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newbie questions

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi there,
I just adopted a beautiful stray cat and have a claw questions. It looks like (although I haven't fully investigated yet) my cat has an extra claw on his left paw, sitting right between the thumb and forefinger areas. It doesnt seem to hurt him. Is this okay? Any advice? Also, should I clip the claws? This is an outdoor cat and I hesitate to take its only defense mechanism away.
post #2 of 8
Hi helena,

I think cats with extra toes are called polydactyls. As long as the extra toe doesn't seem to hurt him, there's nothing wrong with it. I would suggest not clipping his claws if he is an outdoor cat, since you would be taking away his biggest defence. Although you may want to keep an eye on his extra toe... depending on how the nail grows from it, it may grow back into his paw... and if that's the case, I'd just clip that particular nail so it doesn't hurt him. I'm sure others will chime in on this as well, but they're probably sleeping right now.

Oh, and it's nice to have you with us. Welcome!
post #3 of 8
If your kitty is going to be an outdoor kitty, you will not need to clip his claws. He will blunt them on his own when he scratches the trees and various objects outside.

Extra toed kitties are called Polydactyls. I have two poly's myself. You just want to watch the claws (the extra ones that hang back from the regular place and make sure they don't grow down into the cat's foot. Those you would need to clip the tips only off, but poly's are very sensitive on their paws, so you should have help.
post #4 of 8
awwww how cute. nah don't cut it off, just let him be. You wouldn't cut it off if you had an extra finger or toe would you? erm...wait don't answer that LOL
post #5 of 8
Living in the mid-west I don't think I've ever actually seen a polydactyl cat?? I once heard that some of the first polydactyls in America were Heminway's cats. Don't know if it's true, or if I am remebering that correctly, but I do believe they are more common on the east coast? Feel free to correct me, or clarify as it was a program I saw a long time ago.
post #6 of 8
This is a polydactal.

Is this what your cat looks like?

Are you saying he has an extra CLAW inbetween there? Or an extra TOE and the claw?

Asim has 2 toes and claws in addition to the normal four on the front feet.
And he has 1 extra toe/claw on his back feet.

If it's an extra CLAW with no toe, that's another story.
post #7 of 8
Polydactyl cats are more common in the Northeast, particularly around Boston and Halifax. Apparently there were/are a lot of cats with extra toes in Southampton, England, so the theory is that polydactylism spread from Southampton to Boston to Halifax via ships' cats. That's what I've always heard, anyway. A friend in Philly used to have a cat with extra front toes, but I've never seen that here in Germany.
post #8 of 8
My brothers cat is a polydactyl.She is black with white paws...her name..Mittens of course! She is healthy and happy and has never had any problems with her feet.
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