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Adopting a 3 legged cat-problems ahead?

(13 Posts)
Redfox Sun 30-Sep-12 17:35:55

Hi can anyone offer opinions/advice- we have seen a friendly female cat aged about 7 yrs in rescue place however has been in a fight/accident & lost a leg a few years. She managed to get adapt and get around however will she be able to look after herself with other cats once she is out and about in our neighbourhood?

Also she can not use a stratching post and the rescue place said she used an old mat however we will have to get her claws clipped regularly as she can not stratch them down? Any ideas how much it is at the vets?

Will she ruin my carpets using them as a stratching mat?

Redfox Sun 30-Sep-12 17:37:13

Sorry scratching post and scratching mat- don't know what happened there

cozietoesie Sun 30-Sep-12 18:49:44

I would imagine she would be OK if she wasn't an aggressive animal but can you keep her as a house cat if not? (Someone who has owned a three legger might be able to give you the voice of experience here. I haven't, I'm afraid.)

On the scratching, my cats have always preferred a piece of carpet or furniture to a scratching post (to the extent that I wouldn't even bother with a post now) and you can train them to a particular thing. You could nominate an old upholstered armchair or something - or, get a few of those carpet samples (the ones that come in big books at carpet shops) and anchor one at a time to the floor in some way - a light tack down at each corner or put one edge of one under a heavy piece of furniture to hold it in place. (Keep the rest as spares - they're usually free.)

Then - a firm NO! if she scratches unauthorised places (and lift her away) and lots of 'GOOD GIRL!' and praise/stroking if she uses the right place. It doesn't take long at all to train them; just a day or two in my experience. I should add that, in the way of cats, it would really help if you could get some very expensive carpet samples. Nothing attracts a cat more than a piece of very costly Wilton!

On the claw clipping, I can't comment on vet costs. My cats have never liked the vet so I generally do it myself rather than putting them through a journey in their box. You can buy claw clippers for cats and you can accustom them to having claws clipped by making it part (on occasion) of their regular grooming and cuddling routine. If you attach it to fun and cuddles in a relaxed way, they don't see it as an ordeal.

(You do have to be careful if you're doing it yourself not to 'overcut' - eg going into the sensitive part of the claw. I'd regard it as more 'tip nipping' than clipping - which should be enough if done regularly.)


Redfox Sun 30-Sep-12 21:17:05

Ah that's for the advice

HardHittingLeafletCampaign Sun 30-Sep-12 21:52:09

You don't need a vets to claw clip, you can do it your self. Just hold their paw firmly and push the claw forward gently and clip the ends off making sure you only get the white part of the nail and not the red 'quick'. you don't need to do all at once, just keep the clippers by the sofa (for example) and when she's nice and relaxed clip off one or two. If you can keep going, then great, but if not then just get a couple each time. Once they're all done they'll grow back at different rates anyway.

However, I would recommend seeing if she can be an indoor only cat, if you clip the ends of her claws then she's going to be outside a little bit defenceless.

All that said, I think adopting her could be a lovely thing to do. Older cats, especially ones with special needs have a really hard time getting adopted and they can make such lovely pets. Much calmer than mad kittens and very appreciative of a new home smile.

There's no reason the missing leg in itself should cause any other problems.

Redfox Sun 30-Sep-12 22:06:02

Thank you for the info

cozietoesie Sun 30-Sep-12 22:07:35

That's true - they do grow back at slightly different rates. Never thought of that. The forefinger equivalent is the fastest I think looking back on the last snip.


Floralnomad Sun 30-Sep-12 22:13:59

I saw a vet programme the other day where the vet said that cats and dogs were really 3 legged animals with a spare ! and it does make sense as they manage brilliantly. If you can't clip the nails yourself you may find it cheaper to get an animal groomer to do it rather than a vet nurse . The dog groomers we use does while you wait nail clipping for all animals .

tabulahrasa Mon 01-Oct-12 00:46:46

My vet nurse does it for nothing - though I don't know if that's because we visit so regularly.

NatashaBee Mon 01-Oct-12 01:10:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MummyWeatherwax Mon 01-Oct-12 02:01:08

I have a three legged cat, he only has one on the front. In terms of scratching, he is exactly like every other cat I know! We have both scratch posts, and mats that lie flat, and he used both quite happily. We've never had to get his claws clipped.

The only thing I notice as being different to four leggers is that he prefers to jump down from things in stages - for example table to chair then floor rather than table straight to floor.
Also we have to be more careful to keep his weight controlled, as any extra weight will make him more likely to develop arthritis when he's old.

Hope that helps, feel free to ask me any tripod related questions!

MummyWeatherwax Mon 01-Oct-12 02:07:10

Oh, and he has no issues with going out etc. if anything, he has fewer conflicts with neighbourhood cats than our other cat does. My theory is that it's because other cats don't see him as a threat, so no need to be aggressive/territorial.

YeahBuddy Mon 01-Oct-12 02:15:45

I can't foresee any problems tbh, my mum and dads cat only has three legs and manages perfectly well. He pretty much just does what he did before he lost his leg (ie still lies in the middle of the bloody road!) and prefers to be outside. He is 14 now and they have never had his claws clipped.

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