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A Santa Clarita resident found this and another orphaned bobcat kitten in his backyard. Security video showed the mother had not been seen for two days. Submitted photo/Jenn Guess
Technicians interact with the patients as little as possible and don't let the bobcats see them placing diets in their enclosure. Submitted photo/Brittany Moser
Heather Patrice Brown, Development Coordinator, California Wildlife Center
7:53 am PDT September 9, 2020

On Aug. 30, California Wildlife Center received a call about two orphaned bobcat kittens in Santa Clarita. A member of the public found them in his yard and outdoor cameras revealed the mother had not been seen for two days. The bobcats arrived at CWC that same day for care.

Wildlife technicians examined the kittens and found that they were uninjured but were covered in fleas and had small rocks and feces caught between the pads on their feet. Their paws were cleaned, and the bobcats were given flea treatment. Further tests revealed the patients had intestinal parasites, so they were prescribed an anti-parasitic medication.

Technicians vaccinated the bobcats against distemper, a very contagious and deadly disease, as well as rhinotracheitis and calicivirus, two respiratory viruses common in cats.

The bobcats have a good prognosis, are eating well, and gaining weight. The larger of the two is more feisty and growls when disturbed. Technicians interact with the patients as little as possible and don't let the bobcats see them placing diets in their enclosure. Animals who associate people with food cannot be released to the wild as they are likely to become a nuisance and a possible danger to others.

The kittens will be transferred to outdoor enclosures as soon as they are old enough and will remain at CWC until the spring when they will be able to fend for themselves in the wild.

Bobcats are the most common wild cat in North America, ranging from southern Canada to Mexico. They live in a variety of habitats, including forests, wetlands, scrub and deserts. The cats are crepuscular, sleeping most of the day and during the middle of the night, and hunting at dawn and dusk.

The tufts on bobcats' ears improve their hearing, helping them find their prey of mostly rabbits, as well as rodents and birds. They hunt by stalking and can run up to 30 miles per hour. Bobcats are also excellent climbers and can leap high enough to catch low-flying birds.

Bobcats are solitary except for mating and have large territories: 6 square miles for females and up to 60 square miles for males. They usually avoid people and tend to run away rather than stand their ground.

Large predators (coyotes, foxes, bobcats and mountain lions) should only be transported by trained professionals. If you see a sick or injured bobcat keep an eye on it from a distance and contact CWC (310-458-9453) or your local animal control agency immediately.

Sponsor an Animal

You can help support the care of these vulnerable bobcat kittens. Consider sponsoring them. Each sponsorship includes:

  • Personalized sponsorship certificate
  • Photo
  • Species fact sheet

You can add a plush replica of your sponsored animal for an additional fee. Sponsorships also make great gifts. Click here to learn more or sponsor an animal today.

The Week in Numbers

Current number of patients in care: 180

New patients this week: 18


California Wildlife Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides medical and rehabilitative care to more than 4,300 sick, injured, and orphaned native California animals every year. Click here to donate.