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New 3 legged cat - not adapting well?

in Pets & pet care
11 replies 1.1K views
The hubby and I adopted a second cat yesterday :beer: He's about a year and a half old, gorgeous and missing a hind leg. We were told that he arrived as a stray already missing the hind leg and the fur has completely grown back so we're thinking it's not a recent injury. But the way he walks is making me think that it was more recent than it seems or he just isn't adapting too well. He can jump up onto a high bed but is definitely using his front claws to pull himself up. When he walks/tries to run it's as if he goes to use his missing leg so with each step he falls over to that side and lands on his bum.
It isn't stopping him from moving around and I know there's nothing really we can do other than keep an eye on his weight and encourage him to get exercise etc, I guess I'm just after some reassurance from people who have been in a similar situation! (Unless there is something we could/should do that is!)


  • rising_from_the_ashesrising_from_the_ashes Forumite
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    Congratulations on your new arrival :D

    TBH I would expect him to be not as good at jumping as most of their lift comes from their back legs so it is likely he'll need a little bit of pulling up with his front legs if he doesn't quite make it

    However, it would seem as if it's not a new injury if the fur is completely grown back BUT it's odd that he's still trying to use his leg - I'm wondering if he's got (if animals get it?) phantom limb syndrome & thinks it's still there? Does he seem in pain at all?

    If it continues, I'd probably have him checked over by my own vet just to make sure it's all healed OK
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  • edited 29 July 2013 at 7:15PM
    DimeyDimey Forumite
    1.4K Posts
    edited 29 July 2013 at 7:15PM
    If money is no object you can get him a prosthetic leg. Plenty of !!!!!!s (Edit - Oh my word was edited out by MSE. Ha Ha I'll say cats then) have them in the USA. Not sure about facilities here in the UK.

    Presumably your vet has given his injury the all clear. If he doesn't settle then maybe ask to be referred to an expert.

    "Any more posts you want to make on something you obviously know very little about?"
    Is an actual reaction to my posts, so please don't rely on anything I say. :)
  • kazwookiekazwookie Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    I have a 3 legged cat, he is lovelllllllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

    He jumps about and runs, but sort of walks at a hop. He is a rescue cat, and it took me 6 to 9 months to get him confident to go out, and wander about.

    He loves his scratching post, and cuddling up on the bed etc.

    Just give your cat time, love and security.
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  • victor2victor2 Forumite, Ambassador
    6.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts I'm a Volunteer Ambassador Name Dropper
    We had a 3 legged cat for a number of years - it had lost one of it's front legs when very young - before we got him. He ran perfectly fine, but limped noticeably when walking. He was strictly an indoor cat, so never had to fend for himself in the outside world.
    We didn't treat him any differently to any other domestic cat, he had adapted so well. It was totally normal for our young DDs at the time.
    We once had a visitor sitting in our living room and the cat ran through. Then it walked back and the visitor was horrified that he had four legs moments before, so where had one gone?! That was many years ago and we still chuckle about it. :)

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  • moggymuttmoggymutt Forumite
    666 Posts
    Both our 3 legged cats use their front legs to haul themselves up things (one climbs a 6 foot fence)

    When going slow one does look as if he's going to sit down, but doesn't quite.

    Well done for taking him on.
  • cathy_j87cathy_j87 Forumite
    171 Posts
    Thanks everyone for your replies!
    Dimey - I'll insert my own word of choice ;)

    It doesn't seem to be hurting him, he even lets me stroke down the side of his body and over the missing leg. We haven't seen him run properly yet as he's confined to a single room atm until he settles in to the new surroundings. He was checked over by the vets the rescue centre uses but if he's still "wonky" in a while I'll maybe take him along to our vets just to be sure.
    He's so lovely :)
  • moggymuttmoggymutt Forumite
    666 Posts
    When Woody came to us, he had lost a back leg through disease, so his remaining back leg was always strong, and found it easy to compensate, always being able to bear full weight on his remaining back leg. He walks with his remaining back leg quite upright.

    With Dogz, he got badly run over and as well as losing a hind leg, had to have the other pinned at the same time, and so he has developed a way of walking where he uses both his foot and lower leg touching the ground at times to help balance himself. Other times he just uses his foot but carries his leg at a very weird angle. His carries his back end lower than Woody does. Apart from making sure that he lays down and has good rests in between playing like a lunatic, he gets around fine.(and that's despite getting run over AGAIN and needing specialist pinning at Down's referrals in Bristol in his remaining back leg). On both occaissions, even with his remaining back leg pinned and splinted, he was fine on 3 legs.
    In short, both cats have developed different styles of walking, seemingly depending on the state of their other limbs at the time they lost their legs.
  • DimeyDimey Forumite
    1.4K Posts
    Wow Moggymutt, poor Dogz. He deserves all his 9 lives.
    "Any more posts you want to make on something you obviously know very little about?"
    Is an actual reaction to my posts, so please don't rely on anything I say. :)
  • springer211springer211 Forumite
    176 Posts
    I met a 3-legged cat and she was a happy cat, just a bit less able to jump. I nearly adopted her, but things worked out differently. I did a lot of research on 3-legged cats, watched videos on your tube etc, and it seemed that most adapt really well :)

    In terms of cats being wobbly... my 4-legged cat sometimes climbs pulling herself up with her claws, on the couch or even on a fence. And often falls down from the bed or couch when she rolls over to be stroked. (nothing wrong with her limbs, when I call her shaking a box of treats, she jumps over the fence and gets back in very fast...)

    Some cats are just more clumsy than others. I think my ;) would struggle more than my previous cat if she were to lose a leg.
  • moggymuttmoggymutt Forumite
    666 Posts
    Dimey wrote: »
    Wow Moggymutt, poor Dogz. He deserves all his 9 lives.

    The second time he also had a collapsed lung, and it took him 2 and a half days to get back home, which included scaling a 6 foot fence (and dropping off the other side). He's a right mummy's boy, but is demonic at the vets and with almost everybody else.
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