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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I have been fostering to adopt a kitten who was attacked by a raccoon, we think. In June both her back paws were amputated about 1/2 way or a little further than that.
Since I started fostering her in September, she has gotten stronger in her front legs and is walking around on her stumps. She’d like to jump I can tell; she tries to jump up my calf when she wants to get picked up.
I have questions about what to expect and prepare for as she gets older. I am also wondering about prosthetics .
I’m in Austin, TX
Hi and welcome! Thank you and the rescue for giving this kitty a chance at a great life! What’s her name?
I moved your post here because kitties are so unique as Tripawds. They can get around just great, like dogs, and even better (but don’t tell the dogs I said that!). But you as a pet parent (foster failure maybe?!) have different challenges for managing her activity so that she doesn’t overdo things and potentially hurt herself. For example, making sure she doesn’t have crazy high perches to jump from, and teaching her to do stairs. You may also want to consider investing in a Catio so that she remains safe. I know it’s suuuuuper hard to moderate the activities of a cat, so I’m hoping that our Trikitty community members will join in with feedback.
Meanwhile, you may be on the right track with prosthetics . Click on the link for all of our best information about them, and what amputee pets are good candidates. Since she has most of her limbs, she very well might be an excellent candidate. Your best bet is to work with an orthopedic specialist who has a good understanding of artificial limbs for cats. Since you are in Austin, you’re in a great area for care. I can try to help you find that vet if you DM me your zip code.
Don’t furget to check out our Trikitty handbook, Cool Tips for Tripawd Cats .
I need to run now but stay tuned for feedback from the community. Hoppy Thanksgiving to you and your amazing kitty!
27 July 2014
Awww, sorry to hear the kitten had such a rough start in life but now he/she has you!! We’ve seen a number of kittens and puppies here born with deformities or damaged limbs early in life and they do well. I recall an older cat that had two complete limb amputations. They all seem to find their own way to get around and live happy lives.
It would be wonderful if your kitten was a candidate for prosthetics .
I have nothing to add to Jerry’s response other than to add things like boxes or stairs (probably with carpet on) for the little one to safely climb up and down to get on to a couch for example. It’s important to reduce impact on joints.
I know I would be one to always want to pick up the kitten but I think it’s really important to encouraging independence for muscle development. Cats tend to be very independent. After her amputation, my cat Mona continued to take flying leaps off things resulting in a few faceplants. These stopped when I introduced her to boxes for her dismounts.
Please keep in touch and let us know how your kitten progresses.
Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona
Thank you for writing back Jerry. This kitten is just a joy. Her name is Honey Bee.
I want to do right by her. I just read her medical report and it said that it looked like her wounds were days old before she was rescued. Hurts my heart. I hope she doesn’t remember.
She can’t scratch her ears so I’m going to try to find something she can rub her face on. I read that cats support most of their weight on their front legs. I don’t want her to get chubby but she loves to eat.
I’m glad to have found this community. I hope your Thanksgiving holiday has been warm & fuzzy
Honey Bee is such a cute name! You are totally doing right by her by asking great questions and talking to others.
She did have a terrible start in life but the good thing is that animals live in the moment. She has you looking after now and that’s all she cares about.
As long as you are conscientious about keeping her slim and safely active, you’re on the right track. We will be here for you every step of the way.
Hoppy Thanksgiving to you too!