On August 24, an orphaned Bobcat kitten sat and peered into a chicken coop in Redmond, WA. She was starving, and the chickens on the other side of the wire must have looked too good to be true. In reality, she was so small and frail that a chicken might have been more than she could handle. Fortunately, the person to whom the chickens belonged recognized that the kitten was in need of help. She placed a live trap near the chicken coop baited with exactly what the cat was longing for—chicken giblets. The next morning the woman transported the newly captured bobcat to PAWS.
Although she weighed only 3.6 pounds at admission, the Bobcat kitten had the fight and attitude of a much larger cat. Had she been well fed, she likely would have weighed at least twice as much. We anesthetized her so she could be given a thorough examination without risk of injury to her or her handlers.
Besides being extremely underweight, the Bobcat was found to be in good health and injury free. We removed one small tick from underneath her left eye, but she did not have any fleas or other ectoparasites. Clearly she had been separated from her mother for several days, but she arrived in our care before she had declined to the point that she might have serious long-term health issues.
If all goes well, the Bobcat will be in our care until sometime next spring. By then she will have grown into an impressive sub-adult cat, ready to return to her rightful place in the wild.