I always thought that cats with extra toes were descendants of cats that were given LSD in the 70s. I never heard of this lucky ship cat stuff.
This is my first visit to this site. When I saw the question about the cats’ paws, I actually groaned and thought ‘Oh no, I better read this and see how bad its screwed up’. I breed cats, know quite a bit about feline genetics, and am familiar with several breeds. I see so much poor information about cats and feline genetics that I was prepared for a bunch of junk. Wow, was I pleasantly surprised! An accurate, factual, intelligent answer! I am impressed! You’ve won a fan!
Thanks, Coosa… the gang at the Straight Dope Science Advisory Board does it’s best to uphold the high standards that Cecil has set for us.
I own one of these polydactyl cats, and I remember someone (vet?) telling me that these extra-toed beasties were usually very outgoing and friendly, more so than the usual feline. My cat isn’t an exception - he’ll walk up to a stranger and demand love as soon as they walk in the door, but I digress.
While it seems kinda goofy that extra toes = outgoing cat, all the polys I’ve seen have been this way. Is it a general rule? I figured it might be because people are always feeling his feet, and most cats hate that - so he’s more tolerant than the average.
Thanks for the praise, Coosa, it was fun to research that question. And to the last poster; some of the websites I saw about polydactyl cats also claimed that they have an outgoing personality and that they tend to be larger than other cats. But ever notice how every fan of every breed claims their favorite breed has a better personality than others? My dad read the SD mailbag answer and was pleased to see the poly cat we had when I was a kid mentioned. But he wrote to me and said, “you missed the boat by not mentioning that Jessie was the best cat ever, past, present and future. You should be ashamed of yourself.”
A friend of mine owned a cat likle this at one time. Though the cat didn’t have what I would call “double paws”, she did have one or two extra toes on her fron feet. Anyhoo, this was one of the most introverted shy and self conscious cats I have ever met. The owners always said she was so shy because she had the extra toes. And she would never let people touch her paws-running away if someone noticed her feet as she was stretching. perhaps she is more the exception to the rule, or is disqualified becasue she didn’t have full extra paws.
Perhaps she was one to paws and consider the human’s motives <snicker>