How many fingers does a cat have?
Have you ever wondered how many fingers have a cat? Well, many people may think that the cats’ fingers can be counted by the amount of cushions on their paws, or that the pussies have 20 fingers, just like the human being. However , cat paws usually have 18 toes, 05 on each of the front paws and 04 on each of the back paws. But is there a reason for this amount of fingers? And can that amount of fingers vary?
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Well, do not worry if your kitten has more than 18 fingers, in this article we the Expert Animal will share information that may be useful to address your doubts about how many fingers a cat has .
Count your cat’s fingers
If at any point you have tried to count the amount of fingers that your cat possesses, most likely he was bothered by the situation, trying to escape from you. Cats have sensitivity in various regions of their body, and the paws are part of these sensitive regions . Your pussy feels uncomfortable when you touch your paws, and this makes counting your fingers a situation that can cause some scratches.
How many fingers does a cat have?
Cats usually have 18 toes , 5 toes on each of the front legs, and 4 toes on each of the hind legs. But what is the difference between the forelegs and forepaws? Well, it is believed that the fingers assist in the support of the cat, facilitating the sustentation of its body and its locomotion. The big difference is an “extra” finger that your cat has on its front paws.
This “extra” finger has the name of ergot , and has a very important function of guaranteeing firmness to the movements of your cat , assisting in climbing and / or when grasping its prey. Thus, this difference between the number of toes between the front legs and the hind legs is a characteristic common to healthy cats.
Pillows indicate number of toes?
The amount of cushion that exists in the paws of your cat does not indicate the amount of fingers that the paws have . Your kitten probably has 24 pads, 7 on the front paws and 5 on the back paws. The scientific name of these pads is conxim , are forms of protection for the cat’s paws , and muffle the sound of their footprints, which is useful for when your kitten wants to hunt. We can say then that the conxins have a function similar to a shoe sole for your pussy.
In addition, there are a pair of hook-shaped conxins in the “wrists” of your cat’s front legs that are very important because they have the brake function, preventing the animal from slipping, or it can stop quickly after a run .
We can then say that the paws have a conxim for each finger, a larger conxim, and the front paws have a pair of conxins in their “wrists” to brake their movements.
Polydactyly in Cats
But if your kitten has more than 18 fingers, do not worry, this is a very common genetic anomaly among cats, and poses no risk to the health and well-being of your pet. This condition is known as polydactyly and occurs by genetic inheritance. Thus, if a pair of cats cross, and one of them is a cat with polydactyly , there is a chance that 50% of each of their offspring will be born with the same condition.
Cats with polydactyly can have up to more than 07 toes on each of their four legs, but mainly hit the hind legs of the animals.
Cats with polydactyly
Although polydactyly in cats occurs all over the world, there are places where there is a higher concentration of cats with this genetic anomaly, such as American, Asian and European breeds . It is believed that this distribution is the result of a popular culture, which says cats with polydactyly bring good luck to sailors. Because of this, in many regions the crossbreeding of cats with polydactyly is promoted, which has resulted in breeds and lineages that polydactyly is a common morphological trait, such as the Maine Coons .
Even so, there is a discussion about whether this genetic condition should be encouraged by crossbreeding or should be eliminated. What is your opinion about this?
It is interesting to note here that polydactyly is rarely observed in large cats, and is recorded only in leopards living in captivity.