If your cat has more than the typical 18 toes, then they are what is called Polydactyl, which means many digits in medical terms. Polydactyl paws sometimes look like the cats have mittens for feet or just very large feet.
You may have heard that they are a specific breed. However, that is not the case. It is merely a genetic mutation that causes the cat to have extra toes. It is also a gene that can be passed on, meaning if a cat that is polydactyl has kittens it is possible that some of those kittens will have many toes too.
It is most common for the front paws to have the extra digits and sometimes even all four paws can have them, but it is rarely just the back ones. These cats with the extra toes were once very popular among sailors as they believed them to be good luck, as well as excellent mouse catchers.
There is now a tie for the Guinness World Record for the most toes on a cat. The first cat is named Jake, from right here in Canada, with 28 toes. As of early 2018, there was a tie by another cat named Paws who also has 28 toes and lives in the United States.
On another note: It is always important to make sure cats that have polydactyl feet have all of their nails trimmed. Especially the extra toes that may not touch the ground and get worn down naturally. These toes could pose a hazard to your cat if the nail were to grow into the pad.
Hope you enjoy your cat’s extra toes and what they can do with those extra digits!
Written by: Laura Arthur