It may come as a surprise to learn that cats, like the rest of us, tend to favor one paw over the other — that is to say, their left or right. Who knew?
But now that you're aware of that interesting bit of trivia, you're probably wondering how to find out if your beloved pet is a righty or a lefty. (You'll be glad you did if you ever run across a good deal on golf clubs for cats, or something.)
Well, here to walk us through a simple experiment that will help reveal your kitty's dominant paw is Maru, one of the internet's most famous felines. All you'll need is a cup, a tasty morsel of food and a cat who's willing to join in. That last item, admittedly, might be the hardest to procure.
By inviting your cat to fish the treat out of the cup, you can tell which paw is the dominant one by seeing which side he or she uses.
Sure, anyone who's ever been on the receiving end of an angry cat's jab knows that they seem more than happy with using either paw in a pinch. But researcher Deborah Wells says that when it comes down to it, they really do seem to show a preference.
"The more complex and challenging [the task], the more likely we're going to see true handedness," she told New Scientist.
In an actual scientific experiment, similar to the one above, Wells and her colleague Sarah Millsopp at Queen's University Belfast found that handedness in the 42 cats they studied seemed to correspond with their sex. Male cats appeared to be more inclined to be lefties, and females, righties — though at least one male cat was ambidextrous. The reason why is still something of a mystery.
Does this hold true for you? Let us know your cat's results in the comments below.