Cats with Extra Toes

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Filed in Cats, Getting a New Kitten/Cat

Cats with extra toes are called polydactyl, and the deformity is not a handicap at all. Quite the contrary, most multi-toed cats have excellent dexterity and often are quite adept at hunting and opening doors or bags of cat food.

The only special care your kitty will need is some extra love for every single toe. Owners of multi-toed cats claim that their pets have very unique personality traits, and that they express more emotions than cats with normal toes by caressing or "making muffins" with their feet.

Polydactylic cats don't always have the same number of toes on all four feet. In fact, some have a different number on each paw. For example, a cat might have four toes on one paw, five on another and seven on the other two feet. Some cats also have webbed toes or toes that look like thumbs.

A normal cat has four toes on each foot with a pad and nail associated with each one.

Having extra toes is a dominant inherited condition. A polydactyl cat mated to a cat with regular toes usually will produce a litter of half extra-toed kittens and half-regular toed kittens.

Source: Ask the Vet, reprinted with permission by Pet Food Express. Ask the Vet is published by Veterinarian's Best, Inc., PO Box 4459, Santa Barbara, CA, 93103.

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