Maine Coons are filled with surprises, but even long-time owners of this breed are often shocked to learn about Maine Coon webbed feet.
Maine Coons, like all domestic cats, have webbed feet. Unlike frogs or ducks, cats only have partially webbed feet, which they inherited from their much larger ancestors. While the webbing on a Maine Coon’s feet is often hidden by fur, these cats can still use their webbed feet to climb, catch prey, and even swim.
These hardy cats have developed many unusual traits to help them survive in the wild, but if you have ever been able to touch your cat’s paws, you may have noticed that they have a thin layer of skin between their toes.
While all domestic cats have webbed feet, Maine Coons still have unique paws that set them apart from other cat breeds.
Read on to find out how your Maine Coon’s massive paws are actually an advantage in freezing climates.
Maine Coon Webbed Feet
The Maine Coon is the largest domesticated cat breed in the world, but they are also famous for their gentle, loving personalities and their long, thick fur.
This breed developed naturally in the state of Maine, which is known for its harsh winters.
To help survive such cold, snowy conditions, the Maine Coon cat developed a unique set of traits that sets them apart from other cat breeds.
Maine Coon paws are specially designed to help them thrive in the cold and snow.
Their paws are naturally:
The Maine Coon paw’s unusual size and shape means that they can act like snowshoes. This is because their weight is distributed over a larger surface area, thus Maine Coons are less likely to sink through the snow.
Maine Coons also have longer fur around their paws, which helps them keep warm even in freezing conditions.
Many Maine Coons have “toe tufts” which are little bits of fur that poke through their toes, keeping them insulated.
Maine Coon paws are perfectly adapted to their environment, but do Maine Coons have webbed feet?
You may be surprised to learn that every single Maine Coon cat has webbed feet, but they are not the only ones! In fact, all felines including wild cats have partially webbed feet.
The webbing of a cat’s feet is most apparent when cats flex or stretch their paws.
You can even feel this webbing for yourself by gently massaging between your cat’s toes, although please be aware of the fact that not all cats enjoy having their paws touched, so be careful!
This partial webbing is simply a thin layer of skin stretched between each toe, which aids in climbing, gripping, catching prey, and swimming.
Maine Coon paws are also unique because some Maine Coons are polydactyl.
Polydactyl cats have extra toes, and this trait is more common among certain breeds, including the Maine Coon.
The polydactyly Maine Coon cat used to be much more common, however, it has since been significantly bred out.
Learn more about this genetic quirk and why it happens.
Maine Coon Paws Vs Normal Cat
Maine Coons are different from other domestic cats in many ways, and their paws are especially unique.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways Maine Coon paws are similar to and different from other cat paws:
- Paw Pads: Maine Coons, like all cats, have paw pads. Apart from just looking cute, these paw pads serve a number of special purposes. Paw pads muffle a cat’s footsteps so that they can stalk prey in complete silence. Furthermore, paw pads offer traction so that cats can run faster and with more agility.
- Whiskers: Believe it or not, cats don’t just have whiskers on their faces! A cat’s front paws also have whiskers which can help them detect the movement and location of prey while hunting.
- Webbed Feet: All cats, including Maine Coons, have partially webbed feet which makes it easier to grip, climb, hunt, and swim.
- Size and Shape: Maine Coons are significantly larger than most domestic cats, but their paws are proportionally bigger than a normal cat’s. Their paws are also wider and flatter, which makes it easier for them to walk in the snow.
- Number of Toes: While it is possible for any domestic cat to be polydactyl, Maine Coons are much more likely to be born with extra toes than most cats. In fact, at one point as many as 40% of all Maine Coons had at least one extra toe!
- Amount of Fur: Many long-haired cats have extra tufts of fur on their toes, but Maine Coons are unique because all of the fur around their paws is longer. This helps protect their paws from the cold, although some owners need to trim this long fur to prevent it from becoming matted and dirty. Here are some other great tips on how to keep a Maine Coon clean.
Why Do Cats Have Webbed Feet?
Many people are surprised to learn that cats have webbed feet, and often ask, do all cats have webbed paws?
So let’s set the record straight …
Every single feline has webbed paws because they help cats:
Since the traits listed above are most useful in the wild, do domestic cats have webbed feet?
While many domestic cats do not actually need the webbed paws in the same way wild cats do, they still inherit this trait from their wild ancestors.
So, what are the reasons wild cats developed webbed feet in the first place?
Below are the many reasons behind this fascinating feature!
- Swimming: It is no secret that most domestic cats hate water, but for many wild cats, swimming is necessary for survival. Webbed feet increase the surface area of a cat’s paws, making it significantly easier for them to swim.
- Balance: Cats’ webbed feet allow their paws to cover a greater surface area, which aids in balance over all kinds of terrain.
- Climbing: Cats rely on their webbed feet to grip all kinds of surfaces while climbing. Jungle cats are especially known to have a lot of webbing on their toes, so they can effortlessly grip onto any tree branch.
- Hunting: Cats in the wild do not always have the luxury of hunting in dry areas; instead, many cats have to hunt in muddy or wet areas in order to find food. The webbing on a cat’s toes prevents them from sinking into marshy ground, and it also makes them quieter while stalking prey in the water.
What Breed Of Cats Have Webbed Feet?
All cat breeds have webbed feet, but some are more pronounced than others.
Below are some cat breeds that are famous for their webbed feet:
What To Do If Your Kitten Has Webbed Feet
If you’ve noticed webbing on your kitten’s feet, you may be feeling concerned.
Most people do not know that cats have webbed feet since their webs are so well hidden.
However, rest assured that webbed feet are completely normal for all cats, and there is nothing to worry about!
Do Maine Coon Cats Have Fur Between Their Toes?
Maine Coons have tufts of fur between each of their toes, but this feature is not unique to this breed. Instead, tufted toes are common in most longhaired cats.
These tufts of fur offer protection against the cold, but they may need to be trimmed if they become matted or dirty.
Are All Maine Coon Cats Polydactyl?
Polydactyl cats are born with at least one extra toe.
While polydactyly can occur in just about any domestic cat, it is especially common in Maine Coons.
In the 1800s, the polydactyl Maine Coon cat was popular among sailors, who kept these large cats aboard their ships to keep out rats and other vermin.
Sailors especially preferred polydactyl cats, whose extra toes made them better at climbing and hunting.
As a result, polydactyl Maine Coons were favored, and thus more likely to breed and produce more polydactyl offspring.
At one point, at least 40% of Maine Coon cats were polydactyl, but that number has dropped quite a bit over the years.
Today, most Maine Coons are not polydactyl, but cats of this breed are more likely to be polydactyl than many other cat breeds.
Cat With Webbed Feet And Big Ears
All cats have webbed feet, but cats with significant webbing and big ears often end up looking more like gargoyles than cats!
Below are three cat breeds known for their big ears and webbed feet:
- Oriental Shorthairs
- Devon Rexes
Fun Facts About Maine Coon Cats
Maine Coons are one of the most popular cat breeds in the whole world, and for good reason!
Here are five incredible facts that will make you fall in love with Maine Coons even more:
1. Maine Coons Have a Unique Voice
Most cats are known to meow, but Maine Coons are unusual because they prefer to communicate through little chirps or trills instead.
Read this article, to find out why!
Maine Coons tend to have a quiet voice, but they are not afraid to “chat” with their owners about their needs, such as an empty food bowl or a dirty litter box.
2. They Love Water
While most cats hate getting wet, Maine Coons originated in wet, snowy conditions, and therefore do not mind getting wet at all.
In fact, most Maine Coons love to play with water from the sink, tub, or even from their own water dish!
3. Maine Coons Almost Went Extinct
Throughout the 1800s, Maine Coons were incredibly popular for their ability to catch mice and rats.
However, in the 1950s, the introduction of the Persian breed caused the Maine Coon to go out of fashion, and the breed nearly disappeared.
A few dedicated fanciers were able to bring the Maine Coon cat back from the brink of extinction, and since then, they have reclaimed their spot as one of the most beloved cat breeds in the world.
4. They Are Some of the Most Colorful Cats
Many cat breeds, such as Siamese cats, come in a specific range of colors and patterns. The Maine Coon, however, comes in over 75 different colors and patterns!
5. They Are Incredibly Intelligent
Maine Coons are some of the smartest cats in the world. Not only can they be trained to do all sorts of tricks, but many also learn to play fetch or even walk on a leash and harness.
Maine Coons are also emotionally intelligent, and can often sense when their owners are happy or upset.
Maine Coons are a unique breed with lots of special features that helped them adapt to the harsh environment where they originate.
These cats have big, fluffy paws that make it easier to walk through the snow.
They also have webbing between their toes, which makes them better at hunting, climbing, and swimming.
Maine Coon webbed feet are not entirely unique though; since all cats have webbed feet. The amount of webbing varies among different cat breeds.
Sphynx Cat Webbed Feet
Since they are hairless, Sphynx cats have much more noticeable webbed feet than most domestic cats, whose thick fur often hides their webbing.
Do Lions Have Webbed Feet?
Lions, like all felines, have webbed feet, although it is less pronounced than other big cats that rely more heavily on their webbed feet for swimming and climbing.
Wild Cats With Webbed Feet
All cats, including wild cats, have webbed feet. Some wild cats, such as panthers and Sumatran tigers, have more webbing to help them swim or climb.