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

  • Noel

    Well a month has passed since Zac came home minus a leg! It has not been the easiest of months! We lost his best Pal Xena last week to Cancer but we knew we could not prolong her life for our sakes she is reunited with his her brother Toby buried in the corner of our garden we have made the area beautiful there is a tasteful fountain some lovely plotted plants and some solar lighting so enough of that ! Zac is getting better but his confidence was very badly dented, I read about someone’ s cat coming he and him getting over the gate almost immediately, we are a long way off that! Positives are he is getting about well now! Does not flip over on to his back and yowl, he has started to go out a bit too but any sudden movement or loud noise he freaks out. Umderstandable considering his type of accident! I look forward to more positive progress, especially the one when he remembers that our neighbours beautifullyanicured gardens are where he should be peeing and phooing! I am not an advocate for cleaning litter trays! I seem to get more mess on the floor than Zac does! In short despite losing Xena we ate experiencing, happy days and Oscar our other dog is getting lots of attention again so he is happy! X

  • Ross

    Hi i pick my cat up tomorrow from the vet,he lost his front right leg,due too some fool trying to pot him with a shot gun,he was only hit by one pallet but it was enough to shatter his whole leg below the knee,he also dislocated his knee on his rear left leg,the vet says that was from recoiling backwards from being hit the pallet,that also required surgry in total 3 hours of surgry,But im quite shore harry will bounce back.It was good too read the previous posts it has cheered me up and given my confidence Harry cat will have a long happy life
    cheers

    • Claire Harris

      Welcome to the world of three legged cats. I can’t believe some idiot tried to shoot him what is wrong with people. Its a lot for poor Harry to go through but I’m sure he will be back to his old self very soon. Panther my three legged cat has been home for nearly two weeks now and he surprised us all when he went straight over the gate and away. He has days when all he wants is to lie and chill so we let him but as time moves on he is getting more and more adventurous. His mates have accepted him back into the fold so to speak and he’s up to some of his old tricks which is great to see. The only thing we have noticed is that he can’t climb the top of the wall like he used too and getting over the gate to get back in the garden is a problem as leaving the garden he has a few plant pots to use as a base. We are currently working out if he’d use a catflap or if its better to have some step system that means he cat get up and down the wall. All in all I am glad I made the decision to have the front leg removed and give him this chance because everyday he gets a little bit more like four legged Panther was. So really just give Harry lots of TLC, and I’m sure he will surprise you with how well he copes.

    • Sarah

      Some people don’t deservce to be part of the human race! Hope you cat is doing well x

  • Noel

    Welcome to the world of the three legged cat owners.

    Zac lost his leg 5 weeks ago now and he is by no means back to normal but he is well on his way!

    He has started to go out now and whilst a little nervous he does seem to cope.

    last night I watched him and he seems to be getting back to his old self as king of the close!

    in fact when I called him in he ran like a gazzel, the first few days may be hard for all of you but it will be worth it in the end

    good luck Ross!!

  • Ross

    Thanks Noel and Claire for your kind words for Harry,hes spending another night in the vets,which i was pretty happy with as he looks so fragile atm,cant beleave how big the scar is either.The rspca are going too look into the shooting im pretty shore i know the shooter is butt no proof,I have Harrys litter brother as well almost identical twins,be interesting too see how Harry keeps up,yhey are the best of mates.
    Thanks

  • Sarah

    The stitches are scary at first especially because they have to shave a large area
    But in about two months that frankenkitten look will fade into the fur
    And even sooner the swelling will subside and the staples will be removed that is a big change too
    As for the shooter, I think you found a new back yard for desposing of kitty litter 🙂
    Best wishes

    Sarah and Ella Catticus

    • Pen

      Hi all, Maxy limped home last night with a badly damaged leg, barely attached and I was certain he’d pass on the way to the vets, horrific. The vet has said that he is not out of the woods yet but if there are no internal injuries he will adapt to a life with 3 legs perfectly well. He is a very active and independent young male, bringing us mice almost daily. Has anyone on here had experience of their cat being able to hunt post amputation? I think he’d be very fed up if he couldn’t hunt.

  • Ross

    Just got Harry home tonite,Harry seems a bit confused the vet wants me too confine him too a room for ten days,he is definatly not keen on this its going too be along ten days,Im suprised how mobile he is already considering hes lost a leg and had acl done on the rear leg,As for the shooter maybe il spray I SHOOT CATS on his front fence,but i realy havent had much thought of him yet
    Cheers

    • Claire Harris

      Hi Ross, Glad to hear Harry is home, the vets advice sounds good. Panther was confined to a large cage for the first week, and then he was to be confined to a room but he did so well they actually just let him come home with me. I’d say just let Harry guide you, I’m sure he will let you know if he’s not happy.
      Best wishes to you both. 🙂

    • Sonja P

      Hi Ross, Glad that Harry is home. Just remember that Harry has been through a tremendous trauma and he is gonna be a little irritable. He’ll calm down and you’ll get back into the swing of things in the next few days. Our furr babies are incredibly resiliant and he’ll bounce back to his old self and find his new normal fairly quickly. Give him time, lots & lots of spoiling and love, he’ll be fine and he’ll amaze you. Keep us posted. Hugs from Sonja & Tre’pod.

  • Ross

    Thanks for all the well wishes for Harry.He is doing fine atm,hes eating and taking his meds well,and hes very bright in the face,Im very happy with his progress,He has a vet check up Monday.The other animals i have,have been keeping him company,its realy amazing watching thier behavior they understand hes injured and are realy concerned for him.
    Thanks Ross & Harry

  • mal

    Hi,

    My cat was born with 3 legs but I’m getting worried she’s 1 years old she’s starting to limp more? Do you think she’s not getting enough exercise or maybe i’m overfeeding her what should i do?

  • Belinda

    I monitor my cat’s diet because that is a big factor with Tripod cats. You want to make it easier for your cat to distribute his/her weight with out the one limb. If your cat is overweight, it will affect his/her joints based on where she/he is distributing the weight (front,back or that one leg). Frida who is a Tripod is 10-11 lbs. Her right hind leg was removed a 1 1/2 years ago. Her weight is distributed on the front paws but she also depends on the one leg in the back to hop and run. I did research on Tripods cats and keeping their weight down is important. Also, keep step stools around the house to make it easier for them to climb up and down. I have one next to my bed and another one in front of the window. She depends on them. 🙂

    I truly recommend to see a Vet. I live in New York City, USA and I take my cat’s to the Humane Society. Very reasonable! The Vet will help diagnose the problem and make some positive suggestions. They also helped me to look into Protein diets/food for my cats. There are a lot of cat foods out their that are high on carbs (moist and dry). I’m going to find the link and see if I can attach it.

  • mal

    Thanks I appreciate it. I will have her weight checked out. I feel like We have a stepping stool for the cat next to the bed.

  • Belinda

    Hi Mal, I have some notes from my Vet. She said cats should be having the following in their diets daily:

    50% – 70% of Protein
    10% of Carbs
    40% of Fat

    The unfortunate part is that there are too many cat foods that have 60% of carbs and a lower percentage of protein and fat, which is why cats are getting fat.

    This link I’m attaching was created especially for Tripods and cats that are Diabetics. I hope I can attach it.

    http://binkyspage.tripod.com/CanFoodNew.html

    You can referenc moist food and dry food. Reference my Vet’s info when you are looking to decide on a product for your cat.

    I buy from Trader Joes because it is a little more reasonable and it’s organic (moist- Tuna during the day). I also give them at night Wellness Core 1/4 scoop of dry food. It has 11% carbs. It is a little expensive but worth it for my babies. Also Mal, you have to transition the cat into the new food. My Frida was stubborn and she liked only one cat food. The told me take 1/4 of the new food and mix for a couple of days with the old food. Slowly add more each day of the new food and the cat will develop a palate for it.

    Okay enough of me and the advice. Good luck!

  • Ross

    Hi just a Harry update 10 days in and the stitches came out today all looking good,Harry started a course of cartrophen a four week course of a weekly injection,its supposed too increase the range of pain free movement,wouldnt mind a shot of that myself,but the acl operation knee reconstruction is my main concern i still have too keep Harry quiet no running jumping for another 4 to 6 weeks so still a long road ahead,Harrys only 20 months old so its a small price too pay,planing on getting another 14-16 years out of this boy.
    Cheers

    • Sonja P

      Hi Ross, When they are young like that it is harder to keep them calm and quiet. Sounds like Harry is doing very well though, very happy to hear that. My Tre’ is just over 12 years old and lost her right front leg just over a year ago. I felt like she’d never recover when it first happened but she is an amazing little cat and has amazed me daily since then. Harry sounds like a fighter, with that kind of a personality I’m sure that he’ll be with you for a very long time. I’m counting on Tre’ being around for several more years. Right now my oldest boy is 17, he’s slowing down but still in good health. Congrats to Harry and hugs to both of you from Sonja and Tre’pod.

  • Sarah

    Hello
    Ella Catticus is an indoor cat but she has no problem with chasing and catching small critters and her strength and dexterity are remarkable
    She had a front leg amputated
    I have a feeling he will be bringing you tiny presents again in a couple of months 🙂
    Best wishes
    Sarah and Ella Catticus

  • Sonja P

    I agree with Sarah, my Tre’ had a front leg amputated 15 months ago and she is the best mouser in the house. We live in an old farm house and every once in a while we get a mouse in the house and without fail, it is Tre’ is the one that gets it. She stays pretty close to home when she goes outside but she still stalks and hunts outside too. Your boy will be fine and back to hunting before you know it. Hugs from Sonja and Tre’pod.

  • Cassie Harris

    My cat Charlie was attacked by a dog just over a week ago, this resulted in charlie having his front right leg amputated. I have no idea how I am going to cope with my newly 3legged cat. This is Charlie’s first day at home after the amputation and I’m scared of him gaining injury or becoming depressed. Any suggestions on how I can help Charlie lead a normal healthy life?

  • Sarah

    The best thing to do is to love him and keep positive
    And more important, read back on these posts
    We’ve all been there and i know this site was a large part of what got me through the process
    Post whenever you need to, we have plenty of advice and support for you and Charlie
    Best wishes
    Sarah and Ella Catticus

  • Cassie Harris

    Thank you, I was reading threw all the post and the support you guys have gave and still continue to give each other, it was mind settling for me to read. Do I limit charlie’s access to areas or allow him to learn for himself? I’m scared because obviously his stitches will be delicate and i don’t want him to hurt himself, plus I have 2 other cats.

    • Beth

      just go very slow for first week or two, limit interaction with others and movement. before long he will return to his normal self. just love and attention

    • Claire Harris

      Hi Cassie & Charlie For the first week Panther was confined to a large cage just to limit his movements. I think this really helped as he couldn’t climb because when he came out it was the first thing he wanted to do! Just give Charlie lots of TLC and I’m sure he will amaze you with his recovery.

  • Sonja P

    Hi Cassie, Take a deep breath and realize that it is going to be okay. Charlie should be kept quiet and calm for at least a week. He’s not gonna feel like doing a whole lot but you really don’t want him trying to jump up on things because then he’ll try to jump down and that will be where the problems will come in. Some people have kennels or cages that they can be in. I kept my Tre’ in a seperate room for a week, brought her out in the evening to be with me and gave her a ton of attention. Charlie will quickly find his balance and will come to grips with being a tripod before you come to grips with it. My Tre’ lost her right front leg to cancer and has adapted amazingly well and does fine with our 3 other cats. Charlie may have problems at first with the litter pan but he’ll get it just be patient. He may get phantom pain but that too will pass. To keep him from getting depressed give him tons of attention, try to always be positive when you are around him. If you gotta cry, cry away from him, he’ll pick up on your emotions. Give him some extra fluids, tuna juice, water, gravy what ever he will take as the pain meds may make him constipated. He’ll amaze you at how quickly he’ll find his new normal. Give him steps to get down from higher places. I have steps to the bed, the chest under the window and the window in the basement. He’ll be able to jump up but getting down is really a lot harder for them so make it as easy as possible. Use lugs, crates or if you know someone that can build you steps do that. They really are amazing animals and they don’t grieve for the loss of a body part like we humans, he’ll just get on with life an learn to adjust and adapt. Hang in there and just watch him amaze you. Any time you need encouragement, just give us a holler, we’ll be here. Hugs from Tre’pod and Sonja

  • Ross

    Hi Cassie im 16 days in now since my cat Harry had his front right leg taken and im amazed how quickly he has healed,ive kept him confined too my bedroom for that time,i have 2 other cats and a boxer pup i bring them in every day for a visit and Harry seems too enjoy thier company,
    Keep your chin up Cassie we all know its shattering too see your pet like this but its only a matter of time and he will be ok.
    Goodluck Charlie speedy recovery
    Ross

  • Julie-Ann

    A French 3 legged cat tale.

    I am about to become the owner of a 3 legged cat, and it has been encouraging to read these stories. This cat is a big-boy Siamese, not neutered and with torn-up ears, about 3 years old who turned up pitifully thin with injured front leg (possible car strike) crying outside some neighbouring friends. Although cat lovers, they only live in France for 6 months a year so could not keep him.
    They took him to the vet, we distributed local fliers and informed the Mairie but no-one claimed him. I have 2 cats and a dog already, but said I would take him providing there were no huge vet bills, which I really can’t afford. Anyway my friends paid for his neutering, and the vet said if the injured leg needed to come off (and he was pretty sure it would) he would do it for free, which was really good of him (hope he remebers he said that!).
    In France the preferred way of cat birth control is often not to not neuter, then drown unwanted kittens – many french people seem to treat cats as dispoable, and dogs also do not always have a great time, being left on guard duty in the garden, seldom walked and going mad with loneliness and boredom. The chnaces of a 3 legged cat getting a good home were likely quite small, and most of my other English animal loving friends already have a full compliment of cats and dogs!
    So Nelson has been with me for just over 2 weeks, and he is a mainly sweet boy who follows me around and became a lap cat within a week. My other cats (Bilqis and Moxxie) are not very happy about their new housemate, deciding to spend more time in the garden and run away when they see him, but will hopefully come round eventually. My very understanding dog Trojan has a ‘not another bloody cat’ look about him, but puts up with Nelson snuggling up to him on the settee.
    Sadly the nerve damage to the leg has not improved – it is paralysed from the ‘wrist’ down, and trails along the ground when he runs, and he hobbles with it bent like a chicken wing when walking, so it has a scab which breaks open and is in danger of becoming infected.
    So he is at the vets at the moment being starved while awaiting the amputation, and I am worriedly waiting to find out how he is and when to pick him up, and what to do to look after him until he is better, wondering how will he react, how will my other cats (who are now prowling around the house to see where this horrible blue-eyed interloper has gone) will react….
    I often wonder if I am insane – quite probably I think!!

    • Pen

      Hi Julie-Ann,

      I wanted to share with you the little insight I do have on the matter of how your other cats might react to Nelson when he returns home.

      When we initially bought Max home post op (10 days ago) his brother rejected him, we were warned that this may happen. Animals form associations with other animals / recognise them based on scent, the strong dissinfectant smell (and other unfamiliar smells) from the vets masks the cats natural scent. Ben thought that he had lost his brother (they are very close, they sleep together and groom one another), and that we had replaced him with a different cat altogether.

      Ben either completely ran away from Max or would hiss at him and give him a good wallop around the chops if Max approached him. The vets advice to us was to let Ben sleep on some fresh bedding (or a towel) for a period, then transfer that to Max’s bed, so transferring Ben’s scent onto Max, a familiar and non threatening scent. We repeated this daily and it only took Ben a couple of days to come round, they are not at the stage of sleeping next to each other or grooming but Ben is much more accepting and relaxed around Max. Aside from the scent he seems to be aware that something is not quite right and I’m sure that the lampshade collar is not helping matters. I am confident that things will settle down in time.

      Anyway, hope that all is well with Nelson and that he is reacquainted with his fellow cats (and dog) very soon!

      Kindest, Pen

      • Claire Harris

        Hi Julie-Ann. I naively thought that after four months away there would be no problem with Panther and his friends who were once inseparable how wrong was I. The first day home I was shocked that his best bud did nothing but hiss and spit at him then run away. Both of his friends refused to come in for the first couple of days but as the smell of vets and other cats disappeared I can happily say they became inseparable again. I don’t want to alarm you but I was totally unprepared for this. The first morning I woke up to find them all cuddled up on the couch together I could have cried how sappy am I . All in all this took about six days do in the long term no time at all. Hope Nelson recovers soon and settles in quickly.

  • Cassie Harris

    That’s what I’m doing with charlie for the time being, just keeping him in spacious cage, I’m going to allow him to roam around in my room and adjust my furniture to make it more safer place for charlie. My other 2cats have both been up for a nosey at charlie but don’t make the effort to actually come in and see him which is a shame as Charlie seems to want the visit. He is a very much loved part of my family and will certainly be getting every inch of my attention :). I’m already amazed with Charlie! It was a 50/50 chance he wouldn’t make it of the operating table and he did, cats are amazing creatures. Charlie seems happy that the leg is actually gone and you guys just prove how 3legs are still as good as 4. Its so sad Sonya that your cat lost its leg to cancer and you Ross can not believe that someone would actually shoot a defenceless animal poor Harry. A big thank you to all of you for your advice and kind words.

  • tim

    So encouraging to listen to all these stories – my cat got hit / run over by three cars – broken jaw, lost one eye, burst spleen and lost a back leg. I have no idea how the vets put him back together again, and whilst he is very sorry for himself he is expected to make a full recovery.

    • Sonja P.

      Hi Tim, I’d say that Bubble is a lucky cat to have owners who searched until they found him. He’s gonna need lots of time and lots of love and even more spoiling over the next few months. I’m sure this will slow him down for a while but eventually he’ll find his new normal and just get on with life. Please keep us posted on his progress and know that there is a lot of love and advice here if you need either or both. Hugs from Sonja and Tre’pod.

      • tim

        Hi Sonja – thanks for the kind words. We’re currently have to feed with a syringe as his jaw is wired which I don’t think is a lot of fun for him. He’s on a lot of pain medication too so he sleeps pretty much 24/7. I’ll be sure to post of picture of him when he’s fully recovered, it so good to have words of encouragement as it’s been pretty difficult for all the family, especially my son who’s only 5.

  • Sarah

    A true miracle cat! What is his name?

  • tim

    He’s name is Bubbie – but at the charity veterinary they called him “unlucky” as they thought he was a stray. It took us 4 days to find out where he had been taken, we’d spoken to a few witnesses who all told us he was dead, so the last few days have been a bit of a roller coaster.

  • Cassie Harris

    Wow bubbie truly is a miracle cat, bless him.. Hope he makes a fast and easy recovery

  • Kim

    Hi Everyone,

    Even tough I haven’t posted in a long time, I do read everyones comments. I hope everyone going through leg amputation(cats and owners)have smooth sailing ahead.

    It has been about 6 months since my Roxie had her right hind leg removed because of cancer. She is still doing great! She continues to lead a normal life as if she doesn’t even know she is missing anything, except when she tries to scratch her right ear, and she can’t. That’s when I feel back for her. She still loves to lay under our bushes in wait, hoping to catch something. She did try to catch a bird across the yard one day and tried to leap at it. Unfortunately, she didn’t land like she use to and went rolling down the hill a little bit. She was fine except for her pride maybe. And when she runs across the yard, she does run a little sideways. She still gets to where she wants to go. All in all she is a very HAPPY, HAPPY cat, living a good life. I hope everyone with doubt and devestation in their hearts will be lifted by the good stories of others.

  • Sarah

    The wired jaw sounds like no fun for bubbie but a silver lining is that it is probably easier to give him his full dose of pain meds
    I assume your little boy is on vacation from school, so maybe he would like to pull out a sleeping bag and sleep near to the cat one night to keep him company 🙂
    Ella Catticus only lost a front leg but she is better than ever now, time and love is what it takes!

  • Noel

    Good Morning Guys,

    Another overcast British Summer Day ahead!!!a full two months have passed since our cat Zac lost his rear left leg.

    The first month was the hardest for both him and us.

    he fell over quite often and would yowl as he did not understand why he had fallen over and then he found it difficult to get back on his legs again but that all passed.

    when I describe him now to people I compare him to a horse so when he walks he hops a little bit like a horse when it trots then when he gets his speed up a bit he tends to lollop (very english word) rather like a canter finally when he is at full speed he has the grace and power of a horse when it is in galloping mode. Incidently these are his only horse like comparisons as he is a tiny cat.

    sadly he has not yet found the power within himself to jump much, his limit is about 20 inches so we have bought him a piano stool and moved it around the house so that he can jump in stages, our remaining dog also like the piano stool as he can sit on it and watch the world go by through the front window.

    I must say when Zac had his accident I had very mixed feelings about letting him live on account of the fact he had always been a very naughty cat he was the boss of the neighbourhood and scared of nothing also as he was not insured having his leg removed was going to take a massive hit on our family budget. ( whist a consideration even if we had not had the money we would have found it ) his quality of life was the major concern!

    he is still not the cat that he was but he is getting there. He goes out but only for relatively short periods of time. He is still a bit scared of his own shadow. any loud unexpected noises spoof him.

    he has started to try and bully our dog again so that is good maybe not so much for Oscar but it was one of Zac’s characteristics when he was fit and well.

    I think that it will take Zac about another four months to be fully back to the “old Zac”

    One thing I can say is that we have no regrets now in agreeing to the operation and if we had taken the vets advice and have had him put to sleep that was one result that could not have been reversed at least with having the operation done and it perhaps not having worked for him we would have at least given him s chance!

    hopefully in another couple of months i will be able to give some more positive news regarding his recovery. As things stand today everything is going on the right direction!

    Take care all!

    Noel and Zac

    • Pen

      Hi Noel,

      It is really encouraging to hear that Zac is doing so well, although not quite his old self yet but sounds like he is heading in the right direction.

      We bought Max home a week ago last Monday so circa 10 days since his left hind was amputated. He is doing brilliantly, we are astounded at how upbeat he seems and desparate to go outside. We are doing everything we can to limit his movement to give him the best chance to heal but he has mastered removing the collar (rolling on to his back and scooping front paws around the collar before giving it a good pull!). Another sleepless night last night continually putting it back on and trying to settle him.

      The thought of letting him outside makes me shudder but it would of course not be fair and insult to injury given that Benny (his brother) swans in and out at will.

      How long did you let pass before letting Zac venture outside?

      Kindest, Pen

  • Julie-Ann

    Thanks Pen thanks Claire. Nelson has been back since Friday and is adjusting well, although last night he was sleeping on my knree, woke up, thought he still had a front leg ( I think) and jumped down, collapsing on the floor and then crying. Made my heart bleed for him! His cream skin has been stitched with black thread, makes him look like a badly repaired handbag, and he was most put out by the plastic collar, but seems to have accepted it. I have had to start letting him into the garden (when I am outside) as he is most insistent thathe will NOT stay inside all the time. But he seems just to sleep on a garden chair, and lets me bring him back inside when I go in.
    Trojan (the dog) is ok with him and vice-versa, but the other two are indeed a diffrent story. Bilqis has always been a mouthy little kitty, and so her hissing, spitting growling and carrying-on are par for the course – usually she shuts up when I tell her to. Anyway she is also fond of eating, so I bribe her and Nelson with tinned cat food so she is staying not far away in the same room with him long enough to eat. However today I found an abcess on her back leg – no idea if Nelson bit her (tho how with head collar on I know not!) or what happned. It was bursting, so I cleaned/iodined it as much as she would let me, and will keep an eye on her to see how it goes, else vets for her (oh dear). Otherwise I think she is coming around slowly.
    Moxxie is NOT HAPPY – won’t eat even favourite treats if Nelson there, just disapears thru the cat flap hissing. Stayed out all night last night and has not reappeared so far – that I have seen anyway. However it is lovely weather here so I am not really worried – yet.
    Changing bedding is a good idea, and recommended by Cats.org, but if Moxx smells Nelson on the bedding, he refuses to lie down on it and finds somewhere else to lie – when he is in, that is…
    Must just keep persevering with the bribery etc, and hope time will sort it out.

  • Julie-Ann

    V quick update – Moxxie came when I called about 2 hours after I made last comment. Wouldn’t come into house but condescended to eat some cat crunchies outside on the back step, with the door closed against Nelson, of course. Bilqis happy to come inside and eat yummy tinned food with Nelson, and her wound looks nice and dry and healing over OK. Same cannot be said for the scratch she gave me on my chest (nice and red and slightly bleeding) and the pair or trousers covered in abcess gunk and iodine! Lucky they were an old pair. .

  • Sarah

    I made a shirt for Ella with a sewn up arm hole
    So she couldn’t get to her staples
    Although a back leg would be much more challenging
    They are resourceful little creatures

  • Charlotte

    Hi! Its been a few months since I updated y’all on my boy Lazarus. As y’all know he came home after being gone a week with a horrible leg injury,nerve damage,2 missing toes and the rest all broken,and an infection like you wouldn’t believe =/ He had his amputation at the begining of May. AND NOW HE IS EVEN MORE AWESOME THAN HE EVER WAS BEFORE LOL!! Boy does he get around!! I feel awful for ever considering putting him down,which I only did because he loves to be able to go outside and I knew after that last time being gone a week and coming home mangled that it wouldn’t be able to happen again =( But he is happy as can be. I was worried after reading here that he might be in pain or have “phantom pains” and all that but nope nothing so far. Its funny watching him poop/pee in the box because he still tries to cover with the arm he doesn’t have lol.. He’ll d that for a min or two then be like “Oh screw it” and saunter off lol. Someone mentioned above that their kitty has trouble grooming now and I remember that being one of the things the dr said would happen. So whomever sad that,you may have to use like baby wipes or a cloth to help clean around the neck and head sometimes. I now trim Lazi’s nails every 2 weeks because of course they don’t get ground down as easily only having one arm and being inside. I had 2 scares since he had it removed and that’s when I realized what he was still capable of doing and how fast he does it lol. I left my front door open while running my 3 dogs into the backyard and like a little black racecar,Lazi TOOK OFF out that door so quick I didn’t even see that he made it up the sidewalk! I mean literally he was like a damn bullet lmao.. He came back 2 days later and that wasn’t so bad but it was only a week after having his surgery so he still had staples in… Then the same thing happened about a month ago. He got out but this time took off through the backyard and scaled a wooden privacy fence and completely disappeared =( I was terrified because right behind that fence is a stream/canal and I do live in Florida. Alligators are EVERYWHERE!! I didn’t expect him to come home or to ever find him alive. I looked everywhere and about 5 days later I saw him laying in my neighbors backyard in the grass sunning himself lol. I called him and he got up like he was gonna run but just looked at me as if to say “Look mama I’m okay… I can still go outside and not get hurt,see?” But with some coaxing,he came to me and he’s been in the house since. I feel bad for him because I catch him trying to eat my fake plants and then looking sad when he realizes they aren’t real =( I know he loves it outside but I’m scared he will be hurt again because we still aren’t sure what got him the first time ya know. He has 3 other cat buddies he lives with and all the others get to go outside but not him. I wish there was a way to put him on a “runner” thing so he can still enjoy the outside but not run off. AND I noticed that all his hair where the leg used to be has grown back in grey lol! The rest of his body is jet black and fuzzy but that part of his body is all blueish grey??? Looks kinda cool =) But anywho,maybe one day ill figure out how to post pics so y’all can finally see the boy and his buddies =) I hope all of you and your furchildren are doing well!! Take care!! -Charlotte.W.-USA/Florida =)

    • Julie-Ann

      Alligators ! Its bad enough having to worry about cats vs cars! My new 3 legged boy simply will not be kept indoors. I leave him shut in one room overnight so that the other 2 cats can come and go, but he bangs on the door and complains quite loudly. I left him indoors but not shut in the lounge whilst I went shopping, yesterday, thinking he could not get through one catflap, down the stairs to the cellar and through the outer flap with his lampshade collar on – WRONG!
      I came back to find one smug Siamese reclining outside on a chair in the sun. So I have in effect decided to let him go out. He can’t get out of the garden without jumping higher than is possible for him(at the moment anyway) and his stiches come out on Tuesday anyway, which means he will definitely be able to get in and out of the house. In any case he is a very bright cat who will manage to work something out what ever I do!
      Never had a Siamese before – he really does seem different to the average moggie – I am wondering just what I have let myself in for here. Anyone out there a Siamese owner?

  • Sarah

    I have a harness for Ella Catticus that attaches to a leash for short outings and a run line so she can be out on the porch without fear of her running off into more trouble 🙂
    I had to adapt the harness for her three leggedness since the thin ones can be houdinied out of
    They make dog runs in all sizes for back yards I would just make sure there is enough lead for him to get in the house in case of an emergency

  • Ross

    HI guys just a mini Harry update 25 days now and the scars have healed well from the operations Harrys coping quite well still confined too my bed room for atleast another 2 weeks and then house bound for another 4,Harrys personality is back too normal he was very timid for a few weeks,he even bashed his much bigger brother up this morning for the sunny spot in front of the window so all good so far.As for the shooter of Harry hes still on the loose and i fear for a nieghbours cat as its also gone missing only four doors away from mine,The rspca have been all but been useless and turned the matter over too police who are even more useless,all guns have too be registed in Australia there cant be that many gun owners in the nieghbourhood,So ive put Harrys brother Dids on a curfew at night and try too contain him as much as possable very testing times.
    Cheers Ross

  • Sarah

    There has to be an animal advocate in the area
    In the USA, messing with an animal is considered
    To be as bad as hurting a child, the neighbors would end up hunting the offender out themselves
    I hope they find the shooter but more important I happy to hear Harry is recovering well 🙂

  • Bree

    I adopted my cat Salem from a shelter a few days after he had his left front leg amputated. He was brought into the shelter as a lost and found and the vets told me he suffered from a trauma accident. Salem was 6 months I rescued him, had just had the amputation surgery and was neutered as well. When I brought him home he got sick with an upper respiratory infection and the vets now believe he might have feline lukemia. He has been through a lot but he as adjusted amazingly well!! He jumps on all the counters and still manages to tear up the carpet, my bed and the couch! Ha. He will have to be a indoor kitten for the rest of his life but he has adjusted quite well!

  • Anne

    Hello Julie Ann. Yes siamese are a lot different from your average cat and given their personalities, you would think they would either find it difficult to cope with loss of leg and go into a decline – or be the opposite and rise to the challenge like any other TLC. I have siamese and orientals and it was my oriental lilac JJ who lost his back leg 2 years ago. He is very creative in trying to work out garden escape routes. So much so that I have had to prune all branches below 4 feet and raise the fences. He has managed to climb an eight foot fence and negotiate his way onto the street and into neighbouring gardens. After JJ -4, humans – 2, he has temporarily called it quits until he can figure out a new escape strategy. You have to keep one step ahead all the time. I can see him puzzling out the next escape route while typing this so will have to go and keep an eye on him in the garden before he sneaks off!

    • Julie-Ann

      Well Nelson had his stitches out 2 days ago, scar healed up well. However he screamed and howled like a banshee through the whole thing – even when vet assistant wasn’t actually touching him! So much so that all eyes were upon me in the waiting room when we came out, cats pressed in fear to the back of their baskets, dogs trembling – what torture was going on in that room?
      Once home and now minus his lampshade, I placed him tenderly on his cushion – he waited 10 seconds before disapearing through the catflap, running around for a mad 15 minutes like a kitten, and then sunning himself in the garden as if nothing had happened. I am beginning to think I should have called him Trubble!
      He is managing really well now on his 3 legs, but at the moment is not jumping onto anything high, which is a bit of a relief – I think the front leg loss makes it more difficult for him to land so he just doesn’t do it. Hope I don’t have to prune garden perimeter as it would be a hell of a job!
      He is also waiting by the catflap and chasing my other 2 cats out of the house when they come in, which has to stop, although others seem just a tiny little bit better as they have worked out he can’t jump and so they get on higher things out of his way. But I am going to try Feliwell, as I was devastated when my boy Moxxie refused to come into the house at all, even to eat his favourite treats. He did however sleep on my bed as usual last night and scoffed a huge meal so I know he is ok for now.
      Nelson really is quite a charmer with me, scrabbled up onto my knee, butted me under the chin with his big round head (he is old-fashioned type siamese) purring and then ran off outside again. I am glad he is happy after all he must have been through as a stray, and though I am a bit sad to see he has only one beautiful chocolate coloured front leg, he is coping amazingly well, and walking/running better than when he still had his paralysed paw. So take heart new tripod owners – it does get better!

  • JellyBelly

    My dear little cat is due to have her front leg removed this week, the bone was shattered. I am so devastated, I can’t stop crying. She is not young, almost 16 but the vet said this was the best option for her and she will adapt, but what if she doesn’t – have I done the wrong thing? Would she be better off put to sleep peacefully? It is heartening to hear your stories but I am worried for her quality of life, she loves being outside.

    • Beth

      you are not doing this to her, you are doing it FOR her. You are giving her her life and she will adapt, she will be able to go outside again. she will amaze you

      • JellyBelly

        Thanks Beth, I just feel so awful, when I went to see her she looked into my eyes and seemed to be saying ‘Just get me out of here!’ Not sure she will be so happy when she gets out minus a leg the poor thing.

        • Beth

          warning, she wont be happy for a few weeks according to all the comments here, but put on your brave face and help her adjust and dont despair, in time you will marvel at her.

    • Sonja P.

      What is your babies name? I know how hard this is, we all do but you need to take a breath and know that your baby will recover and will adapt and will truly amaze you. My Tre’ (now called Tre’pod) was 11 when she lost her front right leg. I cried for 2 weeks, literally, and had all the same feelings and emotions that you are having. She didn’t lose her leg to a trauma but to cancer and I had to make the decision as to what should be done, it ripped my heart right out of my chest. But through the whole experience I learned these truths. You need to stay positive whenever you are with your baby, they pick up our emotions and so if you are sad your cat will be sad, if you are positive and upbeat then the your cat will be upbeat and positive and will heal much better. I also learned that while it is painful to watch them learning to get around on 3 legs because they lose their balance and tumble over, they learn very quickly how to get around and to adapt, amazingly fast. Your baby may have phantom pain or she may not. My Tre’ never had any phantom pain, maybe because she wasn’t in pain to begin with, but it will eventually pass and she will get on with life. She is going to need a lot of attention, love and spoiling. She’ll need to be in a calm quiet place for several weeks but as she heals she’ll make the decision as to what she can and can’t do, cats are really intelligent animals and your baby isn’t going to do anything that she doesn’t think that she can. I found that the pain meds caused constipation, your baby may have the same problem, lots of extra liquids, water, tuna juice, stock for soups etc. anything to get extra fluids in. We also made steps for our baby, she doesn’t have any trouble getting up on things but she had a hard time getting down so use whatever you have, lugs, upside down laundry baskets, boxes that won’t collapse when jumped on, anything to help her get around. With all this said, your baby is going to amaze you, I promise, 1 1/2 years after my Tre’s surgery she runs around the house in the morning like her butts on fire, just like before. They adapt & adjust in ways that humans can’t, they don’t mourn the loss of a leg like a human and for them, life goes on. You will be there to love her and take care of her and give her everything she needs. You made the right decision to keep her alive and to remove the leg. Read the previous posts, you’ll see all those, including me, who felt every emotion that you are feeling, and look at our babies now! Please keep us posted and take all the love and support you can get from this board, it is a great community of tripod owners and we all really do care. Hugs to you from Sonja and Tre’pod

      • JellyBelly

        Hi all,

        It is about 3 weeks since she had her leg off, I was very shocked when I first saw the wound because it seemed so deep as I didn’t realise the shoulder blade would be taken, I was thinking she might have a stump! Anyway I put her in a cage the first day she came home and she seemed quite happy in there. I stayed downstairs with her in case there was a problem but she was fine.

        The next evening she miaowed when I put her in the cage so I let her out and put a blanket on the floor but she decided to jump up onto the couch to lay next to me! I kept her indoors for about 4 days and she sat mournfully by the back door. I decided to let her out to get some sunshine. She hopped out into her favouite sunspot and lay there for hours until it was getting dark then I bought her in. She has had most of the stitches out but a few have to stay in for longer.

        I am more relaxed now that she will adapt and she seems happy.
        xx

  • Jayne

    Hi,

    Its 3.30am and I’m just back from the emergency vet. My little black cat Pepper was run over 12 hours ago – she was running across the street to meet me. I saw the driver break then speed up and seemingly deliberately run over her and then speed off. I closed my eyes. When I looked back to where Pepper had been all that remained was flying fur and her collar. I searched the hedges and called and called for her. No Pepper. I thought the car had carried her off. 2am she turned up on the doorstep having courageously made her way home clearly in agony. Her front paw is completely crushed. The vet things amputation will be necessary. Glad to find this blog and the posts. I feel so sad – but a bit more positive for her future having read through the posts – so thanks. Poor, poor little Pepper!

    • Julie-Ann

      Poor little Pepper – I too have seen people speed up when they see a cat on the road, I hope they end up crushing their own cars the b******s.

      But she had the fortitude to make her way back to MUm so she will have the courage to cope with life as a tripod, and so will you on her behalf.

  • Beth

    how horrible, my heart goes out to you and Pepper.this blog is wonderful for the encouragement and helpful hints it gives. your Pepper will be fine. my cat ended up a peg leg…like you I found this site while he was badly injured but so weak they couldnt operate. I was fully prepared for the vet to take his leg but he regained some nerve action after a few weeks ( he had been trapped for 18 days with a compound fracture to his front leg, he was so pitifully thin we had to wait to operate) but I gained courage and hope through this site. you will too.
    will send up prayers for the both of you!!

  • Cassie Harris

    I’m 16 days in now after Charlie had his front left leg amputated. My main worry after Charlie’s surgery was he would change his personality which thankfully he is still the same loving Cat. I’m now bringing Charlie down stairs with me during the day this has also helped my other 2cats grow towards him again and I take charlie in my bedroom with me at night. Charlie had has stitches out 2days ago which means I decided to let him out in the front garden for a while. Charlie was excited to smell the fresh air and the grass. I know its gonna take time for Charlie to be 100% steady on his 3legs but I’ve notice when he does walk its mainly sideways, hope this isn’t going to be an issue in the long run. Charlie continuse to do well and I’m so proud of him, this blog gave me encouragement when I needed it most. Stay positive and watch your cats surprise and amaze you

  • Sarah

    Best wishes to pepper and you
    Just keep reading these posts and pepper will be ready to go before long 🙂
    If it is a full amputation don’t worry, they adapt very quickly

    Sarah and Ella Catticus

  • Jayne

    Hi Guys – thanks for all your encouraging posts. We are just back from visiting Pepper at the vets where she will be for at least the next week to ten days. She still has her leg but is on a drip for painkillers and being sedated daily for wound care. We still don’t know whether the leg is viable or not. But she was very happy to see us and we were able to have a few minutes with her before she went in for treatment – which was lovely. And she seems almost her old self so all is good. Psyching ourselves up for the 6 weeks of cage rest at home.

    Thanks again,

    Jayne

    • Julie-Ann

      Glad to hear that Pepper is doing OK. Sounds like she is a real fighter and being well looked after. Take care of yourselves as well, it’s been quite a shock for you by the sound of it, and Pepper will ned you to be in top form when she comes home.

  • Jayne

    thanks – we went to visit Pepper at the vet hospital yesterday. If she could have squeezed herself through the cage bars to get to us she would have! We took her usual kitten food for her and she’s eating fine. I was about to switch her off the kitten diet but I will keep her on it for a while now until she is well. She may be able to come home for cage rest at the end of the week. It’s amazing she survived – a lucky escape for little Pepper!

  • Julie-Ann

    Revised comment – August 15th I posted that Nelson couldn’t jump onto anyhting high. And indeed, he was (and still is) miaowing for me to give him a leg up up so he can sit on my knee when I’m on the sofa.
    Imagine therefore my suprise to find one smug 3 legged siamese sitting on a high window sill outside(above 6ft) having made it by a 4 foot jump onto the housing for the propane bottle then a 2-3 ft jump to the sill.
    I thought he was unable to get down so I left him there for half-an-hour reclining in the shade, came out to get him down – he managed that as well.
    What have I let myself in for with this cat? It is barely 3 weeks since he had his right front leg taken off, and already you simply wouldn’t know it bothered him at all. Admitedly he is young (so the vet thinks) and the shock and trauma of the accident which caused the leg paralysis was probably quite some weeks/months before he came to live at my expense, but he is the most determined cat. Give me 100 or so like him and I could march on Poland…..

  • TheIvoryKitty

    This past Monday I noticed a very large bone-hard lump on my 10 year old cat’s shoulder. I took him to the vet Tuesday and, after x-rays, they said that he has a bone tumor (osteochondroma or osteosarcoma). They were surprised because apparently this typically occurs in large dogs, not cats, and so there aren’t a lot of previous cases to go by. Later in the evening they called to tell me that after an expert examined the X-ray, they believe that it might be a benign tumor since his bone has not been destroyed – it is just growing. He is not in any pain at all, and he has no limp. However, they say that even if it’s benign it will continue to grow rapidly and will break his leg and cause extreme pain. We could do a biopsy, but its a painful surgery and even if it is benign, the amputation would still be required. And indeed, in the last few days it has grown – I can tell.

    I dont know if I should amputate, or put him to sleep, and I am an absolute wreck. I’ve been talking to a group online (its a tri-pod dog (not cat) group, but their experiences have helped me feel less… insane and they’re wonderfully supportive).

    I keep reading that cats do very well with three legs (as I have on this site), and I was feeling much better – but then I looked at videos like this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQR7vJ97M3Y which… horrifies me. That cat is crawling, not walking. Crawling. It seems like cats that lose a hind-leg do fantastically, but the videos seem to show me that when they lose a front leg, walking around seems to be very very difficult and exhausting. I am horribly scared for him.

    Part of the issue is my cat’s personality. He is already a skiddish – he likes to cuddle with us but hates strangers, quick movements, and change. He hides for days when I move the furniture around. I have no idea if that will worsen after the surgery, but I kind of feel like he might go off the deep end! Also, he is an outdoor cat. He has spent 90% of his life hunting outside and hates to be cooped up indoors. I don’t know if I can keep him inside – he’d HATE his life. He doesn’t even use a litter box! He just paces in front of the door like a dog. 🙁

    I just don’t know if it’s better to end his life now, when he’s been so happy and not had to deal with any hardships… or if I should put him through this. I feel so guilty, as if this amputation is so that I can keep him in my life, not so that he will be happy. I desperately want to believe he will be happy but, man, videos like that one above makes me SO SCARED.

    This forum makes me believe, though, that maybe there are more front leg amputees out there than I thought? Ugh.

    This is the most horrible decision I’ve ever, ever, ever faced.

    • Sonja P

      PLEASE before you make any decisions to put him down, read ALL the stories here. I have a 12 1/2 year old cat who got cancer on her right front leg 1 1/2 years ago and the only way to completely get rid of it all and make sure that it didn’t come back was to amputate the leg. My little Tre’ is the biggest scardie cat I’ve ever know and it terrified me that she would never be the same, that she would end up in the closet the rest of her life, that she would no longer be the great hunter that she had been in the past. And after many tears and horrible fear we made the decision to amputate the leg. I believe that because of all of her fears, it probably took her a little longer to recover but she is AMAZING! Don’t put your baby down, at 10 he still has so much life to live. He will recover, he may not be happy for 2 or 3 weeks because he may have to put up with being in the house to recover but he will and he’ll learn to adapt to 3 legs and he’ll learn to walk and hunt and be the same happy cat you’ve always known. Please don’t feel guilty, this didn’t happen because of something you did, it just happened an the worst thing you can do is give up on him because you feel guilty. Give him all the love, attention and spoiling you can and he’ll make it through. Cats are amazing, adaptable animals and given the chance, they just get on with life. You are not doing this to him, you are doing this for him and if this is his only health problem you need to give him a chance. You wouldn’t put a human down because of a bone tumor, you’d deal with it and get on with it. Please give you sweet fur baby the same chance. My Tre’ (we call her Tre’pod now) is the most special cat I’ve ever known. She is beautiful and sweet, loving and affectionate and she gives me the best kisses in the world. I would have regretted more ending her life than trying to give her a chance to live, and she does live. Still runs around the house in the morning like her butt is on fire. All we’ve had to do is add some steps so she can get down from furniture easier but she is so very amazing and your boy will simply amaze you if you just give him a chance.
      Please keep us posted, we’re just a big family of tripod owners and we are here to support each other. Big hugs to you, your family and especially you beautiful boy from Sonja and Tre’pod.

      • TheIvoryKitty

        Yes, the stories here have definitely helped me. Although, there is one, I can’t remember where, that freaks me out! Something about phantom limb pain and walking backwards! or, walking sideways! That scares me. I don’t want to doom my kitty to a life of pain and hardship. I wouldn’t be able to look at myself in the mirror.

        On that note, I am very worried because my vet told me that she has not heard of phantom limb pain in cats, while I know that it does occur – and so I wonder if Fang will be missing some things during the surgery that could be done to prevent him from getting phantom limb pain (turning or blocking nerve endings, etc). If I am going to put him through this, I want to make sure that he is having everything done to prevent further pain… and I’ve just got no experience with the stuff to even know the questions to ask, or what they should do to make things better for him. It’s frightening.

        Are there any things that your vets did to prevent this type of pain?

        • Pen

          Just wanted to share our experience in the hope that it will help and reassure in some way. Our cat Maxy had his rear left leg amputated 4 months ago after a collision with a car. His recovery was super fast and he is as happy and active now as he was pre amputation. You will have moments of sadness but as someone else on this site has said, they don’t feel sorry for themselves, they just get on with it and adjust. Maxy did have occasional pain in the first couple of months, I can’t say it was phantom limb pain as I wouldn’t know, I suspect it was more of a cramp pain. On the very odd occasion he will misjudge something and walk backwards, he just sits down for a moment, composes hoimself and tries again. He hunts, plays, runs, jumps, climbs and fights! The only adjustment we’ve made is a step for access to the cat flap. We felt exactly the same way a short while ago and felt hugely overwhelmed, now we would never look back and so delighted to have Maxy back. All the best.

          • TheIvoryKitty

            Thank you for sharing your story – I keep hearing that they adjust well to having three legs (though I’ve heard that loss of a back leg is easier on them than a front let – but we can’t choose these things :/), and that is reassuring. I just hope that he can adjust like the others. There are some kitties that just… don’t adjust, right? Hopefully not many. I know that I will be sad over it – probably for a long while, but… hopefully he’s not sad over it and that you’re right, they don’t feel sorry for themselves. Whew it’s such a huge decision.

            Thank you again for sharing your story.

        • Sonja P

          My Tre’ never really had any phantom pain that I could actually call phantom pain, although I know it does occur, however, it also ends, they don’t have it forever, usually in the first 2-3 months is when they might experience this. The main thing during recovery is to remember that they will have pain, it is inevitable, but it won’t last long and they have pain meds to help with that. There are some side effects from the pain meds like constipation but adding fluids helps, I gave Tre’ extra tuna juice and some chicken stock to keep her hydrated. One of the other things that I have learned is that cats pick up on your emotions very quickly and if you are sad, then they are sad. So stay positive when you are around your baby, if you have to cry, do it away from the cat, they pick up on it. Please believe that your baby will be okay, I went through every emotion in the book, I’d never felt so sad and angry and hurt all at the same time and I cried more tear than I’ve ever cried over anything else. Luckily for me, my vet had been through cancer with one of her dogs and could reassure me that everything would be okay. But unless your vet has had a cat/dog that they have gone through this with they won’t know all the answers, no one does, but those of us that have been through it and now love a tripod, know that everything works out, they recover, they heal and the only thing that really changes is the number of legs they have. There are a couple cats you might want to look up, they are two legged cats that do very, very well, obviously different than 3 legs but truly amazing. Anakin the two legged miracle cat and Terminator the two legged cat that can. Both are on facebook but just do a google search and you’ll find them, they are amazing animals that should give you tons of hope. Stay positive, hugs from Sonja & Tre’pod.

          • TheIvoryKitty

            Yes, pain during recovery has to happen – but I don’t want him in pain after recovery. That’s mostly what I worry about. I thought that phantom limb pain lasted forever – I hope that it doesn’t. That would be much, much better on my conscience. Were the pain meds they gave you liquid (I don’t even know if that exists)? Its really difficult to get him to take pills.

            I try to stay positive, but I think he knows something is up. I think that’s why he’s been sleeping with us all of the sudden, where he never did before. I hope that I can do that for him during his recovery, if we go that route.

          • Sonja P

            Tre’ was given liquid pain meds, she doesn’t do pills at all, she will take a finger off trying to give it to her. However, she struggles with liquid too and we had tons of drooling but better that than her in pain. Your vet can also do a pain patch which I have read about, I don’t know what your vet will decide is best but they won’t let Fang be in pain. His sleeping with you is because he knows something is up, he doesn’t know if it is you or him but they are very perceptive animals and they will stay close till things even out. I have steps for Tre’ because she is a small cat and while she can jump up on things easily, getting down is a lot tougher for her. I worry about arthritis in the front leg that is left and that she might hit hard in the back and hurt a knee. She actually walks kinda like a bunny hops when she walks, but she runs like lightening and you would never know that she is “special” by watching her run. She is obviously spoiled beyond belief, gets what she wants and has special spots in the house that are hers and nobody elses. You will make it through recovery, I promise and every day that Fang comes through and gets stronger and more agile you’ll wonder why it was so hard. They are our babies, we love them like our children and we would do anything to take the pain and the problems from them. And that is what you are doing, taking his pain and the problems that it will cause. Just make the decision to do the amputation and let Fang do the rest. He’ll amaze you everyday for the rest of his life. He still has a lot of life to live believe me. Tre’ is now 12 1/2 and if something happened to one of my other cats that called for amputation, I would make that decision without hesitation. This has also made me very aware of other special needs animals and I would adopt a special needs cat in a heart beat, they are just very amazing, loving animals. Hang in there, get it done and move on, that’s what Fang will do. Hugs from Sonja and Tre’pod

      • TheIvoryKitty

        Sonja – (this is re your last message, which didn’t have a “Reply” option). They are absolutely our babies! I was at the grocery store buying stuff for his recoup period (broth, cat food with a lot of liquid in it, like you guys mentioned) and the checker, who could obviously see that I was depressed, was trying very hard to make small talk. Eventually he said “wow, you must have a really happy kitty at home!” to which I immediately started sobbing (lol – the poor guy is probably like, “sh*t I’m never making small talk again!) Anyway I said “Actually he has to get his leg amputated” and the bagger girl said “You’re kid?!” and the checker told her “no, her cat”, and she started laughing wildly! She said “Oh my God, I thought you said you’re KID *laughing* wow, I was going to say ‘that’s horrible!’!”. Pretty much hated her immediately. Lol.

        Yes, I think he will handle it. Your experience really helps me believe that he will be okay – especially as your baby is a front-leg amputee. 🙂

        • Sonja P

          Oh man, that brought to mind what was going on in my life when I was trying to decide how to handle Tre’s cancer. I had a bad tooth and the dentist that had repaired it originally (A man I came to dislike immensely) was so rude to me. I was in pain from the tooth and in pain from the decision I had to make and in no mood to deal with someone who couldn’t have cared less that I was in pain. I managed to get a hold of him on his cell phone and he was headed out of town, told me to call the emergency dentist, who was closed, and then wouldn’t answers anymore calls from me. Needless to say I don’t go to him anymore. I finally managed to find a dentist that was open and who would work me in. Now mind you, I’ve been in tears most of the morning whether I was on the phone or not on the phone. Finally when I got back into the dentists office and they asked me about the tooth, she could also see that I was in pain from something other than the tooth and asked me what else was going on and I burst into tears and told her about Tre’. They were wonderful, patient and caring. However, people that don’t have animals don’t have any idea how painful that it can be even when they are just a little under the weather. Tre’ also has asthma and every so often I have to take her for allergy shots, people think I’m crazy for getting her allergy shots. But if I don’t she can’t breath and goes into spasms and scares the crap out of me. I have a 17 1/2 year old, a 13 1/2 year old, Tre’ who is 12 and a 6 year old and every last one of them is my baby. I’m so glad that you have made the decision to give Fang a chance to amaze and astound you. You won’t regret it, I promise. It’s gonna hurt you something fierce to see him after surgery but I promise that he’ll be back to running around before you know it and I’ll say a lot of prayers that he doesn’t have any complications or phantom pain. Most of the time, they just rebound quickly and get on with life. They don’t mourn the loss of a body part like we humans, they aren’t emotionally attached to their limbs like we are. Positive affirmations seemed to work really well with Tre’, to this day I call her my beautiful girl and she knows that when I say that I’m talking about her and she seems to know that she really is a beautiful baby. Keep us posted, we all care about each others babies. Hugs from Sonja & Tre’ (heading out now to try to do some cleanup from the hurricane. I’m in Michigan but it got us too.)

          • TheIvoryKitty

            wowow I’m really sorry that you were in the way of that storm! I hope there isn’t too much damage, and that everyone (animals included) are okay!

            Some people really do NOT understand the pet-human bond. *roll eyes*. Anyhow thanks for the words of encouragement. I will need them for the first few weeks, at least!

    • ebvann

      You have to be the brave one, my vet told me “you are not doing this TO her, you are doing this FOR her”. She deserves life and she will adapt. Don’t stand in her way! Yes it will be tough for a few weeks but our animals give us so much love and joy that we can give them love and care right back! And it will be hard on you to watch but she deserves a chance.

      • TheIvoryKitty

        I think I might keep repeating this as my motto – “I am not doing this TO him, I am doing this FOR him”. It does make me feel a little less guilty, but that feeling is hard to completely erase. I wish I had a little crystal ball and I could peer into the future to see whether or not he’s happy. He does deserve a life. He was a pound kitten that no one wanted with a little kinked tail, and all these years I’ve just felt so happy to know him. You’re not supposed to have favorites but… he’s my favorite kitty. None of my other babies are like him. Ugh, this is hard again. What an emotional roller coaster.

    • Claire Harris

      I was faced with the same decision when a stray I’d taken to feeding and keeping an eye our for turned up with a swollen foot, after four months in and out of vets they finally discovered he had a tumour normally found in the lungs so amputation was necessary or I had to face putting him to sleep. After much soul searching and the help of this website I made the decision for amputation and I am so glad I did, Panther (named because he had a prowling walk) did amazing he was home within a week of his operation he even went up and over the garden gate on his first day home and now a few months later is totally back to his old self. He has occasional days where I know he just wants to chill out on his bed in the garden and I leave him to it, he dictates what he wants. It will be tough to start with and he will need confining for the first week as Panther did. I actually think it was harder for me to see him without his leg than it was for him. I was the one worried about him climbing but he just carries on as normal. There is one thing that made me a little sad at first and thats when he digs he uses his front right leg then spins to use his left and I see his shoulder move but of course there is no leg anymore so nothing happens he then turns inspect his digging looks puzzled and then goes back to using his right leg. Panther is what I call a street cat, he was a stray that just came for food, not particularly affectionate and will not tolerate being picked up he was and still is very independant. He regularly goes off with is street mates for a romp in the fields and has taken to teaching next doors cheeky young kitten some manners so even as a tripod he can still hold his own. I know your heart is breaking at the thought of an amputation my first instinct was to have Panther put to sleep as I didn’t know how we could look after a semi-wild cat but I’m glad I listened to the vets, the great people on this website and other cat owners he is back to his old self now and I have to say I think he likes me a little bit more he even lets me touch him occasionally but I know he is not in pain from the tumour anymore and to have watched him this summer roll around outside getting dusty during our long hot summer here in Fuerteventura and chase lizards etc has been all I needed to know I made the right choice. Yes my heart was breaking making the initial decision but day by day his progress put it back together and if I ever find myself in the position again I wouldn’t hesitate with my choice. I hope you find peace with your decision and it must be your decision but I hope the advice and stories here help. Best wishes to you and your cat xx

      • TheIvoryKitty

        Thank you so much for your story – it is especially heartening because he was a front-leg amputee. May I ask how old he is? I always feel like maybe Fang, at 10, is a little too old to adapt. However, there are some cases on this site (Sonja, etc) and others of kitties around his age adapting alright. I am also especially happy that he still goes outside. I just can’t keep Fang cooped up for very long.
        I can understand that your first instinct was to put Panther to sleep – my first instinct, psh I wish I even had a first one to follow through with. I was entirely and completely lost in this decision and a total emotional wreck from the moment the vet popped the X-Rays onto the monitor.
        How does panther walk? Does he stay really low on his front leg while he’s walking? Does he walk much slower than he did before? Does he need to take frequent breaks?

        Thank you so so much for your support.

        • Claire Harris

          The vets think Panther is approximately 4-5 years old. I have never really paid that much attention to him walking but tonight I have just watched him and he just seems to walk normally with maybe a little dip when he is running but nowhere near dragging along the floor. His speed was slow for the first month or so but now he chases around with the others. I considered making him steps for the gate but he is up and over on his own. Panther has a best friend called Smudge and before the amputation they would both climb the garden wall up the divider wall and onto our first floor balcony (they knew our bedroom was here early morning cat call anyone?) so I figured he would no longer do this but three months after the operation I noticed two shadows through the blinds and when I opened the window there he was I was shocked this is when I finally realised Panther was over the leg amputation and embracing being a tripod. I think we as humans are far more shocked by a three legged cat than the cat itself, I remember the look on my neighbours faces when they saw him. I also agree with all the other owners here in that the cat will pick up on your distress do chin up in front of the cat and let it all go when you are away from the cat. Believe me you will cry buckets, you will feel guilty, be scared of the whole process but if you go ahead with the op eventually you will be able to smile at, play with and love your tripod with all your heart. Stay strong and positive.

          • TheIvoryKitty

            Thanks for the reply. So, he is quite a bit younger than Fang, but still not a kitten. It’s good to hear that he still figured out how to adapt so well. I really hope that Fang will be able to go outside and play like he can now. I also hope he can still get out of whatever trouble he runs into at night still, as we do have some predators around (we are not in a residential neighborhood – it’s more farmland out here). Yes, the idea of a three legged cat, especially a three-legged Fang, shocks and scares me. I hope it’s more me than him!

  • Sarah b

    First of all that cat appears to be overweight and under active and the sad music doesn’t help
    If you want to know about tripods just take a couple of hours and read all the posts in this site
    Granted your cat is a little older, but I have an front leg amputee tripod that could rival a four legged cat
    She is young and a tabby so energy doesn’t escape her 🙂
    If your cat is in lean shape and active it shouldn’t be an issue
    Either way I wish you the best, just remember cats tend not to feel sorry for themselves like humans do, it takes too much time away from mischief making!
    Keep us posted regardless of your decision

    Sarah and Ella Catticus

    • TheIvoryKitty

      She does seem overweight and under active – but I was worried that the amputation made her that way!

      My Fang is very thin and active, for his age. He’s a hunter so, he’s pretty sleek and agile.

      Thank you for the support. 🙂 I just… man some of those videos. Even with the happy music I just have such a hard time imagining HIM that way, you know?

  • belinda

    Hello TheIvoryKitty,

    I hope you don’t mind if I share but I would like to give you some support.

    I wish you lots of luck and Love for you and your kitty. Two years ago, my Frida had her right hind leg amputated due to a bad infection that healed with adhesions (conjoined tissues) underneath her skin. After it healed, she would constantly bite at the area/scab to the point she would make it bleed (regardless of cone on her head).
    The shelter I adopted her from were unable to take care of her so I quickly took her home because I wanted to provide her all the attention she needed (open wound and blood on her leg). I visited holistic vets, accupunturist for animals, dermatalogists and many other vets to save the leg and try to figure out a another way to prevent her from reopening the womb. Please be aware that it took 2 years to finally give in to amputating her leg. I visited the Humane Society. They gave me an option re:laser surgery but it was too late because she will always go back to that spot due to phantom pain. The alternative was to remove the leg. Like you, I did research and I found You tube sites and this lovely three-leggged cat site. These compassionate cat owners inspired me and made me feel as if I wasn’t alone in dealing with this matter. I felt such support and Love for my cat. My father told me just put the cat out of it’s misery (put her to sleep). I loved her too much.

    The only difference now is that I leave stepping stools all over my apartment (next to the window and bed). I have another cat, Diego and he tries to chase her. Frida is amazingly fast with one hind leg. Also, you may want to monitor the cat’s diet. I don’t let Frida get overweight because she has to balance herself with three legs opposed to 4.

    I don’t regret my decision. I’m sending warm huggs for you and your kitty. No more videos please. 🙂

    • TheIvoryKitty

      I very much appreciate your support and story. I can completely understand waiting two years to make this decision – I feel like no time could be long enough. I only have 1 more day, or maybe 2 at the most before I have to decide. My vet only works Sunday Monday Tuesday and I’m not sure I can make Fang wait another week as his tumor is growing very quickly.

      This site definitely makes me feel that I’m not alone making this choice. I am beginning to be surprised at how many three legged cats there seem to be out there. I had no idea. It doesn’t make me feel completely better, but, it does help.

      You mention leaving stools all around the apartment – some people say that they do this a lot, and some say that they haven’t made many adjustments to their home at all. Do you feel that Frida could get around just fine without the stools? I just wonder because I’m trying to gauge the range of disability that is possible from this type of surgery. I can’t tell if some cats do better than others, and that’s why some owners do a lot around the house to help them, or if some owners are just more likely to put things around the house to help them even if they would have done okay without.

      I’ve never met a three-legged cat, so I’m trying to just gauge all of this by imagining. It’s quite hard.

      Thanks again for your support.

  • belinda

    Dear TheIvoryKitty,

    I only have 3 stools around the house (2 windows and the bed). She is truly amazing. Sometimes, I forget to put them back after I’m sweeping and mopping my apartment. Low and behold Frida is hanging out on my window and on my bed without the stools. Frida, is amazing because she calculates everything in her head when their is no stool present (I’ve watched her). I have bar chairs in my kitchen and those are pretty high up in comparison to regular dinning chairs. She usually moves back and fourth when deciding to jump up to the chair. She does manage but she is swaying back and fourth or sometimes takes a different angle before she attempts to jump. She always makes it!!! She also climbs my sink. She’ll jump on the edge of tub and then jumps on the sink. She doesn’t see her amputated leg as a hindrance.

    One thing I would like to mention to you is that you are always going to feel guilty during the surgery and most liking during the recupperation period (yes, repeat montra “Doing for him”). You are human!!!!! I felt that way too. The first couples of weeks were hard for me to watch Frida adjust to her amputation but it was perfectly normal to feel those feelings. Don’t cry in front of him. Always be positive when interacting. If you need to cry go into another room.

    Animals are a different species altogether. They don’t go through the psychological changes we go through when a limp get’s removed. Frida, wanted to move around after the 1st week but she was having a hard time balancing but she managed after the second week. Animals instincts are to adapt to whatever lifes bring them. You’ll see. Keep on writing because it will help you.

    Please keep us posted.

    • TheIvoryKitty

      Thanks Belinda. Writing does make me feel better. I’m so appreciative that there are places like this where I can connect with other people who have been through this. I think that this is going to be really hard, and I am positive that I will feel TERRIBLE. That’s just me, when it comes to these things. It doesn’t help that the important people in my life (like my parents, etc.) don’t really have opinions about it. They just say “That’s terrible, I don’t know what I would choose.” They are sincere about it, I can tell, but no one knows what the right choice is. And frankly, it wouldn’t matter if they did have a preference, because I wouldn’t trust it anyway. It’s just good to hear from people that have seen this surgery end with success… that’s really meaningful for me.

  • belinda

    Frida doesn’t experience it either (phantom pain); however, she does think she has another leg sometimes. When she has an itch on her right side, she tries to use the right leg that was ampututated. I normally run to her rescue and scratch her entire side right side also her right ear because I don’t know where the itch is. She loves me for it.

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