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How would you explain a "hurt" animal to your 5 year old? [Follow up question] [UPDATED]

I asked a question earlier this week about three-legged animals.

In a couple hours, my fiance and I are going to meet the cat we're hoping to adopt. He was brought to the shelter with a shattered leg, and they had to amputate it (I am guessing he was hit by a car or something, but someone just found him like that so they're not sure). We haven't told my 5 year old yet, just because we didn't want to get him looking forward to a new cat if something falls through and we can't take him home. If the cat likes us, we can pick him up Sunday morning. My fiance will be picking my son up from kindergarten this afternoon, and he's going to tell him about the cat.

My son has always been around cats (his dad and I had two cats when he was born, and he now has one and so do we), and he knows how to treat an animal and how not to treat an animal. He's very good with them. The cat we have now is very...non-chalant about everything - she plays, but mostly (like a lot of cats) she just likes to sleep. She ignores my son, for the most part. I'm not sure how the new cat will be though. From what the shelter has told us, he's very calm as well, but we'll see!

So I'm just curious how you ladies would explain your pet's downfall? Of course we'll explain that he probably got hit by a car, but what I'm not sure about is how to convey that my son will have to be careful with the new cat (at least at first) but he is not made of glass and he's just as "able" as any normal cat.

Thanks in advance!


EDIT: My fiance got to head over there first, because he is off work at 11 on Fridays. He texted me a picture and I guess we get to take him home tonight!!! Originally it was Sunday. I'm so excited!!! :)


Asked by AdensMama0308 at 12:43 PM on Nov. 1, 2013 in Pets

Level 24 (18,609 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (3)
  • I am very candid with my 5yo, especially with stuff that has to do with animals since I work as a vet tech. I would tell it to him straight. "Sometimes animals get hit by cars and to save this cat's life the doctors had to remove his leg. When the cat comes home we're going to have to be very careful with him for the next couple weeks while he heals from his surgery, but animals adjust very quickly to losing a limb and soon he'll be getting around a like nothing ever happened. And he'll be happy that a nice family like us brought him home." Congrats on your new addition!

    Answer by LadybugTash at 9:03 PM on Dec. 21, 2013

  • Well the cat isn't hurt anymore, I think you tell your son how wonderful it is that a vet could enable him to live a happy normal life, having 3 legs just makes him unique not ill.

    Answer by 2kids2dogs2cats at 12:54 PM on Nov. 1, 2013

  • I never said he was sick... I just said we'd have to see how he is at first.

    My son said he felt very sorry for Lemmy at first, but he sees now that he's very capable of keeping up with our other cat. He's very happy and so are we. :)

    Comment by AdensMama0308 (original poster) at 10:58 AM on Dec. 23, 2013