PAWS FOR THOUGHT: 5 paw-some facts about cat's feet

From the squishy little toe-beans to the claws that just seem to love your furniture (even though they have a perfectly good scratching post) cats paws are just about the cutest part of our furry friends- there’s even pages dedicated to cats sitting on glass tables for this exact reason. 

However, our moggie’s mittens aren’t just for show, they have much more up their fluffy sleeves…

Here are our five favourite facts about paws...

 

1. Front paws have more “toes” than back paws

Cat Paw Toes

If you pay as much attention to your cat’s tootsies as we do, you’ll notice that they have an extra “toe” on their front paws, five on the front, four on the back. These extra claws are called “dewclaws” and are sort of like thumbs.

Dewclaws are common on many mammals, reptiles and even birds, but over the centuries they have long since lost their function in most animals, becoming what is known as “vestigial” - or just for show. 

However, with cats, the dewclaw is still used for hunting and playing, helping them get that extra grip on their “prey” (in our case, the fluffy flying squirrel toy on a string). This extra claw doesn’t wear down as fast as its fellow claws, and may need to be trimmed down from time to time. 

 

2. Cat paws work like scouring pads

Cat Paw Cleaning

Cats are fussy cleaners, spending on average around 5 hours a day grooming (it isn’t easy being beautiful).

When a cat cleans their ears, nose, or other hard to reach areas, they first lick a paw, and then rub it over their face repeatedly. 

Aside from being absolutely adorable, this is because their paws actually act like a loofah, scrubbing up when there isn’t another cat around to do it for them (which is obviously preferred).

 

3. The have secret scent glands

Cat Paw Kneading

Cats are mysterious creatures, and prefer to keep their tricks up their sleeves. A good example of this are the secret scent glands that are hidden in the tufts of fur between your cats toes.

Whenever a cat kneads your lap, they are actually marking their turf, leaving behind a bespoke mix of pheromones that are undetectable by humans but lets other cats know that this spot is claimed.

This is also why cats like to scratch furniture and especially doormats, so be sure to offer plenty alternative scratching zones (your sofa will thank you).

 

4. Cats walk like dinosaurs

Cat Walk

Cats are digitigrades, which means they walk on their tippy toes, much like dinosaurs did, their feet actually extend to the second bend in their leg. 

This is an evolutionary development that helps them stay quiet (anyone who watched Looney Tunes can attest to this) when hunting prey or avoiding predators. 

Other digitigrades include dogs, capybaras, and hippos, which aren’t exactly known for their stealthiness!

 

5. Paws absorb sound and shock

Cat Jump Landing

Cats can jump up to seven times their own height, and what’s more, land gracefully too.

This is due to their paw pads that lessen the impact and also absorb sound to allow a silent landing.

Within these same pads are sensitive nerve receptors that sense vibrations, pressure and textures.

Combine that with the super sharp claws and your kitty has swiss army paws at their disposal!

Cat Paw Claw

 

With all these pawsome features, it’s easy to see that cat’s paws deserve the best, that’s why we developed our litter to be super soft on paws (as well as odour trapping and super absorbent) - try it for yourself today!

Cat Paw Power

20/07/2020 by NatuTeam

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