A cat's paws, like its teeth, are
lethal weapons; they also act as a climbing aid and a shock-absorber when
Each front paw contains seven pads. Five digital pads that have
One large plantar pad, which is made-up of three lobes and is the main
support for the cat's leg, protecting the weight-bearing leg
bones. Also there is a small wrist-pad (pisiform).*
There are five pads on each of the hind paws - four digital and
one plantar pad. The hind feet are stronger than the front and endure much
greater stresses and strains, especially when running and jumping.
There is a common condition know as polydactylism, in
cats, this genetic disorder causes extra toes to be present. Sometimes as many
as seven toes on each foot have been known.
Finally, one more interesting point about our feline friends is
that they, like us, can be right or left-handed, or should I say pawed! Tests
have revealed that, out of every one hundred cats, approximately 40 are
left-pawed, 20 are right-pawed and 40 are ambidextrous. As regards to us, only 10
people are left-handed for ever 90 who are right-handed.
* "Pisiform" means "pea-shaped", and it refers
to the shape of the cat's wrist-bone beneath the pad.