Breeds That Are Polydactyl Cats

Because of a genetic mutation, polydactyl cats can be of any breed or size.
Because of a genetic mutation, polydactyl cats can be of any breed or size. (Image: Images)

Polydactyl cats aren't common but occur in many breeds. These cats have up to seven toes on their front or hind paws. This can include different combinations, but in general, the front and back pairs of paws match each other. The most common variation is having polydactyl front paws. An increased number of toes on the hind paws is more rare. Certain breeds are more prone to having polydactyl paws than others, but multiple toes can be found in almost any breed.

Hemingway Cat

Hemingway Cats are named after Ernest Hemingway, who in addition to being a famous American writer, was also a lover of polydcatyl cats. These cats will have more than five toes on the front paws or more than four on the hind paws. These cats also tend to be squat, have more of a box-shaped body and have either long or bobtails. The eyes tend to be slightly farther apart, and the ears are also spread more widely with points. Hemingway cats are also larger than most domestic cats, but have no special needs.

Maine Coon

The Maine Coon breed is thought to have originated in Maine. It has a heavy coat resistant to water, which is longer on the stomach and other areas to protect it against snow. The ears have heavy fur on both the tips and on the inside of the ear, and the cats weigh between 9 to18 pounds. Maine Coons can come in a variety of colors, and their eyes can be green, green-gold or just gold. The paws are also wider, accommodating the extra toes. This cat has a nickname, "snowshoe cat," because the wider paws allows the cat to walk through snow with ease. Like other polydactyl cats, Maine Coons have a easygoing personality and are gentle with their owners and around children.

American Polydactyl Cat

The main difference between American polydactyl cats and other breeds is that these felines are bred specifically for their hardiness and multiple toes. The trait itself is a result of a genetic mutation. The cats tend to be friendly, are good with children and are an easygoing breed. The hind legs of these cats are longer than the front legs and the same mutation that causes the extra toes is also known to cause bobtails. Another noticeable trait is that the bodies on American polydactyl cats tend to be smaller than on a normal domestic cat.


A munchkin is identified by its short legs. This is a similar genetic trait found in dog breeds such as corgis, dachshunds and basset hounds. It is not a created breed, but is the result of a genetic mutation. A full-grown munchkin will be medium in size, with short legs. It can have long or short hair and come in a variety of colors from brown and white to black and gray. Like other breeds, munchkins can be polydactyl, with multiple toes on the front or hind legs. The extra toes do not hamper the cat in any way, it is simply a mutation like the legs.

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