Categories: Tiger

How big is a tiger’s paw?

A tiger’s paw is enormous! The enormous size is made clear when you compare it with the size of a male human hand as this picture does.

Picture of a tiger paw showing its enormous size. Photo:

The Siberian tiger is the biggest species of tiger and therefore their paws should also be the biggest. I’m told that the width of the paw of a bulky male Siberian tiger is about 16 centimetres across. A medium-sized male Siberian tiger has a forepaw approximately 14 centimetres across. And a female Siberian tiger may have a paw which is about 10-12 centimetres across.

The numerical data is less enlightening then the visual. I am referring to the image which I think is remarkable. The best book on the wild cat species, Wild Cats of the World, does not provide specific information as to the size of the tiger’s paw. I can’t, therefore, provide you with another source, the best source in my view. However, the authors of Wild Cats of the World, Mel and Fiona Sunquist, describe tigers as “powerful, burly animals, well-equipped to single-handedly capture and subdue large prey”.

They also say that the “massive forelimbs are ideal for grappling with prey while holding onto it with the long, retractable claws of the broad forepaws”.

The tiger is designed to grab and hold onto prey rather than run very quickly much like the lion. “The body of the tiger is long and lithe but the hindquarters are not as well muscled and look almost puny compared with the forelimbs”. The strength is upfront to enable to cat to grab, hold and kill. Tigers are enormously strong. Surprisingly so to people who are unfamiliar with their size and power.

Bengal Tiger Size and Weight. Tiger picture byandrew.napier. Image: PoC.

The tiger is built for strength not speed although this cat can run at a good pace. But because it’s body is so heavy, the final dash to kill prey is quite short. It has to be if it is to succeed. It is around 30 metres (33 yards) which is about the maximum it can achieve at top speed. The tiger uses the suffocating bite at the prey’s throat. They knock prey down with their powerful forelegs and grab prey with the sharp and massive claws of their huge front feet. The size of their paws helps to explain why they are so successful at the killing process.

Tigers are enormously strong

Source of numerical data: biologist and wild game expert Alexander Batalov in reference to Amur tigers.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

Recent Posts

Japanese shopowner replaces ceiling tiles with transparent ones for their cats

This is a cool solution for a cat guardian and shopowner who wants to allow…

3 hours ago

600 rescue cats and dogs in a Hercules C-130 plane in historic flight

The charities involved have shipped 600 rescue cats and dogs from Hawaiian animal shelters in…

4 hours ago

Spot the witches hat in this bank of feline faces at night

A Halloween puzzle to kill a few minutes. This is what a witches hat looks…

5 hours ago

Domestic cat’s highly-acidic digestive system

The domestic cat's digestive organs quite closely resemble those of humans. Working backwards they are…

17 hours ago

It’s National Cat Day in the US so what can I do about it?

National Cat Day was started to highlight cats at cat rescue shelters and to celebrate…

20 hours ago

Chicago cat shelter sells groups of feral cats for up to $600 to combat city’s rat problem

The CNN video tells us that Chicago has the worst rat problem in America. A…

1 day ago