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Fang's Story

Cat Amputation – Our cat's transition to having three legs instead of four

3 Weeks after Amputation

November 23rd, 2012 · 3 Comments · Fang's Story

Scar on Day 10 v. Day 20

Scar on Day 10 v. Day 20. No more staples, and everything is closing up nicely. A few scabs remain. I can run my hand across the whole area to pet him normally without any discomfort.

We are now at three weeks after Fang’s leg amputation, and he is one happy three legged cat! As I mentioned in my last post, I didn’t and don’t really feel like there’s too much more recovering to do. Fang spends a lot of time outside in all of his regular places, and gets around beautifully.

One thing I have noticed is that last week, while he was getting around very well, by the end of the day he was quite tired and his “hop” became more pronounced. Throughout this week he has gotten stronger in the sense that he’s simply not as tired at the end of the day. Of course, like every other cat on Earth he sleeps a whole lot (13 to 16 hours a day is a normal amount of sleep for a cat, as a random bit of useless information), but when he’s up he’s active and I’m thankful for that.

Day 15 - Fang Sleeps Along with the Best of Them

Day 15 – Fang sleeping 2/3 of his life away in the sun along with the best of them 🙂

We’ve had no issues with comfort-eating, as some cats do when they become stressed. In fact, Fang just doesn’t seem stressed. I haven’t seen him try to use his missing arm or forget it’s not there when he makes a landing – nope, he’s pretty much got it down pat.

He does have a difficult time cleaning the left side of his face without his left arm, so I help him out with that and he *loves* it. I don’t know if I mentioned that he came down with a cold right after the antibiotic shot ran out (1 week after amputation) – I suspect he got it from the vet, as that is extremely common. Anyhow, the cold has made his eyes a bit runny so for the second week and about half of this third week I had to help clean around his left eye for him a bit often. But now that his cold is going away he doesn’t seem to need the grooming help as much anymore.

He also cuddles with me more often now. I think perhaps he got used to me sleeping with him during the first two weeks so he is seeking out and soaking up the attention. He always comes into the office to sit on my lap whilst I’m on the computer now, or on the couch, or really anywhere. That’s a bit of a personality change for him – he always liked to cuddle, but it’s occurring more frequently now.

I’m confident that things will continue to go as smoothly as they have been, and I am so thankful for making the right decision (that is, to amputate rather than euthanize), that my vet listened to and cared about my wishes for Fang’s surgery, that I found the Tripawds community and other three-legged kitty owners, and that Fang has adapted and is doing so amazingly well. This Thanksgiving I felt a whole lot more thankful than usual. 🙂

Side note: I’m going to try to post a short video of his walk and run but he’s a hard one to record. When he’s out he tends to disappear and when he’s in he sleeps!

Day 20 - The incision site is healing up beautifully

Day 20 – The incision site is healing up beautifully

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • jerry

    I love the comparison pic, that is so great to see! You can really see the progress with those two side by side. Thanks for posting them.

    Amazing, I still can’t get over how fast he has recovered. Now don’t tell all the cats out there, but I really do think that cats have an easier time of the recovery than dogs do. Fang’s just proven how fast they bounce back! Must have something to do with those nine lives!

    Keep on living your pawesome life Fang, you make the Tripawd kitties of the world so proud! We hope we get to see a video.

  • maximutt

    Fang, you are looking good!! I’m so happy your recovery has been relatively quick! Your blog is really going to help others who are struggling with the decision to amputate. You’re gonna show them how it’s done!! Have a great weekend Fang!!

  • cldavis

    Thanks guys – We’re sooooo proud of our boy!!

    You know, because I’m near him all the time I don’t really see the vast differences in the incision site until I compare the pictures like that. It makes me smile 🙂

    People told me that cats recovered faster than dogs but I just didn’t know if I should believe it at the time – but at this point I think you’re absolutely right. His recovery was just… eye opening. They teach us so much about life, adaptability and dealing with loss!!

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