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Reader Stories: Life with a Polydactyl Cat

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Ernest Hemingway acquired his first cat from a ship's captain in Key West, Florida, where he made his home for a number of years. This cat, which may have been a Maine Coon, had extra toes (technically known as polydactyl, latin for "many digits"). Today they are also known as "Hemingway Cats."

Although extra toes not allowed in most breeds, these many-toed cats are extremely popular; found all over the world. If you share your home with a polydactyl cat, we'd like to know more about your cat. Your story will help prospective owners decide whether a Hemingway cat is the right pet for them.

Talk About Your Cat!

Toots and Boots

Toots is very easy going Boots is very vocal and a little sassy at times.They are very playful and really like being with their humans .Toots likes to watch the fish swim around in the tank .Boots sh…More

Sid

fun and full of mschief. my cat likes to attack the bigger cats when they are not looking. Sid will stand on his hind legs wrap his arms around their necks and flip them. he will go around the house …More

Poochee

Poochee is playful, loving when he wants the attention and aggravates my older cat who is 6 years old Pasha. He loves to visit my daughter home she live next to me and play with his cousins Poo Poo (…More

Johnny

Energetic, playful, beautiful, solid muscle, and curious. He doesn't seem to have any problems concerning his feet. He's either going 100 miles an hour or he is asleep. He has a healthy appetite. He'…More

BamBam

A big mush. He made himself right at home. He is still shy and will warm up to my Lhasa, Mitzy. He is my chair mate and with my laptop or not on my lap he squeezes in and finds a spot. He looks at m…More

Ernest aka Ernie

Fat fuzzy lovie. He weighs about 16 pounds and thinks that he is a lap cat. He loves to play fetch. So far he has not had any problem with his feet. He does however have allergys.He can not go out wh…More

Cooter

Big, lovable character. When we got him he measured 26 inches from nose to butt, no tail included. He weighed in at just under 25 pounds. He had a habit of not listening to anything women told him, a…More

Baby Boy

Extremely playful, but sweet as well. He doesn't have any medical problems. He always wants to be close to me. Even though he is the youngest of my 3 cats, he's already the king of the house. His ext…More

Footsey

very careful not to put herself in a position of getting hurt. she avoids other cats, other than to watch them, and I think this is because she knows she would not be able to defend herself against a…More

Knuckles

A dog (:He is the most loving, playful hilarious cat in the world.He loves water, paper, tape, baths, walking on a leash and playing fetch. He also enjoys eating, sleeping and playing hide and seek (…More

Casey

Casey has an extra claw on both front feet. She looks like she is wearing boxer gloves. Between her "thumb" and the rest of her paw there is an extra claw that needs to be cut on both paws. Sometimes…More

Kia

She is very loving but sassy at time, she is a kitten so she getting into a lot of things. She love bring her toys and drop them in the bath tub and bat them around for hours. She knows that if she b…More

Roxy

Wild.Roxy is wild.....in a crazy inquisitive way...borderlines annoying...however learns quick....by gently re directing her away from the keyboard, or hanging cords from my music equipment...she get…More

My Poly Rescue Sugar Ray

Slow and steady. He's a serious guy (after so much trauma in his early life), but he loves other cats and craves affection from people who approach him gently. He's surprisingly trusting. We've encou…More

Hemingway Cat, Shooter

Well, she is very independent or territorial. More of a one ower type. Shes the type to let you know when she wants love as aposed to you giving her love when you want haha:) but she will allow you t…More

Catfish John Has 24 Toes

Very, very playful, exceptionally agile. He can balance on the top of one of my dining room chairs - it's about 1/4 inch wide (he can leap to and from that point as well). The "toenail" between the "…More

Lily

A sweetheart! She is extremely loving and sweet. She's pretty quiet except when she telling you she's hungry! Lily is a small cat, other than her feet, and can sometimes be the underdog (or undercat …More

Bogey

He is very unusual in that he will not eat cat food. Loves hotdogs, meat and corn chips. He will take dog food out of my Labs bowl, but will not touch cat food.He loves to hang out with people, and i…More

My Polydactyl Kitten, Toes

Loving and thinks I'm her momma, since she is the runt of the litter I have to keep a close eve on her not to get into places she might get stuck. But she is very sweet and sleeps right next to me an…More

Aaron

Affectionate, playful. No problems with feet, he can jump, use the scratching posts, etc. without any problems. The only medical problem he has had was an upper respiratory ailment causing sneezing, …More

Polydactyl Cat, Charlie

Charlie is loving & affectionate, trills when he's happy, playfull, loves his tummy rubbed, loves grooming except for those nasty matts he sometimes gets around his butt. His feet don't give him any …More

Polydact Cat Oliver

The only problem that Oliver has with his feet are the claws way down between the 2 "paws". He has a lovely personality and really no different than any other cat except that he looks like he'd be a …More

Thumbelina

She has a hyperthyroid and need methimizole 2X/day. She's petite, and very loveable! she has no paw problems at all. She loves food, and weighs about 8 pounds.... She is also very vocal!Thumbelina lo…More

Magoo

A lover....not a fighter.......Magoo is by far the most affectionate cat I have ever met!! My husband says the same thing. He will jump into my husband's arms and wrap his paws around his neck and ju…More

Purrcy

A feline 'welcome wagon', a 'spokeman' who needs to have his voice heard daily, a perfect companion for my older female cat, intuitive about when I may need some affection as well, super friendly, cu…More

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