9 bizarre and fascinating facts about cat’s soft paws: they walk like dinosaurs on their toes

Hangai Lilla

2023. January 29 - Source: Photos by Getty Images Hungary

Cat paws are amazing. And not only because it is one of the cutest parts of their body, but also because it is a multifunctional aid for cats. They help cats perform many tasks, which greatly increases their chances of survival. They also function as communication systems, environmental sensors, and hunting and grooming tools; they are shock absorbers, they help regulate body temperature, and they are also amazingly soft and sweet.


Follow us to learn the secrets of the cat’s paw!

1. Cats have dominant paws

Although studies differ on the percentage of cats with right, left, or two paws, they all agree that felines have a preference for certain paws just like us humans. Especially when they have to solve a more complicated or challenging task. What’s more, it can also be guessed that males usually prefer the left, while girls prefer the right. You can even test this at home.

2. They walk on tiptoe

Like dinosaurs, walking birds, dogs, and many other mammals, cats also walk on their toes. This technique increases the chances of a successful hunt, as the animal can move faster, with longer steps and more quietly.

3. Sensitive and flexible

There’s a reason most cats strongly object to us fiddling with these highly attractive body parts. And not because they’re ticklish, although that’s not too far from the truth. Those silky paws are extremely sensitive. They contain a high concentration of nerve receptors, thus finely tuned senses that help in hunting and maintaining balance. Thanks to these receptors, cats can sense texture, pressure, and possibly vibration through their paw pads, which helps them gauge the vivacity and proximity of their prey.

In addition, they are also incredibly flexible. Their ability to bend and turn helps felines in climbing and hunting. One of the reasons cats are so good at climbing literally anywhere is because their front paws are designed to turn inward so they can sink their claws into anything. But even so, they may get stuck in the heights. This is because the front paws are weaker than the back paws.

4. Their claws can be retracted

All cats except cheetahs have retractable claws. It works on the same principle as the sword is put back in its sheath when it is not needed. This is especially practical because it keeps the killing tools sharp and protected, and prevents them from touching the ground and making noise when walking.

5. Helps them sweat

The paw-cooling-system also helps protect them from overheating. Frightened and stressed cats may also sweat from the bottom of their paws. The next time you visit the vet or are in a problematic situation, you can observe the paw print on the examination table or on the floor.

Special attention should be paid to cleaning the paws of sphynx cats.

6. They do not scratch to upset the owner

One of the many reasons cats scratch objects is to mark their territory and make information about themselves available to their peers. In addition to visual evidence, pheromones are deposited on these scratched surfaces from scent glands located between the paw pads. Even the paw pads on their back legs have scent glands.

7. More fingers on the forepaws

If you look closely at the cat’s paws, you will see that there is an extra toe on the front paws, which are slightly higher. To be exact, there are 5 on the front and 4 on the back. Their numbering goes from the inside to the outside, so we call this “single toe”. According to veterinarians, the extra toes on the front limbs are not called dewclaw in the case of dogs or cats, moreover, such an extra toe almost never occurs on the hind limbs of cats.

8. It is not uncommon for them to have an extra toe

Some cats have more than 18 toes. They are called polydactyl cats and each paw can have up to 6 to 7 toes. Many call them “Hemingway cats” after the white, six-toed cat that Ernest Hemingway got from a ship captain when he lived in Key West, Florida. These cats are believed to bring good luck and, thanks to their extra fingers, they are allegedly better than average hunters.

9. Their colour is coordinated

The color of the pads usually matches the color of the cat’s fur, which makes sense. But sometimes the color of the paw pads is the same as the color of the nose. White cats usually have pink pads, and the same goes for ginger ones. Black cats have black, gray cats have gray pads. Tuxedo cats can have paw pads just like their fur. The paws of tortoiseshell or calico cats can have interesting color combinations, varying all the colors of the coat.

Balance calico cat paw cat scratch dominant paw polidactyl cat sensitive paw teknősbéka mintájú bunda the cat sweats through its paws tiptoe around

Related articles

More articles

Do you like dogs too?
Visit our Love my dogz page too!