Bionic cat: Feline patient gets high-tech legs


Oscar bounces back from a leg injury thanks to custom-made implants.

An unfortunate run-in with a combine last October left Oscar, a black farm cat, missing his two hind legs, so his owners thought. A New Jersey veterinary surgical team managed to give Oscar, who lives with his owners in England, his mobility back by designing custom-made implants that actually help Oscar "regrow" his legs.

Oscar's metallic implants were designed by biomedical engineers to be fused to the bone and skin. They were also coated with a material that encouraged bone and skin to grow directly over them to form a natural seal that helps prevent infections. In away, Oscar's prosthetic paws mimic the way deer antlers grow through skin. The peg-like implants also came with faux paws on one end that help imitate a cat's natural walk.

Of course, these artificial limbs weren't cheap. The paws alone cost nearly $3,000 to make. Add the cost of the three-hour surgery and the rehabilitation training to teach Oscar to walk again, and the price grows. But was it worth it? Just take Oscar's remarkable recovery as proof-he can bear weight equally on all four limbs and is now able to run and jump like other cats do.

Want to see Oscar? Click here.

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