Bobcat Kitten Saved by Big Cat RescuePublished March 23, 2012
Big Cat Rescue
Last December, Rufus, a two month old bobcat kitten was hit by a car.
He was found on the side of a road in South Carolina. He was comatose, and had a broken jaw. This little guy must have had a guardian angel watching over him because Carolina Wildlife Care in Columbia, South Carolina took him in where he was treated for a broken jaw.
His jaw was set and wired in place and once he woke up from the coma he was tube fed.
But after several weeks of recuperation, his caregivers realized that something else was wrong with the five pound baby bobcat. While his eyes appeared normal, he was always bumping into things, and was unable to find his food even if it was put right in front of him.
After an eye specialist examined the kitten, although his pupils dilated and contracted correctly, the baby bobcat had received permanent brain damage as a result of the impact on his head, preventing visual information from reaching his brain.
Since Rufus’ injuries precluded his ever being able to survive living in the wild, Carolina Wildlife urgently began seeking the kitten a permanent home. Big Cat Rescue, located in Tampa, Florida - the largest accredited sanctuary in the United States answered their call for help and adopted the disabled kitten who is now five months old.
Rufus is now living at the onsite Cat Hospital where he is carefully monitored by staff and the veterinarian. While his jaw is completely healed and he is eating well, he still has difficulty finding his dinner. Since his injury diminished his sense of smell, his keepers must put his face right next to the plate so he can locate it. Tending to the bobcat kitten’s needs presents many challenges for his caretakers, but for everyone concerned, these challenges are well worth the effort.
Rufus is also a little slow to process situations, requiring that nothing in his room can be placed against a wall. Not yet able to figure out how to turn around, if he gets manages to get stuck between two things, he will sit with his nose against the wall, just waiting for someone to move him.
But as each day passes, he is making slow and steady progress. Every object in the room is always kept in the same place so Rufus can memorize their location, avoiding collisions. Each day he is taken to an outdoor enclosure for supervised playtime. Once he is totally comfortable in the new area, and has learned where everything is located, he will be able to remain outdoors the new area he will be able to remain outdoors fulltime. While he is undergoing this process, if he gets into trouble, rescuers are there to come to his aid.
“Meet” Rufus by watching the fascinating video uploaded to YouTube by Big Cat Rescue.
You can help Big Cat Rescue with the rehabilitation and care of the domestic bobcat by donating at Help Rehabilitate Domestic Bobcats. All donations make a difference.
While this ball of fur may look like an adorable, cuddly kitten, his keepers handle him only when necessary to preserve his wild animal status. How do you feel about bobcats kept as pets? Share your opinion in a comment.