Help us give Scarlet the clouded leopard the life she deserves!


By | January 3, 2013 at 2:14 pm | No comments | Animal Care, Blog, Home Feature Below Right, News, Programs, Rescues

When we are able to provide a home to another cat in need, we breathe a sigh of relief each time they reach our front door.  Once they are here, we can provide them a life of solace, health and compassion.

So, when a rescue comes through our door like Scarlet the Clouded leopard, we will do whatever it takes to provide her the best life we possibly can.  And we know you will be there to help us.

Clouded leopards are listed as endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service under the United States Endangered Species Act.  As of 2011, there were only 69 clouded leopards living in 24 institutions that participate in the Clouded Leopard Species Survival Plan.  We were thrilled to provide Scarlet the retirement home she deserved.  Once here, she was moved into quarantine with a heated den and plenty of logs and perches to climb.  Scarlet also underwent her intake exam.

During her exam, we discovered some devastating news.  A pre-implanted microchip helped us find out more about her past.  Being a rare cat, Scarlet was part of the Clouded Leopard studbook where her genealogy was tracked.  She bounced around through several breeding facilities and non-accredited zoos and actually was lost in the system.  Scarlet finally ended up at The Wildcat Sanctuary and we contacted the Species Survival Plan administrator to inform them of her whereabouts and status.

But the exam also uncovered health issues.  Her rear-end was necrotic and swollen, most likely from a combination of over breeding and being incontinent.  It was definitely painful and she was self mutilating due to the discomfort.  A tumor on her mammary gland was also discovered and biopsy performed.  And the most devastating news was that her initial blood work came back positive for Feline Leukemia.  The Feline Leukemia virus (FeLV) is a disease that impairs the cat’s immune system and causes certain types of cancer and is contagious between cats.  In many organizations, this would be a death sentence for Scarlet.  But we owed it to her to perform more tests, treat some of the health issues and see if, with the right support, she could begin to heal and continue to have a quality of life.

Two weeks later, a follow-up exam was performed.  Her back-end had dramatically improved with antibiotics and pain medication.  The infection had subsided and inflammation decreased.   The mammary tumor was malignant, but our vets felt they had gotten clear tissue margins when they removed it and the prognosis was good.  The second IFA Feline Leukemia test came back negative which meant she has exposure to the disease, but currently is not shedding the disease.

Our team made the decision that she deserves the best chance at a good life at TWS.  But it will take special care to provide for her.  And this is where you can help.

Because Feline Leukemia is spread by close and persistent contact between infected and non-infected cats, Scarlet will need a permanent habitat that is separated from the rest of the TWS population to ensure the disease cannot spread to the other cats.  In addition, she will need to be officially quarantined in terms of care, utensils and feeding.  She has been temporarily moved indoors for ongoing observation. Our vision for her permanent enclosure will be to provide her an indoor shift area as well as a 2000 sq foot enclosure that has ample landscaping for coverage for her shy nature, logs to climb and claw, and a hammock to lounge on.

The sooner we can raise the funds, the sooner Scarlet can begin enjoying her permanent habitat and new life at TWS.  Given the construction site is in the quarantine area, only a small team can work on the construction.  Outsourcing the enclosure vs. volunteers building it will ensure it is erected quickly with the least possible chance of cross contamination to our other residents.  The fence company can begin to work on her new habitat the last week of January.

It will cost:

  • $11,500 for the roofed enclosure with double door and shift door
  • $13,100 for the insulated building with indoor kennel and drainage
  • $1,800 to run electric and heat to the building from Wild Woodlands
TOTAL: $26,400

You can help Scarlet TODAY!

Or make a general donation on our website and write “Scarlet” in the notes section.

Checks are also accepted by mailing to The Wildcat Sanctuary, PO Box 314, Sandstone MN 55072



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