Buddy 2, a male bobcat, was 18 years old when he arrived at The Wildcat Sanctuary in July of 2022. We’re calling him Buddy 2 since we have another rescued wild cat named Buddy already.
We specialize in caring for geriatric cats, especially when they grow into their senior years here at the sanctuary. Over the years, we’ve taken in many cats who are over 18 – which is the average life expectancy of a wild cat in captivity.
Providing a home for these special seniors is a decision we don’t take lightly. The stress of the move or living in an unfamiliar area can be detrimental to them, both physically and emotionally. We make an overall evaluation, deciding if bringing a specific geriatric cat to the sanctuary is the right move.
Over the years, we’ve developed protocol and procedures designed for these types of intakes. Of course, we aim to decrease stress for those coming to the sanctuary, whether old or young.
Meme, our very first tiger rescue, was over 20 years old when we brought her home. Other sanctuaries thought a cross country transport might be too much for her. But we gave her a chance and took her in, and I’m so glad we did! She was a very special tiger who changed the trajectory of the sanctuary in a positive way.
Since that time, we’ve taken in many other geriatric cats. Those who come to mind include bobcat Amos, cougar Harold, serval Nacho, lynx Cleo, caracals Ivan and Nigel, tiger Layla, lions Wally and Marlene and bengal Nala.
And some we’ve rescued have even been 24 years old or older, like strong lioness Saltena and sweet bobcat Murray.
It’s never just about saving a life; it’s about ensuring the life they have left is well-lived.
So, when we received a call about two senior cats, our Founder Tammy spent a lot of time talking to the owner. It was a decision neither took lightly.
This is the last decision this person thought she would ever have to make. Running a wildlife facility earlier in her life, she planned on keeping these cats until they passed away. Sadly, her health was declining, and the responsibility for the care of the cats and land were just too much.
All scenarios were discussed to determine what was best for the cats. How were they living now? How was their health? How did they deal with change? Were they easily stressed by change/strangers? Would a different climate be better? Even humane euthanasia was considered.
In the end, she felt our sanctuary could provide the best retirement home for 18-year-old Buddy 2 and 21-year-old Kisa Marie, a Eurasian Lynx. She knew that no matter how much time they had left, TWS would make sure it was quality time.
Life at the Sanctuary
Our staff made the 1700-mile round trip to Kansas to ensure this special cargo, Buddy and Kisa Marie, made their way safely back home to the sanctuary.
We were happy to see Buddy engage with caretakers right off the bat, enjoying feather playtime with them. He also was quite vocal with his neighbor Aurora, our sassy caracal.
After his quarantine period was up, he and his friend Kisa Marie moved to adjoining habitats. After Kisa Marie passed, Buddy moved to a very large, free-roaming habitat in the Roar Ridge section of the sanctuary. There, he has next door bobcat neighbors Tao and Bogart.
But Buddy really enjoys his own company and doesn’t really pay much attention to the other cats. He’s definitely a creature of habit, since he lived by himself with his former owner, too.
Originally, Buddy was nervous with the sounds and activity at the sanctuary. We were careful to avoid too much around his habitat until he began associating the sounds of our UTVs with food – a positive for him. And he loves having a natural habitat with so much to explore.
As an older gentleman, Buddy receives the love and care here with us as he did from his former owner. His final chapter is one you can tell Buddy is enjoying here at the sanctuary.
How You Can Help
As you can imagine, rescuing a geriatric cat is expensive. The last chapter of their lives can be the most expensive.
Would you consider helping by becoming Buddy 2’s sponsor parent? It would help cover medications, a special diet, habitat modifications and so much more.
An annual sponsorship costs $300 or $25/month if you’d like to pay in installments. We’ll be happy to send you photos and updates whenever you reach out to us during the year. You can click the button at the top of this page if you’re interested.
Thank you for welcoming Buddy home!