Did You Know? Your Cat Might Be a Lefty

Humans usually prefer one hand over the other. In fact, nearly 85 percent of the human species prefer the use of their right hand according to the BBC. And while right-handed people generally score higher on intelligence tests and live on average nine years longer than their left-handed friends, being a southpaw has it’s advantages too, like having a natural leaning toward creative thinking.

But did you know that your cat may also prefer one paw over the other? It’s true!

According to Dr. Bonnie Beaver, an animal behavior specialist at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, cats can be right-pawed or left-pawed. Dr. Beaver says right forepaw usage is preferred by about 20 percent of cats and 38 percent of cats are left pawed. The remainder are ambidextrous, using either paw to manipulate objects.

There’s also an interesting divide between the sexes. In a 2009 Queen University Belfast study, it was revealed male cats tend to prefer their front left paw while females preferred their front right paw.

Want to test out the theory yourself? Set a cup out in front of your cat with a piece of food inside. Your cat will reach inside with their dominant paw to fish out that tasty morsel. Studies have shown the more difficult the task, the more likely a cat will use their dominant paw.