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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is the place to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.

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Advice re stairs
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Forum Posts: 2
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11 August 2019
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11 August 2019 - 8:06 am
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We were lucky enough to adopt a three legged cat 7 weeks ago. He is approx 5 years old and had a horrendous start to his life, was left abandoned and had gunshot shell in his leg so his front left leg had to be amputated. We adopted him and he has grown in confidence and he is doing really well on 3 legs. We had him in one upstairs room to settle him in and he is now running round the whole of upstairs but hasn’t come downstairs despite lots of encouragement. We are not sure if he is scared of the stairs, if it’s because of his leg, whether we should carry him down or let him come down in his own time? Advice please 

Here and Now

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11 August 2019 - 12:50 pm
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Welcome! We have moved your topic here to the Three Legged Cats forum where it will get the attention it deserves from other tri-kitty members.

FYI: Tripawds missing a front limb will have a more difficult time going downstairs, while rear-leggers have a harder time going up. There are various exercises you can do to help rebuild strength and regain confidence.

While you wait for more feedback from others, check out the growing list of tri-kitty tips, browse all the three legged cat blogs, or search all blogs here and consider downloading Cool Tips for Tripawd Cats to get plenty of fast answers to the most common questions and concerns about feline amputation recovery and care.

Please keep us posted, your future forum posts will not require moderation.

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12 August 2019 - 11:27 am
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Hi Macy,

My Mona had her front leg amputated 5 years ago. She never seemed to have problems going down the stairs but certainly does them slower than when going up the stairs. My stairs were carpeted so that may have helped.

There is a wall on one side of the staircase and I noticed Mona goes down the stairs up against the wall. I suspect she’s using it for some kind of support. Perhaps you can help your cat tuck up against the wall.

I did take Mona to a chiropractic vet and was given some exercises. You can look at some ideas at https://downloa…..-for-cats/

Have you set up boxes or steps for your cat to safely dismount from beds, chairs, couches, etc? They help to take the load off the remaining front leg. I’ve learned Mona’s preferred ways to dismount by trying out different items. She prefers cardboard boxes so I now have added cardboard to my decor!

I wonder if your cat just needs some time to build up confidence with the stairs. I’m sure your love and encouragement will help.

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

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12 August 2019 - 2:05 pm
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Hi Kerren and Mona

Thank you so much for your advice, our stairs are carpeted and we do have a, wall either side so hopefully he might try the same approach. We carried him down tonight for the first time and let him explore and he had no issue coming back up the stairs so will have to see how he goes. Hopefully his confidence will grow. We have tried putting in halfway steps between the bed and the floor but he insists on jumping all the way down and avoiding any aids. He had never played before we adopted him but he’s now enjoying leaping around after feathers on a stick so is doing lots of stretching, I sometimes worry that he’s doing too much, its really hard to know.

Thanks again for your advice it’s much appreciated 

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13 August 2019 - 4:07 pm
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You’re welcome! I’m sure your cat will become more confident. I would encourage you to keep showing him the steps or boxes. Mona initially took flying leaps off the bed nearly landing with face plants. I kept showing her chairs and boxes and eventually, she started using them. I think she realized it didn’t hurt as much when landing. Mona never did like stairs off the bed but preferred a chair and box.

Cats are so smart and determined. I’m sure your fellow will do well. Let us know what he likes to use. It’ll be good info for others.

Take care,


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