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Astonishing Amputee Cat Gets Two Bionic Feet

Technology has helped human amputees live with their disabilities and now that's spreading to cats. A pioneer veterinarian in the United Kingdom has fitted a cat with only two feet with prosthesis to allow him to walk again.

According to the BBC, Oscar the cat had his back feet severed by a combine harvester. But, thanks to custom-made implants bioengineered to mimic the way deer antler bone grows through the skin, Oscar can still walk. The prosthetic feet are actually pegs called intraosseous transcutaneous amputation prosthetics (Itaps) and they were developed by a team from University College London. Led by Professor Gordon Blunn, who is head of UCL's Centre for Biomedical Engineering, the team worked with Surrey-based vet Noel Fitzpatrick to combine engineering and biology and produce the impressive implants.

"The real revolution with Oscar is [that] we have put a piece of metal and a flange into which skin grows into an extremely tight bone," Mr. Fitzpatrick said. "We have managed to get the bone and skin to grow into the implant and we have developed an 'exoprosthesis' that allows this implant to work as a see-saw on the bottom of an animal's limbs to give him effectively normal gait."

"He's just the best cat in the world. I can't tell you how good it feels to keep him alive," Fitzpatrick added, cuddling up to Oscar the day he walked on his implants for the first time.

The Itap technology is currently being tested on people and has already been used to help a woman who lost an arm in the London bombings five years ago.

Check out an incredible video of Oscar (including his first steps) on the BBC.

Here's a video of Oscar at home with what look like new, better shaped feet that allow him to walk around with the awkward and lumbering (though admittedly endearing) stumpiness seen in the BBC clip.

  • IncinX
    Sweet, now the cat can play Xbox Kinect too!
    Reply
  • RooD
    i would never pay for this for an animal... i love my dog to death but i would give the money to help a human before an animal
    Reply
  • IncinX
    Now I would like you to picture this cat playing the ball whack game.
    Reply
  • Spanky Deluxe
    This is really great progress. I remember reading about this kind of biotechnology a few years ago where they were testing it with people who had lost the tips of their fingers. This really is incredible progress.
    Reply
  • long2know
    Very impressive .. I wonder how the prosthetics affect his jumping ability.
    Reply
  • Kelavarus
    RooDi would never pay for this for an animal... i love my dog to death but i would give the money to help a human before an animal
    Can't say I would. I've known more animals who deserve to live than humans. Not to mention this is probably more along the lines of animal testing to eventually be able to do it on humans anyway.
    Reply
  • sicpric
    KelavarusCan't say I would. I've known more animals who deserve to live than humans. Not to mention this is probably more along the lines of animal testing to eventually be able to do it on humans anyway.
    I do too, but he isn't saying he would spend that money on murderers or rapist. I love animals to death a well, but if I had a cat and it lost two of it's legs, I'd have to put it to sleep, not spend $$$$ on two nubs...
    Reply
  • jonpaul37
    KelavarusCan't say I would. I've known more animals who deserve to live than humans. Not to mention this is probably more along the lines of animal testing to eventually be able to do it on humans anyway.
    Agreed, this is just paving the way for what can be done to humans... It's funny, we see stuff like this in the movies all the time and as humans, we make it happen.
    Reply
  • sliem
    I want to see him jump up and down 4-5 ft with those.
    Reply
  • tsnorquist
    All this cat needs is a parrot and an eye patch.
    Reply