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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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Need help for my new tripawd foster cat with agression
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Forum Posts: 1
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6 July 2018
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6 July 2018 - 12:33 am
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Hi all,

I’m new here, so please forgive the length of this post.   I think a bit of background is required.

I am a cat foster, and this past winter I got a stunning large tabby named Bengal who had a bum leg, and amputation was strongly recommended.  Bengal is an incredibly friendly boy who loves his humans and always wants to be next to someone.  Before his surgery, Bengal lived peacefully on my foster floor, which had 6 other adult cats (half neutered males), his sister, and his sister’s kittens.  Right after surgery, I moved him to his own room for about a month so he could convalesce in peace.  Once he was healthy, I brought him back to the foster floor, and things did not go well.  Thus usually self-confident cat curled up in the corner and hissed and growled, calming down only when I petted him.  He was clearly terrified of the same cats he had just been living with.  Long story short, over time he regained his sense of territory on my foster floor and was able to be fully reintegrated (although he became aggressive toward one of the cats he used to get along with).  He was happy; in fact, when he did escape the foster floor, he always returned a few minutes later and asked to be readmitted.  My job as a foster is to determine if a cat should be the only cat in the house or if they can tolerate other cats.  His fear was so great post-amputation I thought that he might now need to be a solo cat, but once he readjusted to his roommates and was happy again, I determined that with slow introductions he would be fine with other cats in the house.

Bengal was adopted to a wonderful couple a few weeks ago.  I took him to his new house and he walked around like he owned the place in five minutes.  There are two other resident cats, and luckily the new moms are very cat-saavy and educated in the methods of slow introductions and integrating cats into a new environment with resident cats.  I got glowing reports until today, when they e-mailed me that Bengal was getting very wound up, and in fact bit them a couple of times.  All three cats had had some good, short introductions, but recently Bengal charged out a slightly open door and badly attacked a resident cat.  This is all very concerning, and I made several commendations for calming sprays and such.

QUESTION (finally!)  Have other people noted a new anxiety/aggression in their cat post-amputation?  Especially around other cats?  If so, can you tell me what you may have done to help the situation?  I’m assuming that this is stemming from the fact that cats hate vulnerabilities and Bengal is aware that he now has a disadvantage compared to other cats, but maybe I’m wrong.  Any stories/suggestions/reassurances that I could share with Bengal’s new family would be most appreciated.  It would break my heart to have to take Bengal back into my foster care and rehome him.  I thank you in advance.

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 28040
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6 July 2018 - 12:40 am
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Hi and welcome! I was just about to check out for the night when I saw your post, glad I was able to approve it tonight!

You’re pretty pawesome for being such a great foster parent. Sounds like you have a ton of experience, which is terrific. 

Regarding your question:

QUESTION (finally!)  Have other people noted a new anxiety/aggression in their cat post-amputation?  Especially around other cats?  If so, can you tell me what you may have done to help the situation

Typically when a pet lashes out unexpectedly like this after a major surgery like amputation, it’s a pain indicator. When was his surgery? And how was his pain managed afterward?

Also, how active is Bengal? Is it possible that he is getting too much activity too soon after surgery? Is he allowed to free-roam in a large area on his own? 

Have Bengal’s new people gently palpated around his body to see if he reacts to touch in certain areas? 

Finally, what’s his weight like? Any extra weight puts tremendous stress on a tripawd’s body, which can result in pain.

These are all things to consider in trying to decipher his behavior. It’s definitely worthy of a veterinary visit just to rule out things that could be hurting him right now. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Michigan


Forum Posts: 1859
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7 July 2018 - 7:50 am
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Does the home have access to multiple levels perches vertical and horizontal for all the kitties?

A multi-cat pheromone diffuser would be helpful they help they are not the fix all. It is worth having diffuser plugged in I believe! The diffuser would need to be in the area where the cats hang out & sometimes multiple ones in the house. Depending on the size of the home & where the fights happen.

QUESTION (finally!) Have other people noted a new anxiety/aggression in their cat post-amputation? Especially around other cats? If so, can you tell me what you may have done to help the situation? I’m assuming that this is stemming from the fact that cats hate vulnerabilities and Bengal is aware that he now has a disadvantage compared to other cats, but maybe I’m wrong. Any stories/suggestions/reassurances that I could share with Bengal’s new family would be most appreciated. It would break my heart to have to take Bengal back into my foster care and rehome him. I thank you in advance.

We have seen some cats become more aggressive after an amputation. Depending on when kitty had surgery I agree on the first – rule out pain indicators. If they are none, this is the cat feeling like prey.

Purrkins and his littermate brother had issues and were back to being brothers one-month post op. Purrkins is still more aggressive toward his brother at times. I believe they think they feel like they need to make up for that missing limb? We always have a multicat pheromone diffuser plugged in. We still have little spats here and there.

We had a member after amputation she had to keep her cats separated on different floors. They would fight. She tried everything. The only way to coexist other for them was one cat lived on the second floor and one on the first floor.

Rule the pain indicator out and reintroduce them maybe it was too short of introduction? And sadly not all cats DO get alone we the humans want multiple cats Not the cats. Cats are not pack animals. Cats do & can live together as you know, but some do not. Some merely co-exist, some sadly need to have separate living quarters or lastly rehomed. Last choice!

The key to co-existing is multiple perches and territory for each cat. Separate food, water, litter, biggest is each cat has its own perch and scratching area, own bed, etc.

Aggression needs to be tired out. Lots of play time to exhaust each kitty.
Bengals are high energy kitties they need more exercise & play times.

As for the catfight, I hope a vet saw the cat because they can become a severely infected abscess! Cat bites need to be looked at & not to be taken lightly. The thing is they don’t show up for a day or so in our own experience. We have been to the Vet 2 times on cat bites both times antibiotics were required.

Here is an article might be of some help to the owners.

How to Help Make Your Home a No-Feuding Territory

Thanks for fostering all these kitties and finding them homes!

I hope they figure this out !! Best of luck to everyone!
Holly & Purrkins❤️

Virginia




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7 July 2018 - 9:52 am
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Thank for for all you fo to help these kitties! Such s gift to the kitties,❤❤

I can only say Ditto  the spectacular insight our VERY knowledgeable and supportive Purrkins (Holly) shared!   Excellent advice!

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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7 July 2018 - 10:15 am
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Holly your insight is priceless, thanks!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 1494
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7 July 2018 - 3:23 pm
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You have got great insight so far from Jerry and Purrkins. Although I’ve had a number of cats I’m not experience with cat aggression. My tripawd Mona, who usually just ignores my male Eli, did change some rules in the house after the amputation. Basically, she rules and we listen. You sound much more experienced than me. I sure hope Bengal can stay in his new home.

I do feed my cats in different areas because when the bowls are side by side Eli would take kibbles and put them in his bowl. If Mona saw him then she’d hit him on the head. It caused me stress so Mona eats in the closet now, it is peaceful for everyone. They also have separate litter boxes.

Thank you for fostering cats. It makes a huge difference in their lives.

Hugs,

Kerren, Eli, Tripawd Kitty Mona

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