Bionic Cat: Gets prosthetic paws

By Peter Chubb - Jun 28, 2010

In the past if a cat had to have both of its legs or paws amputated the kindest thing would be to put the animal down. However, thanks to some clever biomedical engineers they have now developed a solution to help save the family pet. They have done this by giving the cat prosthetic paws, which has now been dubbed the bionic cat.

The process is unique for an animal as it now has metallic pegs that link them to the rear legs – its a little like how a deer antler grows out from the skin. The cat is now able to move around freely now, and has given him a much better outlook.

The achievement was thanks to neuro-orthopedic surgeon Dr. Noel Fitzpatrick and two biomedical engineers who managed to fuse the artificial paws to the bone and skin to give the cat a normal life and can do all the things that other cats can do.

The process is not for the faint-hearted and required vets to insert these implements to the anklebone by drilling into them. Cells were then used to allow the cat’s skin to grow over the tip of the peg where the paws once were.

AP writer Maria Cheng, who wrote on The Guardian, explained that Fitzpatrick said that this process is not likely to be widely used due to cost.

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