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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We have a kitten that is around 8 weeks old. She was born without her right front leg. She doesn’t have trouble getting around, but we are having a lot of trouble teaching her to use a litter box. We tried all of our usual tactics that have worked for our quad kittens, but she just keeps going on the floor. Does anyone have any ideas to help teach her? We are modifying a litter box for her that will have taller walls that she can lean on if she needs to and a shorter entrance so she can still get in.
Hi and welcome. What’s your kitty’s name? I imagine she is soooo cute.
When animals lose their leg at such a young age, or are born without one, it poses unique challenges because they haven’t developed all of their motor skills. So they do tend to take longer to figure things out sometimes, but it sounds like you are doing everything right to help her with the box. Have you tried building a ramp to the front of the box?
Her name is Bella and she is the cutest little baby in the world. We have not tried using a ramp. The box we just fixed for her has an entry opening and the bottom of the opening is pretty much on the ground. Do you think that a ramp would still be a good idea for her? I don’t think she would have any trouble getting in it as it is, but if a ramp would make it easier for her maybe she’d be more inclined to use the litter box
Hi & welcome
Bella. She is lucky to have you.
Here is a thread where members posted what they have done for their tripawd kitty’s front and rear leggers.
Litter Box Tips for Tripawds – Member Tips
The only difference for quad and tripawds is the box needs to be easy to get into low entry. Everything else is the same. We have many examples in the above post with a lot of info. Has she ever used a box? Has she seen a vet for her first check-up to rule out any medical cause for not using the box?
Since you modified the box, has she tried to use it? Have you placed her in the box? If so, what does she do? (as Jerry asked;) Where is the box set up in the open or tucked away? You have quad kitties; are they all getting along? Being on three, they can feel threatened easier. Where is she peeing right outside the box? in the vicinity? And what about pooping?
We use a ramp for Purrkins litter box because he poops standing up on his back 2 legs. He uses the ramp as a perch for that front leg and then hops down the ramp afterward. You can see our setup in that post I linked above. If he did not poop standing, he would not need a ramp because we have our box cut down so he can hop in easily.
Have you tried a litter attractant litter like Dr. Elsey’s Cat Attract Cat Litter?
Sorry for so many questions; the answers might give me insight for further suggestions. If you can post a pic of the modified litter box, that would also help.
Hugs & a chin scratch to Bella, please.
Holly & Purrkins💝💝💝
Thank you so much for the tips and for the thought-provoking questions. Bella has never used a box before. We know she can get in the box just fine because she will get in there and look around and try to play with the other cats while they are using it. The box is currently out in the open but we have tried secluded areas where she has been going before and she still won’t use it. We moved it back into the open so we could see what she might be having trouble with and reward her immediately if she uses it. We do have quads, but they all get along fine. She pees and poops in the same areas behind our furniture and in front of our door. We have tried putting boxes there and she won’t use them. When we put them there she goes right outside of them. We haven’t tried cat attract litter yet, but we are going to get some on Wednesday when we go to the pet store. We have tried putting her in the box and just hops right back out and goes on the ground. I am not sure how to post a picture but when I figure it out, I’ll show what her box looks like.
Dr. Elsies does make a kitten attract too https://www.dre…..ct-litter/
I’m not sure what the difference is; see what your pet store has on wed & compare.
Good to know she can get into the box without issues. And everyone gets alone; we have checked off 2 boxes. Your doing great investigating and watching!
Has a vet seen her yet? Although unlikely, being a kitten we always want to rule out medical issues first.
In the meantime, since she continues to go in the same place, if you are not already, ensure you get ALL the urine & poop cleaned up using an enzyme cleaner, then use a black light to make sure it is indeed gone. Unfortunately, it appears to be a habit & she likely can still smell the pee and thinks it’s okay that’s my toilet areas. The good thing is she is consistent and uses the same spots.
Getting the cat or kitten attract is an excellent step; it will come with a pamphlet with helpful tips.
Yes, I would have done the same, moved the box to that location, or blocked it off if possible. Try again. She will feel safe behind the furniture, even if not the ideal location right now. You can work on the purrfect site later by ever so slowly moving it to the desired location.
Ensure the area is clean, place the box where she is going with the new litter, and put some wee wee pads down in the vicinity too. See how she reacts to the new litter and wee wee pads. In the other area again, clean it and then feed her there. Cats do not want to go potty and eat in the same vicinity. Try to break the cycle. If you can jot a time when she goes, you will see they usually go within the same time frame. Ours do anyway. When your home place her in the box around those times, after she eats, drinks or up from a snooze. Make a big to-do about it, lots of praise, and treat for just being in the box. Move the litter with your hands like the cats normally do if she doesn’t instantly scratch around.
Awe, I see you started a blog; excellent job! Okay, yes, good thinking using a carrier. She can get in there no problem, I would like to see her have lower sides so she can see and scramble out if need be. And larger size box as she grows.
Now that you know how to post pics we to see a pic of Bella, please;)
Scratches to Bella, please.
Holly & Purrkins 💝💝💝
18 October 2009