In March of 2015, we received a very familiar call – a private owner whose life circumstances were quickly changing and it would be impossible for him to keep the exotic cat he so loved. His Canada Lynx had spent all thirteen years of her life with he and his wife, living indoors as a household pet here in Minnesota. But, because of a divorce and a move to an apartment, it would be impossible for him to keep her. So, wanting to do the best for her, he contacted The Wildcat Sanctuary in hopes we could take her in.

Cleo had never experienced the outdoors or all the things a Canada Lynx loves; grass to catnap in, pines trees to smell, and snow under those big, gigantic paws. Though she’s a wild cat by nature, she’d always been treated as a domestic cat by her owner.

Naturally, once she arrived, her first days at the Sanctuary proved to be a big adjustment for her. Everything was so new and scary. The caretakers gave her plenty of tender loving care, helping her acclimate to her new life. Cleo had been fed a canned food for exotics her entire life. She never had the typical raw meat diet that Canada Lynx eat in the wild. It didn’t take long for her to begin enjoying her new chicken diet while getting used to the sights, sounds and new neighbors she began meeting at the Sanctuary.

We’re thankful that our supporters donate so that we can provide cats like Cleo the chance they need to live out their lives the best way possible – wild at heart!

If you’d like to help us help others, you can donate HERE. If you’d like to become Cleo’s sponsor parent, she’d love50 percent declaw regrowth that! You can sign up for her HERE.


Cleo had been 4-paw declawed by her previous owner. Declawing involves amputating the toes of a cat up to the first joint. It is not just removal of the claws. To declaw a cat, the veterinarian cuts off the last knuckles of a cat’s paw – cutting through bone, tendons, skin and nerves. In a person, it is equivalent to amputating each finger or toe at the last joint.

Sadly, almost 70% of the cats that come to The Wildcat Sanctuary have been 4-paw declawed before they arrive.   Regrowth of bone and numerous bone fragments left under the skin can cause permanent lameness, excruciating pain, or arthritis.  During Cleo’s intake exam, we found she has regrowth on 50% of her toes which will need to be monitored and repaired.  We urge everyone to find out more about declawing HERE.

Cleo’s made herself at home at The Wildcat Sanctuary.Minnesota adventures 001CleoCleo square