Do Cats Have Thumbs?

Do Cats Have Thumbs
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Last Updated on February 11, 2023 by Pauline G. Carter

No, cats do not have thumbs. And while that may seem like a silly question, it’s one that people ask surprisingly often. After all, cats are incredibly dexterous creatures.

They can climb trees, open doors, and even turn doorknobs (if they’re feeling particularly mischievous). So why don’t they have thumbs? The answer lies in evolution.

Cats are descended from ancient carnivores known as Feliforms. These animals didn’t have thumbs, and over time, the thumbless trait was passed down to their descendants – including our modern-day felines. While some other animals in the Carnivora family (like bears and dogs) did evolve to have thumbs, cats never developed this trait.

Cats have thumbs, but they’re not the same as our thumbs. Theirs are more like an extra toe. Cats use their thumbs to help them climb and grasp things.

Do Cats Have Thumbs?


How Rare is a Cat’S Thumb?

Cats are born with 18 toes (five on each front paw and four on each back paw), but one of these may be a deformed “thumb” which is actually an extra toe. This condition, known as polydactyly, is relatively rare in cats; however, it occurs more often in certain breeds, such as the Maine Coon. According to a study conducted by the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, about 6% of all cats have this genetic abnormality.

What is a Cat’S Thumb Called?

A cat’s thumb is called a dew claw. It’s a claw that doesn’t retract like the others, and it’s typically found on the back of the leg. Some cats have them on all four legs, while others only have them on the front.

While they’re not as sharp as the other claws, dew claws can still do some damage if your cat scratches you with them. They can also get caught on things and tear, which is why some people opt to have them removed.

How Many Thumbs Does a Cat Have?

A cat has five toes on each front paw, but only four toes on each back paw. So a cat has a total of 18 toes.

Do Cats Have Thumb Claws?

Most cats have five front claws and four back claws, but one toe on each front paw has a claw that’s much shorter than the others. This “thumb claw” is actually an opposable digit—an extra toe that can move independently from the rest of the foot. It’s not as nimble as a human thumb, but it does give cats some added dexterity for climbing and grasping prey.

Some breeds of cats, such as the Sphynx, don’t have any fur or whiskers and their thumb claws are more pronounced.

Do All Cats Have Thumbs?

Why Do Some Cats Have Thumbs

If you’ve ever wondered why some cats have thumbs, you’re not alone. It’s a question that has puzzled cat lovers for years. The truth is, we don’t really know why some cats have thumbs.

There are a few theories out there, but nothing definitive. One theory is that the gene that causes thumbs in cats is linked to the gene for polydactylism (extra toes). This would explain why most thumbed cats are also polydactyls.

Another theory is that the thumb mutation is caused by inbreeding. This would explain why thumbed cats are often found in certain geographical areas where inbreeding is more common (such as Maine and parts of Canada). Whatever the cause, having thumbs doesn’t seem to hurt these kitties one bit.

In fact, many of them seem to think their extra digits are pretty nifty!

Do Cats Have Upright Posture

Most cats have an upright posture, meaning their back is straight and their legs are directly beneath them when they stand. This gives them great balance and agility, which comes in handy when they’re chasing prey or climbing trees. Some breeds, like the Siamese, have a more sloped posture, but even these cats are able to stand upright when they need to.

Cat Thumbs

We all know that cats are cute, but did you know that some of them have thumbs? That’s right, cat thumbs! These special felines are born with an extra claw on their front paws, which gives them the ability to grip and hold onto things just like humans do.

While most cats use their regular claws for climbing and hunting, cat thumbs come in handy when they need to open a door or pick something up. And since they’re not as common as regular cats, owning a cat with thumbs can be quite a conversation starter!

How Many Toes Does a Cat Have

Most cats have five toes on their front paws, and four on their back paws. However, some cats may have six toes on one or both paw due to a genetic mutation. This is relatively rare, and most cats with this condition are born without thumbs.


Do cats have thumbs? It’s a question that has puzzled cat lovers for years. After all, our feline friends seem to be able to do everything else with their paws, from grooming themselves to opening doors.

So why not thumbs? The answer lies in evolution. Cats are members of the Felidae family, which includes lions, tigers, and leopards.

These animals are all digitigrades, meaning they walk on their toes without using the heel or ball of the foot. This gives them greater speed and agility when hunting prey. Cats’ ancestors were also digitigrades, but over time they developed a mutation that resulted in an opposable thumb on the back paw.

This thumb is known as a carpal pad and it helps cats grip surfaces like tree branches when climbing. However, it’s not as functional as a human thumb and can’t be used to grab objects like we can. So there you have it: cats don’t have thumbs because they don’t need them!

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