Limb Amputation: How To Take Care of An Amputated Cat

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Care: Limb Amputation in Cats

Limb amputation is a surgical procedure that involves removal of either the front or behind leg which is commonly performed in pets. The amputation may be recommended if the affected cat’s leg resulted from an accident or a disease such as cancer.


Many cat owners worry if the cat will cope well after the amputation but the truth is that they do well after the wound has healed. It is possible then for the cat to walk, run and jump on chairs. However, before the wound heals extra caution and careful care would be of importance for the cat to cope well.


According to Dr. Nicholas Trout, cats do function exceptionally well on three legs and are able to run, walk and play without pain or discomfort. He asserts, “Cats do not suffer the psychological distress of losing a limb the same way a human does. The primary purpose of the limb is in movement. Because cats do not need to perform fine motor skills they easily adapt to having only three legs.”




Amputation may be recommended if:

  • The limb tumor is large arising from the nearby or surrounding tissues whereby a simple operation may do no good to help to cure the disease or control it in the case of cancer in a particular area. The only option is removing the entire limb as a simple case of curing the disease that has affected that specific area.
  • In the case where there are more than one fractures and severe trauma on the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the limbs. (Dr. Nicholas)

“After surgery there will be an incision that needs to be assessed daily for swelling, redness or discharge,” Dr. Nicholas notes. He further says,” Stitches or staples need to be removed in 10-14 days. Do not allow your pet to lick or chew at the surgical site. An Elizabethan collar may be necessary to prevent this from occurring.”


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The following are some of the ways cat owners can use to take care of their pets after the surgical procedure:

1)The cat should be confined in one room. This is in order to restrict the cat from walking or running a lot which may affect the wounded part thereby increasing the pain.

2)Ensure that food and water is easily accessible. This would avoid the cat from walking a long distance to access food thereby increasing the pain on the wounded area.


3)Ensure the cat does not gain weight unnecessarily. If the cat gains weight it may put a lot of strain on the other legs thereby making it hard to cope or balance when walking and it may lead to arthritis. The cat should be fed on low fat diet. Remember as the cat is less active it means it will do little exercise.

4)Ensure potential danger is not nearby. If you have other pets like cats or the nearby neighbours have, make sure you keep the cat away from them for it may lead to conflicts. Listen if it is playing with her kittens, it may cause wound pain on the wound.

5)Ensure that the cat does not jump on chairs before the wound heals and it regains strength.

6)Lastly, contact your veterinary doctor if you sense the cat is experiencing some discomfort such as its mood is quite in that it does not eat or drink. Also, if the cat is straining to urinate or pass faeces.

Cat Leg Amputation

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SantaCruz profile image

SantaCruz 4 years ago from Santa Cruz, CA

Thank you for this helpful article! Great photo choice too ;-).

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