How do cat amputations affect cats?

Unfortunately, due to illnesses and complications after an accident, it is sometimes necessary to amputate a cat’s tail or limb. It may seem like a drastic step, but it is never taken lightly. While this is a nuisance to owners, the fact is that cats are extremely adaptable and often behave surprisingly well without paws or tails. After a period of adaptation, cats generally adapt and can lead normal lives.

Amputation of the cat’s tail

Cats’ tails are long and movable, so accidental injuries like fractures, dislocations, abscesses, and bites are common. Tail amputation is a relatively normal procedure and usually has no long-term effect on your cat’s life.

Amputation of a limb

It may be necessary to amputate a limb if the cat suffers a serious injury in an accident or suffers from a serious illness such as a large tumor or birth defect. While this may seem like a drastic step, most cats do well with just three legs.

A period of rehabilitation is always necessary for the animal to learn to move without losing the extremity. However, over time you will gain confidence and security, and eventually, you should learn to walk, and even run and jump, without much difficulty. It’s important to help your cat during this process and try not to be too hasty: don’t force them to jump or run, it’s best to let things move at their own pace. Once the initial four-week recovery period has passed, cats can lead to normal, limitless lives. Cats with an amputated hind leg tend to regain near-normal mobility, whereas when the affected leg is one of the front legs, it usually takes longer for the cat to adjust its gait. This is because the front legs of quadrupeds support a greater proportion of body weight. Older cats may need more time than others to adjust to this new situation.

Help her cat after an amputation

After the operation, your vet will give you clear instructions on how you can help your cat to fully recover. She’ll likely recommend keeping the cat home for the first few days, perhaps even limiting her movements to one room to prevent her from initially trying to run and jump. At first, your cat may have difficulty accessing their litter box, so it may be a good idea to purchase a suitable litter box or even cut it up to make it easier.

For the rest of your cat’s life, you will need to watch her weight closely, as excess weight can lead to increased wear and tear on the extremities, which can increase the risk of arthritis. This is very important because cats can gain weight if they move less than before.

Losing a limb can also affect your cat’s interaction with others. It is therefore important to gradually reintroduce the cat into its previous life and to remain vigilant to ensure that it leads a quiet and safe life.

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