I don’t think people think about cat dexterity that much (dexterity: “skill and grace in physical movement, especially in the use of the hands; adroitness.” – The Free Dictionary).
The skills of a cat using paw and eye coordination with finely tuned muscle control are somewhat hidden or played down. But they are there. It’s perhaps that the typical domestic cat often has little in the way of activity to show it off.
In the wild a cat’s dexterity is called upon all the time. It is a matter of life and death. For example, there is the caracal; a stealthy, high jumping cat that silently stalks guinea fowl plucking them out of the air in a great leap and fantastic coordination:
Then there is the serval which also leaps at prey but this time it might be a small mammal in long grass some distance away that the serval hears with its fabulously sensitive hearing. It leaps up and stuns the animal with its front paws as it lands from a height. The hearing acts as a kind of radar and it is very accurate. The serval’s kill rate is high at 50%.
The fishing cat grabs and flips a fish out of the water from the bank of a stream with its paws and claws.
This wildcat dexterity is in all our domestic cats. Here is a really nice video that shows it off. I have not seen this sort of accomplished catching before in a domestic cat. There has been some practice! That seems certain.
SORRY THIS VIDEO HAS BEEN REMOVED AT SOURCE AND THEREFORE DOES NOT WORK HERE….
Our cats can’t grab in this most delicate and efficient of ways without their claws. They are part of the cat. Let’s remember that.
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