Animal IQ

Is Your Pet Right- Or Left-Pawed?

You probably know which of your closest friends and family are left-handed. But do you know whether your pets are right or left pawed? It turns out that there is such a thing as "handedness" in cats and dogs, but it shows up in very different ratios.

Related: This is Why Your Dog Has Those Random Bursts Of Energy

An Even Split

You know the lefties in your life because they're rare: around 90 percent of humans are right-handed. But a 1991 study found that only 50 percent of cats are right pawed—the remaining are either lefties (40 percent) or ambidextrous (10 percent). Dogs, on the other hand (paw?), are more evenly split: 50 percent are righties and 50 percent are lefties, with a tiny number on team ambidextrous.

Related: When It Comes To Cat Bowls, Size Really Does Matter

Which One Is Your Pet?

Determining your pet's dominant paw takes a bit of diligence. It's not just a matter of tossing them a treat and seeing which paw they use. Dr. Stefanie Schwartz, a member of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, recommends conducting repeated tests over time to reveal your pooch's or kitty's preference. Those tests could include "shaking hands" and seeing which paw goes up or putting peanut butter on your pet's nose and watching which paw they use to remove it.

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Watch And Learn: Our Favorite Content About Pets

Dogs and Cats are Typically Right or Left Pawed

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. Female cats and dogs tend to be right-pawed, whereas males tend to be left-pawed. 00:58

  2. Cats typically don't strongly express a paw preference while playing, but do when pursuing a treat. 02:51

  3. A cat named "Dusty" gave birth to 420 kittens during her lifetime. 05:49

Why Do Dogs And Cats Eat Grass?

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Are Cat People Smarter Than Dog People?

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. Researchers at Carroll University found that dog lovers are more energetic and cat people are more open-minded, according to their study. 00:20

  2. Cat owners tend to have a higher IQ and education level than dog owners. 00:38

  3. People say that you may gravitate toward pets that exhibit characteristics close to your own. 00:54

Written by Curiosity Staff December 14, 2015