According to the findings of a team of researchers from Belfast, it seems that cats who are female are more likely to use their right paw to grab certain objects. In order to reach this interesting and unusual conclusion, the researchers from Queen’s University analyzed 44 cats. This is how they managed to find out that among them, there was a gender preference when it came to their dominant paw. According to the three researchers who conducted the study, Doctor Louise McDowell, Professor Peter Hepper and Doctor Deborah Wells, there was not a general, population preference among cats. This is the case with humans because some of us prefer using the right hand, while others feel more comfortable using the left hand. Instead, when it came to felines, there was an obvious gender preference.
Doctor Wells thinks that their hormones might be at fault for this interesting trait. However, they need to conduct more research in order to make sure that this is indeed the case. Their neural architecture, which differs in the male and female animals, might be the main reason for this preference.
Female cats like to use their right paw
It’s interesting that until now, studies on animal limb preference have been based on forced experiments. This recent study took a different approach. The team analyzed the cats, 24 males and 20 females, neutered, in their own familiar habitat, their homes. This was how the experts managed to gather the information they needed. All while letting the cats go about their normal, every day life.
The cat owners needed to pay attention to their pets. They also needed to write down the cases when the cat used its left or right paw. Things like going down the stairs or over objects or the side of the body they slept on were very important. Most of the female cats displayed a preference for using their right paw. Males used their left paw more frequently. According to the experts, this might help owners understand how their pets deal with stress factors, apart from being an overall interesting discovery.
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