The Occasionally Challenging Life of a Three-legged Cat

Having only three legs presents a few challenges for Sammi but it doesn't prevent her from being a happy, healthy cat. This page shows photos of how we've made her life easier around the house. We've used several ottomans, baskets, and other things to make sure she can safely get up and down from all her favorite spots.

ottoman in bathroomShe loves to come up on the bathroom counter for a snack so we use an ottoman to give her a step up and down. All the ottomans we use are microfiber suede-like material so they're non-slip for Sammi and easy to vacuum or use a lint roller on.

bench in bedroom

The bench at the foot of our bed makes a perfect step. The area rug helps prevent her from slipping when she jumps up or down. Sammi runs full-speed down the hall, into our bedroom, and leaps onto the bed. On occasion she's leaped over the ottoman and gone from the area rug straight to the bed. A missing front leg is not slowing this girl down!

perches behind couch

The perches behind the couch give her a place to play. We added "feet" to the perch on the left to make it a better height for her to jump down to. Just 3 inches made a big improvement for her.

ottoman and nightstand steps to dining table

An ottoman and an old night-stand make a perfect set of steps up to her dining table. We put non-skid shelf liner on the nightstand and a non-slip placemat on the table so she wouldn't slip.

We feed the cats of the gound so our Golden Retriever doesn't help himself to a tasty meal. He's passed away now, but Sammi likes climbing up to her window for dinner so we've kept the food there. I think she feels safer being off the floor.

basket beneath window perch

This is Sammi's favorite bed in the front window and her favorite perches. The levels of the perch on the left became the perfect height for her to criss-cross up and down once we put it on cinderblocks. We'll eventually make a wood base for it so it looks better.

We recently added the upside-down basket beneath her bed because Sammi was jumping straight down to the floor and it was too far for her. She'd thump down and nearly hit her chest on the floor because she couldn't absorb the impact on her one front leg. Or, she'd try to make her hind legs hit the ground first, and that is not a normal motion for a cat.

ottoman in office

The office has tall cabinets with her favorite blue bed on top. The ottoman works well, but it's still a bit too far for her to jump down easily. It's a 17 inch drop from the cabinets to the ottoman, and she's more comfortable with about 12-14 inches. But this is pretty good and she doesn't have much trouble with it. This ottoman matches the one we used in the dining room.


She's all snuggled in her bed.

Sammi in her bed

flipped over scratchers

Here's the cat chaise scratcher flipped over for another use after the "top" side was all scratched up.

So all-in-all, we've tried to give Sammi a home that is well suited to her needs. There are very few things she has difficulty doing, and when we see something that she consistently has trouble with, we figure out a way to make it easier and safe for her.

Return to the cat with 3 legs page.