Polydactyl Maine Coon Cats – Beyond Extra Toes

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maine coon silver shaded 8 months
Polydactyl Maine Coon

What makes a Polydactyl Maine Coon unique?

Polydactyl Maine Coons are incredibly popular among cat enthusiasts worldwide. However, what sets them apart is a rare genetic trait they possess – polydactylism, or having extra toes. These cats are also known as “Hemmingway Cats” due to the famous writer’s fondness for them. A dominant gene that causes polydactylism can pass down to offspring. At least one parent must carry the gene for it to appear in kittens, but it’s not guaranteed that all polydactyl cats will have polydactyl kittens. While Maine Coons have a higher occurrence of polydactylism compared to other breeds, not all Maine Coons are polydactyl.

Understanding the paws of a Polydactyl Maine Coon

Typically, a cat’s front paws have five toes each, while the back paws have four. In the case of a polydactyl Maine Coon, they can have up to two extra toes on each paw. If you come across a description like “7/7/6/6” for a kitten, it means they have the maximum number of toes for a polydactyl cat, with seven on both front paws and six on each back paw.

Caring for a Polydactyl Maine Coon’s paws

Fortunately, maintaining the paw health of a polydactyl cat is not overly complicated, as long as you regularly check for any issues or injuries. Here are some tips:

– Examine each paw carefully, looking for anything stuck between their toes or cuts on their pads.

– Trim their nails regularly to prevent them from becoming too long, embedded, and uncomfortable.

– Provide plenty of scratching posts and toys to help keep their claws healthy and naturally worn down.

– Monitor your cat’s activity levels and regularly check and clean their toes.


Are Polydactyl Maine Coons considered rare?

In the past, it was believed that up to 40% of Maine Coons were polydactyl. However, the occurrence of polydactylism in Maine Coons has significantly decreased as breeders have actively bred out this trait. The acceptance and recognition of polydactyl Maine Coons vary by country and cat associations. For example, TICA accepts polydactyl Maine Coons, but CFA does not. Interestingly, sailors who had Maine Coons on their ships believed that the extra toes brought good luck and helped with catching mice. The differing opinions and regulations surrounding polydactyl Maine Coons make them intriguing to many people, and their extra toes are part of their unique breed characteristics. Although we currently do not work with polydactylism, we are constantly evolving and may introduce changes in the future. In the meantime, you can still enjoy our regular-toed kittens.

If you ever have the opportunity to meet a polydactyl Maine Coon, remember to give them lots of love and affection, as they are just like any other cat and deserve all the love in the world! If you have a polydactyl Maine Coon, feel free to share your experiences in the comments below!


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