Advice for Three Legged Cats

Should you become a three legged cat you will still be able to enjoy your pampered cat lifestyle. Here is some advice for the newly three-legged cat:

1. Prepare to become a local legend

Everybody loves three legged cats. Absolutely everybody. Even the man next door who didn’t like you at all when you had four legs will say “Ah!”. Make the most of your fame and use it to your advantage.

Train the paperboy. He will think you are so cute that he will turn up with little treats for you hidden in his pockets, you will hardly be able to keep up with him as he does his round because you have to keep stopping to eat them.

The two children across the road will fall in love with you and worship you. Allow them to pet you, then they will feed you bits of chocolate biscuit when they think no-one is looking.

When your human pet has gone to work, hang around looking very sad and neglected. You will be able to persuade the nice lady who lives up the road to set out early for work, just so that she can stop and make a fuss of you. When you sneak into her house later on, she will feed you little dishes of tuna fish, allow you to sleep in front of her fire and play with her own cat’s toys.

2. You will discover just how stupid some humans can be

Some foolish people will completely fail to notice that you only have three legs. They will make stupid remarks such as “I think your cat’s limping, is he alright?” Do these humans really think that you can’t run about on three legs? They seem to manage, even though they only have two. Do not allow these idiots to rub your ears, for they are not worthy of it.

3. Develop some new climbing techniques

At home, you may need to be more imaginative. When your human pet thinks that an unattended dish of trifle is out of your reach, you can prove her wrong, by climbing onto a chair, then jumping onto the table, before finally launching yourself at the work surface. Mmm custard, your favourite thing in the world…

However, it is best if you do not attempt to climb any tall trees, this will result in an undignified failure. Instead hang around on the ground looking disinterested and mock the four legged cats who attain more height, but who look most ungainly as they clamber upwards.

4. Play cat and mouse.

Hunting birds is more difficult when you have only three legs, it is so much more effort to leap in the air. You may prefer to develop a taste for mice instead. When you get really old and lazy you might even try hunting worms. Or slugs. (But don’t let your human pet see you do that, or she will shout “Yuk!” and decline to cuddle you.)

5. Train your human pet to pander to your every whim

Your human pets will worry greatly about your three legged status and will be acutely aware of your every difficulty, so make the most of their feelings of guilt and use them to your advantage.

In the first weeks after your operation, decline to eat anything apart from the finest cuts of meat. Your humans will be extremely vexed about your health and will happily serve your choice of food.

When you begin to recover, pull your claws wildly on the carpet of the bottom step of the stair and on the base of the sofa until your dozy humans get the message and provide you with recumbent scratching facilities.

Once you are fully mobile, remember to look as if you are struggling from time to time, this will allow you to keep your human pets’ undivided attention. If you see one of them walking home laden with as much shopping as they can carry, hop out pathetically to meet them, making sure that you appear to be struggling to walk, then ride home in state, sitting on their shoulder whilst chuckling inwardly at how much they are struggling to carry you and all those bags. Once you have reached home in this manner and been placed gently back at ground level, run off at top speed with no difficulty whatsoever.

Three Legged Cat IV

You will quickly discover that your three-leggedness is not necessarily a disadvantage as some humans might think; in fact it often makes it much easier for you to train the local humans to worship you and do your bidding.

833 comments to Advice for Three Legged Cats

  • Update on my Bruno who lost his back leg to a accident in Febuary .
    He is back to 100% him self. You would never know by looking or seeing how fast he can move he’s got 3legs.
    I love him so much and the Β£1,500 vet bill was the best bit of money we spent we were like some of the story’s on here worried had we done the right thing and we were watching him running around playing and I said to my husband we did good by him.
    Love and support to you all
    I know what your going through keep reading the stories they do help
    If you look back at my cooments from Febuary you will see how scared and worried I was, best thing I’ve ever done saving him and having leg off.

    • TheIvoryKitty

      I’m so happy for your Bruno!

      • hi so good to hear of Bruno’s recovery, our lovely Lola was hit by a car and had her right hind leg removed 10th nov 2012 she is recovering with us and we are so guilty and worried but reading about bruno is cheering us up! she is eating/toileting real well but keeps hissing/spitting/growling last few days and looking in the direction of her missing leg she has me so stressed! no way we could have had her put to sleep! we had just to “pay the vet” she came to us as a homeless cat 18 monts ago and for all she is not good at being petted she does come and sit next to us “when she wants” its so good to know there is light at the end of the tunnel and she will be able to do most things as at the moment she is being kept as a house cat untill she is fully fit. thanks for sharing your lovely story on Bruno

  • Sarah

    Ella Catticus front leg amputation has not limited her gettin up on things but I do put boxes or pillows for her airborne landings
    By the way, the vet said I was in worse shape than the cat when it happened πŸ™‚
    I still have guilt though I know it was a accident
    Just love him lots and he’ll be fine
    I slept on the floor for a week next to her while she healed
    Now she’s even more awesome than before!
    I wish I could send you a video of Ella Catticus, she certainly isn’t sad or slow!

    Sarah B and Ella Catticus

    • TheIvoryKitty

      Sarah – thanks for your reply. I’m glad that your baby is doing well! I believe what the vet said if you were the same kind of shape I am. How long has it been since the amp? Have you had any pain issues?

      • Sarah

        It’s been 11 months
        I near passed out in the hallway at the vet hospital from crying so hard, then I close to passed out from the bill πŸ™‚
        Ella Catticus sleeps on her amputation side and loves being rubbed also
        Like any wound it took about a month for it to stop being tender but I made her a t shirt with one arm hole closed to keep the incision area warm until her fur grew in
        They also shave the other wrist for the IV so it looked like her fur sleeve was pulled up πŸ™‚
        Ella was no stranger to pain being abandoned by her mother and the accident occurred at 6 months old so that may be a large part of her fast recovery and adaptation
        Either way the surgery will only enhance his quality of life from what I’ve read on this site
        The worst part is the wait to get them back home post op
        We humans are such big babies πŸ™‚

  • Ross

    If any one douts the ability of 3 legged cat,my Harry lost his front right and had a knee reconstuction on his back left mid June.His back leg still is far from 100%,Well this morning he climed 6 meters up a cypress pine jumped onto a 2story balcony and came in side,truly amazing.

  • Anne

    Update on JJ, my eleven year old oriental lilac who had his right hind leg amputated in July 2010 and was also diagnosed with asthma in June 2010….
    JJ has adapted remarkably well and is very much the alpha cat, bossing my other two cats about and always the most vocal and first at the food bowl. The most difficult adaptation has been monitoring his food intake so that he remains a stable weight (ie usual weight minus weight of a leg!) This is in order to prevent too much pressure on the remaining back leg, arthritis etc and as soon as he gets over 4kg then I cut back on all the cats’ food and get them to run around more. He RUNS like a greyhound, up and down stairs and can swivel and change direction though does look more disabled when walking – like someone on crutches. When encouraged to jump for a feather on a stick he really leaps high and if he just falls over then that is part of the game to him, he rotates on his back like a breakdancer!
    I have to keep rescuing him from the top of the 8 foot fence as he shimmies up it with ease and has been up and over and away up the street on several occasions. He is in and out of the catflap and using strategically placed furniture to get onto windowsills, the bed and shelves. Nothing stops him enjoying his life and he doesn’t ‘see’ himself as disabled.
    What’s the secret? I followed all the tips on here, wept all over my vet and in private, isolated him in a catpen in the lounge with the other cats so he had a safe place to recover until the stitches were out and the painkillers and antibiotics were finished so he was able to hold his own ground. Took time off work to observe how he worked out what he could and couldn’t do and hovered but didn’t interfere when he fell over in the tray or off the bed. A bit like an anxious mother watching her toddler starting to explore the world. This gave him lots of confidence and trust in his own abilities and gave me the reassurance he could manage. New strategies for scratching his ears – – he shakes his head on one side and his amputated side starts twitching – I say ‘scratch’ and he comes running for me to do it for him and I help wash his whiskers. I ensure his back leg and claws are in good condition but he sticks his back leg in the middle when sitting so he has a stable base and can wash his own face both sides without falling over.
    Cats are remarkable – once the first few weeks are over IvoryKitty, your cat will amaze you! There is a sister site here called ‘Living with a three legged cat’ which has also got lots of tips.

    • TheIvoryKitty

      Anne – thanks so much for your update! I’m really happy to hear about cats with a couple more years on them doing well after these surgeries. It sure does make me feel a lot better about Fang. I hope I can make it through the first couple of weeks! My ability to melt down and freak out has really amazed me this last week!

      Also, thank you for the link to the other page – I will be sure to check it out!

      We just went to the vet again today to check to see if the tumor has spread, and his lungs look clean :). I’m glad, though still really freaked out about the surgery.

  • Anne

    Sorry it’s ‘life with a three legged cat’, go to top of page and under the black cat, ‘click to find out more’ then there are options on the left hand side of page.

  • Buzz the cat

    Our darling Buzz was hit by a car today .. he is currently in the vets and will definitely need his hind leg amputated if he survives the night. We are devestated to say the least.

    • Pen

      So sorry to hear about poor Buzz, it is an anxious wait I know. Sending you lots of positive thoughts, cats are amazingly resilient. This sight is a great source of strength and support, it helped us a great deal. Please let us know how he is, Pen x

    • TheIvoryKitty

      I’m sure that everything will be okay! I can feel your pain, believe me. Keep your chin up.

    • Sonja P

      So sorry for you and Buzz. How is he doing? Cats are amazingly resilient, please let us know how he is doing. Hugs from Sonja & Tre’

  • Sarah B

    Best wishes to those in the agony of waiting
    On a lighter note: close your eyes (human and feline) and imagine a gray spotted tabby donning her Halloween orange collar, with matching bell, fascinated by the dancing shadows and forms caused by 70 mph winds in all her tripod glory, finally succumbing only to the slumber needed after all that excitement.
    Sweet dreams fur babies πŸ™‚

    Sarah B and Elsa Catticus

  • TheIvoryKitty

    Hey guys – question. I read that giving kitties Gabapentin before surgery helps stop phantom limb pain from occurring. The Vet gave me some, but is not firm on the amount to give and when to start (she has not used it in cats). Did you guys use it, and if so, when did you start and how much did you give?

    Second question: I read that a morphine drip during and after surgery helps greatly to prevent pain. My vet uses a fentanyl patch which is a a pain patch put on his foot that releases fentanyl for about 4-5 days. Did you guys use this? Did it work well?

    Thanks guys.

    • Sonja P

      Didn’t use the first one, have no idea if they used morphine while Tre’ was in the hospital but they gave here liquid pain meds for home. Can’t remember what it was and I have long since thrown it away but if they are willing to use it, let them. Anything to make Fang more comfortable. On of the comments made a note about depression, cats do get depressed and that is why you need to stay positive around Fang, the more positive and happy you are, the better off he will be. Letting them figure it out while you watch and encourage will also help. Hang in there, it’s gonna be okay and look at you, giving others encouragement already! Love it. Hugs from Sonja and Tre’pod.

  • Belinda


    Good question!

    I didn’t have neither for Frida. I had it done through the Humane Society in New York. They provided painkillers for Frida after the surgery. I had to give it to her every 6 or 8 hours.

    By the way, I placed water (1/3 or less) in her bowl because the painkillers were making her constipated.

    • TheIvoryKitty

      Thanks – I did go out and buy a bunch of liquid-y stuff for him to drink/eat. I got baby food, chicken broth, cat milk, and some of that refrigerated organic cat food with lots of juice in it. Hopefully that will stop the constipation problem. I’m glad I’m not going to have to give him pain meds – they’re doing a pain patch on his foot which is supposed to keep him pretty stoned for 3 to 5 days.

  • Belinda


    I forgot to mention in my earlier note that I placed water in her moist food. I didn’t put a lot because I didn’t want her to notice a difference in the texture.

  • Sarah

    The patch works great
    Ella Catticus would not take pills so she had to be given liquid
    Thing is you have to hold their mouth open and dispense it under their tongue so it can be absorbed
    My issue was cats tend not to show pain other than temper or not eating
    Ella Catticus was calm and eating so despite my worries I was told she was comfortable
    Hope this helps

    Sarah b and Ella Catticus

    • TheIvoryKitty

      Yeah thats been one of my hang ups – they tend to hide pain so I’m going to be overly worried that he’s hurt but not showing it. But, I think you’re right … if he eats like normal then he’s probably okay. *breathing deeply*

  • Bruno had the patch and it helped him,he was spaced out most of the time and slept a lot which I think was good. I added the water into the gravy pouches or I got the little tins of fish in the brine and added water to these.he was very low for a while felt sorry for himself but he was soon feeling a little chipper.

    • TheIvoryKitty

      My vet said it was probably a good idea for him to be stoned the first couple of days for me more than for Fang, lol. I hope that he doesn’t get depressed, but I think I can lift him up if I just try to be happy myself.. πŸ™‚

  • roolalenska

    Hello Ivory Kitty,

    Just here to chime in that our front legged amputee jumps and climbs as much as our 4 legged cat – maybe more. She was under a year old when she lost her leg so she probably has little memory of being intact but I often find myself forgetting that she is missing anything. She does hop/stop a bit when at a walk but at a run she is hard to catch. She is extremely curious and happy and doesn’t seem to notice that there is anything different about her at all.

    Good luck with Fang!

    • TheIvoryKitty

      Good! Those are the stories that keep me feeling confident that he’ll be able to do all of his kitty cat activities! Thanks so much for sharing that πŸ™‚

  • Sarah b

    Just FYI I made a bed of towels over a down blanket for Ella Catticus for her post op time and she really seemed to like it and you can just change out the towel if needed

    I don’t know who posted it, but I agree that a tripod walks like a rabbit when in low speed
    Ella Catticus looks like she has rabbit feet anyway with her black peds and soles πŸ™‚

    Sarah b & Ella Catticus

  • Buzz

    Hi all, well I am now mummy to a three legged Buzz! He had his op this morning and is so far recovering well. His other hip is dislocated but the vet says he might manage without it being put back in place …. Didn’t know this was possible but there you go …. Any comments on this ??? If he can’t manage then it will be another op to fix it … Feeling a lot more positive now than I was on Tuesday evening !!! Btw how do you upload photos as I would love you all to see how gorgeous my Buzzles is !!

    Jane xxx

  • Belinda & Frida

    Poor Buzz and you!

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. When I read it, I started to cry myself. My heart breaks for you. We were all hoping for the best and didn’t think this was going to happen.

    You have Frida and my deepest sympathy.

    • buzz

      Thank you all for your kind words and wishes (even though I am blubbering again) yesterday I thought I was going to be a regular visitor to this site leaving lots of updates regarding Buzzs recovery …. unfortunately this will not be …. we had Buzz for seven wonderful years and he was a beautiful ragdoll with peach ears a peach nose,peach boots and tail!!! We were smiling this remembering when he was a tiny kitten how I used to wipe his wee fluffy bum with a babywipe after he used the litter tray!! .. night night darling Buzz we will all miss you for a very long time xxxx

      Maxwell family

  • Omg so so Sorry,
    My heart is breaking for your loss.
    Don’t know what else to say
    Andrena xxx

  • Claire Harris

    So sorry to hear the sad news about Buzz, thinking of you xx

  • TheIvoryKitty

    So, I had asked a surgeon for a second opinion when we first found the lump on Fang, and he just finally got back to me (the day before surgery). I’m really grateful that he found the time. Anyway, he said that he feels like this might not be a tumor, though it is very likely that it is, but it could also be some β€œinfectious” something, or β€œmineralization of muscle or ligaments”. He said that these are really really rare and unlikely, but that sometimes those types of things might not continue to grow and then we could leave the lump on him and he could do just fine. But, he said, it’s far far more likely (like 99%) that this is a tumor and he will need the amputation. And the only way to find out if it is one of those other things is to do a biopsy, which is major surgery that he would have to recover from and then it’s 99% likely that he will have to go in two weeks later to get the amputation surgery anyway.

    So, now after I had finally found my resolve to do this surgery and felt more confident that I made the right decision, I am faced with having to worry that maybe (super unlikely) I’m getting this amputation for no reason.

    At the moment I’m thinking…. it’s SO unlikely that it’s one of those things, and even if it is, it’s not even certain that they wouldn’t be growing and causing the same problem as the tumor (breaking his leg and causing lots of pain), then it’s still better to just do the amputation tomorrow like we’d planned…. right?

    What do you all think?

  • TheIvoryKitty

    Surgery is over – he’s one less leg. He got through without complications and he’s resting at the hospital now. Apparently he got his claws into some of the nurses so they had to put an e collar on him. πŸ™ But otherwise, it’s good news… He may be down a leg, but he’s down a tumor too.

  • Belinda

    Frida, had to wear an e-collar as well to avoid her from licking the stitches (preventing them from getting loose).

    I’m happy to hear that he got through the surgery nicely.

    I appreciate the update.

    Wishing you and your Ivorykitty lots of love, kitten kisses and hugs (plus a smooth recovery).

    Frida & Belinda

    • TheIvoryKitty

      Thanks so much! He is okay – he was royally pissed when we brought him home because of the e-collar but once we switched it for a onesie he was much better. He got under the bed for a while but eventually he came out and jumped up on our bed to take a nap. I was amazed. First day home, and drugged out to all hell, but he is still getting around okay-ish. He does seem to prefer backing up to going forward but I’m sure he’ll figure it out. He’s sleeping now. πŸ™‚

      • Sarah b

        I’m glad to hear all is well πŸ™‚

      • Sonja P

        I’m sitting here reading all of your progress reports and I’m very happy but actually quite amused at how happy you sound now. I’m amused because I see so much of my own emotional roller coaster in you and your comments. It is so hard to believe that they will be okay, we kill ourselves with worry and cry for weeks over something that we have so little control over, as we should, these are our kids. And then when they come through it and start taking their lives back and just getting on with it, we are so totally amazed at how resilient and adaptable that they are. I’m so very happy that Fang is doing so well. Try to keep him calm and not do a lot of jumping (I know, not easy right) just to protect the incision. He sounds like a fighter and he isn’t going to let this keep him down, good for him. I so very happy for you both and I’m so happy you made that terribly hard decision to give him the chance at life. He’ll prove to you that you made the right decision. Big hugs from Sonja & Tre’pod.

  • Hutch

    My 10 year old Merlin had his front left leg amputated yesterday after falling from a tree on Friday and severely fracturing his leg. He seems to be doing well and I hope he continues to. Everyone keeps telling me he will be fine and I hope they are right. It’s been great reading everyone’s posts here and I look forward to being part of this 3 legged pusscat community πŸ™‚
    Thanks for reading


    • Sonja P

      Merlin will amaze you, I’m sure. My Tre’ lost her front right leg at 11 and she has completely blown me away with how well she has done. A year & a half later and she acts like she’s been this way her whole life. The are resilient and incredibly adaptable. Keep us posted, we love our tripods and everyone else’s. Hugs from Sonja and Tre’pod.

  • belinda

    Welcome to our Tripod Community. I could not have gone through Frida’s surgery without these lovely cat parents supporting me through my ordeal. I thought it was two years ago. I just checked Frida’s records. It’s been since Sept 30, 2011 (amputated her right hind leg). 1 year ago. Wow! She is so amazing. She just jumped up about 4 feet high just get so she could land on a shelf in my linen closet. I’m still amazed.

    • Hutch

      Thanks for the answer Belinda. He’s improved today. Lots of washing and purring πŸ™‚

      • TheIvoryKitty

        Fantastic! Fang and Merlin are the same age with the same front-left leg amputation in the same week. Wouldn’t ya know it? They’re like brothers. I wish you the absolute best!

        • Hutch

          How about that. We can compare notes on how they are progressing. He goes back to the vets for a check up tomorrow. He’s currently fast asleep next to me at the moment. Hope Fang is doing well x

          • TheIvoryKitty

            He is – he amazed me on the first day with his ability to get around, jump on the bed, jump over the baby-gate at the door, use the litter box… I didn’t WANT him jumping over things, but it was still a really really good feeling to see him doing so well. But, today he’s taking a much more restful approach like your Merlin – sleeping under the coffee table right behind me. πŸ™‚

            Tripawds forum, which helped me a lot in me decision making process, inspired me to write a blog about Fang’s operation for other people faced with the same decision. They had mostly dog tri-pods and until I found this page I didn’t have many cat tri-pod owners to talk to.

            Anyway it’s at for anyone who wants to see his progress πŸ™‚ I love my Fangers!

            I hope Merlin keeps on doing well! (and resting! Fang just started trying to groom the staples, ugh).

  • Hutch

    Merlin continues to do well. Was a little worried as he wasn’t going to wee or poo. He had his post op check this morning and the vet was very happy with him πŸ™‚ but said if he didn’t wee by tomorrow morning he would need to go back. Thankfully late this afternoon he did both so that is a big relief for me :-).

    Hopefully no more hiccups and a bright future ahead for him πŸ™‚

  • belinda


    Whew!!!! I’m glad too. I was so paranoid with Frida after her surgery that I visited the vet office 3 times in one week (constipation, stiches getting loose, and for something else that I don’t recall). They told me “maybe we need to prescribe something for you.” I laughed at them! I needed to chill out. I was such a worry wort!

  • Rachel

    Omg – this site is so great. My sweet little Tiger (14 months old) was hit by a car on Thursday morning. He managed to crawl back home and even into the house up the back step and in through the cat flap. You could see the bone sticking out through his skin on his left hind leg πŸ™ The vet said the leg would absolutely have to be amputated, but they were also concerned about the lack of response from his right hind leg. After x-rays they said there was a problem with the ligaments in the ankle. Friday he had the left leg amputated and pins put in the ankle of his right leg. Today I’ve been told that he is eating well, is looking perkier and is much more comfortable that they are stopping the morphine and putting him on regular pain killers. But on the scary downside – they say he he still not attempting to use his remaining hind leg and just dragging himself everywhere, and also that he is not conscientiously relieving his bladder (just letting it leak when it is full and not attempting to move out of the way) so they are concerned about nerve damage to the bladder too. This waiting is sooo sooo hard πŸ™ I’m trying not to get my hopes up, but look at me here, looking up websites on how to care for a 3 legged cat, assuming that he’s coming home. Poor little boy…….

    • TheIvoryKitty

      Rachel, I wish you and Tiger the best! We are only 8 days into our amputation but I can tell you that already I amazed at how quickly kitties can get back on their feet (pun intended) after this kind of trauma. Just be positive – he’s obviously got the will to live, and he’s so young that he’ll adapt even more quickly to his new “normal”. πŸ™‚ – Chantal,

    • Sarah and Ella Catticus

      Best wishes for little tiger!

    • Sonja P

      Hope that Tiger is still on the road to recovery. You’ll be amazed at how well he gets along on only 3 legs, may be more difficult because of the injury to the other leg but they are amazing animals and they adapt & adjust so well. Please keep up posted on his progress. Hugs from Sonja & Tre’pod

    • Rachel

      Well after the not so encouraging news on Sunday, I rang on Monday morning to be told he could come home. Bit of a shock! He had been getting about on his back leg and he had used the litter. They showed me the x-rays they had taken. 2 breaks and a long shard of bone missing on one leg and a dislocated ankle on the other – horrific! They then showed me the x-rays of the screws in place in his ankle – amazing!
      He’s looking pretty miserable but obviously thats to be expected. The collar is certainly contributing to that – making him bump into things and preventing him from cleaning himself πŸ™
      Another problem we’ve encountered is taking his meds. He has antibiotics twice a day and a pain killer once a day. Supposed to be put on the food. Did this and he never touched it (which I suspected would happen as we can never give him his wormer this way either). The liquid pain killer is simple as I now just syringe this straight into his mouth, and I noticed the untouched tablet went mushy in his food, so I now seperate a teaspoon of food and put the tablet in. Wait till it goes mushy, then finger feed him the fish and the tablet mushed up. He doesn’t look too impressed, but he doesnt spit it out and then can have his food unsoiled.
      I have seen him using his litter several times, but we’ve also had 2 accidents. Not sure why, and hoping its not a cause for concern.
      On the upsides, he seems very mobile, especially as he has had work done on his remaining hind leg. He can get upstairs and down without any trouble, although I’m not too happy at this. He’s supposed to be on room rest, (but he’s very persistant in trying to get out), dont want him in the bedrooms if he is still a little incontinent, and also dont want him getting his collar stuck under the beds. But still a good sign. He tried to get on the sofa last night to sit with me but he just sat there crouched and must have known he couldn’t make it. So I made a step for him and he got up easily πŸ™‚ Also managed to jump down without any obvious bother. And today while he was on my lap he was purring like a good’un. πŸ™‚
      Looking forward to Monday when his stitches come out and his collar off, and hopefully a reduction in meds, but all in all feeling pretty good about him.

      • Sonja P

        Give him some time, he’ll get through this, it may rip your heart out but he’ll get there. He may need steps in several places. We have them all over the place for our Tre’ who had a front leg amputated, she gets up on things easy enough, it is the getting down that is hard for her. I would think that the accidents are because he is still in pain and having a hard time getting used to one less back leg. I’ll bet he’ll figure it out as he heals and this too will pass. Keeping your baby in my thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery. Hugs from Sonja & Tre’pod

  • Lois Lindemann

    Hi Rachel. So sorry to hear about Tiger.

    My cat also lost one back leg and had injuries to the other. He also started by dragging his leg and took a while to adapt. Once he started to recover, he improved really quickly.

    I hope you get good news about Tiger. Please keep us posted.

  • TheIvoryKitty

    We are at our two-weeks-after surgery mark, and I just wanted to let you guys know that Fang is exactly how he used to be. He does the same things, walks and runs as fast, jumps up and down from things perfectly, and is just as happy, loving, and active as he always was. I am so grateful for all of your words of encouragement when I was faced with what I thought was a terrible decision all around. πŸ™‚ – Chantal & Fang –

    • Claire Harris

      Thats great news, I just read the latest instalment on your blog and I can’t believe your cats look exactly like my Panther and his bff Smudge, Panther is black, Smudge black and white and like your two Smudge was often dominant with Panther but the fact Panther has a front leg missing hasn’t stopped him put Smudge in his place when rough and tumble got too much. I am so pleased that Fang is doing so well, I know it is a terrible decision to make because your mind is full of what if’s, but like most people on here I think the cats surprise you with their ability to adapt and for some of them so quickly. Best wishes to you and Fang.

      • TheIvoryKitty

        Awwww, how adorable that the kitties has twinsies out there :). It was such a hard decision, and looking back on it now it should have been a no-brainer! But, ya know, things are always much clearer in hind sight!!!! Thanks so much for your well wishes!!!

    • Sarah B

      Excellent news πŸ™‚
      Welcome to the world of tripod cat ownership, prepare to be amazed πŸ™‚

      Sarah B and Ella Catticus

    • Sonja P

      I am so pleased to hear that Fang is doing so well, YAY! They are amazing little animals and we are so blessed to have them in our lives. They have so much to teach us about just getting on with life and not letting problems get in our way, take them as challenges and opportunities for growth. So very happy for both you and Fang. Hugs from Sonja and Tre’pod.

  • Perfectascats

    Hi – I found this site through a suggestion from “Fang’s Story” which I found on Google – which I went to after freaking out over my newly amputated kitty, Xerox.

    I’m still freaked out. Xerox’s right rear leg was lasered off Wed. because of cancer and he’s been doing pretty good considering he’s 15 yrs old. He’s eating and drinking and peeing all on his own.

    Today (Sat) is his first day off of his pain meds and until just recently, all was well. Then, he got up to eat, walked a bit and then went into this seemingly uncontrollable dance-like spastic…I don’t know what…like he had roller skates on or something…that carried him across the kitchen into the dining room where he collapsed and howled like he has ever howled before.

    I raced over and stroked him and tried to calm him down and he seemed ok even though I was freaking out – he got up and hopped on over to his bed by the fireplace like nothing happened.

    Was it a spasm? A Seizure? A result of three-legs hopping on a wood floor? I’m so confused and watching him like a hawk with my heart about to explode.

    Have any of you heard of anything like this with a recovering kitty/fresh amputation?

    • TheIvoryKitty

      First, What kind of pain meds was he on? I know that sometimes cats can have a similar withdrawal effect like humans do when coming off of meds so it could be something weird related to that.

      Secondly, it could be him pulling on his incision in a weird way while walking and accidently hurting himself – especially now that he’s off of meds. If you read Fang’s story you probably know that he did that twice on the bed – both times he stretched out and hurt himself, cried out, and ran under the bed angry and hurt.

      Finally, cats and dogs somtimes suffer from phantom limb pain which, from what I’ve heard, looks a lot like what you’re describing (random, sudden pain in the missing limb). The likelihood of phantom limb pain would be reduced if Xerox had Gabapentin before surgery, a drip during and after surgery, and most importantly, nerve blocks during surgery. Do you know if he had those things? Phantom limb pain occurs more often in humans (and therefore assumably animals) when the limb hurts before it’s taken off, and if there isn’t much pain PREVENTION in addition to the after-care. If it is phantom limb pain, I’ve read that it typically goes away after 3-4 months. You can ask your vet for some Gabapentin to give him yourself for a few days and that might help.

      I hope things go well for you and Xerox – I’m sure that things will get better. Remember, he’s really sore right now so when he moves around he’s gonna feel it. I also hope that Fang’s blog can offer you some tips and solace for the good things to come πŸ™‚ Chantal & Fang-

      • Perfectascats

        Hi! Thank you so much for replying.
        I think it’s called Onsior – it was a 3-day pain pill thing. The first pill was given by my vet; the 2nd pill, he was high as a kite (almost hilariously so); the last pill he was very normal – ate normally, drank, etc etc, and was a lot more active than the day before. Today, off the meds, he’s sleeping a lot but still eating (Royal Canin Recovery RS) and he’s not making that sort of grunty noise he would make at night when his pain meds had worn off the previous days. He’s still tender, naturally, but lets me clean his stitches and put Neosporin on it (Ok’d by my vet and helps with itching I think).

        As for licking, he hasn’t gone for his stitches yet…but it’s only his 3rd full day. Ugh – I really hate to think of the phantom limb thing – I feel so guilty already! (3-4 months!? OMG) But it was either cut it off or let the tumor turn his foot into an exploded sausage. πŸ˜› And yes – his foot hurt him for about 2 months before I finally made the decision to amputate. It was a tough call with his age and all.

        My vet did not mention anything about Gabapentin. I wish I had known about it sooner – I would have asked for it. I also didn’t know about the pain patch in Fang’s blog. The vet did say he had cauterized all of the nerves/vessels when he lasered the leg. Another note: his stitches look great – no oozing/bleeding/redness/swelling or anything. I’m terrified because I have to leave him alone on Monday – I was able to work from home Thurs and Fri but there’s no way I can get away with doing it again. πŸ™

        I read most of Fang’s story but it sounds like the opposite of Xerox – no hiding, eating well, is still super lovey dovey like he’s always been (he’s a cuddler- even likes for me to carry him like a baby).

        • TheIvoryKitty

          Well, Fang has always dealt with pain/sickness himself by hiding – he never was one to seek out emotional support from us, so the hiding etc is just part of his personality. I, for one, think that Xerox’s recovery will go much better because you can help make him feel better since he gets so much emotional support from you. That’s a good thing.

          One thing I learned from this experience is that many, many vets are still old-school in the sense that they don’t do much about pain prevention, and mostly deal with the pain afterwords. Unfortunately, this leads to a greater liklihood for phantom limb pain and a longer recovery time – but it doesnt mean that Xerox wont get better! It might just take a while longer. My vet did not know about Gabapentin either – I had to specifically ask for it. Not all vets believe that it helps, though neurological doctors do, and so do the people with tri-pods who have experienced phantom limb and used it. There aren’t any negative side effects besides being drowsy, so it’s definately worth asking your vet for a perscription. It helps with post-amputation phantom limb pain (though it would have been good to use it before, it’s okay that it’s after).

          If it is phantom limb (and it might not be), it wouldn’t be 3-4 months of constant pain – if it did keep occuring, at least it would be an occasional pain that goes away quickly. Try not to be too worried. You guys can get through this!

          I don’t know about Onsior, but it sounds like it’s been keeping him pretty drugged out so that’s good. Fang went off of pain meds (his patch) 4 days after surgery as well, so it is about time for Xerox to get off of pain meds. But, now that he’s off it is normal for him to get a bit less active because he feels it a bit more. If you think he’s still in pain, ask your vet for Tramadol tablets… But, he’s probably getting along fine. Remember, you’re a worried parent so you’re going to be reflecting how you feel Xerox should feel onto him.

          I would absolutely call or email the vet to find out if they used nerve blocks. I don’t know if you have that kind of relationship with this vet or not.

          I’m glad about him not messing with his stitches! Fang was great – he never had to wear the cone or a onesie. Cones and whatnot make them depressed so, if you can watch him, that’s wonderful!

          I know what you mean about leaving the house – I ditched work the whole first week, but I was lucky enough to be able to do that without worrying about the consequences. All I can say is that he’ll be okay, even when you’re not there. Really the best part of staying home is that it makes YOU feel better – they don’t really need you all that much, even if it doesnt feel that way!!

          He will really be fine. πŸ™‚

    • TheIvoryKitty

      An example of phantom limb pain, if this sounds like a similar thing:

      I wouldn’t jump to phantom pain right away – and I wouldn’t super worry about it (but I know that’s totally impossible for you right now).

      I hope this helps.

      • Perfectascats

        Thank you so much for talking me through this – I’m freaking out a bit less and he’s been sleeping/calm ever since so I think you’re right – a lot of this is how *I’m* feeling about it all. haha (silly)

        After reading the phantom limb entry I’m also feeling a lot better – that does not sound anything like what happened w/Xerox. I’m wondering if he maybe got a cramp in his remaining leg and couldn’t find balance…the whole ‘using muscles he never used before’ kind of thing? Whatever it was – I so never want to see that again. SO scary!

        My fear is that the second I leave his side, he’s going to start licking/biting/doing anything bad for his recovery. Logic tells me he hasn’t done it so far and that as long as I keep it clean/Neosporin’d he should leave it alone but again – all me. :/ I have been staying by his side since he got home Wed. night, sleeping with one hand on him so that I wake up when he gets up and then I follow him to his litter box or downstairs to his food bowl. In healthier days he slept on my pillow with my arm around him like a teddy bear. πŸ™‚ OMG I sound like a crazy person.

        I’m friendly with my vet’s daughter and left her a voicemail but I hate bothering her about pet stuff on her time off (even though she’s super nice and cool about it all). Hopefully she’ll call tomorrow and I can ask her about the Gabapentin, Tramadol and nerve blocks.

        Again THANK you so much! This has helped me more than you know!

        • TheIvoryKitty

          Hey, no problem at all – be sure to let me know if you have any other questions or just want to talk! The other people on this forum will have things to say as well, I’m sure!!

          I’m glad it doesn’t sound like phantom limb pain – that’s a relief, I’m sure. πŸ™‚ And, it does make perfect sense for him to have some cramps in his other leg for a while – with Fang, by the end of the day he’s pretty tired and his limp gets more pronounced. It takes a while to get that leg strength up.

          Oh, you should maybe start him on some joint supplements like Dasuquin. If he’s already got arthritis it will help, and if not it will help prevent it. It’s just a powder you add to his food every other day.

          As for the licking/biting on the incision – the way I feel about it might very well not be what a vet would say… but like I said, I never put a cone on Fang. If Xerox were my kitty (and I don’t know him of course), but if I felt like he wouldnt mess with the stitches I would leave him be. Now, like I said, I don’t know Xerox so maybe it’s not the best advice – but I was confident enough in Fang to not mess with him, and for me, the depression from the cone wasn’t worth it. Also, I was fine with licking – just no biting. As far as I’m concerned, cat’s lick their wounds to get rid of infection – it’s clean and fine. The biting is where they mess up their stitches. Again, maybe that’s not what a vet would tell you, but I let Fang lick his and he was fine.

          You don’t sound crazy! I camped out in the office for a week! Lol.

          Like I said – let me know if you need anything else!! I am so happy to help and talk to you about whatever!

  • I had Bruno in a puppy cage for approx 4/5 weeks the first couple of weeks he stayed in 24/7 just coming out for stretching and cuddles, after that he would come out for longer periods of time but sleep in cage at night times. When I first went back to work I was so worried about him, but he was fine in his cage, bought him some new toys to hang down from the bars and had the radio on for company. When I got in from work I would let him out for family time. Try the radio it might put your mind at ease.
    The puppy cage I borrowed from a friend it was a large one, the vet suggested this felt horrible at first, but Bruno had 2 injuries he had metal pin in the hip to hold his other leg him amp.
    But omg you should see him he can do every thing as before.
    Andrena from the UK

  • Sarah B

    Ella has officially been a tripod for one year
    It’s hard to believe I ever worried about her, what an amazing little animal πŸ™‚
    Happy thanksgiving in the US, happy Thursday to everyone else!
    Sarah B and Ella Catticus

  • Rachel

    Well overdue update. Tiger is doing fantastic! He obviously still walks with a hoppy limp, but he’s really quick, up and down the stairs, sofas and windowsills with no problems at all. I cant believe what fantastic work the vets (and Tiger) have done. Really thought I was going to lose him. Thank the stars he managed to drag himself home rather than curling up hidden in a bush somewhere. He had a vet check up early this week and they’ve dismissed him I’ve just got to keep an eye on his other back ankle, as the screws can sometimes start to rub and bother them, so they may have to be removed, but hopefully not (another dreaded collar!!!). I think our biggest hurdle is now keeping him in. I am going to let him go back out again but hopefully not till the spring – warmer weather, lighter afternoons etc. But he is a nightmare and mieowing like a female in heat!! But all in all a very happy kitty mummy. Big hugs and love to other the other 3 legged cats and mummys out there xxx

  • Anna ratcliffe

    Thank you for having this site, I just wish I had found you guys sooner, my very overweight 14 year old cat merlin, has had his left rear leg amputated this morning, the vet has just phoned to say he is recovering very well, but I have no idea what to do when he gets home. It has all been very traumatic as you guys all know and such a big shock as he only had a slight limp and after no improvement went for X-rays Xmas eve and was phoned by the vet while he was still under anaesthetic to say it didn’t look good he had a tumor and did we want biopsys taken, I was totally in shock all I heard on the phone was tumour, cancer, amputation, not looking good and I will be honest I sobbed and sobbed for days. We did have biopsy taken and it was osteosarcoma as far as I know it’s bone cancer but his chest X-ray came back clear, it doesn’t appear to have spread but ther are no guarantees. The last two week have been pure torture not knowing what to do for the best as the vet is not sure that he will cope on 3 legs as he is so overweight but after visiting vets to have stitches out she told us that it is going to get very painful and with meds she can only take some of the pain away the only way to be pain free is to amputate so rightly or wrongly that is the agonising decision I made, even if he can’t cope on 3 legs at least he won’t be in pain, but after reading all of your comments I have stopped crying and am feeling a lot better so thank you vey much every one and I am now looking forward to visiting my merly tonight in hospital and feel I can face anything. THANK YOU

    • Sonja P

      Sorry to hear about Merlin, my Tre’ lost her right front leg to cancer almost 2 years ago now. I also cried buckets full. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever made but she is happy and healthy now and extremely spoiled. The one thing you might want to do for Merlin is put steps around. Being overweight and now weaker in the rear because of the loss of one leg, he is going to need help getting up on things that used to be no problem for him. We put steps by the bed and the chest under our window and anywhere that she has to jump down from to protect her front leg joints and her back legs from hitting hard on the floor. Merlin will have no problem getting down but getting up on things may be a little harder. They quickly learn to use the steps and go on with life like that is the way it has always been. I believe that Merlin will bounce back quickly. Usually if they have been in pain, they feel so much better just being rid of the pain that they heal very quickly. Please keep us posted on Merlins progress as we are all one big family of tripod owners here and we love all our babies. Hugs from Sonja and Tre’pod.

  • valentina

    For Anna: yes the cat is aged, but he will manage… the best thing you can do for him now is to keep him on diet.
    My cat’s front-right leg was amputated after a car accident and one year and half later, he does great, he’s a careless and happy cat. Still, I see that when I manage to keep him on diet (very hard) he walks sooo much better and you can tell he feels lighter and better. Good luck!

  • Sarah

    The same was stressed for Ella Catticus
    Keep her lean and she will manage very well and happily on three legs
    Don’t feel sad about the amputation, tripods are awesome and extra lovey πŸ™‚

  • Anna ratcliffe

    Thank you for your replies, I went to see him tonight and was a bit surprised that he didn’t have any bandages or anything is this normal? He was a bit hypa and would not keep still so I didn’t stay long hoping he would calm down if I was not there, but I did have a little purr but was very surprised that he was bounding about on 3 legs so quickly, he will be on a strict diet and I have asked neighbours not to feed him and I will be able to monitor what he is eating while he is in for the next couple of weeks but after that watch out mice( his favourite) thanks all love to all tripods and parents x

  • Sarah

    Ella Catticus escaped her swaddling to stagger about after only five hours post op.
    Cats don’t waste any time in recovering!

  • Anna

    Have got him home at last, can’t keep him still, managing on 3 legs wonderfully but can’t keep him from licking his stitches, they gave up in the hospital he kept getting out of the collar and chewed two up so I’m on watch 24/7. Defiantly made right decision he is like a different cat already which shows how much pain he must have been in with the tumour and all he showed was a slight limp. Cats are amazing!

  • paris

    Hi! my kitty romeo was attacked by a fox two days ago and had his paw ripped to shreds xhe took a turn for the worse today and they rushed him to surgery and aputated, infection had set in. He’s there for afew more days. Im really worried about this “phantom leg pain” i need some reassurance and all the facts?…also me and my mum would like to know how to extra care for him? he’s loved so much just hope he makes it home to us x thank you! x

    • Sonja P

      Hi Paris, So sorry to hear about Romeo but thankfully he is a very loved kitty and the good news is that life as a 3-legged cat isn’t as scary as it sounds. My Tre’ had her right front leg amputated almost 2 years ago now because of cancer. I agonized over what to do and cried literally buckets of tears on her behalf. But now, 2 years later, she is doing great, gets around well and is completely spoiled. Depending on which leg Romeo lost there will be things you can do to make life easier. Loss of a front let makes it harder to get down off of things like chairs or beds and I have steps all over the place for Tre’ and she learned quickly to use them. Loss of a back leg makes it harder to get up on things and again, steps would help. Now Tre’ uses the steps to get both up and down. We never had a problem with phantom pain. Some cats do and some don’t. Do your research, it doesn’t last forever even if they do have it and while heart wrenching to watch them go through all this, they are not like humans and they just realize that the leg is gone and oh well, lets get on with life, it is truly amazing. A couple other things, pain medications make them constipated and it is already difficult figuring out the potty pan on 3 legs, being constipated makes it worse so give them extra liquids, it helped my Tre’. Extra water, extra gravy, extra tuna juice, anything that will get more liquids into their systems. Give Romeo a quite place to recover. Some cats are up quickly and moving around almost the next day. My Tre’ took a good 2 weeks to try to find her new normal and then several more weeks to really act like she was back to what was her new normal. You will be amazed at how resiliant cats are. They just get on with life and will astound you. Hang in there, I know how hard this is, stay positive especially when you are around Romeo, if you are scared and upset he will be too. So if you have to cry, don’t do it in front of him, always be happy and positive around him it will help him heal and it will help to keep him from getting depressed. I learned this lesson the hard way. I hope this helps you. Go see your baby if they will let you so he knows that you still love him and keep us posted, we all love our tripods and now you and Romeo are members of the family. Hugs from Sonja and Tre’pod.

  • Sarah

    Fear not for your Romeo
    As you read through the back posts you will gain comfort in the trials and tribulations if the newly tripod cat community
    Ella Catticus also had a full amputation due to a mangled paw
    But rest assured she is active and happy and capable of all things cat πŸ™‚
    Keep posting there will always be support for you!

    Sarah and Ella Catticus

  • Michelle

    Hello..we are fostering a kitty that had her backleg amputated. My heart just sunk when I seen her…but she is an amazing kitty. She is 1 & she acts like nothing is wrong. We got her Sat and she had surgery Thurs. She is doing wonderfully. I just started having trouble giving her medicine today. She is getting a bit fiesty. But all sooo sweet. I am sure I am going to keep her. Was very concerned on how my 2 older cats would react. Lots of hissing/growling right now.
    I have noticed the constipation/diarhhea. The water makes her more constipated??? Should I give her milk?? Reg milk or kitty milk?
    Send us lots of kitty prayers for all to get along cuz I want to keep her!!!

    • Sonja P

      I gave my girl tuna juice, she loves tuna and that made the juice something she desired. I would stay away from regular milk, that can cause major diarrhea but you might try something formulated for cats. Hang in there, they will eventually start tolerating each other. I have 4 cats ranging in age from 18 down to 6 and there has always been ugliness when a new one came in but they all tolerate each other now. One thing I can say is, watch how she gets up on things. Having lost a back leg she may have a hard time jumping up, give her some steps to help her with that, she’ll learn to use them quickly and it may help protect the back leg joint as she gets older. Hugs and hang in there, Sonja and Tre’pod.

  • Sarah

    Pain meds cause digestive issues
    Look back through the posts for info
    Ella Catticus would actually foam up her pills once they were in her throat
    Even the vet couldn’t get her to take it so I ended up getting a liquid in a syringe
    I hope you get to keep her, is she tabby by any chance?

  • Michelle

    Thanks all for your advice. Callista/Cupie is eating well & having regular bowel movements. She is not moving too much. Laying/sleeping a lot. She will play a bit when I go in but not much with working full time job & caring for 82 yr old father. Other cats have been in sniffing..not too much growling/hissing…still a little…. guess just time!

  • It’s now been a year since our then kitten Bruno was in a accident and had a operation to have 1legged pinned at the back,and the other back leg taken off.
    Omg you should see him now I want to share so new members on here know things do get better and light at the end of the tunnel.
    When we were going through it all I didn’t cope and I blamed myself for making the decision to have his leg taken off, I worried constantly about Bruno but I was wrong on all accounts.
    My fur baby is even more special if that make sense.
    He runs so fast up and down trees over fences in and out the cat flap like nothing ever happened.
    We wanted &tried to keep I him in after the first 3/4 months was scared to let him out,we tried to keep him in the confines of our own garden or thought about a cat that stays in 24/7 but we knew this was not fair on Bruno.
    Bruno is 100% back to his old self he can do everything he done before, and his little personality has come right out he a little bit sandwich short of a picnic saying but so so loving and very very happy.
    Good luck to you all who are going through the same agony ,it’s worth it you will get through this .never never give up.
    Andrena xxxx

  • Lucy

    2 years ago my cat, who had spent the last 8 years sleeping on my bed each night finally had enough of our other cat and moved to the quieter farm across the road. After a few months she was fed by people at the farm and came home less and less. We’d go see her at the farm, but she had no interest in being anywhere near the other cat.
    She’s now almost 11 and we recently received a call to say her back leg was in bad shape and needed to be amputated. Being out the country when this occurred the people who fed her at the farm have taken her in, luckily we still had her insured.
    She was before a very able cat who could survive perfectly fine by hunting and sleeping in barns ect. With only 3 legs it’s likely she’ll be less able to survive outside on her own. This proves a difficult situation, as we her owners who have have her for 10 years and love her. We don’t want to make her be with the other cat, but at the same time the idea of her going to stay with another person who started feeding our cat and meaning she came home less often doesn’t seem right. A factor in this is whether she would still be able to live at the farm being fed, or will she need to be looked after and need to be in a house? At the same time I guess if she’s let out form our house she will simply run back over to the farm. How much extra support do cats require after an amputation?

    • Lucy – Fang has his front leg amputated a few months ago. He was always a mostly-outdoor farm cat, and that has not changed. He can do everything he used to do, jumps the cattle fence to hang out in the neighbors’ fields, etc etc. I’ve not changed anything in the house or outside to make things easier for him, and he’s just fine. Also, cats seem to do much better missing a back leg than a front leg, so you’re kitty will likely do even better than Fang. You will be surprised – I’ve found that three legged cats dont actually NEED any extra support after the first couple weeks for recoup, though some people like to give them extra support anyway :P.

    • Sonja P

      My Tre’ had her right front leg removed due to cancer, she is an indoor cat and we have 3 other cats in our home. I believe that it depends on the cat as to whether or not they could survive in a barn setting. It sound like your cat has been living in the neighbors barn for a while and is fully capable of taking care of herself. She would need indoor rehab after surgery but I would think that as soon as the stitches come out she should be capable of living in the barn again without any problem. Cats are amazing, adaptable animals that are nothing at all like humans. They don’t mourn the loss of a body part like we do. They just say “hmmmm, guess I better get on with life.” Each cat is different when it comes to healing time. My Tre’ took at least 2 weeks to really get herself up and around and start trying to learn to walk on 3 legs. Some are up and around the same or the next day. My Tre’ is afraid of everything and I think that had a lot to do with how quickly she found her new normal. However, 2 years later she is amazing and incredible not to mention spoiled. We have put some steps around for her to be able to get up & down on things that are higher because it is harder, especially to get down, when missing a front leg. Back legs make it harder to get up sometimes but your kitty is an outside kitty and probably fairly strong so I’d get the surgery done and just see how it goes. I’m sure that you will be amazed like we all have been with the recovery of our cats. Hang in there and keep us posted. Hugs from Tre’ & Sonja

  • Heather F

    I’m so glad I found this group. My beautiful big Siamese boy kitty Tonto was just dropped off at the vet for an amputation on his right from leg and I’m in tears. He has osteoscarcoma in his foot,and it has gotten to the point where it was either the leg or the cat. Hubby and I have argued about this being done, but I feel that Tonto still has much life, fight and love left in him that I was not ready to put him down. Cat’s don’t have the image issue that people do. He’s only 7 years old, very spunky and happy. He will probably need to loose some weight, he’s a stocky fellow ok he’s a furry butterball). I’m going to get a set of pet stairs, to help him get up on the bed at least, which is one of his favorite spots to sleep. It’s helping to read about others in the same situation.

    • Beth

      you will be amazed at your boy! Bravo for being brave and giving him life!

    • Sonja P

      Tonto is gonna be fine sweetie! My Tre’ was 11 when she had her right front leg amputated because of a cancerous tumor up near her elbow. I cried buckets of tears thinking I was taking a normal life away from her but I just wasn’t ready to lose her yet, she was and still is my miracle baby. I’m SO happy I made the decision to remove the leg. Like you, my hubby & I didn’t agree on what to do but he knew I loved her and finally said “do what you think is right.” She is now 2 years post surgery and spunkier than ever. We have steps all over the place for her but getting up isn’t the problem, getting down will be more difficult so steps all over, we have them on the chest under the window, at the bed, at the window in the basement where she lays. When you get Tonto home lots of love and quiet time, extra liquids because the pain medications constipate them, and yes, weight is a huge issue with 3-legged cats. I give my girl glucosamine for her joints because later in life arthritis can be a problem. You will be amazed by your boy, he will find his new normal quickly and unlike humans who lose a limb, they don’t mourn, they just get on with life. One thing I will say, stay positive when you are with him. If you are depressed he’ll pick up on those emotions and so you need to be happy and upbeat when you’re with him. Congrats on making the decision for life and if he was special before surgery, he’ll be doubly special now. Hang in there and keep us posted. Hugs from Sonja and Tre’pod.

      • Heather F

        Thank you for the encouragement. Tonto is home from the hospital. He has been medicated and was pretty quiet the first couple of days. I tried to fix up a corner in the bedroom, using a very large box but he tried to jump out of it the second night, just about scaring me out of my skin. He has wanted to sleep on the bed between me and my husband. I have gotten a set of stairs for him. He now at the point where he is trying to pull off the bandages. I am using both a small kids t-shirt and an e-collar. Tonto can hop around pretty well already but he is not happy right now. He woke up about 1am having a fit. He had gotten his arm up through the top of the e-collar. My concern right now is bathroom issues. I’m worried he is getting constipated. I isolated him in the bedroom to check him later. The other cats were taking advantage of the litter box in the bedroom making it hard to tell how he is going. If nothing later I will follow up with the vet. (his brother is unhappy about being locked out of the bedroom). My husband is becoming more supportive about the situation.

  • Natasha

    My 8 year old male cat, Jordan, had his front leg removed last week due to cancer. After a week he is grooming himself and seems to be in a happier mood but my main question is when will he start moving around more or hopping? I have talked and taken him to the vet and we dont see anything wrong with his other leg, ( we did x rays(. When does stand up per say, he doesn’t seem to want to put any pressure on his existing front paw and then lies back down. I am trying to encourage him by propping him up and also moving his front paw back and forth ( to exercise all the joints) as my vet suggested. All the articles I have read on here say there tripod was up and hopping within a few days…has this same situation happened with anyone else? My vet says it could just take him a bit longer to figure out how to maneuver with only one front leg. Any suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated. I feel so bad for my furbaby ;(

    • Sonja P

      Hang in there Natasha, I had the same worries. My 11 year old had her front right leg removed because of cancer. I wanted her to be up and moving as well, coaxed and prodded her but she had to do it in her own time. She didn’t really start trying to get around for 2 full weeks and even then it was very limited. I would have to say that it took a full 6 weeks before she was really trying to get around on a regular basis. Jordan has to find his new normal in his own time and in his own way. It is painful for you, believe me I know, but just give him tons of love and affection. And lots of praise for any little thing that he does. They respond to a positive, happy attitude so always be positive when you are with him. If you need to relieve the stress and pain you feel, do it away from him, he needs positive happy stimulus. Also make sure that he can get to the places he used to and make sure that he can get down. Cats that lose a front leg have a harder time jumping down so give him steps. It can be sturdy boxes, plastic lugs, wooden steps, anything to make his life easier when getting down from places. Again, just hang in there and let him move at his pace, some take longer to find their new normal but they do. He really will amaze you. Please keep us posted on his progress.
      Hugs from Sonja and Tre’pod.

    • Heather F

      Have patience Natasha. Pets, like people have different personalities. Tonto has always been a very active cat. He’s the Tigger type, pouncing running, playing tag. I think that’s why his already trying to be up and around more than he should be. I still feel bad for him, and want to carry him places. Jordon and Tonto are about the same age, and both had front foot amputations so we will see how they progress. Hugs, best wishes and healing thoughts.

  • Natasha

    Thank you so much for your response! We just got back from the vet to have his stitches out, he too had cancer in his leg and that is why he had to have it amputated. He is finally eating on his own ( after a day and a half of us hand feeding him very little) but he eats on his side. The vet said to give him another couple weeks and if he still wasnt hopping around we could try a cortizone shot. He does not seem to be in any pain at all but still has not pooped. The vet checked him out and he is not constipated or anything so Iam thinking that maybe he just needs time. I am glad to hear that you have had a similar situation, it makes me feel a bit better thinking that he just needs more time and there isnt something else wrong with him. Thank you so much for responding and I will keep you updated as he progresses.

    • Sonja P

      Hey Natasha, you’re welcome. You might want to give Jordan some extra broth or tuna juice. If he is on any kind of pain medication, it constipates them, the extra juice will help. My Tre’ had a terrible time with pooping for about 1 1/2 weeks, until I stopped the pain meds. If Jordan is a fearful cat that may have something to do with him getting up and moving. My Tre’ is afraid of everything and she didn’t want to come out even to the living room because it scared her so I would get her and bring her out to sit with me so that she wasn’t always in her quiet room. In fact I carried her outside so she could sniff and we would walk around inside the house just to see if we could get her curiosity back in tact and want to come out. Do whatever works but don’t rush him, he’ll get through this and he’ll do it on his own schedule. It has been 2 years since Tre’s surgery and she’s my amazing little miracle baby and my hero. She’s been through a lot in her life, not just the amputation and she just keeps on keeping on. Nothing stops her. Jordan will do the same.

  • Heather F

    Well, Tonto is doing much better. Yesterday he was pouty, hiding and not being a happy kitty. He’s up and around, talking again (though not too much yet compared to his usual)and “thinks” he wants to go outside. When I was calling one of the other cats, he came too :-). I got some little oneies today and took off the e-collar. At this rate he will be acting pretty normal soon enough. It will be a while before I feel comfortable letting him outside unless we are there even once he is healed up.

    • Sonja P

      Happy to hear the good news Heather. Sounds like he’s doing really well, how’s your husband doing with all of this? I let my Tre’ outside but have to admit while I let the others kind of wander, I watch her pretty closely. I feel so responsible for her and her safety and her ability to defend herself is greatly diminished with having only 1 front let. However, she is still quick as lightening when she runs and when we play, she almost always manages to get my hand or finger with a front claw because she’s still so quick. Just watch Tonto, you and he will figure out what his limits are fairly quickly. Don’t deny him going out if he used to because the only thing that has really changed is the number of legs he has, he’s still the same kitty he was before, just a little more special. Hugs from Sonja and Tre’pod

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