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.
JUMP TO FORUMS ↓
Join The Tripawds Community
Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:
What does it mean to Be More Dog?
Find out in Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now by Tripawds founders Rene and Jim. Learn life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Get the book and find fun gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.
5 September 2020
I adopted a cat missing his rear leg today, was not planning to but he melted my heart. I only have a top entry litter box with normal gravel type litter which I’m anxious he can’t use, and the solutions I’ve seen for boxes with extra low sides that get litter everywhere will destroy my home. Can any recommend a litter box I can buy? Thank you!!!
Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval. I hope you don't mind that I moved your post here to the Three Legged Cats Forum.
Congratulations on your new family member! What's his name?
Did you seen these litter box tips in the three legged cats forums?
I can't be much help otherwise, I've only ever had outside cats and it's been decades since I had them.
Stay tuned for input from our Tri-Cat families!
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls
27 July 2014
The litter box tips provided by Karen are great. The "Recovery Box" that is suggested is also one that 2-legged Feta uses. What I like is that it's 20x24 inches, has a low entry side (you can cut it down further) and gives the cat a lot of room to move and is great for senior cats who may become arthritic. Have a look halfway down Feta's page and you'll see a photo and the link to the "PuppyGoHere Dog Litter Pan". https://cheesec.....pawds.com/
The "Purina breeze litter box" has a system where the urine flows down to a puppy pad and the poo sits on the pellets.
Vets sometimes recommend pellets like "Yesterdays News" which is less messy and dusty but my tripawd Mona wouldn't use it.
Here is my system for 2 cats. As you see the one on the right has a boot tray in front that catches Mona's extra pee if she doesn't walk in far enough and the litter she tosses out. Mona is a front-leg amputee and quite messy when trying to cover up.
I cut the front down to about a 2 inch lip.
Congratulations on your new family member!
Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona
So good of you to take on that special cat. Not many are willing to look beyond the disability. My fur baby, Tuxedo, had a hemipelvectomy (rear leg and partial pelvis) over three years ago. While he was healing, he used pizza boxes with shreaded newspaper as litter boxes (all donated locally). I just threw away the box after he used it. Once healed, he went right back to his regular litter box and litter. The box had 6" sides and the litter is plain ole clumping Walmart brand. He never had any problems getting just stepping in or getting out. Never left me any surprises outside of the box. I do use a litter mat outside because Lilly his sister lives to kick the litter all over. The mat two layers. The top is a thick waffle mesh and the bottom is a rubber mat. The thick mesh keeps them from tracking the litter throughout the house. It is sewed on three sides. So I can open it up and easily dump the litter back into the box.
Hugs and best wishes!
-Dawna, Tuxedo, Lilly, and Angel Dazzle
1 October 2017
Hi and welcome!
Huck had his right rear leg amputated, and he does great with a regular box. I did have one with a cover on it, but he did have some difficulty with that as sometimes he likes to lean on a side when he uses it. I ended up getting a couple of huge boxes (I think was from Chewy.com) and one of the sides is lower, while the other 3 sides are a bit higher.
Huck was also not fond of yesterday's news or shredded paper. We use World's Best cat litter, which is corn based. The lavender is well used by my boys. They still throw litter around, but there is a lot less dust and goop than clay. Its easy to scoop and does not stick to the box.
We would LOVE to see pictures of your new addition. What is his name?
Jackie and Huck
Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Phoebe, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry
4 September 2020
My cat Hiccup is 15 months old & had his left hind leg amputated when he was 3 months old. He does well with a litter box like the one shown in the photo of the litter mat that mommatux posted above. I totally agree with Jackie on the litter - the lavender World's Best Cat litter has way less dust & tracks less than regular litter.
Does your baby have short or long hair? Hiccup has long hair which we have to keep trimmed around his rear area; otherwise, he sometimes gets poop stuck on his fluff due to the way that he has to balance when in the litter box. If we keep the area short, he stays nice & clean.
Thank you so much for giving a home to a Tripawd kitty! You've found a great resource here - we joined shortly after adopting Hiccup & have learned so much!
Welcome Hiccup and person(s), your future posts will not have to wait for approval.
Thanks for your input, very helpful!
Please consider starting your own thread so you can introduce Hiccup and tell us his story- and of course share some pictures!
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls
Hello (I know this an old post but maybe someone will stumble upon it and find it helpful)
It has been almost a year since I adopted my best bud Frankie. He is about 11 and had his back leg amputated at a shelter and then spent 4 yrs there. I am very thankful that they cared for him for so long. When he came home he couldn't do much more than bunny hops and he refused to use the litter box no matter how much I cut down the sides. Everything I read about tripod cats before I adopted Frankie said they get along just fine with minor adjustments and I believe that is true. Frankie on the other hand was in a shelter for many yrs and never had proper rehabilitation. So, for a month, we worked out what works for him.
I'm not a cat box expert but I have lived with medical related cat box issues for a couple of yrs. My last love was a great big 20 yr old maine coon with arthritis and kidney failure. She didn't want to use her box anymore because it hurt her. When I finally put her litter in a medium size dog crate liner she was happy, comfortable and confident. This is what Frankie now uses and there have been NO misplaced messes!
Yes the tray is bigger but Tripods don't have the same balance so bigger allows them to situate themselves and be comfortable. If they like their potty they don't go elsewhere. I did build a 1" wood cradle for 2 sides to make it look pretty but made sure there were 2 free access sides. You may think this allows for bigger messes but the liner doesn't have to be full of litter. I put the litter in the middle of the tray with enough for for Frankie to do his business and cover it. I put a rug under the liner to catch any of the tracking. I do clean the litter more than I have in the past but I think it is because I am more aware of it. I am at work for 11 hrs a day and we don't have any problems.
I love my bud and the little things I have changed in my life to help him out are absolutely worth it! Frankie is also doing physical therapy for his muscle atrophy and can now run like a stallion... for short distances!
Awww thank you for sharing Frankie's story!! It is super helpful to know what worked for him, thank you for taking time to share. Cats are such a mystery sometimes so it helps to know as much as possible about what worked during recovery. Please keep in touch!!