Please tell me good things about three legged cats.

So I’ve been advised that one of my cats need a back leg amputating and with heavy heart I have to agree. The Dood, my former feral Black Smoke has a wound on his leg, near his foot, that won’t heal. Two operations later, a battery of tests and it seems he has a rare fungal condition. Treatment would require excision of the affected area as well as medication. Because of the location this isn’t practical, there isn’t enough skin to stretch back over for one thing (I asked about skin grafts but apparently this is unlikely to work). I have time to think it over but I know what has to be done.

Cats seem to do fine with missing legs I’m sure that he will, but I’d like some reassurance. He’s a very active indoor/outdoor cat, loves people and has lots of friends in the neighbourhood. Tell me your stories do.

I don’t have any experience with amputee cats, but my sister has a 3-legged dog, and he doesn’t seem to miss his limb at all. (Sadly, he had been shot; she got him from an abused-animal rescue and has had a lot of OTHER problems with him.)

Check out some You Tube videos of amputee cats; they adapt quite well, and it sounds like his QOL will be better without that leg. :frowning:

Oh, I am so sorry for your Dood. I have fostered a three legged cat for about 2 months. She got around just fine. She was well healed by the time i had her. I don’t know about after surgery care, but from my experience the cat was more than capable of going through a daily routine.
I have never had outdoor cats. I think if I were you I might keep Dood inside after this.

I had a cat that lost a front leg in a car accident. He stumped along for years with no problems. He could even climb trees.

Never did quite get the hang of driving, though.

A friend’s cat had to have a hind leg and part of his tail amputated because he was warming up in a car engine. You can guess the rest. He healed and adjusted just fine. Didn’t slow him down at all and he loved 13 more years after the accident.

There are also several systemic anti-fungal drugs available for use on cats and dogs (eg azoles, terbinafine, etc.); if they can identify the fungus they may be able to prescribe one to which it is not resistant.

I have seen three-legged dogs and cats and they are never sorry for themselves; only humans get depressed after losing a leg or two.

ETA on TV there was a cat with successful prosthetics after losing a couple of paws to a combine harvester.

I follow a few cat rescues on You Tube, and one of them found a semi-feral kitten that was missing its hind paws, and was probably born that way. They’ve tried to fit it with prostheses, and even though this cat has worn sores into its stumps, it refuses to wear them. (I can’t remember if this cat is male or female.)

When I was a kid (and dinosaurs roamed the earth) I spent summers at Gramma’s in South Carolina. There were always 3 legged dogs around, presumably from run ins with cars and so on. Never saw one that gave a shit. They got around the same as the 4 leggers. I’ve seen many a seagull with a bad leg or foot and they seem to handle it ok, other than a little extra pecking from their mates.
I hope your cat can get fixed with the right meds, but if not I suspect it’ll be fine, especially knowing it has a loving human who will help it adapt.

In 2010 our adopted Persian cat was attacked by a dog and as a consequence had to have a front leg amputated. He was around 10 years old and Persians are a heavy build and can’t fight. Even though he hadn’t been with us long he was still “our cat” and we shelled out around $5000 for the operation. It was quite an impost at the time as we were about to undertake a trip to Europe. It was pretty heart rending as he was very ill and on heavy medication- and the best part was we had a Siames who was half crazy at the time and she wouldn’t leave his side while he was gradually recovering.

Anyway, he got better and ended up travelling with us across the continent and enjoyed running around the backyard (we ensured we cat proofed the back yard as he couldn’t really defend himself if attacked). Anyway he lived until he was close enough to 20 which is a great age for a Persian- kidney failure got him in the end. And he had the best life a cat could ever wish- he loved sitting on the back deck while we had a barbie.

We never ever regretted spendng money on the operation (he could motor around when he wanted to- and he survived a home invasion by running away and hiding).

Here is a quick link to a You Tube Clip pf him- sorry but I can’t get the hyperlink to work

Thanks for all the support. I am feeling a bit more settled about the decision now. Cicero, Keyser was gorgeous. DPRK they have identified the fungus and know what drug to use. The issue is that the outcome is doubtful if the affected tissue cannot be removed. From what the vet said the location makes this impossible. They are going to give him the drug anyway to clear the fungus from his system in case it has migrated. Beckdawreck, I hear you about keeping him in but I don’t think I will be able to. As a former feral he is extremely streetwise and independent and he will put all of his will into getting out. I think he’d be miserable as an indoor cat and I think he will learn to cope as a three legger."]Here he is :slight_smile:

Keep in mind that animals are less self-aware than we are; They often don’t “know” they’re supposed to feel bad about their handicap.

Could he get his outdoor time on a leash or in a catio?
The link comes out blank for me. Please use Imgur.

For a cat, rear legs are less necessary than front. Cats carry most of their weight on front legs, and use them for other things besides. Rear legs are probably really helpful for jumping and a few other special tasks, but cats generally do great without one.

They have at most 8 lives left.

A three-legged cat walks into a bar.

The whole place immediately gets quiet.

The cat then says:

"I’m looking for the man…

…who shot my paw."

One of my buddy’s cats is missing a hindleg. Moves a little weirdly, but gets around.

First time I noticed I asked what happened. My friend smiled and said, “A cat that good, you don’t eat all at once!”

They’re just as awesome as four-legged cats. Meow.

My first cat as a kid was a three legged one. He was missing his rear right leg. We adopted him from the stable where we boarded our horse and he was a terrific mouser, bringing home critters on the regular. Between his being born in a barn and my mother’s laissez faire towards pets, he came and went out of the house as he pleased and held his own just fine. He was also super sweet and affectionate (and very tolerant of us kids). He got along fine (step, step, hop) including jumping up onto the furniture and running away from stuff. Don’t ask me how he sprung himself with the one leg but there wasn’t a spot in the house that he couldn’t reach but later cats could. He lived to a ripe old age before passing naturally.

When he died, the vet mentioned that the missing leg wasn’t a birth defect, as we assumed, but rather he lost it at a very young age and left a tiny scar. Best guess is that he was stepped on by a horse and had his leg essentially sheered off by the hoof.

We had a tripod cat who could catch birds when she snuck outdoors. She was missing a hind leg.

I currently have a terrier-ish Tennessee Ditch Dog who is missing a front leg thanks to an illegal coyote trap. She can dig holes that are 3/4 the length of her own body.

There will be a short period of adjustment time for your beautiful kitty, and then neither you nor he will miss it. And from a human perspective, watching a rear-leg tripod feline with the zoomies is hysterical. The cornering at speed is amazing! :Do

Seriously, he’ll be fine. I hope it doesn’t come to that but if it does it may in fact be easier on him than long term medicine dosing and constant vet check-ups.

If you use those little claw cover things, you’ll only have to buy 3/4 as many as you used to!

But seriously, like other people have said, animals don’t tend to be bothered by limb loss the way a human would. I think your cat will be fine.