Cats have been amongst us for thousands of years and we have learned much about our feline friends. Paws and claws may appear to be just physically functional pieces of a cat's anatomy, but below are eight facts that may surprise and interest you.
Cats Are Digitigrade
Cats are what is known as digitigrade. Simply put this means that unlike us they do not walk on the balls and heels of their feet and actually walk on their digits (toes) not unlike a ballerina.
Being digitigrade enables cats to travel faster with longer strides and more quietly which aids them in hunting down prey.
Cat's Paws And Climbing Down Trees
A major reason that cats get stuck in trees is that their front paws turn inward and are weaker than their back paws. This counter rotational design of the front paws is great for climbing up a tree but is totally the wrong design to climb down again.
Front And Back Cat Paw Fact
A cat will usually have five toes and seven pads on its front paws and four toes and five pads on its rear toes.
Sharp Claw Fact
The claws on a cat's front paws are sharper than the claws on the rear paws. This is due to the fact that a cat is able to retract its front paw claws and not its back ones and this consequently leads to the rear claws becoming worn.
Colour Coded Paw Pads
Cats generally have colour coded paw pads. A black cat usually has black pads, a grey cat will usually have grey pads, a white one will usually have light pink pads and a ginger cat's paw pads will be pinky orange in colour.
Cat's Paw Water Filtering
You may notice your feline friend drinking water off its paw after dipping the paw into a water bowl or any water source. This is thought to be a throwback to a characteristic of desert cats that use their paws to filter impurities such as sand and dirt from water sources.
Cat Paw Pads Perspire
Cats actually sweat through their paw pads. A cat will perspire through its paw pads not only to keep itself cool when subjected to a heat source but also when frightened or in a stressful situation.
Paw Scent Glands
A cat's front paws contain scent glands and a cat will use these glands to secrete scent as a marker to identify territory as its own. A cat will also secret its scent on people to mark them as its own.