Catss that have extra toes are called Polydactyl Cats. Polydactyly isn’t something that’s uncommon in cats but it sure is something that gives your kitty a unique look. 

In this blog post, I will go through a few facts about Polydactyl cats. 

Facts About Polydactyl Cats

Let’s just take a look at some cool and freaky facts about Polydactyl cats, shall we? 

It is a genetic abnormality 

The word Polydactyl has Greek origins. “Poly” meaning “many” and “daktylos” meaning “digits.” If you have a normal cat, she’ll have a total of 18 toes—five on the front paws, and four on the rare paws. 

However, if you own a polydactyl kitty, she’ll have as many as 8 toes on each paw!

They’re known as Hemingway cats

Writer Ernest Hemingway was gifted a Polydactyl cat named Snowball by a ship captain. The writer got a kind of an obsession with these extra-toed beauties and collected more than 50 of these cats. 

28 toes are the world record as of now

A ginger tabby from Canada named Jake has 7 toes in each paw—which totals up to 28 paws. 

It’s common in Maine Coons

These cats find their origins in the snowy Maine. At one time, as many as 40 percent of all Maine Coons had extra toes. 

Do you have a Polydactyl cat? If so, let me know in the comments!

8 Responses

  1. I too have a polydactyl cat. He is solid black wit seven toes on front and back. His name is Sam Spade. He’s a film noir fan of Bogart.

  2. We had a wonderful polydactyl cat with13 toes on her front paws. And obviously named her Claudia. She passed a few years ago at 19z still miss that sweet girl!

  3. Figaro is my 3 year old polydactyl cat. I love his big paws! He may be part Maine Coon due to certain characteristics he has. Beautiful cat!

  4. When my girls were 9 & 11,, a neighbor gave us a tiny 5-wk-old (I know, too young to be away from Mom.) calico polydactyl kitten Ellen named E.T. She seemed affectionate & intelligent. Quickly we noticed she was a one-person kitty. She would hide all day, usually in Ellen’s room, & come out when Ellen came home from school. But within 6 months, we realized she was not using the litter box. It was a big 2-story house with a big basement. We cleaned & searched & relax, then clean, search & relax. She died at 3 & nobody, vet included knew why. Ellen was devastated. Do you think her toes, her singleness of affection source, her reclusive nature were all tied to some genetic abnormality? Was being taken from her Mom too soon a part of it? She was a feisty little girl & held her own when she wanted a place at the window seat or food bowl. Thanks!

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