If your cat is about to face -or has already undergone- leg amputation surgery, there are a couple of things you need to know. First of all, if your vet has recommended this surgery, it’ll be of tremendous help and relief for your cat. Sometimes limbs can be more problematic than useful, and that’s the right time to get rid of them. It might seem harsh, but don’t worry! Cats get over the amputation relatively quick and get to live a happy life afterward. To do so, they’ll need your help during the different stages after the surgery, here’s what you should do to help your little friend:
-What to do during the first days after the surgery.
Your cat may or may not have to stay for a couple of days in the veterinary office. If that’s the case, do not worry! This is a normal procedure and eventually, your cat will be ready to go back home.
When your cat is back from the vet, it is best to give him his own space. If you have a room to spare, set him up there with food, water, and a bed to rest on. If that’s not possible, a big dog crate will work. Your cat should be away from other animals and little children for the first couple of days so he can recover from the shock of surgery. Another important thing is his litter box, more likely than not he’ll be unable to reach higher litter boxes and it’d be best you get him a smaller one to deal with his discharges during the first week or so.
Put an Elizabethan collar (also known as a cone) on him to prevent any problems with his stitches. It’s important to keep a calm, relaxed environment to let your cat rest so he can heal quickly and properly. It’s possible your cat won’t eat for the first couple of days and there’s no need to intervene at first. You can try to convince him to eat a little using his favorite treats as a bribe!
-Pain relief strategies after the surgery.
When your cat is facing the post-operatory stage, he will feel some sort of pain. The amount of pain varies from cat to cat as much as their pain tolerance. Regardless, your vet will probably give you pain medication. You have to listen carefully to the instructions and strictly follow them. If you feel changes need to be made, ask your vet beforehand.
To avoid any problems with the stitches, help your cat groom himself around the wounded area. This will avoid any further problems as your cat tries to clean his stitches off him. If problems continue to happen, place a baby shirt on him to cover the stitches.
-What to do during the aftermath.
After the first couple of days are over, your cat will slowly but surely get used to his three-legged stance. You’ll find your cat become more active and more playful, going back to his old self. You’ll probably have to go back to the vet to get your cat’s stitches removed. This is the best time to ask as many questions as you can and make sure there are no complications moving forward.
Even though three legs can do the work of four limbs with no problem, you need to understand they will take more stress in the long term. Joint supplements are a great investment, as they prevent nasty diseases like arthritis. If your cat is overweight, this might be a great time to consider long-term strategies to help him lose weight, as obesity is worse on the joints for three-legged cats.
If you have the opportunity to provide your cat with hydrotherapy sessions, that’ll make a huge difference in strengthening the muscles, joints, and tendons of your car without putting much stress on him.
After a while, your cat will be back to normal. A couple of mishaps and fallings may happen, but there’s nothing to worry about.
-How to help your cat cope with the amputation.
There’s not much you should do to help your cat cope with his amputation if you have given him proper care after the surgery. If everything is okay, you’ll get to know how resilient your cat truly is and how great he’ll cope with his body. If you want to ease your cat into his new situation, you can get him a couple of extra treats or a new toy. There’s something that your cat will love and costs no money: scratch wherever he may not be able to reach anymore due to his leg being gone, he’ll be ecstatic!
If you have any questions regarding your cat and how to help him, you should ask your vet when you go back to his office to remove your cat’s stitches — or any other time, he’ll be happy to help.
-How can you cope with your cat’s amputation.
Sometimes, owners take their cat’s amputation harder than the cat himself. And that’s okay. Owners love their pets and are willing to go all the way to help them. If you are having a hard time coping or understanding how to move forward after the amputation, you can ask your vet for help. There are also a lot of support groups on Facebook and other social media with plenty of other users who have gone through the same and are willing to share their experiences.
The best way to get over your cat’s amputation is to help him as best as you can to get back on track, and watch how fast he progresses!
-Can a cat live a happy life with three legs?
Of course! What’s more, amputated cats will have a fairly better quality of life than cats who had major issues and were not amputated. An amputation is a serious thing, and the last resort to an otherwise impossible issue to solve. After your cat is fully healed, his problematic limb won’t hurt him anymore and he’ll be better than ever, ready to eat, play and cuddle with you like he used to!
Written by: TlonUqbar