General Question

breedmitch's avatar

Do I have a six-toed cat?

Asked by breedmitch (12136points) August 8th, 2007

When I adopted my dear ziggy I was told he was a "six-toed cat" or a Hemmingway cat. But he doesn't really have six claws. It's just that his innermost claw seems to have an extra joint. It looks like he's wearing boxing gloves. Cute. Is he a real "six-toe" or is it "hamburger feet." His front limbs are normal so I know he's not a "squitten." Have fun looking that one up. Pts. Pls.

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2 Answers

jcknight's avatar

from my understanding any cat with the joint or that six appendadge is a Hemingway cat. The ones that live at Hemingway's house in keywest all had different variations including the boxing glove like paw your kitten has

syz's avatar

The condition is known as “polydactyly” and is a genetic abnormality that creates extra toes/claws/joints. The degree of development and number of extra toes is a result of the expression of the gene. The most extreme form that I have seen is 6–8 toes on the front feet and 5–6 toes on the back feet. The more typical configuration is 1–2 extra toes on the front feet – not necessarily bilaterally.

The Hemingway cat is a reference to the fact that there is a colony of cats with this gene expression that lives on the grounds of his (former) home in the Florida Keys. They were not discovered or identified there, but there is a higher incidence of the trait in the population since they are somewhat isolated (genetically speaking) by the fact that they are geographically isolated.

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