by Helen Hartel
Trip is an active, healthy two-year-old cat that had his rear leg slammed in a door so hard that amputation was required. Fortunately for this feline, having three legs hasn’t stopped him from enjoying life to the fullest.
According to bestfriends.org, cats are quite ingenious and nimble. Trip is no exception. A helping hand and some lifestyle adjustments can enable a three-legged cat to have a safe and normal life. To keep a three-legged cat safe and happy:
- Never let the cat outside unsupervised.
- Although you should keep a close eye on your three-legged cat, encourage independence and avoid being overprotective. Your cat must learn how to compensate for the missing leg. For example, the cat needs to build up additional strength in other limbs, so don’t carry him everywhere.
- Be cautious when touching your cat near the stump of the missing leg, because this area may be very sensitive.
- Make sure that food and water are within easy reach.
- A cat with a missing hind leg may not be able to jump up very high. For such a cat, a multi-level cat perch with a staggered-level design may work better than one with a vertical post design.
- To make your cat’s favorite spots more accessible, install ramps. If the windowsill is a special place for your cat, put a chair close by to make it easier to access.
- You may need to adjust the size of the litter box, based on your cat’s abilities.
- Depending on what limb is missing, the cat may not be able to stoop down and may stand to urinate, so you may need to get a litter box with high sides. •
- If the cat is missing a back limb, consider getting an arched grooming tool to scratch those hard-to-reach spots on the cat’s head.
- Maintain a healthy diet for your cat. Three-legged cats should not be allowed to become obese, because they have fewer limbs on which to distribute their weight.
- Make sure that your cat gets plenty of gentle exercise in the beginning and then, as she adapts to using three legs, allow her to become more active. Exercise will help her to strengthen the remaining limbs.
Trip is a purr machine that loves to snuggle. He may be a little wobbly and need assistance jumping up, but once he is with you, he will curl up in your lap or nestle beside you in bed. A bit skittish with loud noises, Tripp would do best in a calm, mature, indoor home. Just remember, for his own protection, he should always be kept indoors.
To adopt Trip, request A4800796. The Agoura Shelter is at 29525 Agoura Road, Agoura Hills. Occasionally, pets have already been adopted. To check availability, call 818-991-0071 or visit http://animalcare.lacounty.gov.