NPR

Cat Lovers, Is Your Cat Right- Or Left-Pawed?

Do you know which paw your cat uses first when coming down the stairs? Anthropologist and cat lover Barbara J. King discusses with researchers why a new finding of paw preference matters for our pets.
Source: MirasWonderland

You know your cats' cute habits, their distinct personalities and their likes and dislikes for food, play and affection.

But could you say whether your cats are right-pawed or left-pawed? That is, have you noticed which paw they use first to step over a raised object or to step down the stairs?

According to a new study published in the January issue of Animal Behaviour, cats show a version of handedness, the lateral bias that means 90 percent of us humans prefer using our right hand for tasks.

In the case of cats, or at least in the psychology department at Queen's University in Belfast — there's individual preference for using one paw over the other. Unlike in humans, though, there's no overall population preference akin to our species' strong right-handed preference.

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