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Indoor cat activity suggestions
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10 July 2017 - 3:09 pm
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As some may remember, Tuxedo a previously indoor/outdoor cat had to have his right rear leg removed due to being attacked by a dog just under 2 months ago.  Because of that and the dog still terrorizing other pets in the neighborhood, no way will my little "manster" be going back outside for a while.  But I truly am at a loss of what I can do indoors to get him some safe exercise as I can already see he is trying to put on weight.  Tuxedo is either crawling all over me (not a bad thing but ...) or camped out on top of the refrigerator.  Everytime I find him there I freak out, fearing he will lose his balance & fall, as every now and then he gets a bit wobbly.  I thought three  legged cats are not supposed to be able to jump that high (close to 6 ft) esp ones with hind limb amputations.  

He is always been extremely active for his 9 years & shunned the typical cat toys as being beneath his dignity.  About the only other thing I have been able to get him to do is follow me around the house.  But with my own maneuvering issues, I need a few more other things to try as well.  What sort of activities do your indoor cats do to keep in shape?  Has anyone else had to transition an indoor/outdoor cat to just inside?  How did that go?

I have seen Purrkins on his balance disc.  I made one of my own from a pillow, heavy duty zip lock bags and flour.  Note, if you make one, use several layers of baggies, otherwise you may have one interesting mess.  Yes, I am sure you can guess how I learned that.   Tuxedo would do the treat handstands thing on it for a little while, now he just plops into the middle of it and out waits me.  Ideally, I would like to find something to keep him active for 10 or more minutes at a stretch, preferrably where I do not have to feed him to get him to take part in the activity.

Virginia
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10 July 2017 - 5:29 pm
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Purrkins a d Mona will chime in. I'm sure you've already tried a laser light...Ive seen thst work for cats and dogs.

And good fornyou for all your creative DIY techniques!! Sure saves in the pocketbook! 🙂

TUXEDO, YOU ARE NOT A HELICOPTER!!! STAYMOFF THAT REFRIGERATOR!! Youre scaring your Mom...And us too!!

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Michigan
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10 July 2017 - 7:04 pm
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Purrkins on the balance disc video you saw is a core strengthening exercise, As you were doing with your diy one. Yeah that is not a all day activity, You do want to strengthen Tuxedos core muscles, So good job with the diy one!! We use treats but those are deducted from his daily food intake.

I can tell you Purrkins does the same thing he gets on the fridge and up to the cupboards! He will not give this spot up! That is his favorite look out spot! I lock him out of the kitchen at night and when we are not home to keep him safe! He is now silent going up there! I always help him down if he sneaks up there! Which is too often!!

IMG_3054.jpgImage Enlarger

Just because they are missing a leg doesn't mean our kitties will stop jumping! For our sakes I wish they did!
We just have to come up with softer landings to protect their remaining legs! Steps or boxes made into steps. Furniture moved around to make things easier for them . That is not easy in the kitchen !?!? I will let you know if I come up with a solution!

Back to your question As Sally mentioned a laser cat toy are inexpensive and should get Tuxedo’s attention. Have you tried a wand toy? A feather toy, A shoe string? Paper bags, boxes, balls, catnip mice! Kitty boinks.
There are so many toys and they don't have to be bought!

Videos on TV of critters. A bird feeder at a window .

Food puzzles are a lot of fun for them! You can make your own food puzzles or buy them. Depends on if Tuxedo eats wet or dry food!. You can hide food his food in different places in the house so he has to hunt his food and work a little bit for his food. Instead of going directly to his bowl.

Food Puzzles for Cats Make Great Tripawd Therapy

Some other ideas websites on making food puzzles

http://foodpuzz.....de-puzzles
http://cattime......ain-active

There is something that makes tuxedo want to move and trial and error you will find somethig he does like.
You might have to use food to motivate him if so just deduct it from his normal daily allowance .

When our cats become overweight they don't want to move as much. Ask us how we know;)
I don't know about other’s but Purrkins is still very active on 3 but I did have to cut his calories back because he was not moving as much! 

Let us know what does work for Tuxedo and if something doesn't we can brainstorm some more!

Hugs .

Holly & Purrkinsheart

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10 July 2017 - 9:35 pm
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I don't think I have much to add to Holly's suggestions. Both of my cats are indoor/outdoor but we do play together indoors. When they are looking for a snack I toss a kibble so Eli has to run for it. Mona just sits on her hind legs to take the kibble in her mouth.

Just about anything can become a toy. When Mona moved in she fringed the top of all of the boxes. 

I had a previous cat who like to play hide and seek. The funny thing was that he would always hide in the last place I hid just like a little child would. My current cats haven't figured out how to play.

I'm sure you will create some games of your own. Cats all seem unique in the way they play and what attracts them. Have fun!

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

The Rainbow Bridge

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11 July 2017 - 8:53 am
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I have seen Purrkins on his balance disc. I made one of my own from a pillow, heavy duty zip lock bags and flour. Note, if you make one, use several layers of baggies, otherwise you may have one interesting mess. Yes, I am sure you can guess how I learned that.

Eeeek! That is hilarious! Thanks for the tip.

One thing to keep in mind is that the majority of weight loss for pets occurs when we reduce / modify their food intake. This is discussed in the following blog post:

Weight Loss Ideas for Pets on Three (and Four) Legs

Here are some other ideas for ya:

http://amazon.t.....-and-dogs/

Although this post is geared toward front leg amputee cats, the exercises are still fun for rear leggers:

http://tripawds.....nd-tricks/

Let us know what you decide to try. And remember that starting your own TriKitty blog is a great way to document and share your pawgress 🙂

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Michigan
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11 July 2017 - 12:19 pm
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I got this email this morning thought you would enjoy! 
I love this site! It is a great one to subscribe to for any kitty owner!

Why Do Cats Love Boxes So Much

heart

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17 July 2017 - 2:14 pm
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I got this toy in for Tuxedo a few days ago.  It is a dog toy, made for large dogs and it wobbles when hit dropping food out of it.  I decided to get this over the typical ball type treat dispensing lightweight toy because I did not want to be constantly fishing it out from under the couch.  Both Tuxedo and Dazzle know to hit it and get their treats.  Dazzle head butts it and boxes at it.  But, Tuxedo just has to be different.  One of these days I will catch him at it and make a video.  So far I have not been fast enough.  Though I did manage to snap this one picture.  Yes, the picture is a bit blury.  That is because that rear end is in mid swing to the toy.  Every time I see him go at it, it makes me almost laugh.

Tuxedo playing with his new toyImage Enlarger

Michigan
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17 July 2017 - 4:06 pm
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Good thinking on not having to dig under the sofa!! 

This will help with boredom, its fun will help him move , use his core and not gain weight!! Great pick!!

Look forward to seeing the video!!

So happy to see you found something that got his interest plus Entertainment for you too;)

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P.S. If you figure out a way to keep Tuxedo off the fridge please let me know!!winker

Virginia
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17 July 2017 - 10:09 pm
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Tuxedo cannot wait to see the videomof you and Dazzle outsmarting that "dog toy"! 🙂

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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7 August 2017 - 10:27 am
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This is similar to why i came here today - not sure if I should add on here or start a new topic - but i'll start here.

My cat had his rear leg removed after months of healing/surgery.  I feel like now, about 2 months after the surgery, he's getting around WORSE, not better, than he was 3 days after surgery.  He used to be a very active mostly-outdoor cat who would roam far and wide and bring home all sorts of rodent kills.  At first (before amputation) we were leash walking him, but after amputation he is much more nervous.  We have a crate on the front porch where he likes to hang out, and if we are free to sit with him, he'll lay under the tree in the front yard.  In the house, he mostly sleeps. 

He's definitely gaining weight and I wonder if that has something to do with his trouble getting around.  He's a big cat - he was 15 lb right after the amputation and feels like he's gained at least a pound (he had been missing for 9 days before surgery, so he had lost weight).  He's also 14 years old!  

anyways, he's never liked toys, never been playful, always got his exercise by roaming.  Hubby is going to try to cut down on food again - we already cut back on treats.  almost afraid to go back to the vet just to be told 'feed him less'.  we have 3 cats who share limitless dry food and dinner-time wet food.  My tri-paw mostly eats raw beef for his wet food.  

I read the links above - which mostly say, cut back the food - i get it!  any other advice or sympathy about overweight rear-amputee older cats . . . 

The Rainbow Bridge

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7 August 2017 - 5:48 pm
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This is one of the biggest challenges for TriKitties: yes, the compromised mobility can cause weight gain, especially for larger, older kitties like yours. Unfortunately it does sound like the best way to keep his weight down is to keep his food portions slim. In the above post I refer to (Weight Loss Ideas for Pets on Three (and Four) Legs), Dr. Ward does say that the majority of weight loss in pets is the result of less food, not more exercise. 

But I do hope other TriKitty parents will have more tips they can offer, so stay tuned! Thanks for asking great questions, your kitty is so lucky to have you.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Michigan
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7 August 2017 - 7:28 pm
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I am sorry Big is having problems getting around . I do believe what your seeing could be from weight gain. Big would be less active on 3 legs then he was on 4 . Big & any Tripawd kitty can gain weight very easily.

I know Purrkins was less active after amputation although Purrkins is 7 years old and still active. We were on a diets after amputation to get his weight down. I still had to cut calories further.

I agree the only way to get kitty moving & losing some weight is to SLOWLY cut back calories and SLOWLY in cats is critical!

The first thing you could do is stop the never ending dry food bowl and have set food times and measure the food. Do you have a way to weigh the cats?

It is always a good idea for kitty to be seen by the Vet before starting a weight loss program at least if you schedule and say what your coming in for that won’t be the first thing they say to you. We know we have been there!!:)

What is important is to weigh kitty before reducing calories and then weigh again every 3-4 days to make sure kitty is not losing weight too quickly. This is critical !

This is a great article on cats & losing weight

Feline Obesity: An Epidemic of Fat Cats

it’s a lot to read but with cats it is crucial to not lose weight too quickly . There is a safe way to lose weight & it goes into great detail.

I empathize with you losing weight in cats is not a easy task. It takes a lot of will power on the owners part and a lot of complaining from the kitties. I can tell we have been successful with getting Purrkins weight off, It has been a long road to get here but it is possible. I do believe you will see a big difference in how kitty gets around. Calorie counting is what worked for us. We tried getting the weight off before and nothing worked for us until until we counted the calories.

We wish the best of luck and please keep us posted on what does help Big get around better.

Hugs

Holly & Purrkinsheart

Virginia
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8 August 2017 - 1:25 pm
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As you can see, you've come to the right place for great insight snd I formation from Purrkins and Jerry!

I just want to add my "welcome to the family" and looking forward to following more adventures of BIG!   Great name! 🙂 🙂

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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9 August 2017 - 8:05 pm
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Hi there,

I am sorry to hear that Big is having trouble getting around.  You mentioned that it seemed to be worse now than it was three days post-op. Are you sure that it really is worse and not just your perception of it? I ask because I also have an older overweight rear leg amputee kitty. In my case I was having some perception problems. Initially following his surgeries I was just so happy to have Tuxedo whole that anything he could do I was so grateful for. But what happened was as all of his stitches got removed, the wounds healed and fur started growing back in over the scars, I thought he was getting worse in terms of getting around. I thought that because I was comparing him mentally now to the way he was before he lost his leg because I still don't think of him as an amputee kitty I think of him as my kitty.  I only was able to realize that I was doing this after I reviewed some videos I had made of him a few days after his surgery. Trust me when I say he is getting around much better than he was back then. Although he does move a bit slower than he did at that time. I think that is because he now is more cautious and thinks more before he moves. Back then he was so doped up that it's a miracle he didn't kill himself running around because he was so happy to be home.

A few things that we have learned here to deal with the weight gain issue and lack of activities are listed below. I had to start feeding him small amounts multiple times a day. And I mean these amounts were much smaller. Tuxedo used to graze all day long on food. I would put it out in the morning and leave it there for both him and Dazzle to eat. Well now I feed Tuxedo and Dazzle three times a day with very small amounts. The remainder of their food goes into their wobble toy forcing them to have to work to get more.  Overall I would say that the food intake has been cut somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 - 20%. I also move their food bowl to different locations throughout the day each time as I fill it.  I figure this makes them have to go seek out where I have put it and get just a little bit more exercise.

Both of my kitties never have liked toys. But through experimentation I found out that if a toy both rattles and has feathers on it they will not only play with it they will fight over it. I do not know if they like it because of the sound, because the feathers tickle, or because it reminds them of being outside and catching birds.  In order for Tuxedo to play with this toy he has to be laying down. As you may have already found out rear amputee kitty cats have some serious balance issues when it comes to sitting. Just the slightest touch can knock Tuxedo off balance and force him to topple over. This means it's very difficult for him to play unless he is laying down. The way I get my two kitty cats to go at it is I give the toy to Tuxedo once he's laying down and he hugs it close to him.  Then Dazzle will come over and try to steal it. Of course Tuxedo will not allow this to happen and they end up getting into a little bit of a rough house play situation. These play sessions tend to last around 20 minutes. And no Tuxedo does not usually lose. He fights dirty.  Perhaps it might be worth a trip to the dollar store and pick up a few different types of toys to see if there is one that Big will respond to.

Here is a picture showing the unusual posture that Tuxedo must use to sit. Unfortunately this picture also shows off his pookie belly. I suspect this posture is why he always goes toppling over if anybody catches him when he is not expecting it. Needless to say the moment he tries to lift up one or both of his front paws there he goes off to one side.

Image Enlarger

I wish you the best of luck with Big!

Virginia
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9 August 2017 - 10:20 pm
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GREAT feedback....like the idea of making videos to document the progress .  Moving the food bowls to different locations, etc...good stuff!!

And that picture of Tuxedo with his little Buddha belly....ADORABLE!!!!   OMC!!!  He is sooooo darn cute!!! 🙂   His expression...his eyes....he's absolutely precious!!! 🙂   Can't wait for more!

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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