Cat Wheelchair

by Elisa Black-Taylor
(USA)

Scooter in a K-9 cat cart, cat wheelchair

Scooter in a K-9 cat cart, cat wheelchair

Good morning readers. Today I'd like to talk about a service we all hope we never need for our cats: the cat wheelchair or cart for disabled cats. The wheelchair carts are also known as "cat carts" and several companies that offer them can be found online.

Most cats who require the use of a cat cart have been injured having been hit by a car. Other reasons include feline stroke and knee or hip surgery. I'm sure there are a few other reasons I haven't researched.

Thankfully euthanising a partially paralyzed cat isn't the only option available today with all of the modern technology available.

I've located three companies that deal in the cat wheelchair and I'd like to give the readers information just in case it's ever needed.

It would be a good idea to bookmark this page in case it's ever needed.

I'm providing the company information because it's difficult to find cat wheelchair carts. There are many companies out there, but their main users are dogs and I'm not sure whether a dog cart would perform as well physically on a cat.

First I'd like to give you some information on K-9 Carts. Their website address is k9-carts.com (link broken Nov 2012 sorry) and they are the original pet mobility company founded over 40 years ago. Barbara Parkes, co-founder of K-9 Carts, is still involved in helping customers with everything from from wheelchair cart fittings to bladder control and urinary health supplies.

Here's their mission statement from their website:

"Our mission is to create the best wheelchair for your pet and to restore dignity, quality of life, and happiness to every mobility-impaired pet."

The company has provided mobility to more than 35,000 customers and will arrange a customized fitting for your cat, help in deciding what kind of cart is best (standard 2 wheel or quad), and whether a rental or purchase would be best.

The cat is supported in the cat cart by two straps. One supports the cats shoulders and the other supports the hip and pelvis. This is why each cart should be carefully measured before ordering.

Here's a video showing a cat using one of the K-9 Carts.

For those of you interested in the price of these carts, K-9 offers both a purchase and a rental program. The purchase of a cat cart runs approximately $350 including shipping. Rental of the standard two wheeler runs about $60 for the first week and $35 for each week after.

K-9 also offers a rent to own program for those who can't afford the full purchase price up front. More information on this can be found on their website listed above.

I'd also like to provide information from www.handicappedpets.com. They also make cat wheelchair carts. While their site doesn't offer any difference in measurements between dogs and cats, their price is higher than K-9 with a typical two wheeler chair costing between $400 and $460. For short term rental they offer the wheelchair cart for between $30 and $50 per week.

Their website was founded in 2001 by Mark C. Robinson in memory of a dog named Mercedes who was euthanized before her time. At this time Mark didn't know any other solution for his dog and vowed to start up a company where no animal will have to die before it's time due to paralysis issues.

His website also offers advice where people can turn to should their pet ever become paralyzed. It offers hope and advice and testimonials.

Mark has a mission statement on his site along with a letter explaining his love of animals and desire to help them. The letter can be found here.

The mission statement reads:

"The mission of HandicappedPets.com is to provide products, services and support so that elderly, handicapped, and injured pets can lead happy, healthy, high-quality lives."

Mark believes no animal should be thrown away because of a paralyzing condition or incontinence issue.

I'd like to add they offer a different line up of products including car travel supplies to urns to tombstone memorials to diapers. All are listed on their website under pet products.

The final company I'd like to mention is www.mobilityadvisor.com. While their main pet cart business is dogs, a cat wheelchair can be made upon request. Here's a video of one of their cat carts in action.

They are a basic wheelchair builder for both animals and humans and information about the cat wheelchair can be seen here.

And last of all I'd like to add this. This is not a company video. It's totally homemade. I don't know if I'd recommend this for a cat, but I couldn't resist adding it. If nothing else, it shows the spirit of a disabled animal and the desire to keep on moving no matter what.

Which is what usually happens no matter the brand of cat cart chosen. The cat will take off and go on about it's cat business. Some days I wish I were more like a cat. They don't pity themselves in situations such as these. They push forward and live each day to the fullest.

It's a lesson we could all learn from our feline friends.

Elisa

Note:

Sometimes videos go blank because either the creator of it takes it off YouTube or YouTube does it. I don't get notice of this.

Source:

http://www.mobility-advisor.com/cat-wheelchair.html.

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Cat Wheelchair

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Nov 07, 2010
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Quality of life
by: CJ

I agree with Petra,quality of life is very important and to keep a cat alive for selfish reasons is very unkind.
Also cats do not like being peep shows in difficult situations.They are private animals but they have no say so it's very important to ensure they really are happy with wheels instead of legs.
Also that in this unnatural state they are protected from kids and dogs.


Nov 03, 2010
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Resting
by: Elisa Black-Taylor

The cart is removed at naptime and then put back on when the cat is ready to do wheelies again.

I imagine there are a few creative cats out there who manage to prop themselves up to sleep somewhere even with the cart attached.


Nov 02, 2010
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We agree
by: Gail (Boston, MA USA)

Fran, I couldn't agree with you more. That's the bad behavior I'm referring to. Thanks!


Nov 02, 2010
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Gail
by: Fran

If Kat practices what she preaches and stops sabotaging other peoples articles for her indoor cat rants then she won't be jumped on.
Just as long as she doesn't insult Michael again or target our favourite writers with unjust comments.


Nov 02, 2010
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Thoughts
by: Gail (Boston, MA USA)

Thanks again, Elisa, for a very well-written article on cat wheelchairs. Before long, those cats will be doing "wheelies" in their new-found freedom, LOL!

Petra is correct as to the quality of life for a cat, be it with wheels or otherwise. These vids are proof that some cats thrive. Not every cat may be so fortunate. From what we've seen here, these felines are having the time of their lives. Query - how do they rest? Don't tell me others here haven't wondered. I assume, since cats spend a great deal of time sleeping, their caretaker must oversee their chair use to allow for down time.

As for Kat - give her a break please. Sure, she's gone on a tangent in other posts and I am surely not a fan of such behavior. None of us are perfect, though. We do not know her story (other than what she's told us). Unless we walk in another's shoes, we cannot know their situation. Everyone deserves their say on PoC - that's what makes this site as great as it is. It is unfair to jump on her every time she contributes to a discussion - even if we disagree.


Nov 02, 2010
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Quality of life is most important
by: Petra

This is interesting information which everyone hopes they will never need. I'd only like to add that keeping a living creature alive at any price isn't always the kindest thing, be it a human, feline or canine member of the family please always consider the needs and the potential quality of life of the patient before the thoughts of the heartbreak that the loss of them would bring.


Nov 01, 2010
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Thanks everyone
by: Elisa Black-Taylor

Thanks everyone. Your comments got me on the right track in a hurry. But Kat may be a total train wreck by the time everyone is done with her.

I think I've gone from being too bossy to too nice. I used to work with people other people hated so that tells you something.

The next story is a keeper too and there will be homework. I'm trying to do some helpful stories before I go back to gloom and doom again. There are too many of them.


Nov 01, 2010
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THANK YOU
by: Jo Singer

This is great news for pets who are mobility challenged. These chairs can make such a difference in the lives of not only the cats and dogs, but their human companions as well.

I do hope that this article become widely circulated and that those folks who are caring for cats and dogs who can benefit from these wheelchairs and don't know about this resource will be thrilled that they exist.

Thanks so much for writing about it.


Nov 01, 2010
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Homemade wheelchair
by: Susie Bearder

Thanks for including that as I thought it was ingenious and it seemed like one (reasonably) happy cat.


Nov 01, 2010
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Thank you Elisa
by: Ruth

Thank you for a brilliant article Elisa which hopefully no readers will ever need to know about, but sadly awful things happen and the information is here if fate is cruel.
It used to break my heart nursing paralysed animals and it was so degrading for them to be helpless and to have to be 'wheelbarrowed' is the only way to describe it, for exercise. We had no wheelchairs those days to help them.
As long as an animal has quality of life is the main thing, they are wonderful how they adapt.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Nov 01, 2010
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Kettle and pot
by: PoC fan

Hey talk about the kettle calling the pot grimy bot.

Here we have Kat Parker(who thinks we are all morons)sabotaging our Elisa's interesting and well written page to promote her indoor only cats rant.

Sorry Elisa a taste of do as you would be done by was needed for her.


Oct 31, 2010
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My Serenity
by: Elisa Black-Taylor

And she'll zoom along like a speed demon once she gets her cart. I hope you'll shoot a little video and submit a story on her once she gets it. The first time she tries it out if possible. It would be great to see the look on her face right before she takes off at full speed.

Bless you for not throwing her away.


Oct 31, 2010
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My Serenity
by: Anonymous

I adopted a handicapped kitten in 2007. She had suffered a severe back injury sometime shortly after birth - she was only 7 weeks old when we adopted her. Thanks to veterinary acupuncture, she has regained full sensation in her back legs, and can now potty on her own, but the development of her bones and muscles in her back end were stunted. Her hips sockets did not fully form, and though she has control of her back legs, she is unable to keep them beneath her. She is such an amazing girl, and though many people have told me that it is sad to see her, she spares no time to feeling sorry for herself! Her determined and proud little spirit is an inspiration. We hope to either make or purchase a cart for her very soon.


Oct 31, 2010
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To Kat
by: Elisa Black-Taylor

Have I ever learned. Between to dogs killing my cats and the cars killing them, the two beloved kitties I have now are totally indoor cats and NO ONE will ever change my mind on that. I'm through digging senseless graves!


Oct 31, 2010
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Hopefully we won't need these, but if we do, thank you so much.
by: Kat

These are very good resources, Elisa, in case of this need. Thank you for posting these. I would like to add to this that prevention is the best medicine, however, and if at all possible, it's best to keep the cats indoors where they won't get hit by cars or attacked by neighborhood dogs or cats, etc.... I know we all live and learn from our mistakes, although our cats are not always that lucky... so if we could learn from others' mistakes and not have to put our own animals through it, it would be awesome, don't you agree? But, yes, these sites are very good, especially since not all injury/accidents occur outdoors, and we do want to make our little kitties lives as enjoyable as possible. ~Kat~


Oct 31, 2010
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Smokey
by: Elisa Black-Taylor

My cat Smokey was the inspiration for this story. She was attacked by a neighborhood cat and could only drag her back legs for 3 days. I still remember the vet coming out at 11pm and telling us she may or may not recover. We waited on her hand and foot those 3 days.

I had no clue then as to where to find a chair or the cost. We didn't have internet in 1983. Smokey slowly recovered but it was a very scary time.

It's nice to know they're not in the $1000 price range


Oct 31, 2010
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Thanks, Elisa
by: Aimee

What a great and helpful article! I truly hope I don't need this information however I have indeed bookmarked it just in case. The websites are great and I love the little homemade cart! No I wouldn't necessarily use it either that took both human and cat ingenuity to make and use!


Oct 31, 2010
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Cat Wheel chair
by: Sue thomas

I am amazed that cats take so well to this equipment. I see many dogs using wheels etc.

Marvellous really.


Oct 31, 2010
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Useful
by: Michael

Thanks, Elisa, for a useful article. You have put the best providers on one page and quite a lot of people search for cat wheelchairs, which I am pleased about because it means people are keeping and caring for severely disabled cats.

Michael Avatar



Comments

Cat Wheelchair — 15 Comments

  1. Not all cats become paralyzed due to being outdoors and injured. I just found out my precious indoor only cat has a progressive rare neurological condition called syringohydromyelia. His spinal cord has pockets that are collecting CSF and pressing on his spine especially the part involving his hind legs. He is having weakness and difficulty walking on his hind legs. They will eventually become completely paralyzed even though he is on medicine to slow down the CSF production. He is only 6 years old and he is the center of my universe. I am heartbroken, but thank goodness these items exist because I will certainly have him fitted with a mobility cart when the time comes!

    • Oh, dear, I feel sorry for you Kathy and your cat. It must be incredibly difficult to see and be part of that degenerating process. I wish you and your cat the best of luck for the future.

  2. To say people use wheelchairs for a cat for their own reasons is laughable….I have a cat with Manx Syndrome ….I didnt know it till after I got her….I looked up everything out there available to help my kitten….We went from preemie diapers and onesies to hold the diaper on to now a 3 month baby onesie and a panty liner…again this was for her not me….she is healthy and loving and adjusted to her fate….baths every second day….washed after every changing….she is now losing the strenght in her hind legs…this is part of her disability…she will now be fitting for her wheelchair….it amazes me that dogs can be fitted for everything and cats are the throw away pets….I will not end her life because it is inconvenient to care for her…

    • Thank you so much for your comment. This is the tiny girl that I found dragging herself through the brush. Both back legs were paralyzed.
      Sadly, she didn’t survive due to severe dehydration. But, during those few days, I was configuring a sort of wheelchair for her.
      Like you, the thought of putting her down because she was disabled never came into play.

  3. poor baby….its hard to loose a pet owning it one day or many years
    a couple of my friends said I should put Shadow down because it isnt natural for cats to wear a harness and wheels….I struggled with that for about a minute….I will do what I can for her for as long as it gives her quality of life and no pain

  4. Shadow is so happy now the backyard fence is complete and all escape places covered. Lol. This is her time to be outside with no outfit and just be a cat…. digging in the dirt and rolling in the grass

    • Good to hear Debbie. Very loving and well done. I sense Shadow is happy despite her disability. It is an argument for caring for disabled cats but many cat shelters euthanize cats for much less.

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