Um, Is My Cat Left or Right-handed?
Published on Thursday, 28 October 2010
Not that it matters but we thought it’s be interesting to know if our favourite felines were left- or right-handed. Apparently the psychologists at Queen’s University Belfast agreed with us and recruited 42 pet cats for a study that followed research showing similar traits in animals such as chimpanzees and horses.
Dr Deborah Wells and Sarah Millsopp found that kitty cats are much more likely to prefer their right paw while tom cats have a strong tendency to use their left when faced with difficult tasks.
This website reported further findings:
Although the animals could use either paw for simple tasks they reverted to their favoured side for more complex tasks, the researchers found.
In one particularly difficult task – fishing a piece of tuna out of a small jar – all 21 females used their right paw.
But 20 of the 21 tom cats used their left while one of the males appeared to be ambidextrous.
In simpler games, involving grasping a toy mouse being dragged along on a string, they showed equal preference for either paw.
The researchers likened the pattern to the way in which humans would use either hand for a simple task such as opening a door but one or the other for writing.
“The more complex and challenging (the task), the more likely we’re going to see true handedness,” Dr Wells was quoted in New Scientist as saying.
Studies of wild chimpanzees have found that individuals have distinct preference for one hand than the other when using told.
Among the human population left handedness is also more common in men than in women.