Life on Three Legs

There was a lot of things we thought wouldn’t happen with a cat with three legs and we were wrong on so many accounts.  We were afraid he’d never be able to get up the stairs. He managed that on the first day we brought him home. We thought he wouldn’t want to play anymore…nope, still happy to play feather toy, bat balls around his toy, wrestle with his adopted kid sister, and chew up catnip toys. He was our best mouser, and I expect he probably could still get a mouse, if one were dumb enough to enter a house with three cats.  I really thought he couldn’t get up on the kitchen table anymore, wrong again! I stepped away from the table to start to clear the breakfast dishes only to turn around and catch him on the table cleaning up the remnants of my waffle and eggs.  He can jump.  His landings aren’t always perfect but it doesn’t slow him down, especially when there might be butter left on a plate.

He flies off the bed and races me down the stairs in the morning to receive his breakfast.  He can’t get up on a high dresser or the top of the cat tree but short of that, he can get anywhere he wants to be. We have steps and ramps to help him, but when excited he forgets all about them. He uses them more when tired — and it is true, he does tire more easily. We have a two-story house and he will pick which floor he wants to be in more now than he used to and that is okay. And he occasionally gets frustrated when trying to get up from the bed or a blanket pile — it’s hard to get his balance, and we’ll hear what we have come to recognize as the “frustrated meow,” and well give a hand getting up.  We are just so happy to have him with us, and I know his adopted siblings “the tigers” are happy to have him too. Castiel remains the alpha cat and the caretaker of his younger siblings. And check it out, his fur has all grown back now.  We think he looks very handsome.

We do have one challenge though where we could use some guidance.  His sibling Aleksandr likes to go for walks in the backyard on his harness. Castiel would like that too. A harness is needed because our home backs up to open space and there are a lot of wild animals (coyotes, bobcats, foxes, hawks, etc.), and despite his three legs — Castiel can move fast! Are there any harnesses that are secure on a three-legged cat? He is missing a front leg.  Anyone have any ideas?

Stealing your breakfast
Castiel and Clover play with their toy
Hello Hooman!


Helping with your jigsaw puzzle

4 thoughts on “Life on Three Legs”

  1. Awwww I am so so so hoppy for all of you! What a terrific update. Waffles and eggs for everypawdy!

    It’s lovely to know how much better you feel about the decision to amputate. I remember how worried you all were in the beginning. Congrats on overcoming all of the emotional hurdles and obstacles. Your experience here shows that yes! Animals get back to doing what they love and even when they can’t do it 100% like before, they still try and don’t let anything stop them from doing things their way. THANK YOU for sharing your thoughts about Castiel’s progress.

    As for cat harnesses, YES! The Kitty Holster is tried and true by Tripawds own front-leg amputee hero cat, Purrkins! Let us know if you decide to give it a go.

    1. I’m going to order that harness you suggested. It’s getting very spring-like now and I think Castiel would love a romp in the yard. Thanks so much for recommendation. Sorry, I haven’t been up the site much lately. I’ve been working two jobs to help pay off his surgery and to make sure we have funds saved for any other medical needs that might occur.


  2. Excellent update; it is so good to see you in your new normal, and Castiel is showing you without a single doubt you made the right decision.

    Yea. Cats can do everything they used to on three, as you see;) They figure it all out amazing, aren’t they? I’m sure Castiel is still the best mouser, hehe. Purrkins has caught a mouse and a poor tree frog that snuck in the house! It broke my heart (the poor tree frog) Purrkins was proud of his catch. 🤢

    Be delighted Castiel is not getting on the high dresser! He is still 100% capable; he still has ALL his propulsion in his back legs! Jumping up has not changed! (don’t let him fool you:) But yes, getting down is another story; it can be hazardous on that front leg. Placement is vital on the steps and ramps; put them right in front of the way down. Thankfully for us, Purrkins and his brother use them 100% of the time. (fewer worries)

    Jerry gave you a link to the harness we use for Purrkins. You may or may not have to train him in it; many cats will freeze in it at first. (normal) Both our guys did, but with a few training sessions, they get over it once they see they can move & get outside in it. Then lookout anytime they hear the velcro, they will wait at the door;) The harness comes with training tips, and it’s nice and secure even with the front leg missing. You can train in the house in the winter;)

    Scratches and smooches to Castiel & siblings, please.
    Holly & Purrkins 💝💝💝

    1. Thank you so much! We’re going to be ordering and trying the harness soon. I’ll let you know how it goes. Apologies for not writing much lately, I’ve been working two jobs to cover the bills and put a safety net aside for any future expenses. I am so grateful for everyone on this site — and I was thrilled to see Tripawds day.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.