Have you ever wondered if your cat was right-pawed or left-pawed? Well I just read on discoverynews.com about a study that was done that essentially proves that female cats are right-pawed while male cats are lefties!
The study indicates that female domestic cats prefer to use their front right paws while male domestic cats often rely on their left front paws. The findings also add to a growing body of evidence that male animals tend to be left-handed, or in this case left-pawed, more often than females. While 90 percent of all humans are right-handed, of the remaining southpaws, more tend to be men.
Deborah Wells, a senior lecturer at Queen's University Belfast School of Psychology, and co-author Sarah Millsopp examined the paw use of 42 domestic cats. Each cat repeatedly completed three play-like tasks while at home with their owners.
For the first task, the researchers placed a bit of tuna at the bottom of an otherwise empty, narrow-mouthed jar. They then observed how the cats attempted to extract the food treat.
Task two involved a fabric mouse on a string that was suspended above each cat's head. The paw that was first used to reach for the toy was recorded.
Finally, the scientists took the same toy for task two and slowly dragged it on the ground in front of the cats. Again, the first paw used by the cats to try to grab the toy was recorded. In total, the researchers documented 100 paw responses per feline per task.
While the cats did not favor a certain paw for tasks two and three, the paw preferences were very obvious for the tuna-in-a-jar puzzle. The study findings have been accepted for publication in the journal Animal Behavior.
It is unclear how such preferences benefit males and females, but Wells said cats "differ in their behavioral patterns, for example in hunting styles and parental care, and it is possible that these place different demands on motor functioning."
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