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Fang's Story

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

Fang’s Two Months on Three Legs

January 11th, 2013 · 7 Comments · Fang's Story

Fang with nearly all his hair back! Hurray!

Fang with nearly all his hair back! Hurray!

Well, its Fang’s two month mark as a cat with three legs, and he’s doing as well as ever! He continues to get stronger and stronger in his remaining front leg, go outside, hunt, play and generally just be himself. I couldn’t be prouder!

Really, I don’t even notice that he’s on three legs except for when other people come over not expecting him to have three legs, notice it, and then “awwwwwwwww” about it for a while. But he gets around as always, has lovely posture, and people tend to be pretty amazed at how versatile cats can be.

One thing I’ve noticed is that when he wants to itch his front side, rather than using the hind leg he would normally use (the one on the same side of his body as the itch), he will yoga-turn his body wayyy around and use the opposite back leg. This is perfectly fine, as it must be more comfortable for him to do so – I believe that he would usually use his front left leg to brace himself when using his hind right foot to scratch and now he can’t do so, so he’s switched legs – however, he scratches too hard with his other leg. I presume that he will figure out how to lessen the viciousness with which he is scratching himself, however, for the meantime he’s taken off a few patches of fur in his pursuit to stop the itchiness.

Fang has patches where he itches too hard

Fang has patches where he itches too hard

I did find, by the way, that all the kitties had fleas so I’ve treated them all and he is scratching much less, and his hair is coming back… 😉 That’s what happens when you’ve got outdoor/indoor kitties, don’t ya know.

Otherwise, the only difference is that I help Fang get the “sleepies” out of his left eye – though he can do this himself using furniture or the floor (he is quite ingenious 🙂 )  I like to help him anyway, as he’s my baby.

I’ve found that now I worry more about all of the cats’ health more than I used to. I mean, I always CARED but, you know how when you feel you’re going to lose something you realize all the things you should have been doing that you weren’t? Well, as I’ve said previously they are now all on powdered joint supplements. I am also switching their dry food to a better brand (with more meat rather than corn). The brand I was using was rather pricey so I thought it was good for them – I should have read the bag… All corn. And of course, I continue to give them wet food in the evenings (as cat’s don’t drink enough water themselves, so it’s important to include wet foods in their diet, unless they often kill and eat small animals, which provide a good bit of water). Anywho – I feel like if Fang went through so much to continue to live and thrive… why wouldn’t I offer him things that will keep him healthy?

Oh, I’ve received a few questions about how much the process cost (for Fang’s amputation, etc). I am searching for my bills and will post the total as soon as I can.

Finally, I wanted to thank Freya and her mommy for starting a blog on Freya’s journey to becoming a tripawd! I’m following your story every single post, and we are SO happy that things are going well, from the day she came home to the day she hopped her little butt up the stairs!! And of course, Jill, we are rooting for you while you’re kicking cancer’s butt! Thanks guys – for joining the community, and for sharing your invaluable experiences to others out there. You rock!! Really, it’s something special.

On to another Tripawd month! Thanks to the whole Tripawds community for your continued experiences, well wishes, and support!! 😀 And as always, I’m here if anyone has any questions about the process!!


7 Comments so far ↓

  • rica55

    Go Fang! You are our leader! You’re lookin good!

    Totally hear ya about worrying about our kitties health more now. I have added supplements to both their diets. And I run my hands all over both their bodies constantly feeling for lumps. Oy.

    Jill totally tries to scratch herself with her missing leg, I guess it takes a while to figure it out!

    Onto another month! Thank you Fand for being our inspiration!!

  • jerry

    Yowza! Two months and you’re an old pro Fang. Rock on! Your recovery is nothing less than remarkable. Congrats!

    Isn’t it odd that they make cat food with CORN in it? Like come on, what cats do you know who like to nibble on an ear of corn? Sheesh.

    You are doing so well Fang. You do know that you’re a rock star, right? I sure think so!

  • wyattraydawg

    Hey Fang can you show me that scratching trick? Because no matter how hard I try my doga positions just aren’t cutting it, I still can’t reach the back of my neck when I try to scratch myself.

    Hoppy Ampuversary Killer! You are so rad!

  • Debra

    In early August I found a stray with a wound on his front left leg. Basically the skin was missing and we were looking at his muscle and tendons. I took him to my vet in hopes they could heal him and eventually I could find him a home. This cat (Onyx) is the absolutely coolest, sweetest cat. Well after months of trying everything, even a skin graft, two days ago I had to make the decision to amputate Onyx’s leg. I had to make the decision over the phone while out of town for a family funeral.
    I have never imagined how devastating it is to be the one to make that decision. I have read your blog and I let my mother read it to. She commented “why did you write on this blog.” I told her I didn’t, and she remarked that it “says all the things you’re feeling.” I am sitting here, we just got home and I haven’t picked up Onyx yet. See, I feel it was fate that day and HE picked ME to save him. I am terrified he will absolutely hate me. I read your NEW MOTTO and I start to cry, but then I feel that maybe it will be ok. Thank you for sharing your story and “my feelings.” I don’t feel alone anymore.

  • Linda C

    I just wanted to say thank you. I reached out to you about 6 weeks ago after my cat had his front leg removed and he wasn’t eating, drinking and generally miserable. You very nicely wrote back right away and reassured me. I am happy to say that you were right. Its been 6 weeks and Jefferson is now a totally different cat. He is eating, hopping about, and generally being himself. He goes in and out (although he is watched very closely, not allowed out at night or early morning and will be getting a GPS in the very near future) and the neighbors have yet to see anything up with him.

    It was a great decision that we made to go forward with the leg removal and was really due to your website. So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!

  • Lilly

    Hi Linda, I was in the same position as you…Last Monday 11 august, my cat had his front righ leg completely amputated… he came out of the vets this friday evening… I have been feeding him, he is sleeping alot… alot more than usual.. thanks to Fangs mum and this website, alot of my questions are being answered, each time my cat (bum bum) does anything, I keep checking this webiste to see if its “normal” and the other darling Tripaw cats are doing it. bum bum is miserable too.. I hope your cat is doing very well.. may I ask, how long he did not eat for.. and when he bcame his “normal” self. Blessings to your cat and to you and all of us in the Tripaw community for helping out cats.

  • Lind


    Sorry for the slow response. My laptop is out for repairs. It was about a week or so before he began eating. We left Jefferson alone during the day but would stick him into bed with us at night. I really think that helped him out. I would say it was about a month when he was back to his normal self. It s been 6 months now and he is doing absolutely great. He gets around outdoors really well although we watch him very closely now. We do not regret the surgery. If anything, he is more affectionate than before.

    Let me know how bum bum is doing. I suspect that he is already so much better then when you wrote.

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