Animal Therapy For An Injured Cat

David Trammel's picture

I thought I'd ask this to those here first.

I currently work as a volunteer and foster parent for a dog and cat shelter here in St Louis. Because I have a quiet house and can keep a schedule, I've been working with some of their shy and scared animals (just cats), getting them social before being up for adoption. Just had my first foster adopted today.

Now I have a new cat coming to my home this weekend. Meet Friday.

He came from a shelter in southern Missouri with a wound to his front leg (perhaps a bullet) last month. We got him patched up and a cast on that leg. The cast is now off and I'm thinking about fostering him.

He's going to need some physical therapy. The injured leg has healed but his time in a cast has weakened it. He still walks around with it held up and puts no weight on it. I did a short internet search but came up short on ideas for how to get him to exercise it. Any experience or ideas?

Give him a few days to get used to not having the cast on it - it may just be an instinctual response at this point and he may surprise himself with an accidental step or two in the days to come that then lead to more time using the leg.

If he's absolutely been given the green light to walk on the injured leg but he still refuses after a point, consider a piece of scotch tape stuck to the good front leg to get him to step off the good one and onto the healed one - that might jog the neurons so he recognizes it's a functioning leg.

Disclaimer: I have NO animal therapy experience. I do have cats and I'd consider doing something like that if he were mine.

Blueberry's picture

David talk to the shelter vet and see what ideas the vet might have. We had to take one of our dogs in for surgery on his back left legs (knee). The vet gave info on very specific things to due and even had videos for us to watch. Try utube. Good Luck

Blueberry's picture

Feline PT, after our dog had surgery post op weeks 1-6 were all about range of motion.

Play slowly with a laser mouse and see how he responds. Encourage him to follow it around. Mine know perfectly well that the little red dot comes from the gizmo in my hand. Just like the can opener produces food. They hear the click and they gather around, looking for the light.Then they lose their little minds and forget everything but the dot. Mine will try to climb walls to follow the little red dot, but you don't want him to get that crazy. I would expect him to gradually use both legs. And you won't stress him by handling him too much or getting uncomfortably close.