Coping With Limb Amputation in Cats: What You Need to Know

There may be several reasons why the veterinarian recommends limb amputation as a treatment. Some bone fractures, joint injuries, cancer or congenital disorders have resulted in a bone, which can not function optimally and where other treatment is not sufficient. Limb amputation as a treatment has long been used in other countries, in and outside Europe and there is therefore good experience in the field.

Can all cats undergo a limb amputation?

Cats often do very well on just three limbs. In general, the prognosis is very good, as the treatment ensures that the animal is painless, and that it can live a completely normal life after surgery. Before the operation, the veterinarian assesses all aspects, including the cat’s age, condition, any other diseases, mentality and not least the prognosis, which must be good. It also often includes post-treatment and rehabilitation, but in general it is a short process compared to other joint and skeletal surgeries.

The treatment When amputating a front limb, the entire front limb, including the shoulder blade, is usually removed. This ensures that the cat does not have an imbalance on that side, and that no pressure damage occurs at the amputation site.

The hind limb is usually removed completely up in the hip joint and the muscles that remain then form a protection for the underlying skeletal parts of the hip when the cat is sitting.


After the operation, the cat is usually allowed to stay at the clinic for 1-2 days to change bandages and get pain relief. Then the patient can come home and in consultation with a veterinarian and a physiotherapist, a plan for rehabilitation can be made. This can, for example, involve massage and stretching to give the body the best conditions.

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