29 thoughts on “Purrkins going up his steps to his window seat”

  1. That is good to know and thank you for the little video. I must admit that I am terrified as my 10 year old cat, Mr Joshua (yes, that’s his name) goes in for surgery tomorrow to have his back left leg removed due to bone cancer.

    Like any pet owner that gets told this, I was in shock, took him for a second opinion and it seems that this is the only choice left for him.

    The poor boy was in pain and it was horrible to watch, but the pain meds that they have given him are amazing and he seems almost normal, making it so much worse for me to take him in.

    I am going to read through your other posts as I am one of those many owners struggling to deal with putting their pet through such an operation.

    Thanks again for the video.

    1. Hello and Welcome,
      Sorry, you have to join us but glad you found us and doing some research! That was our hope doing Purrkins blog to help other owners who have to join & go thru amputation.

      It is very shocking to hear those words & terrifying to make that decision! Look at it as a Mr.Joshua’s life or a limb.
      It comes down to that, and you are doing this to help Mr. Joshua, not to him!

      I think you would be surprised to know how well a cat hides pain, even if it appears the pain meds are cutting it bone cancer is excruciatingly painful. The bones can break easily you are doing what is best for Mr. Joshua. Please make sure to have at least the same pain management to come home with after surgery. Purrkins was on Buprenorphine 12 days and Gabapentin 14 days,

      Please do not hesitate to ask questions here or on the 3-legged cats forums

      We have a section broke down for Rear Leg Amputee Kitty Blogs if you want to check those out.

      Bone cancer in cats is different than in dogs we have a forum on Osteosarcoma in Cats have hope cancer goes with that leg, and you can resume a new normal. Either way, know you are giving Mr. Joshua a pain-free extended quality of life ok?

      I cant tell you enough how well Purrkins gets about If only I could give you my mind to ease your concerns. Mr. Joshua will hop on! Recovery doesn’t last furever and hold onto this is FOR Mr. Joshua ok.

      We wish you the best, and you know how to reach us ok?

      You have a community to help you guys get thru this.
      Hugs & scratches to Mr. Joshua!
      Holly & Purrkins❤️

      1. Thank you for your quick reply, Holly, and of course, Purrkins.

        Mr Joshua is on Metacam, Buprenorphine, Gabapentin so I imagine the pain must be bad.

        Thank you also for the links as that just makes finding certain areas so much easier. I will spend some time researching on your site and on the forum.

        Mr Joshua is an outdoor cat that adopted me about 6 years ago and I have never seen him use a litter tray.

        I do have a rather big cage (meant for dogs) and I will keep him in there for a little while with a litter tray and obviously water, and let him go around the house when I can monitor him.

        I am sure most pet owners worry about this, but my big thing here is making sure that he does not fall into depression (though he probably won’t for a while due to the pain meds)

        Thanks again for your kind response and information. It does help ease things a little.

        Big hugs to you all for putting this out there for people like me.


        1. Trust me we understand where you are. Mr. Joshua has different cancer but all the same, we have to remove a limb! Not a light decision to make. We want Mr. Joshua hopping on, and he will be!

          Great you have the best pain meds already! I believe this is going to be a relief for Mr. Joshua!

          A lot of members use dog cages. We just closed ourselves in a spare room. Purrkins chose the closest to recover in. I would put a blanket over the cage to make him feel secure. As for the litter box ask your vet what they suggest my first instinct is to tell you to add a little soil to the box BUT he will be a rear leg, and in the box further, we don’t want soil on the incision. See what they suggest, and we will hope he adapts quickly to the litter. Clay would be my next suggestion. I would bring him in today and keep him inside & have a litter pan out for him get him used to the idea asap.

          I think we all have the same fears as far as depression. I can honestly say Purrkins was never depressed once he got home. We would have sailed thru recovery if we had the proper amount of the meds sent home. Purrkins is the same kitty on three if not happier! His life only changed by adding steps to his favorite places. Rear leg kitties will have a harder time jumping up then down where the front leggers are the opposite. Rest assured they figure it out!

          You are very welcome we are happy to help! Don’t hesitate to reach out that is what we are here for! You are never alone in this journey we have all been thru it and on the other side and so will you!

          Let us know when Mr. Joshua is thru surgery and home, please.
          You guys will get thru this, and Mr. Joshua will get rid of that painful leg!

        2. Yesterday I found out our 10 year old…we think…has bone cancer in her front lower leg. She was a stray that adopted us. We love her & take her to the vet & we bought her a nice, heated cat house for the winter.
          My vet said her blood work looked great, but her entire paw is no longer attached to the leg due to bone cancer. 😩 I’m doing research so as to make the right decision for her. The cost will not make the decision for me as I have a VERY soft heart when it comes to animals.
          My dilemma is…I have 2 inside dogs who are not used to having cats inside. For at least 10 years this cat has been an outside cat.
          I live in Texas & it’s still HOT here, but I have a garage where she enjoyed staying during our big freeze this year.
          I’ve read so many positive comments on here. My cat, Patches, is facing the same situation as Mr. Joshua & I’m facing the same dilemma as Mr. Joshua’s owner.
          Any feedback? Thank you.

          1. Hi Deb.

            I hear what you are saying and I left the decision to the point where my vets were getting annoyed with me as I just couldn’t make it.

            They put Mr Joshua on some very strong painkiller medication and he seemed better (focus on the “seemed”). I loved that he was not in pain and it felt like I had got him back again, all the while, I was not helping him as I was delaying the decision for them to operate on him.

            Yes, in the end, I made the decision, and truth be told, I hated myself for doing so, but he soon bounced back and gets so much love and attention that he is still a happy cat and learnt in super quick time to deal with this.

            I can’t say that the decision is not going to tear you up inside, as it will, but you are doing it for Patches to have a better and pain-free life.

            It feels strange as what I have typed out is exactly what they originally told me on here. Of course, we struggle to believe it (I know I did), but they were right, and now here I am saying the same thing to you 🙂

            You will change things around and make things more accessible for Patches, but at the end of the day, you have taken away the pain as trust me, bone cancer can be very painful indeed for them and it sounds like you may be at that point.

            Patches will have a great life and your other pets will be fine also around her.

            Mr Joshua was going outside and to other peoples houses after about 6 weeks. Yes, it scared the heck out of me but he is a feisty cat and I can’t deny him his freedoms, even though they may be a little less.

            Still to this day, Mr Joshua is in charge of the house, he still goes upstairs, jumps on the bed and jumps on my lap when I watch telly. He gets endless attention and has a good life 🙂

            There is a difference between what may be right for us and what is right for our little fur baby.

            They helped me out so much on here as I kept pestering Holly and Purrkins on here 🙂

            As you can see, this was originally dated April 26th 2018, and I can happily report that Mr Joshua is still going strong.

            I really hope that helps a little, but always feel free to message on here as we all understand the emotions you are going through and how tough they are.

            1. Thanks again, Gio💎, for chiming in (excellent informative response!)
              And No you were NEVER a pester:) That’s what we are all here for 😉
              Scratches to our hero Mr. Joshua🫂😻


            2. Oh my goodness!! I had noticed the 2018 date so imagine my surprise when I received your response…and so soon. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!! You’ve helped me tremendously. This is the first full day of me knowing that Patches has cancer.😕 I wanted to do some research before making a decision. I was leaning towards amputation, but I needed affirmation, of which you provided. Others on this feed were very positive as well, but your situation seemed so very similar to mine. I was elated to find out Mr. Joshua is thriving & living his best cat life!! Thank you for sharing your experience and positive outcome. Also, thank you for being there in case I have questions in the future.
              Just a side line…Patches showed up at our house about 10 years ago. She’s solid black, but at that time she appeared to have mange. The tip of her ear was clipped, indicating that she may have been a feral cat, caught, spayed and released, which turned out to be true. My son called her Patches because of her bald spots. We took her to the vet. She didn’t have mange, just a skin ailment which was treated & now she has a beautiful, shiny black coat…but the name Patches stuck. 🤷🏻‍♀️
              Thanks again! I’ll be calling to make her an appointment. I feel better already.

          2. Hi Deb and Patches
            So sorry, you & Patches had to find us but glad you did. Thank you for taking care of sweet Patches. We are sorry about the diagnosis.
            Brilliant on good bloodwork. Patches is a candidate for amputation. At this point, I don’t believe you will have options. Amputation or saying goodbye to dear Patches. Good for you for doing your research!

            Is Patches on pain medication at this time? If not, please INSIST on meds. Bone cancer is extremely painful Patches needs her pain managed now.

            I’m not sure if you saw Mr. Joshua’s guest post or not; here is the link, just in case.
            A Spotlight On A Few of Purrkins Friends – Series –

            Mr. Joshua was inside for his recovery, and he still was going outside, last I knew. Gio beat me in his response😁💎😘

            Here is a link with several other osteosarcoma kitties.

            I don’t have any pups at this time. Purrkins has always been an indoor kitty. So I’m only going to have suggestions no experience in that regard.
            If patches is not accustomed to using a littler box in the garage, I would set that up asap. Do you have a spare room you could keep Patches inside after the surgery for recovery? To keep the pups away from Patches and the excitement of the dogs, Less stress for Patches? We would recommend a catio if Pawsible for Patches after surgery to be able to get outside safely or supervised on a leash., I know how difficult it will be for you both to lose a leg and be inside lots of changes, but it will ensure Patches will be safe on three.

            As you can see from Gio’s response, Mr. Joshua still has outside adventures;)

            Please do not hesitate to ask any questions.

            Again – Please ask about pain meds now and when you decide on a path furward, let us know, ok. We are here to help!

            Big hugs & scratches to Patches
            Holly & Purrkins

            1. Thank you for everything!! I have decided on the amputation. You & your readers have provided a wealth of information here, as well as presenting the positive side. I’m ordering a large kitty playpen with room for her bed, kitty litter, water and food. I have found the litter tray for senior cats like the one Purrkins uses. I’ve also found the raised water & feed bowls. I would have never known about these items had it not been for your post.
              The earliest the vet could get her in was October 13 & I’m leaving to go take care of my elderly dad for a week. That’s bothering me, but remembering that her blood work was perfect is a little comfort.
              After surgery she will be in the house where the dogs will not disturb her. A nice, quiet, low light room & I’m ordering the cat pheromone plug in.
              Thank you for your kind words and advice.
              Oh…my vet prescribed Dexamethasone. Thank you for that recommendation. Honestly…it’s so sad to see an animal in pain.
              I know I’m doing the right thing for her.
              Hugs to you and your fur babies!
              Most sincerely,

              1. One thing I would bear in mind is that some small changes may be made.

                All the info you need is here on the site and I am sure Holly has pointed you in the right direction to it, but something to think about is that a front amputation will mean that Patches will be great at jumping (both back legs), but landing on only 1 front.

                You may notice more tiredness for a little while as she adjusts and also builds up muscle strength in the front leg. Probably a lot more resting etc.

                With Mr Joshua, it was the other way around, a back leg amputation. He is still pretty good at jumping but obviously doesn’t have the same spring as only one leg. That said, he has totally impressed me, but he does get his tired moments as expected.

                My problem is that I am a big softie when it comes to Mr Joshua and after about 1 year, it was upsetting me that he wasn’t on my bed as often (high frame bed) so I ordered a very low base and put the mattress on that. He is back to his old happy self again and on and off the bed whenever he likes 🙂 (…not sure my partner was too pleased at me purchasing a low frame, but she understands Mr Joshua is a priority and comes before her) 😉

                Also, I got a kittens litter tray (low edged) as it is easier for him to use, though he does go in the garden.

                Just remember that things may have to be lower for her to jump from, though they do quickly learn this.

                One important thing, be quite aware of how often you feed Patches, as I got in the habit of giving Mr Joshua high-quality cat biscuits, but he could eat them whenever he wanted and over time, the poor guy developed diabetes.

                I know have him on wet high protein cat food, which is helping with that and also have him on a product called Yu-Move. This is it in the UK (https://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/lintbells-yumove-cat-joint-supplement-60-tablets)

                It is to help with his joints due to him having to re-balance and using different muscles, and it really does seem to be helping.

                I hope that helps.

                1. Gio great supplement (we don’t have yumove feline in usa yet)

                  Mr. Joshua needs to be featured in the Tripawd Tuesday

                  Send Your Love Story in 3 easy steps:
                  1. In a short paragraph or two (or longer if you’d like!), describe your three-legged hero’s story. Share a photo, video or both.

                  2. Got a Tripawds Forum topic and/or Tripawds blog that you started? Be sure to include that link too! Of course let us know any social media handles that feature your Tripawd.

                  3. Then send your story to tripawds via email

                  You can link to Mr Josuha’s post on the blog if you wish. Think about it, please!
                  Thanks again for watching this post!
                  Big hugs & scratches to King Mr. Joshua!

              2. Hi Deb,
                I’m relieved for you and Patches you have made the most difficult decision! I’m happy we could all be of some assistance, and I say once again, good for you doing your research! You are doing an excellent job already! Patches is lucky to have you.

                I highly encourage you to ask for an Opioid ie (Buprenphoine) for Patches. Your vet gave you a corticosteroid (Corticosteroids are not primarily analgesic drugs, they may exert a pain-modifying effect by reducing inflammation. ) it will not relieve Patches severe bone cancer pain. Her paw is not attached. An opioid is needed!

                Not all vets are up to speed on pain management. We learn the hard way going thru this journey/ surgery.

                2015 AAHA/AAFP Pain Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats

                Gio is spot on!
                Front leg amputees
                Have zero problems jumping up. Going down is another story it puts a lot of stress on the remaining front carpal joint (wrist) All the weight now goes on the front limb. It is no longer distributed. So make going down, not a jump but gradual down, it’s essential for the long term on three to protect that remaining front leg.
                ( purrkins has steps to his favorite lookout spots in the house.) We also have rug runners, rug for Purrkins, so he has good traction.
                Also, some front leggers Purrkins included have trouble covering up their business in the litter box, depending on where it lands. ( we assist and scoop asap for him)

                Purrkins can do everything he did on four on three. He just doesn’t do things as long as he used to. He has several bursts now;)
                You will be amazed after recovery how fast they are on 3. However, we do have to watch calories on three legs as they are not as active!

                A joint supplement is a must on three!

                You are doing what is best for Patches! Removing that painful leg.

                Please keep us posted. Any questions, shout, ok.
                Hugs and scratches to Patches, Love to your Dad, too, please!
                Holly & Purrkins💝💝💝

  2. I’m going to be fostering a kitten who just had a front amputation. I rescued Bobert, special needs (neurological disorder) just over a year ago, Paislee, just now 1, and a foster Tiger, special needs Sr. (thyroid). “River” is only about 10 weeks old and will stay with us through his recovery and until the shelter finds this special boy his furever home. Any suggestions to help me make this recovering baby happy, safe, and comfortable will be sincerely appreciated xoxo

    1. Hello and welcome,
      Thanks for fostering all these sweet kitties!

      Pain medication is the key to smooth recovery all vets are different on what they send home. Two weeks of pain meds should be sent home Purrkins was on Buprenorphine and Gabapentin. Cats are masters at disguising pain I always say think about this like it were us having a limb amputated. We are not ok on three days worth of pain meds! Appetite can sometimes be an issue in recovery wet kitten food would be great for River. River being a front leg amp she could wear a baby onesie here is a link for what we did. DIY Baby Onesie/T-shirts Cone of Shame Alternative Rather than a cone that made a huge difference for us. Purrkins did not bother his incision or get out of his onesie.

      Litter box I cut the front of our box out for Purrkins to get in easier. The first couple of days I helped him in the litter box. Once we cut the box out Purrkins was able to go in on his own without face planting. You can check out what we did here this was our recovery box. Day 4

      This link is where you can see what we use now the recovery box ended up being too small, so we cut out our regular litter box what we still us.
      Purrkins 4 months update
      I suspect River being a kitty he will adjust rather quickly. Low sided is key for them to be able to get in and out no problem.

      We had restrictions for two weeks we stayed in a spare room. If you don’t have carpet rug runners or yoga mats are great for traction. We had exercise mats down in the room Purrkins recovered in. Cats want to come home and hide after these surgeries that is natural kitty instinct. Provide a safe place for River to recover in. Some people use dog cages some use tents we just used a gutted spare room no furniture in there and the bed mattress was on the floor nowhere for Purrkins to hide. Purrkins chose the closest to recover in I just rigged up a bed in there for him,

      I would suggest steps for River and when he goes to his furever home. They can jump up no issues but the going down we want to protect that remaining limb from any injury they can do all things on three legs, but we want to provide safer, more accessible ways down for them for the long-term health of that remaining front leg.

      If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask or when you get River home and have questions just as ok. I will get back to you.

      Chin scratches to all those kitties, please!

      Hugs Holly & Purrkins

      1. Thank you Holly and Purrkins! I did a preemie onesie for Paislee when she was spayed so I absolutely love the idea for River! As far as stairs, do you recommend foam or any particular style? With all my heart … thank you for sharing your experience! Lots of love to Purrkins!

        1. Your welcome that is what we are here for happy to help out in any way we can!

          Great I would use the onesie on River it will make both of your lives much more comfortable! Cones are bad enough on four legs there was no way I was putting one on Purrkins on three! Glad it worked for the spay too!

          I think whatever you can afford to buy stepwise is excellent and if your handy and can make them even better. We have foam stairs, wood stairs and some made out of particle board. My least favorite is the foam stairs because each step is not deep like the other sets we have. They work Purrkins uses them, and they do the job, but I would not repurchase those. We got the foam ones at Dr. Foster and Smith. I’m giving you a link so you can look and understand more what I mean. For a kitty or a small cat, they would be great! Purrkins uses them, but he goes down sideways, tough to explain in words. lol

          Lightweight Indoor Pet Stairs by Drs. Foster & Smith

          I’m sure they are not all the same depth. I don’t want to bash all foam steps because I can only tell you about these.
          The beautiful thing about the foam is you can move them easily. Amazon sells some nice steps I can vouch for that are decently priced. Examples are

          New Cat Condos 110223 Wood Constructed Large Pet Stairs for Cats and Dogs, Large

          Armarkat Pet Steps Stairs Ramp for Cats and Dogs

          We can tell you these work and are a great depth we have two sets of the Armarkat steps and one set of the New Cat Condo both I would repurchase and recommend.

          Please let us know how River does and if you have other questions post or shoot me an email ok.

          I will give Purrkins extra love from you as soon as I post this reply!

          Thank you for fostering and giving these kitties life & furever homes!

          1. I saw a rabbit castle with a ramp on Etsy. I’m trying to figure out if that would be good for River. Is there a way I can send you a picture so you could tell me if you think? You are so kind to help others going through this! Lots of love to Purrkins xoxo

            1. Hi Judi, Yes you can email me the picture on the email your going to get from this comment my email address is on there actually. I will email you that will be easier how is that;) I’ll look forward to the picture or link whichever you want to email I will see you later.

  3. Thank you for all these wonderful tips! I received word an hour ago that my cat will have to have his front leg amputated due to a dog injuring him. I immediately started googling for ideas to make his life more comfortable and easier while he adapts. Thank you so much for easing a small part of a traumatic day for me and my family. Love the onesie idea and will be working on that tonight.
    P.S. Purrkins is adorable! I have so much more faith now that my kitty can live a happy and full life!

    1. You are welcome. We hoped to help others that is why we started this blog;) I’m so sorry to hear about the accident, and I can assure you your kitty will adapt to three legs and have a happy, healthy life. This journey is harder on the humans we are faced with all the decisions and emotions.

      Being on three has not changed Purrkins one ounce. We made modifications to the home and litter box. He has to see the Vet more, but we had cancer. Your kitty will recover and hop on.

      The onesie was a godsend to us, and Purrkins didn’t mind it at all.

      Best of luck in recovery make sure you are sent home with more than three days of pain meds.

      We have a new ebook on Tripawds – The Tripawds Feline Amputation Recovery and Care Handbook “Cool Tips for Tripawd Cats” It’s a resource I would have loved to have beforehand. Purrkins and I were honored to be a part of making it.

      We are here if you need any help or have questions.
      Post ok.

      Hugs and scratches to your kitty!
      Holly & Purrkins❤️

  4. Hiya, I’ve just had to make the decision to amputate my little 1 year old Castile’s hind leg after it was badly broken from being bitten and I am picking him up tomorrow afternoon after his surgery and I’m so scared for what his future holds and whether I made the right decision. I want to thank you for your blog, it is so helpful even across the world in new Zealand

    1. Hi and Welcome
      I’m sorry to hear of Castile’s accident!
      We know how scary this it was the hardest decision we had to make. You did make the right choice! A life or a limb we all chose life. Hold onto that you are doing this FOR Castile, not to him! Castile is young he will adapt quickly, and his future is bright, pain-free, happy & hopping on! He is going to amaze you after recovery! I promise!

      Make sure they are sending home proper pain meds and more than three days worth. Recovery is not easy, but it does not last forever.

      Thank you on the blog that was our hope when we documented Purrkins journey to help others. You are never alone in this!

      If you have questions when you get Castile home, please don’t hesitate to ask. We will do our best to help!

      We are sending positive thoughts for an uneventful surgery and smooth recovery & big hugs coming from across the globe!
      Holly & Purrkins❤️

  5. Hi Annalise,

    I know that it is a frightening situation (at first) to be in and I was terrified… (I must admit, falling apart a little at first), BUT (and yes, it is a big “but”), my cat is doing amazingly well and back to his cheery self 🙂

    Of course, they have to learn balance but goodness how quickly they do that and get back to jumping about.

    Everyone kept telling me how resilient cats are, and of course, I never fully believed them until I saw it for myself.

    I have to admit that Holly & Purrkins helped me out so much, just being there for me to vent to as I was struggling to deal with things. I emailed them and the help really saw me and Mr Joshua, through things.

    Believe it or not, it is very common to question whether we made the right decision or not (hell, I put myself through the mill on this so many times also), but when you start to “quickly” see your baby bounce back, you will realise that you did.

    One thing I would like to suggest (as not all vets do), try the material collar and not the rigid plastic one as I personally found Mr Joshua was pretty uncomfortable with the plastic one, but once I changed it, he actually improved quicker as he could sleep easier in it.

    Big hugs to the both of you from Mr Joshua and me.

    1. Good to see you Gio & Mr. Joshua
      Thank you so much for chiming in for Annalise very much appreciated!
      Give Mr. Joshua a scratch and smooch from us, please!

  6. I was searching for a situation similar to my babies and I found one! Tomorrow my kitty, Nimbus, will have his front left amputated due to a recurring soft tissue sarcoma on his paw. Right now he is napping beside me with the whole paw wrapped up. Im both relieved(it hadn’t spread to his body so we might cure him with the amputation) and terrified. He’s not yet 5.

    1. Hi Katie & Nimbus
      So sorry you find yourselves here searching but glad you found us & hopefully getting some of your questions answered. I’m sorry, Nimbus is so young Purrkins was 6 when diagnosed. He is 9.5 now. Three years and 9 months cancer-free. 🎗

      This link below is the paper that helped us make the decision. We did a ton of research, but this one helped us stand firm. SOFT TISSUE SARCOMAS: YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED http://downloads.tripawds.com/files/2018/03/Soft-Tissue-Sarcomas-Ehrhart.pdf If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask ok. I see you commented and had a question on the food puzzles. I’m heading over there now.

      We wish you an uneventful, successful surgery.
      Big hugs and give Nimbus a special smooch from us, please.
      Holly & Purrkins💝💝💝

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