Sunday, November 15, 2020

Genetics of Polydactyl Cats


    Does your cat have extra toes? If so, they are polydactyl which is the presence of more toes than considered normal.  This trait has been found in many species, the most noticed is the domestic house cat.  There are two ways polydactylism is displayed, postaxial or preaxial. Postaxial being the extra toes on the lateral side of the extremity of preaxial on the medial side.   In the experiment linked below 70 Maine Coon cats from three months to ten years old were observed.   This study was looking for skeletal differences and if it affected their mobility.  Forty-eight of the seventy cats displayed affected mobility, but there was no way to determine it was from the presence of extra toes.   It was determined that polydactylism affects the carpus and tarsus, but had no apparent effect on the quality of life.   Moreover, polydactylism is not harmful to the animal it is present in.  


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