Two-legged Wonder Cats

I was reading the story of George Stubbs a two-legged cat cared for by cat welfare worker Jen. George Stubbs lived about five years and walked around on his front legs. His real legs were there but shortened. He had no back feet so he decided to not use the legs at all. He tucked his front legs underneath himself to rejig the balance. He brought his body weight forward and placed his forelegs backwards so the entire body weight was placed over the legs. When a cat is this disabled the tail plays an important role maintaining balance and support when resting or pausing when walking. The cat’s tail is an excellent balancing tool for tree dwelling wild cat species.

That got me thinking about how a cat would look when getting around walking on two front legs. Incidentally, I have read about a cat with two legs on one side. He managed to keep his balance hopping along. Amazing.

Anyway, I wondered whether I could find a cat on YouTube that had two front legs and no back legs to see how he managed. Well, I quickly found a video with two cats, each of which had two front legs and in one case no pelvis or hind legs and in the other case stumps like George Stubbs.

You’ll see Anakin early on walking around exactly as described by Sarah Hartwell when writing about George Stubbs. The gait was exactly as I had envisaged. Although it is a little upsetting to see. Anakin is not upset though.

His tail is muscular and has taken on the role of a limb almost. I would expect his back to be strong as well in order to control the body position when walking. My cat Charlie has three legs and he has a rock hard lower back. The lower back muscles were developed as he had to lift his body up using his back to allow his hind legs to jump forwards together. He has a very strange way of walking but very effective.

As for any other animal, cats find a way of adapting, using the muscles that they have to compensate for the loss.

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Two-legged Wonder Cats — 11 Comments

  1. These cat are stunningly beautiful. And so happy. It is delightful to see that only we see them as handicapped. And it is hard to tell. Just cats.

  2. All beautiful cats.
    Their gaits look exhausting to me; but, they cope incredibly well.
    The way Anakin uses his tail is awesome. His rolling is adorable.
    After watching more than one of ther videos, I found myself drawn more to Mika, the red tabby. He was so animated and playful.

  3. Cats are amazing, so very clever, stoic and adaptable.
    The sad thing about them being so is that some people think the declawing of cats is acceptable because they look as if they adapt easily to life without their toe ends.
    But like these cats in the video they really only find a way to cope with their disability and make the best of it and it’s horrible that the disability of declawed cats is caused deliberately.

  4. I remember when they found Anakin as a kitten – he had a couple of issues as a kitten – including a couple of pro-lapses – but now he is all grown up he looks to be doing brilliantly. They really worked hard for him – to make sure he was always ok and had the best chance at a normal life. I later forgot his name Anakin – and thought about him a number of times wondering how he is doing. Well it was a nice suprise to see this video and see how well hhe is doing. You can always tell when cats in a household are happy. You can tell these cats are happy and stimulated even if they live indoors. It’s easier said than done to keep them all so happy.

    Originally Anakin was the only one like that – Mika must have come along later – I never saw Mika before but he is beautiful and seems like a very happy well adjusted cat too. This is a nice little video. These people have worked hard and paid alot to have these cats as they are now – they have done a very great job – well done.

    • I remember the story – began- they found Anakin in a littler of kittens outside somewhere but where the mother would usually reject a malformed kitten in this case with Anakin she didn’t – so Anakin was properly brought up by his mother actually until it was the correct time to adopt him – they kept him because he seemed to be doing so well – they took him to the doc and the doc said he was born like that etc – but seemed to be otherwise fine with all internal body parts intact – so rather than euthanize him they kept him.

      What a happy boy he is now too!

      Watching that video is wonderful – makes me miss my cats at home. There’s nothing nicer than the company of a happy energetic little group of cats passing time together. I’d be in heaven surrounded by them all day! They look like such fun cats to spend time with.

    • You can tell these cats are happy and stimulated even if they live indoors.

      Agreed. Anakin rolls around. That to me is one sign of contentment. He looks relaxed. Not tense. Confident. All these are other signs.

      I like the point you make about having more than one cat which means they can interact with each other and the caretaker can watch. Watching is relaxing and agreeable for the caretaker. That is an aspect of multicat caretaking I had not considered.

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