A glimps into the world of wildlife rehabilitation…the world through a rehabber's eyes.

Bobkitten nursery

Our foster litter is getting really big! As our babies get out of quarantine, they are allowed to join the others loose in the nursery. We have baby proofed the entire room, and put down litter boxes, heating pads, and lots of hiding places and toys to help teach the babies paw-eye coordination, and to stimulate their instincts to chase and hunt, and hide.

The babies are all around the same age. We are slowly transitioning a couple of them to solid foods, and they are all doing beautifully. Our imprinted babies are allowed to run free with our wild babies so that they can learn to be more like their wild siblings. It is amazing to see how fast they grow! Marley has more than doubled in size since he arrived. His sister Pixie has grown too! Oliver hit a growth spurt, but so did his feet and ears. I lovingly call him puppy-feet because of his adorable disproportionate appearance 🙂

Our new arrivals still under quarantine, Riley and Stig, are very wild, but Riley appears to have either a back injury or a hip injury. We will have to desensitize him a bit so that he can handle the stress of a car ride to the vet and x-rays to determine the type and extent of his injuries. We feel that he may have been injured a while ago due to the atrophied appearance of his rear legs. Once we confirm the type of injury he has sustained, we will have to begin physical therapy to help him regain full range of motion in his hind end.

Little Theo is also cautiously doing well. He is still in critical care, and has to be monitored constantly. Our wonderful intern has taken on his care. He is now on formula, and eating very well. His hydration levels are normalizing, and he is more active and alert now that he is being given the appropriate treatment.

Theo and his sibling were found in an old car on someone’s property. They were very young (Theo is only two weeks old). The person that found them did not have any bobcat experience, and separated the two. Another citizen ended up with Theo. We were asked to step in and help with these kittens.  Initially we were told that one kitten was well, and the other was sick, and had been taken to a vet. What we were later told was that Theo’s sibling had actually already died, and that Theo was on death’s door. When we explained a little bit about bobcats, the person caring for Theo realized that he was over his head, and allowed us to come and get him.

Domestic animal vets generally do not know anything about bobcats, or treating the severely critical cases that WCCR often sees in these situations where a person has found one of these kittens and simply decided to keep it on a whim. The treatment and method prescribed by this vet, had it been followed, would have resulted in a dead bobcat kitten and a heart-broken family by morning. Situations like this are why WCCR feels so strongly about people not deciding to raise bobcats on impulse.

These animals are a HUGE commitment. Financially, emotionally, and time invested. These are long-lived animals with complex emotional, dietary, and medical needs. They do not do well-being raised from such a young age without extensive experience. WCCR is highly specialized in that we have unique insight into the universal needs of this cat due to the high volumes of bobcats that come through our doors.

Theo is one of the worst cases we have seen. He was so dehydrated and emaciated when he saw that vet, that they wrongly identified him as female. He was prescribed antibiotics that in bobcats in particular, have proven in our experience, to have little (if any) real benefit. The wait and see method they recommended lacked the aggressive treatment plan that we know all too well is essential for a kitten in his shape to even survive the night.

This tiny kitten was so dehydrated by the time we finally got him into our care, that at two weeks, his eyes had already popped opened. There just wasn’t enough moisture in his tiny body to keep his eyes closed. Because of this, we must work hard to ensure that we do not expose his still developing eyes to too much light or stimulation during the course of his treatment.

We are closely monitoring his every breath, every movement, and every reaction to everything in his environment. His care is highly specialized. We are doing everything in our power to keep this little one on his feet so to speak.

He continues to show daily improvement, and we hope the trend continues. If you would like to help with his care, monetary donations through the buttons on this blog or through our causes page on Facebook would be tremendously appreciated.

So far, this has been a late baby season. Probably due to the erratic weather we had this winter. It was a long wait for the babies to start showing up. All of us were anxious and excited to see the first ones arriving. Nadia was the first, and it has been a fairly steady flow ever since! We are all so excited that the babies are finally here! Bring ’em on! We’re ready!


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