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Can Polydactyl Cats Open Doors? (+ What are they?)

If you have heard the rumors about polydactyl cats you may be wondering if they have the same ability to open doors that other cats have.

Can polydactyl cats open doors?

Yes, polydactyl cats can open doors the same as any other cat can do. Some will choose to, but others won’t, depending on their personality, but they have the ability to. In fact, in most cases, the polydactyl cat is more equipped to open doors than a normal cat.

So, now you know that polydactyl cats can open doors (Click here to see why some cats climb the door frames, too). But, to be clear, what is a polydactyl cat? How much do they cost? Is there any extra maintenance for them? Keep reading to get these answers and so much more.

What is a polydactyl cat?

Close up of a polydactyl cat's extra toes

Close up of a polydactyl cat’s extra toes

So, you may have heard the rumors about polydactyl cats and wondering what they are. To make sure we are on the same page, in this section I will clarify this, according to Wikipedia.

Polydactyl cats are cats with a physical anomaly. It is a cat of any particular breed that is born with an unusual amount of toes. This can be one or more toes. Meaning, a cat could have one toe too much and be classed as polydactyl.

So, now you know what a polydactyl cat is. But, what does polydactyl mean?

What does polydactyl mean?

You may have heard the term “polydactyl” before and wondering where this name came from.

Polydactyl means “Many Digits”. This is a Greek word which is constructed as follows: “Polly”, which means many.  And, “Dactyl” means “Digits”. Hence the reason it means “Many Digits” and called polydactyl.

For your information, the use of “Digits” is commonly used in science, which is a meaning for fingers and toes, in case you wondered why. So, now you know how their name was derived. But, can you buy these cats? And, if so, how much are they?

How much does a polydactyl cat cost?

If you are interested in a polydactyl cat you may be wondering how much they cost, right?

On average, you can expect to pay $300 to $500 for a polydactyl cat. However, this price can vary depending on the particular breed. Some cat owners deem polydactyl cats as lucky and high value. Whereas others see them as a problem.

So, now you know the rough cost of a polydactyl cat. But, how do these cats become polydactyl in the first place?

How do cats become polydactyl?

If you have one of these cats or just seen one. You may be looking at them wondering how has this happened. If this is you, keep reading…

A polydactyl cat is a genetic mutation passed down from a dominant gene in one of their parents. Meaning, if you have one of these cats, and you breed it with another normal cat, there is a strong chance one or more of the kittens will also have extra toes.

So, now you know polydactyl cats are a genetic mutation, and it is down to nature how they will reproduce. But, how many toes can these cats have?

What are the most toes a cat has?

You may be wondering what is is the most amount of toes counted on a cat, well, for luckily the Gunuiess book of records keeps these facts.

The most toes counted on a cat is 28. This equated to 7 toes on each foot. The cat was named Jake and owned by a Canadian called Paul Contant. This was recorded on the 24th of September 2002. Making this an interesting polydactyl cat.

So, as you can see, polydactyl cats can have many toes. This is an extreme case. But, what about maintenance with these extra toes, is it any different to a normal cat?

Is there any maintenance needed for the extra toe(s)?

Closeup of polydactyl cat sleeping showing extra toes

Closeup of polydactyl cat sleeping showing extra toes

If you have a polydactyl cat you may be wondering if there’s any extra work or maintenance needed for the extra toes.

Yes, polydactyl cats need extra maintenance for their extra toes. Nothing different, but, just more toes to check. Meaning, you will need to check the extra toes regularly. This includes clipping their claws to keep them well maintained.

However, maintenance of your cat’s toes is normal. You may have an extra few toes to check, but in general, you should be checking their toes and claws anyway, right? But, do these extra toes ever become a liability?

Do polydactyl cats need to have the extra toe removed?

If you have a polydactyl cat you may be wondering does their extra toes present any problems? And, are there cases where you may need to get them removed?

No, you do not need to remove a polydactyl’s extra toes unless there are issues that your vet has identified. For example, there is a small chance that the toes may be shorter than the others and appear to have the same joints. But, when checked, no muscle or tendons are attached causing issues.

However, these cases are quite rare and a decision is never made by the cat owner. This decision is made by a professional vet.

What do they call a cat with 6 toes?

You may have seen a cat with 6 toes and wondered what are they called. Are they all regarded as polydactyl cats?

A cat with 6 toes is a polydactyl cat. However, it can also be called a “Mitten Cat”, “Bigfoot”, “Cats with thumbs”, Hemingway cat, or even “six-toed cats”. The reality is other people come up with new variations, but these are some common names.

As I mentioned, one of the common names that people use is a Hemingway cat. this is because they are named after Ernest Hemingway. you can also visit the earning Ernest Hemingway house which is located in Florida. There you will see many cats with 6 toes.

Why do cats have a toe on their leg?

If you have noticed that your cat has a strange-looking toe on their leg you may be confused and wondering if all cats have this. Or, maybe it’s just yours?

This toe your cat’s leg is normal and known as the “Dewclaw”. It gives your cat extra grip and is primarily used when your cat is hunting and trying to gather their prey. This extra digit effectively gives it more grip and allows it to hunt easier.

But, domestic cats of today may not get much use for it. So, it is believed to have evolved from their ancestors who were located in the wild looking for prey.

What is a polydactyl Maine Coon?

So, you may have heard people talking about polydactyl Maine Coon cats. But, are they the same as a polydactyl cat, or is this something else?

The polydactyl Maine Coon is a normal Maine Coon cat that happens to have an extra toe. It is a Maine Coon breed but classified as polydactyl. This is because the term polydactyl refers to the genetic mutation rather than the breed.

So, now you know that a polydactyl Maine Coon cat is the same Maine coon breed but with six toes. But, do all Maine coons have these extra toes or just a few?

Do all Maine Coons have 6 toes?

You may have a Maine Coon and noticed that it has 6 toes. But, is this the normal or quite rare?

No, not all Maine coons have six toes. This is a rarity and classified as a polydactyl Maine Coon. It is a Maine Coon breed of cat with a genetic mutation. This is quite rare and highly sought-after. So, it’s quite lucky to have one.

Lindsey Browlingdon