How Can I Help My 3-Legged Cat?

James Glover
by James Glover
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QuestionCan you direct me to resources to assist a 3-legged cat? I worry that with age she will have spinal problems. Are there feline prosthetics? Would appreciate hearing the experiences of others who have 3-legged companions. (Diane Thrailkill - New York)

Answer

Well done for having the perseverance and the care to look into this, and to try and assist your cat in having as good a lifestyle as possible. A caring owner can think of other ways in which to help a disabled feline companion, but beware of being overprotective. A disabled cat still requires some semblance of independence to allow it to fulfill that inner 'catness' that we love in our feline friends. Most seem unaware of their disabilities and they do not expect life to make allowances, but a helping hand and some adjustments to their lifestyle and perhaps your own lifestyle will ensure a disabled cat has a healthy, happy and safe life.

Disclaimer: This service is meant to provide advice only and is not meant to replace an appointment with a registered veterinarian. Users should always seek a second opinion. Unfortunately we are only able to answer several questions per week so not everyone gets a published answer. And, unfortunately we can't answer by email.
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Readers' Comments (Newest to Oldest)
Connecticut
tigercat
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Added on April 29th, 2013
I have a 9 year old cat that may have a tumor in his right hind knee. My vet says cats can do good on 3 legs. Tiger is about 9 years old and I can't picture him not being able to go outside. I love him and will do anything for him! I will find out for sure soon. I'm heartbroken and want to do what is right for him. If anyone has been through this please help me make the right decision. The thought of putting him down tears me appart.
   
Thank you and God Bless,
   
John
California
paulaski2000
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Added on Jan 30th, 2011
I know this is an old post. I hope your 3-legged kitty is still doing well. My first 3-legged kitty lived to be 21 years and he went through life just fine.
South Carolina
Zazikel
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Added on May 6th, 2010
I have a cat that was born without parts of his front paws. He has only 2 long toes on one paw, and 3 on the other one. He also has some other health problems, that he was born with. But he gets around, and jumps up on things, just as well as any other cat. And he never seems to be bothered by them.
   
Granted, missing the other halves of his paws is different than missing an entire leg, but I can sympathize
Texas
SMECKEL
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Added on Oct 1st, 2009
My three-legged cat just turned twenty years old in July this year. He lost his right rear leg at the hip when he was about two years old due to an accident in which the leg was too injured to save. He has had a wonderful life and still gets around just fine. He's actually quite amazing! After a short recuperation following the surgery he was able to climb trees, fences,jump, run, and never slowed down. He's moving a little more slowly now...but he's TWENTY!
Mexico
RevImmigrant
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Added on April 30th, 2009
I had a cat for almost 8 years that had most of her left hind foot missing. She got around very well and was not handicapped by this at all. I always saide she was the fastest cat on 3 1/2 legs because she would run through the house. I'm glad you want to help your cat and hope you enjoy many years with her.
Illinois
Carebearskinrug
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Added on Aug 30th, 2008
Last year I "adopted" a 3 legged kitten. He is now a happy, healthy one year old. He has much of the same abilities of his brother, except he doesn't run as fast or jump as high. He does the cutest thing. We call it the "stump itch" where he "scratches" his ear with the missing hind limb. I tell everyone not to feel sorry for him because he was born that way and developed to accomodate this short coming. My problem is that the sore on the end of his missing leg keeps breaking open and bleeding a lot. I worry about this mostly because of the possibility of infection due to the litter box. Do you know if there is there anything I can do to keep it from breaking open all the time?
   
Thank you,
   
A fellow "tripod" mommy