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Is Your Pet Left or Right Pawed?

by Staff

in For Our Pets

Recent studies on cats and dogs have been conducted and the results show that your pets can favor a certain paw. Just like how some people are right handed, and others left handed, cats and dogs can be right pawed and left pawed. It sounds strange that such a human characteristic can show up in these domesticated four-legged animals, but that’s entirely the case.

In order to figure out which paw your cat or dog favors, watch for these signs:

– When your pet steps out of their cage or crate, or off of their bed, look to see which paw they lead with. Unlike people who take off running on the opposite foot from their dominant hand (watch a track meet and you’ll see numerous examples) pets lead off with their dominant paw.

– When you’re playing with your cat, for example, if you’re dangling a piece of string or a feather on a stick, pay attention to which paw they bat at it with. This is the paw that they favor.

– If you’re teaching your dog to shake “paws” or working through a set of skills that he or she already has, look at which paw they continuously hand you to shake. That is their dominant paw.

– When your cat is beating up a catnip filled mouse or chasing around a crinkle ball or other toy, or, if you have dogs, and your dog is wrestling around with a squeaky toy or knotted piece of rope, keep a close eye on the paw that he or she is favoring. This is the one that your pet prefers to use.

One thing to keep in mind while you’re conducting your own “experiment” as outline above, is the fact that some cats and dogs are ambidextrous and have no dominant paw. If you can’t figure out which one your pet favors, because he or she keeps switching, then this is probably the case.

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