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Male cats are lefties (more likely to be southpaws)

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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:01 PM
Original message
Male cats are lefties (more likely to be southpaws)

High five: the paw cats lead with seems to be dictated by their sex
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Male domestic cats tend to preferentially use their left front paw, according to a new study that suggests the sex of a cat determines how its brain will be wired.

The findings add to a growing body of evidence that male animals tend to be left-handed, or in this case left-pawed, more often than females.

While 90% of humans are right-handed, of the remaining 'southpaws', most tend to be men. The differences are even clearer among cats.

"Our results suggest that there are two distinct populations of paw preference in the cat that cluster very strongly around the animals' sex," says Dr Deborah Wells, who led the study.

Wells, a senior lecturer at Queen's University Belfast School of Psychology, and co-author Sarah Millsopp examined the paw use of 42 domestic cats. Each cat repeatedly completed three play-like tasks while at home with their owners.
Observing behaviour

For the first task, the researchers placed a bit of tuna at the bottom of an otherwise empty, narrow-mouthed jar. They then observed how the cats attempted to extract the food treat.

Task two involved a fabric mouse on a string that was suspended above each cat's head. The paw that was first used to reach for the toy was recorded.

Finally, the scientists took the same toy for task two and slowly dragged it on the ground in front of the cats. Again, the first paw used by the cats to try to grab the toy was recorded. In total, the researchers documented 100 paw responses per feline per task.

While the cats did not favour a certain paw for tasks two and three, the paw preferences were very obvious for the tuna-in-a-jar puzzle. The study findings have been accepted for publication in the journal Animal Behavior.

More: http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2009/07/27/26373...
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silverweb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:04 PM
Response to Original message
1. Hmmm, I've never noticed.
I have two males and two females, so I'll have to check this out... after their evening naps, of course. :P

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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:05 PM
Response to Original message
2. Interesting!
I'd kind of suspected that Milo was left-pawed, but I'll have to try the tuna-in-a-jar experiment on him and the rest of the Gang of Fur.
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kedrys Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. We talked about this a couple of years ago
You also had, as I do, empirical evidence that your Gang of Fur and my hordes are mostly left-pawed. :)
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. I guess we did!
Now I have a little girl kitty, so I'll try to see if there really is a difference.
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tularetom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
3. We noticed this a long time ago with our two male cats
They swatted at everything with their left paw, including each other. They're brothers and they were born here. Their mother and sister occasionally lead with their left but not always like the boys.

But here's something really strange. I'm left handed, so is my wife. Our two children, one son, one daughter are right handed. Our two granddaughters are both left handed as is our grandson. We have a great granddaughter and I can't really see a hand dominance in anything she does yet.
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GreenEyedLefty Donating Member (708 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. Interesting.
My male cat is left-pawed. My brother and I are both left-handed (that's 2 out of my mom's 3 kids). She's right handed but my step-dad is left-handed, too.

My 3 kids are all right-handed as are all of my nieces and nephews. Bummer... but they're great kids, anyway. :)
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rurallib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:27 PM
Response to Original message
4. Now that you mention it:
one male definitely lefty, one female definitely lefty, one female can't tell.
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backwoodsbob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. they should study dogs
both my male shepperds are lefties...my wifes female terrior is a righty
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Left-handedness is contagious! We can get it from our cats!


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Withywindle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-11-09 01:45 AM
Response to Original message
10. When my girl swipes at my ankles going by, she almost always uses her left paw.
So I think she's probably left-pawed. She also uses her left paw mostly to dig and bury in her litterbox, and to try to "bury" canned food I've dished out that doesn't pass her muster.

She's female--and she's a tortoiseshell, so her genetics are weird and fascinating anyway.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tortoiseshell_cat



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sasquatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-11-09 02:23 AM
Response to Original message
11. For all of the cat owners
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