Understanding the Anatomy of a Cat’s Paw
Cats are known for their agile movements, astonishingly flexible bodies, and curious facial features. But what about their feet? How many toes does a cat have? For some cats it can be hard to tell due to their fur and anatomy. To understand how many toes cats have we need to take a closer look at their paws.
Cat Paw Anatomy
Cats have four legs and each leg has five parts: the shoulder joint (scapula), elbow joint (ulna/radius), knee joint (tibia/fibula), ankle joint (tarsus) and paw or footpad. The paw itself consists of two main bones called metacarpals with small muscles in between them that enable cats to flex or extend its claws when needed. The paw also contains four digital pads which help absorb shock when the cat is running or jumping, providing cushioning for its joints as well as traction on smooth surfaces like tile floors. On top of these are 18-20 phalanges – small finger-like bones – grouped into three sections:
• Three long phalanges – these make up the central digits on both front and rear paws;
• Four short phalanges – located slightly more inward than the middle digits;
• Five claw sheaths – located furthest toward each side of the paw plus one special pad that helps protect against injuries while climbing trees or rocky terrain.
How Many Toes Does A Cat Have?
So now you know all about a cat’s paw anatomy, but how many toes do they actually have? Well, based off this information we can conclude that cats typically have 18 total digits with 5 on each front foot and 4 per rear foot — making them polydactyls! That means they may either possess an extra toe on one side or even all four feet depending upon breed type and genetics which leads us to believe there really isn’t much variation in terms of “normal” number of felines’ toe count across breeds since most commonly seen tends towards having 18!