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View Full Version : How well do 3-legged cats do?


aristobrat
Aug 6, 2007, 05:26 PM
I was out of town last weekend when I got a call from my roommate that started with "There's a problem..."

Apparently my little cat was in the backyard and decided to jump over the fence into the neighbors yard (something she does all the time), except this time, one of her back legs didn't clear the fence in such a way that she was stuck, hanging there upside down in 95'F+ heat and high humidity for several hours.

The doctors are pretty sure that her leg will need to come off. They say that cats/dogs generally recover from this quite well and will still go on to lead a happy and somewhat normal life.

I was wondering if anyone here had any experience with pets that have gone thru this. Do they still go on to be somewhat normal after their recovery? The vet said that my cat would have to be strictly indoors afterwards, which would be a big change for her. She's normally used to playing Dora the Explorer all in the various yards of the street we live on.

ErikCLDR
Aug 6, 2007, 05:37 PM
3 legged animals are supposed to do very well.

My cousin has an American Bulldog with a paralyzed leg. It jumped out of her 4Runner at 30mph and had some nerve damage. It has water therapy twice a week hahaha. The dog although not the same, seems happy as ever, and is still very active. Its front right leg is useless though.

FrankBlack
Aug 6, 2007, 05:55 PM
A relative adopted a 3-legged kitty some years back. This kitty lived for 16 years, before dying of old age. Never any other problems though. They do fine, as long as they are kept indoors.

One or two small planters with grass growing in them and placed on the floor. can help, as this can give kitty some "outdoor experience".

mpw
Aug 6, 2007, 05:59 PM
About 75%

I had a friend at school whose cat Floyd lost one of it's legs in a slamming door incident, biggest change was they started calling him Fliyd instead.

Leareth
Aug 6, 2007, 05:59 PM
yes three legged animals tend to do pretty well - horses and donkey being the exception...

You would have to make changes to the house - the cat might not be able to jump up on the sofa anymore so you would make steps of ramps out of furniture.
Litterbox would have to be lower walled.
Hydrotherapy will help with preventing back problems.
how you play with her will change no more jumping around but creative games such as find the treats or puzzleboxes will keep kitty from being bored

Might have to clip claws regularly.

PM me if you want more specific stuff. I used to work for a vet clinic and my neighbour works at a animal therapeutic centre.

OutThere
Aug 6, 2007, 06:01 PM
I feel sorry for your kitty! :( It sounds like a terrible experience.

I do believe that she should be fine, though, as dogs seem to do perfectly well on 3 legs, and cats are even more agile than dogs.

As noted above, some little trays of grass will do her well. I put a tray of katzengras that I got in switzerland in my house, and he loved it, even though he's very much an outdoor cat. I'd say normal grass would do, though. :)

http://www.zooplus.de/bilder/1/katzengras_multi_2_1.jpg

phungy
Aug 6, 2007, 06:12 PM
Speaking of 3-legged animals...

What do you call a cow with 3 legs?

Lean Beef.


What do you call a cow with no legs?

Ground Beef.

:D:apple:

Sean Dempsey
Aug 6, 2007, 06:20 PM
rename him Tripod and you'll be fine.

Cats and dogs suffer no emotional loss/pain over the loss of a limb. I know quite a few really happy tripod pets. Just help him get on and off the couch and it's like it never happened.

iSaint
Aug 6, 2007, 06:33 PM
Cute cast!

synth3tik
Aug 6, 2007, 06:46 PM
Thats just to sad. My Ant had a dog that got his leg ran over by a truck. I think she had him for at least 10 years after that. The dog was able to get around rather well. He was out side most of the time as they lived in the country, but I could see why your cat would have to stay indoors. Like I said the dog moved around all right, but it was really sad to see. An amputation is non-reversible, I would make sure there is nothing else that can be done before hand.

obeygiant
Aug 6, 2007, 08:11 PM
An old girlfriend had a three legged cat. Of course his name was Tripod. He was missing his front left leg but he got around okay. He'd even run around once in a while.

jsm4182
Aug 6, 2007, 09:21 PM
My cat had to get her back leg amputated when she was young, she managed very well, she lived to be 18. She never had problems climbing or getting around. At first your cat may have problems, but she will begin to get more strength in her other back leg to compensate. The only problem my cat had was she started to get arthritis in her other back leg, but the vet who diagnosed that said it was mostly because the vet who amputated the leg did not cut high enough up and that caused more pressure on the other leg.

flyfish29
Aug 6, 2007, 10:02 PM
They do remarkably better than two legged ones!!:)

I wish you the best of luck with the transition.

miloblithe
Aug 6, 2007, 10:08 PM
For the love of god, do not start calling her tripod.

Fleetwood Mac
Aug 6, 2007, 11:14 PM
I know a three legged barn cat that continued to do his job (mousing, etc) well into his 13th year. Now he's getting a little arthritic, but still happy and healthy.

mpw
Aug 7, 2007, 05:44 AM
Speaking of 3-legged animals...

What do you call a cow with 3 legs?

Lean Beef.


What do you call a cow with no legs?

Ground Beef.

:D:apple:
What do you call a deer with no eyes?
No eyed deer.
What do you call a deer with no eyes and no legs?
Still no eyed deer.
What do you call a deer with no eyes, no legs and no genitals?
Still no ********* eyed deer.

...My Ant had a dog...

Carrot007
Aug 7, 2007, 06:08 AM
She should be fine after she recovers.

My mother has a cat with 3 legs and he does fine. As he lost a rear leg his tail has got quite bulky with muscle and he uses it as a counter balance.

PlaceofDis
Aug 7, 2007, 06:10 AM
3-legged cats do pretty well from what i've seen so he should be okay. sad story though and i hope hes alright in the end.

Father Jack
Aug 7, 2007, 06:27 AM
Three legged cats do just as well as three legged dogs. I will do just fine .. :)

Jaz
Aug 7, 2007, 06:49 AM
We have a 3-legged cat, she's very capable of lots of things (back-right missing) - she runs just as fast as our other cats, and walks okay. She just sits down a lot. The only problem is we have to itch her right ear for her - must be very annoying.

oblomow
Aug 7, 2007, 09:06 AM
sorry to hear about your cat, but when I read the subject of this thread my first reaction was: "somebody is up to some sick experiments...".

the cat will be fine, I've seen several cats with just 3 legs.

wongulous
Aug 8, 2007, 05:55 PM
Aww... poor kitty. That must have been such a scary experience. Thank god she's okay though. Please post to let us know how the amputation goes and how she's adjusting, etc. Sounds like 3-leggers can live full, happy, mostly-normal lives.

I wanna go adopt a tripod kitty now!

aristobrat
Aug 8, 2007, 07:24 PM
I really appreciate all of the replies to this thread. They've really helped me keep my spirits up about this over the last few days. :o

We went to the vet on Monday and they unwrapped her leg and noticed she didn't respond to any pressure on it, so it definitely had to be removed. I left her there overnight and they performed the surgery to remove the leg yesterday. She's apparently recovering great because they let me bring her home tonight! :)

The biggest thing now is to keep her calm for the next week or so. She's already wanting to go running around. Argh. How do you explain "downtime" to an energetic cat? :eek::D

I've got some pictures here, if anyone is interested in what a tripod cat looks like a day after the surgery. They're not gross-gross, but it was shocking to me to see her stitches and stuff for the first time, so if you're queasy about that kind of stuff, wait a few weeks and I'll post "her being normal again" pictures.

http://gallery.mac.com/jason.thorn#100029&bgcolor=black

mpw
Aug 8, 2007, 08:00 PM
...Argh. How do you explain "downtime" to an energetic cat? :eek::D...

Catamine?

phungy
Aug 8, 2007, 08:07 PM
What do you call a deer with no eyes?
No eyed deer.
What do you call a deer with no eyes and no legs?
Still no eyed deer.
What do you call a deer with no eyes, no legs and no genitals?
Still no ********* eyed deer.

No idea.

Still no idea.

Still no ****** idea.

Leareth
Aug 8, 2007, 10:02 PM
http://gallery.mac.com/jason.thorn#100029&bgcolor=black

I had a look at the pictures.
Looks more drastic with the hair shaved off.
The vet did a nice job - looks like he kept the symmetry nice.

She seems content - eating food, lounging around etc.
hope she feels this good once the pain meds are out of her system : )
48 hours...

harveypooka
Aug 9, 2007, 03:05 AM
...I was wondering if anyone here had any experience with pets that have gone thru this. Do they still go on to be somewhat normal after their recovery? The vet said that my cat would have to be strictly indoors afterwards, which would be a big change for her. She's normally used to playing Dora the Explorer all in the various yards of the street we live on.

Poor cat.

Be amazed:

http://www.oftenwrong.net/wp-content/uploads/2007/02/dog.jpg

it5five
Aug 9, 2007, 03:58 AM
I really appreciate all of the replies to this thread. They've really helped me keep my spirits up about this over the last few days. :o

We went to the vet on Monday and they unwrapped her leg and noticed she didn't respond to any pressure on it, so it definitely had to be removed. I left her there overnight and they performed the surgery to remove the leg yesterday. She's apparently recovering great because they let me bring her home tonight! :)

The biggest thing now is to keep her calm for the next week or so. She's already wanting to go running around. Argh. How do you explain "downtime" to an energetic cat? :eek::D

I've got some pictures here, if anyone is interested in what a tripod cat looks like a day after the surgery. They're not gross-gross, but it was shocking to me to see her stitches and stuff for the first time, so if you're queasy about that kind of stuff, wait a few weeks and I'll post "her being normal again" pictures.

http://gallery.mac.com/jason.thorn#100029&bgcolor=black

I'm really glad your cat seems to be doing fine. After I read your story, I got really worried about my kittens even though they never go outside. Haha. I just know one of them is going to get into something they shouldn't (like eating more power cords).

Update us (please) on your kitty when he heals up a bit more, I'm interested to know how he'll do.

iBlue
Aug 9, 2007, 04:17 AM
oh my! poor little cat! :(

animals are resilient, I think it's more of an adjustment for us than them. Glad she's home and on the mend.

djstarrock
Aug 9, 2007, 05:15 AM
oh my! poor little cat! :(

animals are resilient, I think it's more of an adjustment for us than them. Glad she's home and on the mend.
Yea but if we lost a leg it would be hard to walk since we only have 2.

aristobrat
Nov 22, 2007, 09:24 PM
Wanted to post a quick update to say that other than not being able to jump on tall things by herself anymore, missing one leg really hasn't slowed her down in the slightest! :)

One unexpected side-effect has been a marked personality change. She's gone from being "loner kittah" (very into doing her own thing, not really into hanging out with us) to "very personable kittah" (where she's now content to flop down on the couch and actually let us pet her). She still won't hold still for a "cute" photo though. LOL :eek:

iCube
Nov 22, 2007, 10:38 PM
Awesome update!!

imac/cheese
Nov 23, 2007, 09:26 AM
She is a beautiful cat. I am glad to hear she is doing well.

Father Jack
Nov 23, 2007, 09:36 AM
Hi,
Gretz from my two feline's. I agree with the previous poster, it's a beautiful cat .. :)

Jasonbot
Nov 23, 2007, 02:15 PM
About 75%

I had a friend at school whose cat Floyd lost one of it's legs in a slamming door incident, biggest change was they started calling him Fliyd instead.

You mean about 66.6%??

mpw
Nov 23, 2007, 02:21 PM
You mean about 66.6%??
Er... no I meant 75%, 'cause 75% is clearly funny. I don't get 66.6%.... unless you mean it's a devil-cat!?

Jasonbot
Nov 23, 2007, 02:25 PM
Er... no I meant 75%, 'cause 75% is clearly funny. I don't get 66.6%.... unless you mean it's a devil-cat!?

Oh wait, I thought you were talking about a three legged cat that now has 2 legs! Damn how could I not notice my erronious error :p And I'm writing Add Maths which consists of calculus and trig and some other advanced maths tomorrow. Wow, just wow... I'm lost for words

mpw
Nov 23, 2007, 02:31 PM
Oh wait, I thought you were talking about a three legged cat that now has 2 legs! Damn how could I not notice my erronious error :p And I'm writing Add Maths which consists of calculus and trig and some other advanced maths tomorrow. Wow, just wow... I'm lost for words
No worries, don't beat yourself up at losing a math battle to me, I've got special socks that help me with the numbers and the counting and such-like.:p

Jasonbot
Nov 23, 2007, 02:44 PM
No worries, don't beat yourself up at losing a math battle to me, I've got special socks that help me with the numbers and the counting and such-like.:p

Can I get some for my exam? Maybe borrow yours and give them back?:D:eek:

tripod lucky
Feb 25, 2009, 10:49 AM
We have a Tom Cat that was very active out doors. One evening while I was cooking supper my husband came in side and said Lucky is hurt. I turned to find our cats right front leg and paw to be severly swollen and twisted. We called a vet and took him to emergency clinic. They x-rayed and said the leg was bad and would have to be removed or put him down. My husband and I contemplated on putting him down since he would be indoors so much more and we knew he would not like it for he always ran. We were afraid with 3 legs he would be unhappy. This was 6 days ago. We couldn't do it for he is our baby. We had it amputated and last Friday Lucky came home. On morphine and antibiotics we nursed him back to health. Like I said it has been 6 days and he is done with medicine and running and playing with Maria our other cat we got just for him to have a play mate a month ago. Oh to add. we had him fixed also and this has eliminated some of his urge to run. Your cat will do fine. Someone mentioned it could not jump. Ours still jumps on the counter and chairs. Staples in his leg come out 3-2-09. I wish you luck with Aristobrat

jackiecanev2
Feb 25, 2009, 11:15 AM
I have a three-legged dog that has no problems whatsoever. They adapt quickly, and mine has no problems running, playing, jumping, etc. It took her time to build up the muscle mass to support her rear, but she's solid as a rock now and can even just walk on her two front paws when she feels like it :eek:

floyde
Feb 25, 2009, 12:26 PM
My girlfriend's landlady has a cat that was run over by a car pretty badly. Not only did the cat lose one leg, he also became a she unwillingly :eek:. Anyway, the cat seems to be quite happy and is actually much more active than he... err, she was before the accident.

And yes, they do seem to become more sociable after going through such an ordeal for some reason.

GSMiller
Feb 25, 2009, 01:02 PM
My Dad used to have a three legged hunting dog. It done quite well! Poor kitty :(

aristobrat
Feb 25, 2009, 06:53 PM
They adapt quickly, and mine has no problems running, playing, jumping, etc.
That's pretty much the summary of my cat. First few weeks were weird, but two months later, you couldn't tell she didn't have all four legs. :)

Mr. Giver '94
Feb 25, 2009, 07:11 PM
Not only did the cat lose one leg, he also became a she unwillingly :eek:. Anyway, the cat seems to be quite happy and is actually much more active than he... err, she was before the accident.


Damn that would hurt!!!!!

WeeMidge
May 25, 2013, 12:15 PM
this may not sound great on my behalf but i've owned two 3 legged cats and both did/do very well.
We got our first cat, Soot, when i was 3, a year later she was attacked by a fox and had to have her leg removed. It was her back leg. She was never a cat fond of the outdoors so her lazt, spoilt lifestyle suited her to a tee. She lived until she was 16 and died as she took cancer. I miss her dearly but she had a very good life despite being 'disabled'.
I now have a cat called Marvin, i owned his mother and she had him, when he was a small kitten, he and his sister made the bad decision to climb into the engine of a car for heat. I guess you can work out what happened from there. His sister died immediately and we found her looking as if she was sleeping. Marvin had disappeared however. Living in the countryside we searched all the small winding roads but there was no sign of him. 3 days later my mothers fiance was driving home and spotted something black and white in the hedge, sure enough it was Marvin, limping with his leg barely attached, trying to walk home. He got immediate care and had his leg removed, it was his front leg and i find he can get around much easier than Soot could as he still has both back legs to jump with. He is still very outdoorsy but always comes in at night so i dont think you should feel that your cat cant spend time outdoors as they can aslong as they are in a relatively safe area. Marvin is now 2 and doing very well, in fact, i dont think he realises he is meant to have another leg. I hope this helped :)

Roller
May 25, 2013, 12:31 PM
I hope this helped :)

Not that old threads are irrelevant, but the original post was nearly six years ago.

smokeyrabbit
May 25, 2013, 12:35 PM
So you registered and created a profile to comment on a 6 year old thread? How do people even find these??

Scepticalscribe
May 25, 2013, 12:43 PM
It is immaterial that the original thread was started all of six years ago; actually, it is a lovely, rather sweet and certainly touching, thread. A nice thread, in fact. And an absolute pleasure to read.

turtle777
Jun 1, 2013, 09:22 PM
Geez, 6 years should be time enough I grow back that leg.;)

-t