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)