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Polydactyl Cats

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Yakob, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. Yakob


    Nov 15, 2009
    Philadelphia, PA
    Huh? What's a poly-whatever cat?

    Short answer:
    A polydactyl cat is a cat with more than 5 toes on its front feet or more than 4 toes on its rear feet. The condition is caused by a random genetic mutation propagated through in-breeding. There are large populations of polydactyl cats in Key West, Florida and Ithaca, New York. Hemingway was a fan.

    My question is this: I like cats okay. I mean, I've never owned one (I've always had a dog), but the ones I've met have all been fine. I hear talk that polydactyl cats are especially chill and personable (plus, those extra toes are pretty badass). Is there a person here with one or more polydactyl cats that can back that claim up?

    Also, have you had any experience with a polydactyl cat and a dog living together? I have a Portuguese Water Dog named Hamilton. She's good natured, but has trouble curbing the "herd" instinct around small mammals (squirrels, rabbits, children, etc). That being said, she's never killed anything, so I think she could get along with a cat...

    For those interested, here are some polydactyl cat pictures:
    toe-793378. pets_5-27-06. 1529774583_35aa01eb89. 2399770.
  2. McHaven


    Mar 1, 2005
    Soon they will develop opposable thumbs. That will be the end of humanity as we know it. They will take up arms and fight against us. I for one welcome our new feline overlords.
  3. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Ithaca? Try the whole grand swath of Central New York. 9 out of 10 cats I see have this to some extent.
  4. cdef


    Jul 18, 2003
    Our cat, Prof. Bo, is mightily polydactyl, with 7 toes on the front paws and 6 on the hind ones. He also has very long legs, and seems more comfortable lying on his back than folding them under him. One eye is pale blue, the other is yellow. Fur is fluffy and all white, and must be brushed daily, otherwise it gets matted up in places, which makes him unhappy.

    He is indeed a most sociable and friendly animal, always up for a joke. His favorite game is chasing a flashlight beam up and down the walls, and with all those claws he's one terrific climber. He knows how to open certain doors by standing on his hind legs and pulling the handle down. If I'm at the computer and he wants attention he'll sneak up and tap me on the shoulder. Bare feet on the floor he considers rats, so they're fair game.
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    That would describe all the "normal" cats I have owned! :)
  6. Not sure if the rest of the world uses this analogy, but in Australia, if you are trying to insinuate that someone is a hillbilly / inbred etc, you would say 'they are a bit six fingered'...

    I know this isn't at all true of people with extra digits, but it is a common saying.

    Those cats are interesting! Can't say that I have ever seen one before. Not that I've noticed anyway.
  7. Mortiis

    Mortiis Banned

    Apr 24, 2010
    Once they figure out how to use the tin opener they'll have no need for us.
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Yes it's not so "cute" in humans :

  9. Mortiis

    Mortiis Banned

    Apr 24, 2010
  10. tk421


    Mar 3, 2010
    middletown, oh
    i had a siamese with thumbs. he was pretty insane, as most siamese are ... he used to pick up rabbit fur mice and throw them across the room, so he could then chase them.
    ive had cats that would play fetch, but jacob was the only one that would do it by himself.
  11. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Just imagine what you could do with a 5 string bass!

  12. Joe Gress

    Joe Gress

    Dec 22, 2005
    Pueblo, CO
    My Uncle had a cat named Holstein that had six toes on each paw. One of the best cats ever. I now refer to Scooter (who came from the same family and has six toes as well) as a Holstein cat.
  13. XtreO


    Jan 2, 2008
    You know, that makes me want six fingers.
  14. Shall we order an eight-fingered left hand for Mr. Turner?
  15. Yakob


    Nov 15, 2009
    Philadelphia, PA
    There's a polydactyl black male in my area, 5 months old. He has a sister, but she's normal-toed apparently.

    I'm hoping the owner is willing to give them away separately, because I only have room for one spare boarder, and it would be great to have a 6-toed cat.

    Here are the siblings:

    Here's just the male:

    If you look close, you can see the "thumb" thing he has going on :).
  16. Polydactyls are the exact same as normal cats, but with extra toes.

    Fun fact: they were traditionally valued by sailors as on-board mousers, because the belief was that the extra toes helped in catching prey.
  17. Meyatch

    Meyatch Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    My cat Sophie has at least 6 toes on her front feet, maybe 7. She is super friendly, the best cat I've ever had. But I really don't think that has anything to do with polydactylism.


    One thing that sucks is one of her toenails will just keep growing, and she can't get to it to keep it down. It grew the whole way around into her paw one time and we had to take her to the vet. Now we have to keep on top of trimming it, and she absolutely HATES having her extra toes messed with.
  18. Think of the chording possibilities.

  19. Jody Robinson

    Jody Robinson Banned

    Mar 4, 2010
    My little guy is polydactyl. His "thumbs" only ad to his charm....

  20. Yakob


    Nov 15, 2009
    Philadelphia, PA
    Haha I love it!

    How does he use the thumbs? Do they work their paws like non-polydactyl cats or do they use them to actually grip things? This information will be very useful should I adopt that kitten.

    I will teach it to be a ninja teen:ninja:.

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