treated for intestinal parasites, too.
Having never felt grass under their paws, this would be the bobcats’ first opportunity. It was a joyous moment when they were released into their temporary habitats. They began acting like kittens, exploring their new areas, tossing their enrichment high into the air, batting it around and rolling in the grass and on the different scents. We could hardly contain our tears as we watched them jumping from hammock to den, marking and hugging everything in sight. What a great day providing a home to these wild cats in need, giving them a second chance at life!
Three major news media stations were on-hand to cover the story of their rescue. You can watch their coverage here:
More details about the Minnesota bobcat rescue can also be read here:
A family member of the owner has since shared this: “Thank you for taking them! I am very glad he chose to let them live. I told him that you provide the most amazing life for the cats.”
We are so thankful they are with us, too!
When the four Minnesota bobcats were rescued from their owner’s backyard cages, they had no names.
Stelter was named in honor of one of The Wildcat Sanctuary’s top supporters, Peggy Fisher. It is a name that is very masculine and fits him quite well.
Stelter truly is the big boy of the group and the most unique looking bobcat we’ve ever seen. He is a stunning bobcat. While all the other bobcats weighed less than 24 lbs, Stelter weighs a whopping 34 lbs.! He has huge feet for a bobcat.
When he arrived, he was treated for intestinal parasites and was neutered. He lives with the golden-eyed female we’ve named Brianna.
It’s been a few months since Stelter, Brianna, Felicity, and Hamlin were rescued and brought to our Sanctuary. And my, oh my, how life has changed for them!
No longer timid, they’ve spent so much of their time exploring around the tall grass and flowers of their summer habitat. The trees, hammocks, pools, perches, and indoor dens have been such treats for them. Imagine how life has changed from what little they had before to all we’ve been able to give them now.
They’ve all been spayed or neutered and are free of parasites. Since they arrived with dental disease, three of the four will be having dental procedures this week.
We’re looking forward to finishing their new, large, free roaming habitats so they’ll be able to move into those before snowfall. Life just keeps getting better and better for these four! We’re so thankful to have supporters who help us provide the best of care for the cats we rescue.
UPDATED PHOTOS OF THE MINNESOTA BOBCATS ENJOYING LIFE AT TWS: