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Adopted a tri-cat from a shelter- no history
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Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
1 January 2019
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12 January 2019 - 9:05 am
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Happy Saturday!

Looking for advice:

History: I recently adopted C- a young cat with a total amputation of a back leg, but no further known history. C received a clean bill of health from the veterinarian who only recommended xrays if something else comes up down the line (for example, to try to determine pelvis of opposite leg involvement in whatever required this amputation). 

Life: C has adjusted well.  Perfect litter box use.  Content with quality and quantity of food to maintain ideal weight (3 oz of wet food and 1/2 cup dry daily) and every other day Dasuquin proactively for joint health.  Is in love with indoor only home life and having a person. 

Challenges so far:

1.  The couch (off) and the bed (on)…  I purchased a mid bed height bench for the foot of the bed, but C inconsistently rarely chooses this route up which has resulted in one tumble.  C will choose to jump from a couch cushion onto a higher end table to descent to the floor (it is the absolute shortest route to the kitchen and front door) which has also resulted in one tumble. C is very vocal, acts distressed (startled, hurt confidence?) for a minute or two, but then bounces back with a little attention.  Am I overreacting?  Do I buy pet stairs for the bed?  Do I pick C up onto the bed after these tumbles or give it another attempt encouraging the bench? Will C use pet stairs if already walking past the bench? How often do your tri-cats tumble? 

2.  Hardwood floors. I don’t know C in any other environment, but curious if tri-cats are more active and mobile on area rugs v. hardwood? C navigates longer distance extended standing on three paws, but sits or squats at destinations or going short distances.

Any words of wisdom appreciated!

Thank you,


The Rainbow Bridge

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12 January 2019 - 12:59 pm
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Hi Sarah, welcome! Thank you for adopting C and being so conscientious about his care! Great job!

By any chance have you seen our book, Cool Tips for Tripawd Cats? You may find lots of insight there to help you help C live a safe, hoppy life.

Regarding your challenges with his jumping….yep, it’s a fine line between being there for our Tripawd when they fall, and not babying them. By even asking these questions you are on your way to walking that line without missing a beat. When it comes to my own Tripawd doggy, I tend to run to him when he has a stumble, smooch him, and then go about my business without dwelling on what happened. Like C, I just shake things off and move on. So I think that’s a good way for us to react in situations like this.

A rear leg Tripawd needs extra help going up stairs. Without that second back leg to propel them up, they do tend to take more time learning how to use steps. But he’ll get there! Have you tried any training methods using treats to show how to use the stairs? I hear kitties will do anything for Bonito Flakes!

I think the easier you can make your home’s layout for C, so that he has easy access to his favorite perches, the better off he will be. A second set of pet stairs, other low window perches and blocking off too-high areas can all help ensure his safety.

About carpet versus  hardwood…so are you saying he’s faster on hardwood? If so I’m guessing that’s because he is running 1) to maintain momentum (Tripawds run/walk faster than a four legger to maintain momentum), and 2) because he knows it’s slippery and wants to get through it quickly. 

If you have any photos of the little guy, and maybe want to take a pic or two of your home’s perches for him, we might be able to help come up with some Tripawd-friendly layout ideas for you.

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Forum Posts: 1966
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12 January 2019 - 6:40 pm
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Hi and welcome! You just got some great tips, the book has got some pawsome information too! 

Huckleberry is a rear right leg amp. He used to be feral until something broke his leg into 2 pieces. We took him in, had it removed, and he has transitioned really well into an indoor only kitty.

With no history and no background it’s hard to know what brought it about or how long he’s had to get accustomed to his new normal. Huckleberry is quite agile, but he was a power house of an outdoor kitty. He hunted regularly and was in great shape pre injury. We have rug runners on our stairs, and i have collected a ton of throw rugs for proper traction . Traction is really important for them and they could slide too easily and pull something or injure one of the three remaining limbs without it. 

The bonito flakes are awesome, or if there’s a treat you already have you can place one on each step up get him comfortable with them. Placing the steps in the areas that he travels a lot may help also. There are some places though that Huck is stubborn about and wants to do things his way, but he has utilized then more and more as times passes.

Huckleberry rarely tumbles. C might just be getting used to his new digs 😁 I would tend to think once he gets used to his way around you’ll probably see less stumbling. I am not a vet but I’ve been around a lot of kitties. 

You did a wonderful thing taking in a rescue, thank you ❤️

I would also love to see some pictures! Good luck with your new companion and please stay in touch!

Jackie and Huckleberry ❤️❤️


Jackie, David, Mitchell, Andy Oscar, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

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12 January 2019 - 11:15 pm
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Congratulations on adopting C and giving him a wonderful home! 

You have already heard from the experts – they have been so amazing to me as my cat Sky went through rear leg amputation almost 3 months ago.  it was a rough time but so much better now. 

Here are my thoughts FWIW:

Sky  – who is 13 – does the stairs just great! Runs up and down them. Seems easier to run than walk – loses his balance sometimes when moving more slowly.  I have not one – but 2 – different types of steps up to the bed. He will now use neither of them – prefers me to pick him up. However, he jumps down off the bed just fine.  I think he was overly confident just after surgery, fell and hasn’t tried the bed steps since then – despite luring treats. 

I have hard floors downstairs and my vet advised making paths for him with carpet. I had some boxes of FLOR tiles on hand so I have made pathways for him to and from the important places. My vet was afraid he would splay out on the wood and tile and injure himself. Jackie is right – traction is really important!  The FLOR tiles are great as you can wash them and replace one if necessary. They aren’t cheap but maybe you can find an affordable version. I had these from another purpose that i never used which was fortunate. 

I wish you and C many years of joy!

Rebecca & Sky <3


Helpline Hosts

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13 January 2019 - 11:03 am
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As you can see, you are surrounded  by caring tripawd family members  who have a ton of first hand knowledge to share!

I just want to add my welcome, and my thanks for adopting C. 

C  B  A  very lucky kitty to have such a .loving furever home😎


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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13 January 2019 - 11:18 am
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Hi Sarah,
Happy/Hoppy Sunday!
Congrats on adopting C

” I think the easier you can make your home’s layout for C, so that he has easy access to his favorite perches, the better off he will be. A second set of pet stairs, other low window perches and blocking off too-high areas can all help ensure his safety”

I 100% agree with Jerry we all do things differently here so do what works for you and C but please keep in mind we need to protect that remaining limb for life. You’re asking all the right questions, and no we do NOT think you are overreacting your looking out for you kitty good for you!

We do the better safe than sorry approach. We had our four legged senior kitty fall off the kitchen table and break his leg/compound fracture he was not a candidate for amputation surgery we had to let him go it was devasting. Cats can and do break legs in the home. Three other members have joined for the same reason a broken leg happening in the house since we have been members. They were fortunate as in their kitties were candidates for surgery.

Purrkins is a front leg amputee we are not taking chances we don’t have room for erring on three. We are thinking long term – if we can prevent accidents, we are going to and keep that remaining limb in the best shape we can. I’m going to share what works for us. We have steps to ALL Purrkins various places. Purrkins is a front leg amputee I would suggest moving the steps to the area C frequents down by the end table, and C might use them there just by moving them if not train C to use that route with treats and add another set to the bedroom. They HAVE to be placed where C is coming and going placement is key to use!

A good example of the same scenario here is Purrkins has 2 steps to the coffee table one on each end he uses those to get on the coffee table and over to the sofa. One end one set of steps will take him to the other rooms downstairs the other end he will take to get to the upstairs by me putting them on each end he uses both. We thought one set of steps would work there but like C a cat will take the quickest route Purrkins wanted to go upstairs he would go that way my solution was to add another set of steps, and it works. Purrkins uses all his steps his brother uses them just because he can.

Some members don’t have steps all over we do & some other members do. We never had any problem training Purrkins to use the steps he took right to them we showed him once with treats and placed them in front of his window seats, a set at the bed, a set at the kitchen table yes- because he is coming up and down it, either way.

Purrkins does not tumble over he is 2.5 years post-op. He did face plant right after his amp as he learned his new life on three so depending on when C’s amp was C could still be learning as Jackie mentioned. It takes them a bit to get used to the new body.

I also agree on traction and would suggest carpet rug runners or yoga mats. We had exercise mats in the room Purrkins recovered in and didn’t have rugs in the rest of the house Purrkins did ok on the wood and laminate surfaces he slide on occasion which made us purchase the rugs and rug runners. His confidence excelled on three with traction . It was a night and day difference for Purrkins.

Rebecca, I LOVE the flor tiles they are amazing! We got some samples, but it was out of our reach for us and our ongoing costs. I’m sure it looks BEAUTIFUL!

Holly & Purrkins ❤️

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20 January 2019 - 12:36 pm
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Hi Holly,

Just FYI I wouldn’t have gone out and purchased the FLOR tiles as they are too expensive. I bought them years ago to put in a bedroom but never did. They are solid taupe – there are much more fashionable ones out now. But they work really well for this purpose and if one gets soiled you can pull it up and wash it in the sink! Great for pet homes. 

There may be more affordable alternatives out there by now but if anyone can afford to do a path for their tripawd with these I highly recommend them!!

Rebecca & Sky

Oh PS I started CBD oil yesterday. Not sure what to expect. No problems so far. Very relaxed. smiley

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