Leisha – In Memory


Leisha, a female Eurasian lynx, came to live at The Wildcat Sanctuary in 2005 when she was six years old.

Her owner surrendered her when city ordinances became more stringent. Insurance issues also came up that prevented ownership of an exotic pet. There are so many reasons why private ownership of wild cats is NOT something we support. These are just two of so many reasons owners have no idea about when they purchase a wild cat as a “pet.”

Life at the Sanctuary

Leisha arrived at The Wildcat Sanctuary a very socialized cat with a very healthy appetite. She’d been well cared for at her previous home and adjusted quickly to sanctuary life here.

She loves empty milk jugs and scents of all kinds. But the one thing she is not too fond of is other lynx. We tailor all of our cats’ habitats to fit their personalities. Since Leisha has made it very clear that she does not want to live near another lynx, she doesn’t.

She thoroughly enjoys the special habitat she roams near the bigger cats, the cougars, lions, and tigers.  She may look like a smaller cat, but she obviously has a big cat personality!

How You Can Help

Rescuing wild cats is so expensive since they each require such specialized care for many years. That’s why our sponsorship program is such a huge help! Would you consider being Leisha’s sponsor parent?

Or even a one time donation towards her care would help so much. It’s easy to do using the buttons you see at the top of this page.

Thank you for your compassionate support!


In Memory 2020

At 21, it was time for Leisha to move on to her new wild life in the sky.  She’d been diagnosed two years ago with slow growing cancer in her jaw. She really beat the odds by being so strong. But now, her body couldn’t fight any longer.

Leisha came to us 15 years ago after being privately-owned. Her very first day at the sanctuary, we knew Leisha had a personality all her own. She greeted us with her traditional ‘huff.’ Her way of reminding us things would be on her terms. And things really were each and every day, until the day we said good-bye.

Some might say she was a little rough around the edges, especially since she’d intimidate new staff and interns at feeding time.  But in reality, Leisha was very predictable.  She loved mealtime yet was a bit impatient about the service.

She loved to nap in her hammocks – up high in her younger years, and lower recently. She was easygoing about which habitat she lived in. She enjoyed living in different areas throughout the sanctuary, but only if she lived alone.  That was her one dealbreaker.  She didn’t like to share her space.

She was extremely confident and only needed to assert herself on occasion.  She lived next to tigers, lions and cougars.  The roars and yowls never bothered or intimidated her.  And during feeding time, she could hold her own in a building full of rowdy big cats – though of course she was always separated in her own room.

You couldn’t let her ‘huffing’ fool you.  If you stayed by her habitat long enough and she realized you weren’t scared off, she’d actually begin to purr, and head butt the fence.  It was her way of weeding out the weak.

She also liked enrichment.  Scents were her favorite and her face would be full of drool, her tongue sticking out.  These were the times she didn’t mind showing her silly side.

As she got older, she lost her hearing.  It didn’t cause her any problems, but caretakers would spend more time waking her from a deep sleep to come take her medication. Her naps got longer and more frequent, and we could see her slowing down.

The last week of her life, Tammy was so happy to capture her out on her platform in the sun – her favorite thing to do.

What a good long life Leisha had. The only other wish we had for her is that she’d been able to live it wild. She would’ve been great at living wild with that strong, independent personality. We’re so blessed we could give her the next best thing.

Enjoy your new wild life Leisha. The lions, tigers, cougars and your humans will miss you each and every day!