Is Maine Coon Tootsie a Lefty or a Righty?

This is a follow up to the left-handed cat page. VG checked out her famous Maine Coon, Tootsie, to see if she was left-handed or right-handed. Perhaps she is in the middle: ambidextrous. Well, here is a collage of a series of photos by VG of her beloved Tootsie for people to decide:

Left or right handed cat?
Collage by VG — Tootsie, a polydactyl Maine Coon, living in America. Is she left or right-handed?
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

I’ll tell you what I think, here and now. I think she is a left-handed cat with some ambidextrous qualities. If you wanted to ask, “is she left or right handed?”, I would say she was left-handed. A lot of cats, most cats perhaps, are ambidextrous to at least a certain extent and that seems to show with Tootsie but looking at these pictures I sense she is left-handed.

The picture that goes against this assessment is top row far right. This is a famous internet picture because Google finds it a lot when people searched for “polydactyl Maine Coon“.  Even in this photo I sense she is using her stronger side to stabilise herself while using her right paw to pick up the string.

If I am right, perhaps, her mother was stressed before she was born?


Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

15 thoughts on “Is Maine Coon Tootsie a Lefty or a Righty?”

  1. Valley Girl, I understand that. Ystrday, I looked at your wonderful webpages! How is it that that happened. serendipity?

  2. VG, it is clear how much your kitty loves you! I had not noticed that left “thumb” [ist pic, 2nd row] until you pointed it out. “Toot Sweet!”

    1. btw, I wasn’t looking for a poly. That was a bonus. I found Tootsie on Just a one in a gazillion chance. I adopted her at 6 yo.

    1. Thanks Dan. I picked out the pictures way back when I saw the article about handedness in cats, and put a set on flickr. But, it is not a “scientific” sample. According to the scientific journal article, the preference is apparent only for especially challenging tasks. The most challenging task I could see from photos was “trying to capture the lizard”, for which she used her left paw. So, I would agree with your assessment.

  3. That top, far right photo captured my attention. That’s when I wondered “how can she possibly splay her right toes like that? Do all polydactls do that? You don’t have a photo in the collage of her splaying her toes on her left frontpaw, or did I miss it? She is a beauty! hmmm. a box of straws…I’m on a mission–Shrimp will absolutely love that! 🙂

    1. Caroline, I do have pix of both paws showing the thumb and toes spread out. And, she can pick up straws with either paw. She likes to drop them onto the floor from the bed. No accounting for cats.

      1. I meant I have other pictures, not shown here. The closest to seeing that for the right paw is 1st pic second row- it’s just that the angle is different in the photo. And, yes, she got the straw.

        1. Sorry, I meant, thank you for letting me know. Straws are such a fun idea. What others are her faves that you ingeniously came up with? You are making me long for an Eastern Seaboard Maine Coon! 😉

        2. Sorry, I meant thank you for letting me know. Straws are such a fun idea. You are making me long for an Eastern Seaboard Maine Coon! 😉

  4. Hi Michael, I’d like to see what others think before adding further comments. I was tempted to say more but…

    1. What a beautiful cat Tootsie is. Wow. I love these photos of her in action. If she puts her hand out to touch water from a tap of food or something – which parm/paw comes out first?

      1. Marc, unlike other Maine coons, Tootsie is not interested in water from taps. However, if I am eating something- relaxing in bed while eating, she appears from no where. Especially if English muffins with butter are involved. I have no idea how she figures this out. A paw goes out to tap the muffin (or crackers with butter, etc.). Butter-loving cat. But, I can’t detect a paw preference.

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