How It Works

New cat study shows dominant paw preference

Researchers have discovered that female cats tend to have a dominant right paw, while males favour the left paw. Though unsure of the reasons for this preference, it’s been observed that whether they are stepping into the little box or climbing the stairs, cats will generally have a preference to either lead with their left or right paw. Unlike humans, who tend to be right handed, cats preference for a dominant hand seems to be linked to their sex.

“Left-limbed animals, which rely more heavily on their right hemisphere for processing information [and negative emotions], tend to show stronger fear responses, aggressive outbursts, and cope more poorly with stressful situations than animals that are right-limbed and rely more heavily on their left hemisphere for processing,” said Dr Deborah Wells, co-author of the research from Queen’s University, Belfast, adding that the right hemisphere is more responsible for processing of negative emotions.

The study comes after a recent finding that left-pawed dogs tend to be more pessimistic than their right-pawed companions.


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