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Quick Compilation of Foster Trikitty Advice I Made for a Potential Adopter

Roosevelt’s adoption fell through, unfortunately, but I wanted to get a quick copy and paste of all the advice that I offered when they wanted to know how to care for a trikitty. I’m working on a better resource guide when I get some time (my work schedule doesn’t leave me with a ton of free time to put it together currently), but I hope this might prove useful to someone in the meantime. It’s a bit rough since this was just in response to various questions via email.

Litter Boxes

What I generally recommended for three-legged cats are one of the following options:
A high sided, open litter box that has a relatively low front entry: Specifically, what I like and use for my resident tripod is Nature’s Miracle High Sided Litter Box (or the corner variation).
A litter box with stairs. Specifically, what I use is:
That one has the advantage of being covered with a section for a filter, if you don’t want a lot of litter kicked around the room
Low-sided bus box, underbed storage box, or similar low sided plastic storage container. You do get a lot of litter kicked around, but these are inexpensive, easy to alter if you need a lower entry point, and are readily available.
Small animal litter boxes intended for ferrets, rabbits and similar can be useful as well since they have very low entry points, but I haven’t personally used this option
I generally don’t recommend closed litter boxes with the doors for tripod kitties, since that’s an extra bit of force that they need to use to get in.
I generally DO recommend getting some sort of a litter mat, especially for the first few months, as three legged cats can track a bit more than a four legged cat.
Whew, that’s a lot about litter boxes. 🙂
Front-leg tripods do tend to have some issues with digging in the litter box, and I’ll know a bit better if Roosevelt will run into that problem once his staples come out and I get him using a clumping litter over a pellet litter. My resident tripod is a front-leg amputee as well, and he tries but he doesn’t always quite get things covered since he has to hop up and paw back. It sure looks adorable though. 🙂
The high sided litter box is the biggest help since he can lean up against it for balance. A dust-free litter is also useful since front leg tripods definitely try to scratch and dig more since they have to work harder for their results. The first few weeks for RR Jake (our resident tripod kitty), I just wandered by and used the scoop to cover it after he gave it his all. He eventually worked out a system that works well for him, and Roosevelt should be able to manage that too. 🙂

Cat Food

I personally do mostly wet food for my resident cats since it’s important to control three legged cat weight to reduce joint pain and it’s easier to do that with wet than dry. Roosevelt is free feeding on dry right now and gets a can of wet food alongside that per day (he was a bit underweight when he came in).

Cat Trees

I have a high cat tree for my tripod, with the bottom parts giving lots of places to climb up to the higher tiers. Anything that has a ramp, stairs, or a low start to a climbing point is great. 🙂 It’s also a great way to encourage exercise and stretches.


As far as the bed question goes, that depends on the type of bed you have. As long as the front leg tripod kitties aren’t hesitant about jumping for some reason, they can manage a lot of bed types just fine. I’ve also put together stairs out of cardboard boxes, storage totes, footlockers and similar. Some three legged cats like the help, and some can go straight from the floor. 🙂
One thing that’s really helpful for three legged cats is an orthopedic pillow. Anything that’s memory foam or a similar material works really well. Since it distributes the weight when they’re laying down, it puts less pressure on their joints.
Kennel cooling pads can also be helpful for easing any joint soreness, since so much weight is put on a single foreleg.


Ground chase toys tend to work out better than air teasers, although the latter is very helpful for strengthening the core muscles of front-leg tripods. Similarily, ground or slightly ramped scratching posts work really well. I’ve found that ground scratcher loungers are particularly well received. 🙂

Community is a fabulous forum for all sorts of tips and tricks for three leggers. 🙂


If you want to leash train him, it can be hard to find cat harnesses that work well for this leg configuration in feline products, but you can easily find those supplies by searching for small dog amputee supplies.


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