Caitlin UltimoPet Lovers / Pet Parenting

Like You, Your Cat Has A Dominant Hand — Um, Paw

You might not think we need a study on cats’ preferences (they make them painfully obvious), but hold on a minute.

A new study investigated something that could make us see our cats as little humans with fur suits even more. It turns out that cats can be right- or left-pawed, according to a study published in the journal Animal Behavior.

Researchers with the Animal Behaviour Centre, School of Psychology at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland found that cats exhibit paw preference when reaching for things.

Results showed that male cats tended to be left-pawed, while females were opposite. The paw preference showed up most in reaching for food (73 percent of cats) but not really at all in picking which side to lie on (“ALL OF THEM ARE GOOD” — cats).

Other findings show that 70 percent had used the same paw first to go down stairs and 66 percent had a select paw for getting in the litter box. The study watched cats in their natural-ish settings — aka our houses — and followed their daily lives for the most part.

So now we have one more thing we can use to personify our pets. And now we know which side of the plate to put the fork when we invite them to dinner.

By: Anastasia Thrift

Feature Image: Valerio Pardi/