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Study shows cats can be right or left-pawed

Posted on Monday, 22 January, 2018 | Comment icon 8 comments

What is the paw preference of your cat ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Wikimedia Commons
It's not only humans who favor one hand over the other - cats seem to share this preference as well.
The study, which looked at the behavior of 44 cats ( 20 female and 24 male ), found that male cats tend to favor stepping forward with their left paw while female cats prefer to use their right paw.

The observations were made within the cats' home environments and focused on which paw the animals preferred to put forward first when going downstairs or stepping into a litter box.

The researchers suggested that this information could help identify a cat's vulnerability to stress.

"Left-limbed animals, which rely more heavily on their right hemisphere for processing information, tend to show stronger fear responses, aggressive outbursts, and cope more poorly with stressful situations than animals that are right-limbed and rely more heavily on their left hemisphere for processing," said study co-author Dr Deborah Wells from Queen's University, Belfast.

Exactly why individual cats have their own paw preference however remains unclear.

"There is something going on with differences between the brain structure and function, clearly, of male and female animals, but as to the specifics, we just don't know yet," said Wells.

Source: The Guardian | Comments (8)

Tags: Cats

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Lilly on 22 January, 2018, 19:33
I'm not surprised, my dog Ringo is very much left pawed, so why not cats. 
Comment icon #2 Posted by paperdyer on 22 January, 2018, 20:12
Neither am I.  My dog Maggie is left pawed.  I've also had cats that batted their toys with their left paw.
Comment icon #3 Posted by highdesert50 on 23 January, 2018, 13:30
Perhaps not surprising as domestic cats are, like humans, wonderfully adaptable. Cats have been described as '... one of evolution's most charismatic creatures. They can live on the highest mountains and in the hottest deserts' by geneticist OBrien.
Comment icon #4 Posted by TripGun on 23 January, 2018, 16:52
My cat is ambidextrous as he can use both paws equally well covering up his poop.
Comment icon #5 Posted by UFOwatcher on 23 January, 2018, 17:34
Ever notice how you never see a cat 'pick' its nose?
Comment icon #6 Posted by rodentraiser on 27 January, 2018, 3:50
They've done studies with mice by dropping food into a box with a very small opening to see which paw the mouse will use to pull out the food. Mice consistently use the right or left paw to do this, so it's been pretty well proven any animal can be left or right pawed.
Comment icon #7 Posted by ChaosRose on 27 January, 2018, 3:55
And apparently, dogs can be dyslegsic. It's spelled that way on purpose.
Comment icon #8 Posted by UFOwatcher on 3 February, 2018, 23:52
I find amazing how we all (me too) like pet pictures. YouTube is full of very popular clips We all have parents but I don't usually want to see pictures of other people's parents but the pet shots we always like.

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