She Grappled with Amputating Her Cat’s Leg But Now Knows She Chose Wisely

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Instagram: @OliviaBettyLorayne

Olivia had never had a cat before Felix came into her life. A rare cancer diagnosis and gut-wrenching health decision, however, showed her how lucky she is to be his forever human.

A curious little fella

Olivia adopted him in 2019 when Felix was just eight weeks old. She’d never had a cat growing up because her dad had been allergic to them, so this was her first time welcoming a kitten into her home.

Look at these two besties! / Instagram: @OliviaBettyLorayne

“I fell in love immediately,” Olivia said upon laying eyes on Felix. “I knew that this was my cat.”

From that moment on, the new cat mom never questioned that she’d made the right decision. “He is the most curious little guy, and he is a sweetheart. If I’m ever crying or having a bad day, he comes on over and just comforts me.”

It didn’t take too long for Olivia to notice that Felix has an especially funny, if not inconvenient, habit as well: strutting into the bathroom whenever she’s using the toilet.

Privacy? What’s that? / Instagram: @OliviaBettyLorayne 

“He barges in and wants to sit on your lap,” Olivia explained.

But when Felix was about two years old, she noticed a lump on his leg. And her life would never be the same.

“The hardest decision”

After a visit to the vet, Felix was diagnosed with liposarcoma, a rare cancer that takes the form of a malignant tumor. That’s when Olivia was faced with an incredibly difficult decision: chemotherapy or amputation.

Amputation was a more surefire way of getting rid of the cancer, but if chemo worked as a treatment, then Felix could be cancer-free and still have all four of his legs. Olivia decided to go with chemo.

“It was the hardest decision I’ve made in my entire life.”

Felix is one tough cookie. / Instagram: @OliviaBettyLorayne

After several attempts with different drugs, however, the chemo wasn’t working. And by the time that was made clear, Olivia nearly lost the other option on the table, as the cancer may have spread to other parts of Felix’s body. But she talked to the surgeon, who said there’s still a chance amputation could work.

And fortunately, it did.

Woman on a mission

Felix may be down one leg, but he’s cancer-free and just as happy as he was before!

Felix is thriving today! / Instagram: @OliviaBettyLorayne

Now, Olivia is using her platform to encourage others not to toggle back and forth about their animals’ lives like she did.

“If it’s a matter of life or death, just do the amputation,” she said. “[Felix] loves life. We just celebrated Christmas, and he went nuts because of all the toys I got him.”

To see her cat happy and healthy fills Olivia’s heart with joy, regardless of the number of limbs he has on the ground beneath him.

“Knowing that I made the right decision—because that is a very difficult decision—this little boy is now going to have a full and enriching life,” she said, “and that just made it worthwhile.”

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The editorial team consists of experienced veterinarians, behaviorists, and other cat experts who are all dedicated to our mission of providing cat owners with the safest, most reliable information.