American Multi-toed Cat

Table of contents:

American Multi-toed Cat
American Multi-toed Cat

Video: American Multi-toed Cat

Video: American Multi-toed Cat
Video: Multi fingered cat Многопаловая кошка 멀티 핑거 고양이 2023, December

The American polydactyl cat is an unusual breed of cat whose appearance is due to a genetic mutation. It is not known for certain when the first representatives of this breed appeared. Polydacty cats (polydactics) can perform tricks that are not available to ordinary cats, for example, they can easily open windows and doors. Their voice is low, and their purr is resonant. Feel most comfortable being the only pets in the house.

Weight: 3.6-5.4 kg.

Height: 25-30 cm.

Cost (price) of a kitten: $ 300-900 (in America).

Weight: males - 3.5-5.5 kg, females - 3-5 kg.

Life expectancy: up to 12-15 years.

Country of origin: USA (Boston, Massachusetts).

American multi-fingered cat, kitten, photo photography
American multi-fingered cat, kitten, photo photography

History of the American Multi-Toed Cat breed

Now polydacty cats (polydacty) are most often found along the east coast of North America (USA and Canada) and in the southwest of Great Britain (England and Wales). It is believed that the breed arose independently, and man only contributed to its preservation and distribution.

Presumably, the American multi-toed cats originate in Boston, Massachusetts. In other countries, they reached the ships, on which animals were valued for their excellent success in hunting mice. During the reign of Napoleon in the navy, it was believed that the presence of such a cat on a ship bodes well in battle.

The main reason for the low distribution of this breed in continental Europe is considered to be their extermination during the witch hunt. The mutation that made them unlike other cats, witch hunters considered a sign of an unclean spirit and witchcraft. Many-fingered cats were mercilessly destroyed, considering them to be witches, reincarnated as animals.

The most famous American multi-toed cats were those that Ernest Hemingway wrote about, with the result that this breed is sometimes called the Hemingway cat. Hemingway was a famous fan of these cats, after he was presented with a six-toed cat named Snow White. After his death, his former home in Key West, Florida became a museum and home for his cats. Currently, it is home to about fifty descendants of his cats (about half of them are polydactyls).


American multi-toed cats are medium to large in size. They are characterized by a wide, pear-shaped head with slightly curved outlines and a square chin. Deep set eyes of medium size. The ears are long, large, set wide apart, with pointed tips. The physique is strong. Round and wide chest. The legs are straight, thick, of medium length, with dense paws. The fingers are medium, fleshy. A distinctive feature of this breed is its multiple fingers. American multi-toed cats are tailless, with regular and short (bobtail) tails. The coat can be short or long. Any color of the coat and eyes.

Linden of American many-fingered cat, photo photography
Linden of American many-fingered cat, photo photography

Multi-toed cats have a physical abnormality called polydactyly (from the Greek poly - many and dactyle - toes). This genetic mutation causes cats to be born with more than the usual number of toes on one or more paws. The appearance of polydigital is a congenital anomaly, genetically inherited as an autosomal dominant trait of the Pd gene with incomplete penetrance. Normal cats have a total of 18 toes, with five toes on each front paw (4 fully developed toes and one rudimentary “big” claw that does not touch the ground) and four toes on each hind paw. Multi-toed cats can have up to seven toes on their front and / or hind legs.

There are two forms of polydactyly described by embryologists. In pre-axial polydactyly, extra fingers are present on the inner edge (thumb side). In postaxial polydactyly, the extra toes are on the outside (from the little finger) of the paw. When two heterozygous parents mate, an average of 25% of kittens will be homozygous polydactic, 50% heterozygous polydactic, and 25% with normal paws. The form of polydactyly most commonly seen in cats is a simple autosomal (i.e., non-sex-related) dominant trait that does not adversely affect the cat or is associated with other abnormalities.

Jake the Cat (Ontario, Canada) with 28 fingers is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having the largest number of toes in cats. Polydactyly is most common on the front feet, polydactyly on the hind feet only is rare, and polydactyly on all four feet is very rare. Paws with several toes in a line are called "snowshoes" because thanks to this arrangement of fingers, cats do not fall into the snow.

It is worth noting that feline radial hypoplasia can mimic multiple fingers. This is a serious disease, and animals that have received more fingers than usual due to this disease should not be used for breeding, as often the offspring born have severe pathologies. Distinguish polydactyly from radial hypoplasia using X-ray.

American multi-toed cats without dewclaws are disqualified from shows, but despite this they can produce show-quality kittens with normal paws, which can be used in future breeding. Deafness, rather short muzzle (reminiscent of Persian) and too long body are also considered disqualifications.

American polydact, photo photography
American polydact, photo photography

The nature of many-legged cats

American multi-toed cats are very calm, not fussy, tactful, unobtrusive and at the same time affectionate. Sometimes they can be shy. Despite their restraint, they are always ready to play. By nature, they resemble a dog, while playing with each other, many-fingered cats even growl. Their voice is quiet, however, the owners will not hear it often. They are patient, they treat children well. Smart enough, easy to train.

Polydactics love to play with toys, to bring them in their teeth to the owner. They feel comfortable being the only pets in the house. They are not conflicted, but they are not willing to be friends with other animals, since they tend to dominate. They become attached to the owner and miss being apart from them.

Keeping many-legged cats

American multi-toed cats do not need complicated grooming. The coat of short-haired animals is brushed once a week with a brush with natural bristles, for long-haired animals - several times a week. These cats love water, so bathing is not a problem. They are unpretentious in food. The teeth of these cats are cleaned at least twice a month, since the breed is prone to periodontal disease.


Cats of this breed have excellent health, but their anomaly (multiple fingers) causes a number of inconveniences. For example, kittens learn to walk longer than regular cat breeds. Regularly you should watch the claws on the "extra" fingers. The claws on normal toes are naturally ground, and the claws on these toes should be trimmed regularly so that an overgrown claw does not injure the paw.

If the claw is positioned in such a way that it constantly clings to furniture, etc., the cat may rip it off. In this case, the wound can become infected, which sometimes leads to abnormal growth of the claws (for example, thickening or twisting). Where the fingers are close to each other, the skin between them should be regularly checked for redness, injury, etc., since this is where problems are most common, since the cat cannot lick this place with its tongue.

20 nicknames for multi-toed cats

For male kittens: Aksar, Blaine, Dariush, Kochi, Polydor, Tod, Hiro, Sholto, Yazil, Phil.

For female kittens: Ju, Isidora, Kasira, Linnet, Polaktia, Molly, Taura, Elna, Zara, Sima.

See the full list of nicknames …

American multi-fingered cat, photo photography
American multi-fingered cat, photo photography

It is interesting

The first scientific record of polydactic cats dates back to 1868.

In Malaysia, six-toed cats are considered lucky.

In Norway, polydactic cats have long been known as “ship cats,” and extra toes were thought to give them better balance on ships in stormy weather.

There is historical evidence that polydactyly occurred in 40% of the first Maine Coons. There are claims that these cats' extra toes served as snowshoes, helping them survive the snowy New England winters. Local folk legends claim that these cats used their oversized paws to catch fish. However, the breed standard did not take into account polydactyl animals and provided for a normal foot configuration.

Polydactyly also occurs in pixiebobs.

In Britain, polydactyly is still considered a serious breed defect or defect.

In Germany, the federal government has decided that polydactyly is a semi-lethal defect and has banned the deliberate breeding of polydactyl cats under the Animal Protection Act.

Polydactyly occurs not only in domestic cats, but also in wild cats. In 1925, the journal of the Bombay Natural Science Society published a photograph of a polydactic leopard. On each hind leg it had an extra toe with a claw. In 1946, the same magazine published a letter from another hunter who also shot a leopard with extra toes on its hind legs.

In addition to cats, polydactyly occurs in dogs, mice, guinea pigs, amphibians, reptiles, and even humans.