Why do some cats have extra toes?

Introduction: Why Cats Have Extra Toes?

Have you ever seen a cat with more toes than usual? This phenomenon is called polydactylism, and it is not uncommon in felines. Extra toes can range from a small bump to a full extra digit, and they can appear on one or multiple paws. But why do some cats have extra toes? The answer lies in both genetic and environmental factors.

Polydactylism is not harmful to cats, and in fact, some breeds are known for it. Although it may look unusual, having extra toes does not impede a cat’s ability to walk, run, or climb. Some people even find it endearing and seek out polydactyl cats as pets. In this article, we will explore the different types of polydactylism, their causes, and the advantages and disadvantages of having extra toes.

Polydactylism: What is it?

Polydactylism is a genetic anomaly that causes animals to have more digits than usual. The word polydactyl comes from the Greek words "poly" meaning many, and "daktylos" meaning finger. Polydactylism can occur in many species, including humans, dogs, and cats. In cats, polydactylism is most commonly found in domestic shorthair cats and some specific breeds such as the Maine Coon.

Polydactylism can be classified into two categories: preaxial and postaxial. Preaxial polydactylism is when the extra digit appears on the inside of the paw, while postaxial polydactylism is when the extra digit appears on the outside of the paw.

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