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Feline Paws

A cat's paws, like its teeth, are lethal weapons; they also act as a climbing aid and a shock-absorber when landing. Each front paw contains seven pads. Five digital pads that have claws. 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.

 

Feline Claws

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