HomeCat Anatomyleft-pawedLeft-handedness is much more common in cats than in humans. Why and what?


Left-handedness is much more common in cats than in humans. Why and what? — 4 Comments

  1. What strikes me most from the above statistics is how many cats are ambidextrous, my own cat seems to be, far more prevalent in cats than in Humans. Is that something we have lost along the evolutionary path?

    • Is that something we have lost along the evolutionary path?

      I think yes, we have lost it due to evolution. The way I read it, we have had to specialise and become more dextrous and have therefore chosen one hand to be better. This hand is used almost exclusively for tasks requiring dexterity and so becomes more dextrous.

      Cats don’t have this requirement. They generally need both forepaws in equal measure. But my online research was inclusive which forced me to come to my own conclusion.

  2. Mitzy is gorgeous. Her eyes are a beautiful luminous green and the first thing I noticed about her.

    Michael, I agree with your reasoning. It applies more to my cats than the findings of those studies.

    Sophie was ambidextrous and had no problems pulling or pushing doors open with either paw. Interior doors had to be locked with a key if I needed to keep her out of a room because she’d figured out that repeated pawing at a certain part of the door frame would cause the lock to give.

    Charley and Horace I notice, use their right paw to pull open a left-hinged door, but nudge doors open with their heads (instead of pulling with their left paw) if the door hinges are on the right. Hope that makes sense.

  3. This is a subject I never gave any thought to.

    But I have wondered why my cat always curls up in my lap and kneads on the same side, only very rarely will she move to the left, momentarily.

    I’m right handed, so if I want to clip her nails while she’s in my lap, it’s almost impossible, since I’m not ambi-dextrous.

    I noticed two sharp nails yesterday, and knew they had to get clipped. So, I laid down next to her, while she was resting on her side, on the porch. It wasn’t too tough, although at one point she bit my hand gently to let me know she didn’t like it.

    I used to take her to the groomer to get her nails clipped, but since her recent traumas with vet visits, I’m trying to avoid putting her in the carrier.

    I only clip the sharp ones, not all 14 on the front, at one time. Yes, she’s a polydachtal, with 7 toes on each front paw, and 6 on each back paw.

    I’m attaching a picture of her when she was younger that shows her huge “mitts”, and that’s why she was named Mitzy!

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