I learned a very interesting fact a little while ago and even tested it on Sammy and Luna and it is true! After a bit of research I have found there have been a few studies conducted on whether cats show a preference for their left or right paw and it turns out they do!
Left pawed or right pawed…
A number of studies have shown that cats do in fact have a preference for either their left or right paw, which I found quiet fascinating! Studies looked at which paw cats tend to favour when stepping over objects, stepping into their litter tray, the initial step they take coming down the stairs and also for reaching to retrieve food from small containers. You have probably never really noticed or even thought to look if you cat tends to use the same paw first when going down the stairs or stepping into their litter tray. Nobody really knows why cats have developed a paw preference as yet but it’s definitely there if you look.
Males and females…
Several studies have found that male cats tend to have a preference for using their left paw to take an initial step or retrieve food etc while female cats tend to favour their right paw for these activities. Some researcher think this could be linked to sex hormones, however one of the studies at the Queen’s University in Belfast was conducted with 24 male and 20 female cats, all of which had been spayed before the study and they still reported a male preference for left paw and a female preference for right paw.
Even though studies have found clear evidence that cats do have a left or right paw preference when carrying out a range of natural behaviours such as stepping over objects, coming down stairs or retrieving food, they don’t appear to have any preference when it comes to sleeping! Cats love to sleep on both their left and right sides and don’t tend to favour one or the other.
Which paw does your cat prefer?
I put some treats in a cup the other day and put it in front of Sammy and Luna one at a time and sure enough Sammy used his left paw to get the treat out of the cup while Luna used her right paw! It was quite fascinating to see. I am going to be watching them more closely from now on and check to see which paw they use first stepping into their litter tray and also which they use first when coming down the stairs. Have a look and see which paw your cat prefers when you are next with them at home. Oh and I can definitely confirm Sammy and Luna both sleep on either their left or right sides, they are always rolling over and stretching and changing sleeping positions, it’s like yoga for cats!
I haven’t tested it but you may find it easier to capture your cats paw print if you use their preferred paw i.e. left for males and right for females. You can order inkless paw print kits from our website. If you do happen to test this when you are capturing your cat’s paw prints, please let me know your findings as I would love to know 🙂
If you want to find out a bit more I found these articles interesting to read
Next week on 4th October is World Animal Day so our next blog will be looking at World Animal Day 🙂