September 5, 2017

There are so many reasons why wild animals shouldn't be pets. So many stories we hear break our hearts. And some cats are still sad, even though they find their way to the sanctuary. But we know we gave them all we could for the time they were here, and that's the most we can ever do.

After a long battle with renal disease, we've let Canada Lynx Cleo finally be free.
For most of her life, Cleo was kept as a pet in a household. And even though she was loved by her family, she never got to experience what being a lynx truly was. She was in her teen years before she was surrendered to the sanctuary due to a divorce.

Experiencing grass under her feet for the first time should be exhilarating. But for her it was frightening. The interior of a house was all she knew. She'd imprinted on the humans that raised her and didn't imprint again.

She'd been declawed and had spinal arthritis from a past injury. She had chronic GI issues so she couldn't eat a raw diet like the other wild cats at the sanctuary.

Cleo's Life at The Wildcat Sanctuary

Most cats transition in a very short time to their new wild life here. But Cleo put up a wall and wouldn't let us in. We'd watch Cleo from a closed circuit TV to make sure she was okay and adjusting to her life at the sanctuary.

We loved her and hoped she'd realize just how special she was to us all. We gave her a comforter and stuffed animal. We'd often find her curled up with both.

After a few months, she'd run along the outdoor shared wall with geriatric bobcat, Salem. Sometimes for play, sometimes to assert her dominance.

But even with the best medical care for her ailments, enrichment, indoor and outdoor areas, Cleo always appeared a little unsettled. A wild cat caught between two worlds, life was always an internal struggle for her. But now, she can finally be free.

Cleo, we loved you more than you'll ever know. We tried harder than you'll ever understand. We've given you the last gift we possibly can, to finally live your forever wild life.
We hope you enjoy your newly found peace. We will miss you!

With over 110 wild cats now calling The Wildcat Sanctuary home, something we have to think about every single day is raising money to be able to rescue and care for them. When it can cost as much as $10,000 each year just to care for one big cat, you can see why fundraising is a vital part of the work we do. Your contribution to The Wildcat Sanctuary goes straight to work helping save lives of wild cats in need -- both at the Sanctuary and through outreach and rescue programs all across the country.
Please consider donating at


Sam DeRenzis on Apr 5, 2018

I miss you Cleo!

Pets Remembered on Sep 14, 2017



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