Image Credits: Pixabay
All of us love cats' paws. The Internet serves up cats playing with their views to millions of visitors across the world. Keen observers have noticed that cats do have specific preferences when extending a paw to open a can of food or other important tasks. It is not random to see a cat using a particular paw to do tasks. Scientific research has discovered that many pet cats exhibit a clear preference for their left front paw or right front paw when it is the matter of walking down the stairs, touching food, or even when they step over any object. Such preferences are also observed to be different by sex. Female cats use their right paw more and male cats their left ones. According to researchers, such a difference could happen due to the presence of sex hormones.
These results also offer clues concerning how domestic cats
manage stress. Research done in humans has discovered a correlation of
left-handedness and schizophrenia or such like conditions. A vast majority of
humans use the right hand for tasks like brushing teeth and writing. Scientists
have then compared this human characteristic with other animals, including
cats. They studied which paws cats generally prefer and tried to find out how
such behavior evolved. They also probed into the brain to comprehend the
driving factors. To find out whether cats exhibit handedness, they observed
many cats, evenly distributed between males and females. All the cats were
observed for a couple of months.
The scientists observed three behavioral characteristics:
the paw cats utilized to take their first step into the litter box and the paw
they used to climb down the initial step in a flight of stairs. The third on
which side the cats reclined to relax on. The scientists also measured the
definite paw used by the cats when they reach through the provided narrow hole
to get food from their plastic feeder. These were all spontaneous behaviors in
the natural environment of the cat. A paw preference was observed in almost
three-quarters of the observed felines. It was seen that females are much more
probable to employ their right paw. The males, in contrast, tend to be lefties.
About your cat
As a cat owner, it will be
easy for you to find out whether your cat is left paw or right paw. Take a
notebook and carefully observe your kitty when it walks down or up the stairs.
Make a note which paw it extends first when entering the litter box. Do these
over a period of several days, and you will have sufficient data to make a
sound judgment on whether your cat is a southpaw or not.