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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Can a three-legged cat live a normal life?

Because of their small body weight, cats do very well after the loss of a leg. Their human friends often take longer to adjust to the change than they do. It might help, however, to make the cat an exclusively indoor cat. It's reflexes and ability to avoid predators may be a bit hampered. Another helpful move might be to provide a few stools where the cat chooses to get up and down from things, such as beds or a favorite window sill.

If a front leg has been removed, jumping down can be painful if one leg has to catch the fall from three or more feet up. If a rear leg is missing, it may be difficult to provide the torque to jump up onto high things without a stool halfway.

Even with a leg removed, three legged cats can play, run and pounce just like any other cat.

I have fostered a three legged cat before and here is what I learned first hand. Drake, the three legged cat, needed a larger litter box and he needed it in more stable location, such as a corner. He also needed more support for getting off and on high cat trees and other things. He seemed to be fine, but I worried because he sometimes hit his chin on the floor from the impact of landing on one leg.

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