Kingsbrook Animal Hospital's Blog: Polydactyl cats

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Polydactyl cats

A Polydactyl Cat is one with a genetic mutation that causes cats to have multiple toes! They can have as many as 7 extra toes on one or all four feet. However,"Bandit" a black and white domestic short hair has beat those odds and has a total of 29 toes! Bandit is the unofficial title holder in the Guinness Book of World Records as the cat with the most toes. Now, you may wonder if a cat with this condition is debilitated at all, or has any problems with that many toes. And the answer is no; polydactyl cats get around just as well has non-polydactyl cats. Some kittens do take a bit longer learning how to walk and balance, but once they figure it out, they can walk, run, jump and play just as well as the next guy! In fact, some polydactyl cats have improved dexterity, using their extra digits as thumbs and opening latches, catching balls with one paw, etc... Cats with this condition are usually found on the East Coast of the United states and overseas in Southwest New England and Wales. They have been widely popular as ship cats and some would consider them good luck! Other names for these little guys are "boxing cats", "mitten cat", "Hemingway cat", "snowshoe cat", "cardi-cat", "thumb cat", "six-fingered cat" and "double-pawed cat". Aren't they cool? :)