Is my cat right-handed?


Ever wondered if your cat is left or right-handed? Find out more about whether cats have a preferred paw...

My cat, Hilda, is right-handed, or should I say right-pawed? Whenever she is playing with a cat toy, or trying to poke something out of a container, she uses her right paw. Are all cats right-pawed? Your Cat reader.

CELIA SAYS: Nine out of ten humans are right-handed, but this doesn’t apply to cats. In 2009, researchers gave 42 male and female cats some tasks using their front paws. In the simpler tasks the cats used either forepaw but in the task that involved retrieving a food treat from a glass jar, all the cats but one strongly preferred one paw over another.

Female cats used their right paw and male cats used their left. However, a later study of 41 cats in 2020 found that gender did not define whether a cat used its left or right forepaw. Intriguingly, however, the stronger the preference for one paw over another, whether right or left, the more efficient the cats were in solving tasks requiring the use of paws! Ambidextrous cats were less efficient. As they say in most science papers, more research is needed!

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