How well do 3-legged cats do?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by aristobrat, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. macrumors G4

    Oct 14, 2005
    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.

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  2. macrumors 68000

    Jan 14, 2007
    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.
  3. macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2005
    Looking for Lucy Butler
    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".
  4. mpw

    Jun 18, 2004
    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.
  5. macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2004
    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.
  6. macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    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. :)

  7. macrumors 68020


    Dec 5, 2006
    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.

  8. macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    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.
  9. macrumors 603


    May 26, 2004
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
  10. macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    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.
  11. macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    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.
  12. macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2006
    Beacon, NY
    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.
  13. macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    They do remarkably better than two legged ones!!:)

    I wish you the best of luck with the transition.
  14. macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    For the love of god, do not start calling her tripod.
  15. macrumors 65816

    Fleetwood Mac

    Apr 27, 2006
    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.
  16. mpw

    Jun 18, 2004
    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 f**king eyed deer.


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  17. macrumors regular


    Sep 18, 2006
    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.
  18. macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    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.
  19. macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Jan 1, 2007
    Three legged cats do just as well as three legged dogs. I will do just fine .. :)
  20. macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2007
    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.
  21. macrumors 68000


    Apr 14, 2005
    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.
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2002
    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!
  23. thread starter macrumors G4

    Oct 14, 2005
    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. :eek:

    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.
  24. mpw

    Jun 18, 2004
  25. macrumors 68020


    Dec 5, 2006
    No idea.

    Still no idea.

    Still no ***** idea.

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