American Polydactyl

The first polydactyl cats most likely made their way into the northeastern United States aboard the English Puritan sailing ships of the colonial era. For over two centuries, polydactyl cats were prized by ship captains and welcomed aboard their vessels for their enhanced mouse hunting skills, and the sailors considered these cats to be good luck. During the 1900s, one ship's captain presented American writer Ernest Hemingway with a white polydactyl cat named Snowball. Hemingway was so enamored with these cats that they became known as Hemingway cats, and efforts were made to purposely breed the American polydactyl cat. Today, a large number of Snowball's polydactyl descendants reside at the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West, Florida.

The American Polydactyl is a cat breed with a genetic mutation, and due to a congenital physical anomaly they have more toes than usual. These cats are commonly found in North America. Some of these cats have been seen with up to seven or eight toes, although most of them have six toes of which one appears to be a thumb. American Polydactyl cats are usually strong and muscular because their multiple toes enable them to be more active. The distinguishing characteristic of the American polydactyl is the presence of extra toes on its paws; cats typically have five toes on each front paw and four toes on each rear paw. Polydactyl cats have extra toes. This phenomenon can occur on the front paws, the rear paws or all four paws. It is a genetic mutation that can occur in any cat, but the American polydactyl is specifically bred to display extra toes. Some paws with extra toes resemble mittens with prominent thumbs on display. Other polydactyl paws appear as miniature extra paws that have sprouted from the original paws. American polydactyl cats are generally medium in size. They may be shorthaired or longhaired, and the coat may be any color. The tail may be long or bobbed in length, and the eyes may be any color. Personality: This cat breed is patient and affectionate. Polydactyl cats are usually friendly towards children. They tend to be hardy cats that can adapt to any environment. American polydactyl cats are laid back. They are adaptable to change, and they are outgoing. They are sweet and affectionate, and they get along with children. American polydactyl cats are active, and their extra toes make them adept climbers and hunters. They are more dexterous than other cats, and they are intelligent. Once they learn where the treats are stashed, they will likely manage to open the drawer or cupboard to help themselves. If you find kittens with mittens adorable, then you will undoubtedly be compelled to welcome an American polydactyl into your home. Their winning personalities, intelligence and heightened dexterity all come together to convey that these cats are well aware of their charming and distinguishing physical trait.

Origin
England, Colonial Period
Life Span
14 years
Other Names
American Polydactyl

American Polydactyl Build Information

Size
Medium

The American Polydactyl is a cat breed with a genetic mutation, and due to a congenital physical anomaly they have more toes than usual. These cats are commonly found in North America. Some of these cats have been seen with up to seven or eight toes, although most of them have six toes of which one appears to be a thumb. American Polydactyl cats are usually strong and muscular because their multiple toes enable them to be more active. The distinguishing characteristic of the American polydactyl is the presence of extra toes on its paws; cats typically have five toes on each front paw and four toes on each rear paw. Polydactyl cats have extra toes. This phenomenon can occur on the front paws, the rear paws or all four paws.

It is a genetic mutation that can occur in any cat, but the American polydactyl is specifically bred to display extra toes.

Some paws with extra toes resemble mittens with prominent thumbs on display. Other polydactyl paws appear as miniature extra paws that have sprouted from the original paws. American polydactyl cats are generally medium in size. They may be shorthaired or longhaired, and the coat may be any color. The tail may be long or bobbed in length, and the eyes may be any color.

Behaviour and Personality

Kid Friendliness
Affection Level
Activity Level

This cat breed is patient and affectionate. Polydactyl cats are usually friendly towards children. They tend to be hardy cats that can adapt to any environment. American polydactyl cats are laid back. They are adaptable to change, and they are outgoing. They are sweet and affectionate, and they get along with children.

American polydactyl cats are active, and their extra toes make them adept climbers and hunters.

They are more dexterous than other cats, and they are intelligent. Once they learn where the treats are stashed, they will likely manage to open the drawer or cupboard to help themselves. If you find kittens with mittens adorable, then you will undoubtedly be compelled to welcome an American polydactyl into your home. Their winning personalities, intelligence and heightened dexterity all come together to convey that these cats are well aware of their charming and distinguishing physical trait.

Appearance

Grooming
Regular grooming

Special attention must be made to keep the claws of a polydactyl cat trimmed. Because there are more toes, the claws may not get filed evenly through normal movement and activity. Claws that are not trimmed can become overgrown into a neighboring paw pad, resulting in a painful infection. Trim all of the claws every three weeks to keep the paws healthy. Shorthaired American polydactyl cats require very little grooming of their coats.

A weekly session with a grooming mitt will remove dead hairs and preserve a healthy luster.

Longhaired American polydactyl cats require brushing every other day to minimize shedding and prevent mats. Teaching kittens to accept having their mouths handled and their teeth brushed will pay off in the long run. Brushing a cat's teeth at least three times a week promotes optimal oral and overall health.

Breed's Talents and Facts

  • The American polydactyl originated in the United States
  • The American polydactyl is also known as a Hemingway cat, a mitten cat, a mitten kitten, a big-foot cat and an extra-toed cat
  • An American polydactyl may have as many as seven or eight toes on each paw
  • The American polydactyl is an intelligent, loving and sweet-natured cat
  • An American polydactyl weighs an average of 8 to 12 pounds
  • American polydactyl cats require minimal to moderate grooming
  • The average lifespan for an American polydactyl is 14 years

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Common Health Conditions in American Polydactyls

The American polydactyl lives an average lifespan of 14 years. This is a hardy cat with no known breed-specific health conditions. As long as the claws are trimmed regularly and the toes grow normally, having extra toes does not usually result in physical handicaps or deficits to mobility.

American Polydactyl Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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