Bionic Cat Feet

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From BBC News, a cat named Oscar gets bionic legs! You’ve got to check out the video. Where do I sign up for a pair of these?

A cat that had its back feet severed by a combine harvester has been given two prosthetic limbs in a pioneering operation by a UK vet.

The new feet are custom-made implants that “peg” the ankle to the foot. They are bioengineered to mimic the way deer antler bone grows through the skin.

The operation – a world first – was carried out by Noel Fitzpatrick, a veterinary surgeon based in Surrey.

His work is explored in a BBC documentary called The Bionic Vet.

The cat, named Oscar, was referred to Mr Fitzpatrick by his local vet in Jersey, following the accident last October. Oscar was struck by the combine harvester whilst dozing in the sun.

The prosthetic pegs, called intraosseous transcutaneous amputation prosthetics (Itaps) were developed by a team from University College London led by Professor Gordon Blunn, who is head of UCL’s Centre for Biomedical Engineering.

Update:


Commenter tigerzero writes:

It’s a pretty awesome story. There’s an updated movie on youtube with his more current “faux paws” (above). They seem to put his hind legs in a much more natural position. Amazing.

10 thoughts on “Bionic Cat Feet

  1. Great story, but how is this even remotely “bionic”? It’s a cat with peg legs. Really not much different than human prosthetics. There is nothing even close to bionic about this.

    1. The article talks about how this technique of getting the flesh to grow into the metal implant is different than traditional prosthetics. “Bionic” just means to have artificial body parts, although in most cases implies that those artificial parts are electromechanical in nature, which, you’re right, Oscar’s aren’t.

      1. I would say that the use of ‘bionic’ here can be justified with ‘creative license’.

        In the next video the pegs are replaced with tasers. Here kitty kitty. Zzzzzzt.

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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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