Normal back paw with four toesPolydactyl back paw
with six toesDid you know a cat will normally have 18 toes: 5 on each front paw and 4 on each back paw. When a cat has more than the usual number of toes, it is described as polydactyl. The word polydactyl comes from the Greek word polus (meaning many) and daktulos (meaning fingers). This condition is a genetically inherited abnormality. The Guinness Book of World Records has recorded 2 cats who each had a total of 28 toes. Polydactyl cats are famous at the Ernest Hemingway House in Key West, Florida. To read more about these famous, lucky cats go to www.hemingwayhome.com/cats.
If you are fortunate enough to share your life with a polydactyl kitty, you may need more time devoted to nail trimming or extra scratching posts!