ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Polydactyl Cats

Updated on November 12, 2016
Polydactyl kitten
Polydactyl kitten | Source

Several populations of cats regularly produce individuals with polydactyly, a.k.a. extra toes (the usual number for cats being five toes on each front foot and four on the back). Polydactyl cats have between 1 and three extra digits on any given paw. This phenotype was recognized and discussed by Charles Darwin as an inherited trait.

Many breeders avoid mating two polydactyl cats, but those who have done so report no problems. Polydactyly is considered a harmless mutation and so something a responsible breeder can selected and breed to promote if thy like the look of it. Historically cats with polydactyly have been referred to as mitten, boxing or thumbcats.

Hemingway Cats

Hemingway house is home to a population cats about half of which have an extra toe on their front paws. They are descended from a polydactyl cats called Snowball who was given to Earnest Hemingway. Most have six toes on their front paws.

Snowshoe Cat

Polydactyl Maine Coons are also known as snowshoe cats. Like Hemingway's Snowball they have a link to cats favored by sailors. The polydactyl gene was present in the breed during its early development in the state of Maine. (C.f. white footed cats by the same name.)

Pixie Bob

The only currently recognized breed that allow extra toes is the Pixie Bob.This breed is reputed to descend from barn cat x bobcat matings but such a combination is biologically unlikely and not objectively confirmed. A pixie bob may have 6 or seven front toes.

Example of a Pixie Bob cat
Example of a Pixie Bob cat | Source

American Polydactyl Cat

The American Polydactyl Cat is breed specifically for the extra toe trait with the goal of developing a recognized breed.

Munchkin Cats

Munchkins are cat with short front legs, they also sometimes show polydactyly.

Others

Extra toes have also been documented in a number of breeds in which is is considered a deformity to be avoided, including Bengal. It is also not particularly uncommon in mixed breed cats.

Polydactyl Traits

Some suggest that extra toes may be linked to genes that cause harmful abnormalities in the legs sometimes referred to has "twisty cat". However, most breeders consider the trait harmless. In fact, many consider that polydactyl cats bring good luck to a home.

Memes

Cats with thumbs appear in many popular memes including:


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 

      2 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      I've come across 2 cats with "thumbs". One was a tabby, who also had multiple kinks in her tail. Her owners told me this was caused by inbreeding. The other cat was owned by my best friend; a truly unique cat that was a tan Siamese with black and orange spots on her flanks like a tortoise shell cat. One of her "thumbs" had two claws instead of just one! She lived to be 20 human years old.

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 

      7 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Well you learn something every day as I did not know that there were cats with extra toes! Very interesting hub and cute cat pictures

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Interesting...and, I have to admit, a little creepy. That picture of the cat with 2 extra toes almost looks photoshopped.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)