Friday, August 13, 2010

Tux is toe-tally fantastic!

No high-fives here – this six-toed cat is toe-tally special.

Tux was found abandoned in an apartment after his owners moved out, leaving him behind.

Most cats have five toes on each of their front paws and four on the back, but Tux has six toes on each paw!

The term for animals and humans with extra toes is polydactyl. Having extra digits on both the front and hind legs like this is not very common but rarely causes a problem.

In past times it was considered lucky, especially by sailors who prized them as expert ratters and lucky mascots aboard their ships, where they believed the extra toes gave the cats more grip in heavy weather.

In North America cats like this are often referred to as "Hemingway cats," as Ernest Hemingway kept several former ship's cats at his Key West. At least half of their descendants living there today have the same condition.

Having extra toes doesn't hinder Tux at all! If anything he's lighter on his feet. This affectionate, cheeky cat is currently at the OHS, looking for a forever home. He's a neutered male, and about 1.5 years old.

To adopt Tux, contact the Ottawa Humane Society at or at 613-725-3166 ext. 258, or drop by anytime we're open.

Share on Social Media