Here is a fun experiment that you can do at home which will determine whether your cat is left or right handed…or pawed. Just like humans cats tend to favor either the right or the left and, the more complex a task the more prevalent the favored paw becomes.
To perform this at home you will need treats, a glass and a willing cat. Maru and his sister Hana demonstrate in their video how to carry out the experiment.
In case you were wondering a genuine, controlled experiment by real scientists was carried out and they found that out of 42 cats studied preference was linked to gender “females had a greater preference for using their right paw; males were more inclined to adopt their left paw.” Some cats were even shown to be ambidextrous, switching from paw to paw, when the task was repeated over a few times. Besides the treat jar test they had the cats reach for a toy suspended overhead as well as moving along the ground.
Do try this at home I tried this with Spinner, see video below, who used his right paw on all attempts, after he tried to stick his head in the glass. He clearly favors his right not even attempting to lift his left which is not quit in line with the study. However, I am not sure if right pawed male cats are more prevalent outside of the original study group or, that it has something specifically to do with the fact that Spinners has Vestibular Syndrome.
If you try this at home please leave a comment below letting me know the gender of your cat and outcome of the test.
My Toby is definitely a southpaw – he always uses his left paw to reach for food off my plate (or at least try to); also he reaches out with his left paw to touch my face when he wants to cuddle.
Interesting, Toby fits the study!
PK, a neutered male, is ambidextrious? First time, he reached with his right, did not get the treat, then reached with his left and succeeded. Take two, he reached first with his left, didn’t connect, then got the treat with his right. Third time, he knocked the glass over and treat rolled out .. Fourth and final, he reached and got the treat with his right.
That’s really interesting, it seems that PK may in fact ambidextrous! Thanks for your comment 🙂