How fast can a cat whomp something, and are they lefties or righties?

See subjects.

Beautiful demonstrations here (cat vs. DVD tray).

This one seems to be right-handed.

Note: Cat’s language is NSFW.

Tag-on comment for consideration: I was thinking about this, but figured it couldn’t exist: drum-roll fast repeated cat kicking.

Cecil on the topic

A study a few years ago (more recent than the one Cecil cites) found that female cats tend to be righties and male cats tend to be lefties.

I’ve known several cats who would kick like that when that heel was very gently touched. Used to do it to one beloved favorite every once in a while for giggles. With that in mind, I think the video’s real, and the cat learned the noisemaking-doorbanger trick with human guidance.

I couldn’t find a really good article on the subject, but I think there is a deep suspicion that handedness is related in someway to molecular chirality. For example, IIRC, most amino acids used in human biochemistry are the levo-rotary versions rather than the dextro-rotary.

Frankly it sounds highly unlikely that these facts about molecular chirality have anything to do with which hand is dominant. I can’t imagine a mechanism whereby one would influence the other. Yes, the amino acids in proteins are all in the L form (except glycine, which isn’t chiral), and biologically occurring sugars are, I believe, all in the D form, but that is the case not only for for both left-handed and right-handed people, but for all living things, including plants, single celled organisms, and animals that do not even have bilateral symmetry, such as jellyfish and starfish. I have never heard of a right (or left) handed jellyfish (or oak tree, or amoeba, or bacterium). [Note also that L and D chirality is only indirectly related to the actual effect of the molecule on polarized light.]

On the other hand, it is almost certainly relevant that, in humans, the left hemisphere of the brain, that controls the right side side of the body, is also where most of of our language function is located. This would not apply to cats, though. I would have expected them to be ambidextrous.

And yet, in people who’s organs are arrange on opposite sides of their bodies from what is normal, they show the same propensity to left handedness. From the article I linked to:

One would think that having one’s insides completely rearranged might be reflected in handedness, but it’s not, indicating that the preference probably is expressed much earlier in the developmental process when molecular influences might dominate.

Also from that article

So yes, it is still well within the realm of speculation, I give you that, but it is far from fanciful speculation.

Anecdote: I have had both right and left pawed cats, and of the three I can remember which paw they preferred, it was one left and two right. They were all males. My current female seems to have no preference, and I don’t remember what any of the past females were, but I do recall noticing that many of both sexes had some preference.

Why does it appear to be right handed?

Sorry, I may have misremembered… when it’s saying “Take… the fucking… paper…” it whomps the printer tray a few times, and I remember it being right-handed. Was it a lefty instead?

It’s ambidextrous (and definitely amusing).

Defensive reflex

Rapid ankle extension during paw shakes: selective recruitment of fast ankle extensors
J. L. Smith, B. Betts, V. R. Edgerton, and R. F. Zernicke

  1. Electromyographic (EMG) signals from slow (soleus) and fast (lateral gastrocnemius) ankle extensors of six cats were recorded during rapid and alternate flexion-extension of the hindlimb elicited by placing the paw in water or by sticking tape to the plantar pads. High-speed 16-mm film, taken at 100 or 200 frames/s, was analyzed to determine the knee and ankle joint kinematics. 2. **During 77 typical records, which averaged eight paw shakes each, a single extension-flexion cycle measured by the paw shake interval (PSI) of the electromyogram record, averaged 88 ms and ranged from 55 to 110 ms. **LG EMG bursts of 10 ms in duration were synchronized with the peak displacement of ankle flexion. The SOL was inactive throughout these typical records. 3. During four atypical records from one cat, the average OSI was 141 ms, and both lateral gastrocnemius (LG and soleus (SOL) were active simultaneously. At a range of 6–8 cycles/s, these slower shakes are comparable to rhythmic actions of scratching )12) and locomotion (27); cyclic movements that typically include the recruitment of soleus. 4. It is suggested that paw shaking is an automatic movement triggered primarily by large, low-threshold afferents innervating the central plantar pads, which may selectively recruit the fast extensors while inhibiting the slow extensor. This is the only movement of the hindlimb recorded to date in our laboratory in which the tlg was active without the SOL. This unique dissociation of recruitment of slow and fast ankle extensors may be dictated by the time constraints imposed by the rapid cyclic movements of paw shaking.

Copyright © 1980 the American Physiological Society

Bold added.
So there’s that.

If cat species are similar, some info might be gleaned from this thread. However, so far as I’m concerned, tl;dr.

Answer here