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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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Worried and need help! 2 month old sphynx back leg amputated.
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Member Since:
9 June 2015
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9 June 2015 - 1:40 pm
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Hi there, I'm an owner of a 3 year old sphynx, and just decided on adding to the family. I chose a girl from the same breeder i got my first one and just have been waiting for her to hit three months so I can pick her up.


yesterday evening, I recieven a text and email saying they went to a movie and when they returened, her back leg was stuck between two metal rods of a step stool and completely severed from the body, they amputated that day with her vet. 

She sent me pictures of her after and sitting up and also snuggles in blankets but  you can imagine my sadness and stress for her. I still want her of course, but I just also want to know how it is for cats living after amputation. Will she be able to use the litter box correctly? And get around (jumping up on furniture or getting up the stairs?) the stairs is a big thing because I live in a duplex and from my front door to my main level, there are 14 steps. I just want to know and be confident I can do this and I'm not setting her up to be disappointed with me and my care and living situations.

On The Road

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24 September 2009
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9 June 2015 - 2:28 pm
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Hello and welcome. We are so very sorry to hear about your new kitty. The thought of taking on a cat with a missing limb is scary at first, but I'll bet once you check out our Tripawds Cat Bloggers you'll see that felines are fabulous on 3 legs! They really get along even better than dogs (sssh, don't tell 'em that!).

Yes, they can use a litter box, they can do everything a four-legged cat can do with some minor modifications. Usually they are pretty good at regulating what they should/shouldn't do, again, much better than canines will.

Hope you don't mind I moved your post here, it's just a good, general place for folks who aren't dealing with cancer to see how other Tripawds have done and share stories to inspire future ones who are in your situation. In the meantime whatever questions you have don't hesitate to ask, this wonderful community will chime in to help ease your worries.

Stay tuned for feedback from members. Your future posts won't need approval.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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9 June 2015 - 3:20 pm
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HEY! Hey!! I heard that ".shhh.....better than dogs" comment! is true!!

So sorry for the unfortunate situation for you and n your new kitty. I have NO doubt that shenhas just won the kitty lottery with you!!

Recovery from surgery can be a little rough for about a week, maybe even two. As you'll see from the Tripawds Cat Blpggers, they do adjust mobility/balance/coordination wise, each one at different paces. You may want to check with a Rehab Specialist or Physical Therapist about best way to build strength in her still developing muscles.

Wpuld lpve to see pictures when you get a chance. Keep us posted, okay?


Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle 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!

Member Since:
27 July 2014
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9 June 2015 - 10:16 pm
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Cats do great with amputation. My Little Miss Mona had her front leg amputated a year ago and I marvel at how well she's doing. One less leg hasn't stopped her from enjoying life.

It's easier for a front leg amputee to go up and a rear leg amputee to go down. Please do not declaw your kitty - she may need them when hoisting up a cat tree. Even though Mona has only one front leg she still uses her scratching posts every day. It's very amusing to watch as she does it with a full body rhythm.

You might want to add some boxes or steps to assist when jumping up to beds or couches. Mona can jump up but she uses the boxes for jumping down so she doesn't take as much stress on the one leg when going down. Mona knows the boxes are for her. My other cat (with 4 legs) sat on one box once. He won't try that again after Mona walloped his head!

I ran into my vet yesterday and he's not surprised that Mona is doing so well. He said that cats are at the top of the animal kingdom and they know how to let you know what they need and when. Your new kitty will let you know what she needs. If she needs a break going up the steps then she'll take it. Also she will grow stronger over time. The litter will be no problem since they figure out what works for them. 

I did take Mona to a vet for massage and chiro about a month after her amputation to learn how to keep her body aligned on 3 legs.

A new kitty! She will love you and her new home.

Kerren and Tripawd Mona

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