Cat walks again on artificial limbs

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AMES, Iowa — They say a cat always lands on its feet. That was a real challenge for Vincent, a cat in Iowa, who was found missing his back legs. But now this feline is getting a new lease on life thanks to prosthetic legs.

The cat is seen walking on his short, metal legs in a video posted to YouTube by Dr. Mary Sarah Bergh, an associate professor of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at Iowa State University, FOX 4 reported.

Cindy Jones, Vincent’s owner, told an ABC news reporter that she found him two years ago at the Story County Animal Shelter, where she works.

“He was surrendered at the… shelter where I work and I took one look at him and fell in love and took him home,” Jones said.

He was very young at the time, but had an abnormality in both of his hind limbs. He was missing them from the mid-tibia down, and he was unable to walk,” Bergh says in the video.

Cat with rare prosthetic legs

Cat with rare prosthetic legs

Jones’ 29-year-old daughter Emily is a vet student at Iowa State, and suggested she take Vincent to the school. It was there Jones met Dr. Bergh, who performed the surgery to fit Vincent with his new legs.

Bergh performed the surgery after physical therapy to save one remaining leg failed, and a cart proved too cumbersome for Vincent’s condition.

BioMedtrix, a veterinary orthopedics company, used 3-D models to design his prosthetics. The company donated its efforts, which typically costs thousands of dollars.

Vincent was up and walking within days after the surgery, but needed another to fit him with longer legs. Jones says Vincent is now a “super happy cat.” He acts like a normal cat, according to Jones.

“He runs around. He plays with my dog Oliver. He lays in a bed. He grooms. He’s just … a great guy,” she added. “In most shelters he would’ve been euthanized. He wouldn’t have had a future.”

Jones said they don’t let him go upstairs, and he is still unable to jump. His prosthetics are in the process of being lengthened at least two more times, until they are eventually as long as his front legs.

Bergh said she wanted to share the story to give hope to pet owners out there who might be looking for help for their disabled pets.