Research determined if cats might be left-pawed or right-pawed. Photography ©Olga Miltsova | Getty Images.

Right or Left? Research Determines if Cats Have a Preferred Paw

Right-handedness is more common in humans, but what paw do cats prefer? Researchers from the Animal Behaviour Centre at Queen's University have some insights.

Jackie Brown  |  Jul 16th 2018

Researchers at the Animal Behaviour Centre at Queen’s University in Belfast used owner surveys and an experiment to determine if cats might be left-pawed or right-pawed. For the survey, owners tracked which paw their cats used when stepping into a litter box or taking the first step down stairs.

Researchers also put treats inside a container and recorded which paw each cat used to get the treats. Although the results showed that cats overall aren’t biased toward one paw (the way right-handedness is more common in humans than left-handedness), they did have preferences (73 percent used one paw more to reach for the treats, and 70 percent showed paw preference when taking the first step on stairs).

Thumbnail: Photography ©Olga Miltsova | Getty Images.

Jackie Brown is a freelance writer from Southern California who specializes in the pet industry. Reach her at jackiebrownwriter.wordpress.com.

Editor’s note: This article appeared in Catster magazine. Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Catster magazine delivered straight to you

Read more cat news on Catster.com: