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Tripawd Cat – Life After amputation (Soft Tissue Sarcoma)


Purrkins 4 months update

November 16th, 2016 · 5 Comments · Post Amputation


Purrkins is in his 4 month of being a Tripawd kitty now, I meant to update on his 3rd and started this on his 3rd month. 🙄

There never seems to be enough hours in the day. Time has just flown by. We are grateful everyday, that we had a choice and were able to amputate and cut that cancer off!

When we were faced with the decision it was our worst nightmare! But we can most certainly say we did the right thing for Purrkins no matter what our future holds! He is such a joy to watch, and does amazing well, he is absolutely just as happy on 3 as he was on 4!

I still get nervous leaving him and that will never 100% change for me.

Life experiences change who you are as a person or pet parent . We had a 16 year old cat named Garfield he was sitting on the kitchen table, one of the boys jumped up on the table and Garfield tried to get away and slipped off the tables edge, he tried to catch himself and in seconds he fell on the wood floor and not on his feet! I tried to catch him and there was no time it was a blink of a eye and Garfield was on the floor with a compound fracture bleeding from his back leg.

We rushed him to the emergency room at MSU and we were told the worst, the break was so bad they could not repair it , on a younger healthier cat they would of amputated .  At Garfield’s age and health he was not a candidate for surgery and we had to say good bye to our Sweet Garfield that day! I bawl as I type this three years later, its still the same heartbreak.

You never hear anything about cats breaking bones due to falling, that just doesn’t happen right ? Cat trees to the ceiling, Cat walls, cats climbing trees outside, cats climbing all over and landing fine.

Well unfortunately we are here to tell you it can happen. I do not know if it is never shared or if we are one in a million.

When we were faced with decision to amputate with Purrkins years later it was truly unreal!

We have had so many new kitty members join lately and I feel like I needed to share Garfield’s story.

If we can prevent accidents or mishaps we should absolutely take that step. We are all here joined by the love of our animals and want the best for them.

We are extra cautious with Purrkins he has steps going to all his favorite spots! A set at his window seats a set at the coffee table, he goes from the coffee table to the sofa. A set at our bed. He always use his steps! We are not taking any chances if we can prevent an accident we are going to. We are doing the better safe then sorry approach!

When a new member joins, I suggest stairs or anyway to make the landing or jumping up easier and safer!

We also moved furniture closer together so its like stairs, graduating down to areas, we added floor mats and rugs, anything to make things easier and safer on his remaining limbs ! Purrkins brother also uses the steps just because he can;)

We had steps for our Garfield because he was up there in age and had arthritis . He always used them. You can use boxes and furniture if you cant get steps. Just think safer ups and safer landings!

We also put some sisal carpet on the window sill. Secured with some double sided carpet tape, Purrkins was slipping on the window sill when he  was relearning his new life. Cats love sisal anyway;)


We live in a SMALL house, do we have room for these stairs and do they look nice NOPE do we care NOPE sure we would love the house to look great but again life changes how you look at things and it is what it is ! All’s that truly matters is safety and to allow our animals to still be themselves and happy on 3 or 4 legs.

Purrkins is still getting acupuncture treatments done he was off for 2 months and we go back the 21st for another treatment.

We do see a lot of improvement with each treatment. Purrkins comes homes and plays and has more energy. He seems to tire less frequently for the first week afterward. Dr Matt said that that is all the endorphins working.  He has 2 bowel movements on his acupuncture days. It obviously stimulates everything.💩

Dr. Matt also does chiropractic and checks Purrkins alignment each visit. He said he is holding his adjustments (alignment) well and that cats usually do hold their adjustments for longer periods then dogs do.

That being said he also said he doesn’t have a lot of cat patients. Dr Matt will also learn from Purrkins & Purrkins brother Saxton. We are not sure what the long term plan is on acupuncture and will keep you posted on what we are doing and what Purrkins ends up needing and benefiting from.

Some things we have noticed with Purrkins are ~
● He tires easier, He plays just as hard as he did before, he just doesn’t last as long .

●His one remaining front right leg is getting a lot bigger! It is really impressive to see how the body compensates
with the increase in size!

●We have seen a decrease in him trying to use his missing limb. He was trying to use his missing limb a lot the first month and each month that is decreasing. Dr Matt said that is normal, the brain is still sending him signals the leg is still there.

● We have seen him be startled a couple of times and he goes to take off running, without thinking and then flops frantically, then seconds later he gets his wits about him and off he goes on his 3 legs! He must realize oh yeah my leg is gone this is not working. I imagine in fight or flight mode thats normal too.

●Purrkins has figured out some new ways to clean his one side. He props one side up on the window, wall, or his humans and can now reach everywhere except his one side of his face .

He also seems to prefer having his amputated side propped up now when sleeping or cleaning. He always uses a pillow or wall or again us humans for support. He prefers his head elevated too. He likes to lay on the sofa between two cushions (crack) That spot no one usually likes to sit in cause you sink down in between😉


●He does appreciate his one side of his face wiped off and his one ear to be scratched more often. We are happy to oblige .

●When he sits he now brings his 2 back feet in closer to the front leg

●Purrkins has decided to go back to using the non handicap litter box;) We have 3 litter boxes total, we cut two of the boxes out in the front for him to have easier access. His brother Saxton didn’t mind the alterations in fact he still is using the easy access boxes. Purrkins uses both the cut and uncut ones now.


We have two of these boxes this one is cut out in front. We used a dremel tool with cutting blade on it and then filed it smooth.

●Purrkins stopped sleeping in his normal bed after surgery its got a warmer in it. We noticed him laying on the air ducts on the floor . We took the heater out of his bed and he still did not use it. He is preferring to be cool now rather then warm and how smart is he!;) I didn’t think of the cool being comforting to him. I saw the cooling beds on tripawds gear and that it was beneficial for joints and aches. I ordered him a cooling pad on Amazon smile and he loves it. I put it on the sofa in the day and bring it to our bed at night.


This was as soon as it came out of the box and got the cooling part in;)

●Purrkins fur is not completely grown back in yet but almost, Its really fuzzy and cute. It will be nice to have him fully clothed again and we can keep on hopping on! I suspect next month he will have his full coat back.(total of 5 months from bald to full coat. Just in time for winter;)

We are working on both of the guys weight now. There was A LOT of complaining at first and there still is but it is getting better. We calculated what there daily calorie intake should be. We slowly cut back on portion size, we write down everything they have eaten, and tally the total calories for the day.

Its important in cats to not lose weight too quickly, they can develop hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease, both can potentially be fatal.

We use a digital pet scale, we put a cardboard box on it and zero out the scale then put them in the box to weigh them. We weigh them weekly and we are slowly making progress. After all the complaining its really rewarding to see the scale move in the right direction!


Scale is too small for our cats- we add a box and then add them:) ZIEIS | 30 Lb. Capacity | Digital Pet Scale | Z30P-DURA | 11.5″ X 9.3″ BigTop Dura Platform | 0.1 Ounce Accuracy

ZIEIS | 30 Lb. Capacity | Digital Pet Scale | Z30P-DURA | 11.5″ X 9.3″ BigTop Dura Platform | 0.1 Ounce Accuracy

Add a box and zero out the scale then we put the guys in the box

Saxton demonstrating how its done

We do core strengthening with Purrkins every day a couple of times a day, he is getting really good at standing on his back two legs;) We do them on this balance pad. He now swats his toys standing on his back two feet;)

I just started to put his food bowl on the balance pad and he now eats on it. That took some time and coaxing at first but food is motivating 😉

Saxton is also strengthening his core, we don’t exclude him, they get rewarded with bonito flakes or freeze dried treats.


Purrkins on his balance pad

Saxton doing core exercises. He is reaching for treats;)

The boys being brothers enjoying a Indian Summer day! Notice the arms. Saxton really couldn’t be a better brother to him he is so courteous to him !


Saxton watches Purrkins more closely then he used to and allows Purrkins to hop in front of him and lead the way, he always stays back a little for Purrkins to go first. We do make sure to give Saxton just as much love and attention as we have before and give them both equal attention and love. Saxton just doesn’t have his own blog and I am obviously not a blogger 😉 We just wanted to share Purrkins experience hoping his Tripawd journey might help another kitty or kitty parent some day!

We will update again in or around our 5 or 6 month hopefully more time will appear when the snow does.👀

Until then we hope everyones fur and non fur families are doing well 😘😽


5 Comments so far ↓

  • jerry

    Well first things first, hoppy ampuversary Purrkins! I still can’t believe you’ve been here less than six months. You and your Mom are incredibly helpful to everyone who joins whether they’re a dog or a cat. We can’t thank you enough.

    Holly your observations are incredibly acute and spot on. I was sad to read about what happened to Garfield, poor kitty. We’ve had dogs join us after falling off furniture like that, but not cats. I’m sorry you went through that terrible ordeal, but clearly, Garfield’s experience was not in vain. You are one of the most conscientious pet parents we’ve known here, and we love every bit of advice you offer to the community. It makes us crazy to see dogs diving off furniture, whether they have three or four legs. But you’re right, we never figured cats would be equally at risk. Thank you for bringing that to our attention, we’ll remember it furever!

    Keep on rocking, pawesome Purrkins and Saxon, we’re learning so much.

    P.S. LOVE that video!!! Thanks for sharing it.

  • purrkins

    Thank you,
    Your are too kind! Your word means more than you know!
    Garfield would appreciate people knowing what can happen. 😻
    We love our animals like you guys do Jerry and Wyatt Ray;)
    They are our fur children!
    We are furever grateful for Jerry/Tripawds, the community and all that you do!

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