Most cats have 18 toes (5 on each of their front paws and 4 on each of their back paws), but polydactyl cats have more!
Here are four fun facts about our polydactyl friends:
- Polydactyl cats usually have extra toes on their front paws. These added digits aren’t opposable, so don’t worry! Fluffy won’t start opening jars of catnip at 3am.
- Back in the day, polydactyl cats were considered good luck at sea. Their added toes helped them maintain better balance when the ships hit rough waters.
- According to Guinness Records, the world record for most toes on a cat is 28. While none of the adoptable polydactyl cats at our shelter beat that record, a few certainly came close. Stop by the campus adoption center to meet them!
- Polydactyl cats have a special place in history. Oodles of polydactyl cats lived at Ernest Hemingway’s Key West, Florida home, and many still do! In fact, polydactyl cats are often referred to as Hemingway cats. President Theodore Roosevelt had a polydactyl “first cat” named Slippers.
Polydactyl cats are definitely unique, but their needs are no different than those of your average, 18-toed feline. Be aware that there is a chance the extra toe claws will grow into the pads, causing pain and infection. Monitor and regularly clip the claws on the extra toes to prevent problems, and if the claw is too difficult to access for clipping, contact your veterinarian as the claw may need to be surgically removed.
In honor of the 25+ polydactyl cats who just became available for adoption, we’re offering adopters discounted adoptions on ALL cats. Take $2 off for every toe the cat you’re interested in adopting has during our TOETALLY $2 DAYS SPECIAL, now through Monday, November 18! Click here to view the press release.
All polydactyl cats are located at our Campus Adoption Center. View all adoptable cats online here.