Female domestic cats tend to prefer using their right paw when engaged in specific spontaneous behaviours.
A recent study (Lateralization of spontaneous behaviours in the domestic cat, Felis silvestris by Louise J.McDowell, Deborah L.Wells, Peter G.Hepper) answers the question: “Are female cats left or right pawed?”
There is a “sex split” on left and right handedness in domestic cats. Females were inclined to use the right paw while “males showed a significant preference for using their left paw”. The circumstances under which this bias was demonstrated were: food reaching, stepping down and stepping over.
The study provided “first evidence that certain spontaneous behaviours, notably those involving limb use, are lateralised in the domestic cat”. In other words domestic cats do show a preference for left or right paw use with respect to specific spontaneous behaviours that involved the use of forelimbs.
For reaching for food, on 73% of occasions domestic cats preferred one paw over another. When stepping down the preference was demonstrated on 70% of occasions and for step over, 66% of the time. Overall when taking all cats into account there was no preference for left or right handedness.
You can read the full report by clicking on this link.
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