9 Fascinating Facts About Your Cat Paw Prints

From leftist cats to unique fingerprints, in this blog I’ve collected some facts about your cat’s cute paws.

Toes

The average cat has four toes on each leg. On the front legs there is also a so-called ‘wolf’s claw’: an extra toe that does not touch the ground. Some pedigree cats, such as Maine Coons, can have as many as seven toes per leg. It’s called polydactyly.

Sweaty feet

The soles of the house cat’s feet are hairless and are the only part of the cat’s body that can sweat. Through the sweat glands the cat dissipates excess heat. Very frightened cats sometimes leave paw prints on the vet’s treatment table!

Sensitive cat feet

Together with the nose, the soles of the cat’s feet are best equipped with nerve endings. The hairs around the soles of the feet and between the toes also contain many receptors and are therefore extremely sensitive to touch. The paws give the cat a lot of information about the ground on which he walks and about (the position of) his prey. Because the paws are so sensitive, most cats prefer not to be touched there.

Colourful foot soles

The pads on the paws can be pink (skin-coloured) or dark. Some cats have differently coloured soles on one paw.

Nails

The cat’s nails are at rest in a protective cover. They only get out of there when climbing trees, catching prey and during fights. At the base of these nails is soft tissue, which also provides information about the extent to which the nails are ‘out’ and whether or not they have been moved sideways. The cat receives separate signals for each nail…

Scratching

Cats scratch not only to look after their nails, but also to remove their scent. They do this by means of special scent glands between the toes. By scratching furniture, for example, the cat leaves its own smell in the house, so that it feels safe again.

Left or right-handed

Just like humans and other mammals, cats have a dominant paw. Especially when cats have to perform a difficult task, for example taking a piece of tuna out of a small box, they use their favourite paw. Female cats are more often right-legged, males left-legged.

Colourful foot soles

The pads on the legs can be pink (skin-coloured) or dark. Some cats have differently coloured soles on one paw.

Nails

The cat’s nails are at rest in a protective cover. They only get out of there when climbing trees, catching prey and during fights. At the base of these nails is soft tissue, which also provides information about the extent to which the nails are ‘out’ and whether or not they have been moved sideways. The cat receives separate signals for each nail…

Scratching

Cats scratch not only to look after their nails, but also to remove their scent. They do this by means of special scent glands between the toes. By scratching furniture, for example, the cat turns off its own smell in the house, so that it feels safe again.

Left or right-handed

Just like humans and other mammals, cats have a dominant paw. Especially when cats have to perform a difficult task, for example taking a piece of tuna out of a small box, they use their favourite paw. Cats are more often right-legged, males left-legged.

Kneading

Cats that are satisfied, knead or ‘milk’ with their legs, almost always on a soft surface. This is a sign that the cat feels safe and comfortable. It has nothing to do with the age at which the cat was removed from the litter.

Unique paw print

Every paw print of a cat is unique, just like the fingerprint of a human being. Once upon a time there were movies that showed that you can use your cat’s paw to unlock an (now old model) iPhone! I’m sorry, I don’t know if that’s still possible.

Sophia