Meet the Cats with Thumbs That Bring Sailors Good Luck


Did you know that the gene for extra toes is a common mutation in domestic cats? It’s true! Most cats sport 4 toes on each foot plus 2 dewclaws in front – much like dogs.

Guinness record holder Paws has 28 toes


These special felines frequently have a few extra digits in front, and more rarely on all fours. Paws, a Guinness record holder for having extra toes has 8 toes on each front foot and 6 toes on each hind. “It almost looks like a catcher’s mitt,” mom Jeane Martin told CBS News.

Long-legged Loki

The gene for extra toes — polydactylism, occurs most frequently in the Maine coon cat breed (just like record holder Paws from the video above).

Obi Wan Toenobi

The Pd gene is dominant, which means that if one parent cat has the gene, 50% of the kittens could have extra toes too. Don’t worry; the gene isn’t linked to any dangerous mutations, just the bonus tootsies.

Wembley Mitten’s fuzzy feets

The most famous cats with extra toes belong to the estate of writer Ernest Hemingway. Ernest was gifted with a polydactyl cat named “Snow White” in the 1930s.


Believing the sailor legends that 6 toed cats were good luck, he kept Snow White and her many-toed offspring at his home in Key West (which is now a museum), where over 50 of her descendants still roam today.

Sir Willoughby Paddlefoot, the name says it all

You can find lots of beautiful and many-toed cats to follow on Instagram, and the best thing has to be their excellent punny names.


We’ve included some of our favorites in the article for you to follow and enjoy.

Gyoza deep in thought

And who knows, maybe the sailors are right, and they genuinely are good luck!

Leonardi diCatrio

Are you looking to add a polydactyl cat to your life? River is looking for a forever home. You can meet him and other adoptable cats at the Affogato cat cafe in Cleveland, Ohio.

Thumbs up from River

Affogato partners with the Cleveland Animal Protection League to give cafe visitors a chance to meet and interact with cats looking for forever homes.

Further reading

What is a Dog’s Dewclaw, Anyway?
11 Surprising Facts About Maine Coon Cats
200 Funny cat names

Hat tip: The Nest

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