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Polydactyl cats:My kitten has extra toes.

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
My new kitten has 22 toes instead of 18. I was surprised by this. I was wondering if anyone else has one. Do they do different things? I saw her climb up the wall which I have never seen a cat do.
post #2 of 17
I don't know... I've had cats that drove ME up a wall! Does that count?

My guess is that this is one of those mutations that aren't especially helpful, but also aren't particulary harmful. I have heard of cats who had problems with the claws on the "thumbs," what some people call "dewclaws."
post #3 of 17
Some cats do have extra toes that make their paws look like mittens. I think it is adorable.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yes, her feet look like mittens.
I was clipping her nails and as I was pressing to get her nails out I was surprised to find extras.
She is an amazing jumper at 6 weeks. I wondered if it gave her extra push or grip or something.
post #5 of 17
I love poly's! At 6 weeks I'm not surprised that she's climbing walls, and anything else she can sink her claws into... it's typical kitten behavior I think.
post #6 of 17
I have a polydactyl kitty. She is the strangest cat ever...I think that she is actually an alien disguised as a cat. Anywho, she loves to use her front feet like hands and grab things...she even figured out how to open the closet.
post #7 of 17
Yes, polydactylism is a known mutation in domestic cats. In the olden days, these cats were prized for their mousing abilities - and were often on sailing ships to keep vermin populations under control. They were a favorite of Ernest Hemingway, too. And sometimes they are called Hemingway Polydactyls. His estate in Key West has a huge semi feral colony of them... maintained by his Trust.
post #8 of 17
I've never owned one, but see them from time to time in HHP shows The only thing you have to be careful is to be sure you cut ALL the nails - some of them can grow into the pads. Another thing I noticed was that some nails may get thicker then normal and harder to cut.
post #9 of 17
Yep, my Chip is a polydactyl. He has "thumbs" on his front paws - looks like he's wearing mittens. It's totally cute, and he is actually quite adept at using his "thumbs" as a human would use them. He can grab things pretty good with them! The extra toes don't pose any problem for him, healthwise. It can be a challenge to trim his claws sometimes - a couple of them are hard to get at because of the thumbs. And his claws do get pretty thick, as GoldenKitty alluded to. But other than that it's no big deal, and he always gets loads of compliments from people at the vet's office.
post #10 of 17
My cat Manytoes has lots of extras, 6 fully extra toes, one with 2 perfect claws coming out of it (its a rear dewclaw actually, quite bizarre looking), and then he has an "extra" claw that occurs between 2 toes, but seems to be growing out of the space in between, it doesn't have its own toe. Behaviourally, he is completely normal for a cat, but I need to pay special attention to some of his freakier toes, as they grow thick and highly curved, indeed threatening his paw pads. My vet, knowing my stance on declawing, recommended removal of these claws, but MT is good enough with the clipping that I can take care of them. He is VERY GOOD at opening cupboards, drawers, and doors. He is also exceptionally good at "catching" like a football player when we toss him play mice!
I think his climbing ability is actually hampered though, his paws are so large and cumbersome with the extra toes, he cant "latch" on like other cats. Of course, this is also due to me keeping his claws very short!
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Oh great. I will have a cat that get into everything. I already have the Midnight Raiding for treats crew. I am sure Cleo will recruit her to open things.
post #12 of 17
Marmalade is a polydactyl with six toes on her front paws and normal back paws. She makes good use of her thumbs but is otherwise a pretty typical kitty. Oh, and the mitten paws are sooo cute!
post #13 of 17
That's awesome! I wish my one of my cats had extra toes cuz then I could show it off to my friends.
post #14 of 17
Our new kitten has so many toes that it's hard to count exactly how many. She looks like she is wearing two catcher's mitts, it's very cute. My son says that she has opposable thumbs because she is very good with picking things up. She has already figured out how to unwind a toy over & over again that has a string wound around a chair. She likes to show this trick off to company.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
How cute. I can just visualize it.
post #16 of 17
My Marsh is polydactyl - extra toes on front and back paws. It's rare and everybody who sees the cat cannot believe the look - it makes the paws look 2x bigger. They're highly adaptable and great climbers. Just watch out for those nail trimming sessions

Here's some pics of Marsh, and a very good picture in the sig.

post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Marshmallow is a beautiful cat. I heard that their nails get really thick but I have not noticed this so far. She is only 10 weeks though.
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