Thursday 11 September 2008

American Polydactyl cat

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  1. These cats are often called ship cats, at least in Sweden where I live they are usually referred to as that. This as I understand is because these cats were preferred to have on boars a ship (in order to catch mice) because they were believed to be better equipped to hold on to the deck during rough weather with the extra claws. Wether this is true or just superstition I don't know, but the big wooden ship I sail on (called The Eastindiaman Götheborg) had a cat with extra claws on board as a ship cat last summer. She was owned by the captain who had always wanted a traditional ships cat, she was a non-breed house cat who appearantly had developed the spontaneous mutation. She seemed to like life at sea very well, never minding the rough seas, wether this was due to the extra claws I doubt since she had three kittens with her on board who all had normal number of toes. The captain was a bit disappointed of this, since he had planned to starting breeding ship cats. But the kittens all found loving homes since they moved to three of the crew members by the end of the summer.


  2. We live in America, and we have one of these cats. His dad was a Main Coon who also had extra toes, but he has his mom's coloring and shorter hair.

  3. Thanks for the comments. They were ships cats. Sailors thought they were better at sea. That is probably why the Maine Coon cat is more often polydactyl than other cat breeds.

    The Maine Coon's origins are the long haired cats that were imported by the pilgrims from England and Europe and who landed at Maine in the early 1600s.

    Some of these cats were no doubt polydactyl cats.

    See history of the Maine Coon cat.

  4. Aside from the polydactyl cats being better at catching rodents, they were also considered to be very lucky to sailors.

  5. You mentioned wether there was any point in breeding cats with extra digits,well a lot of people find this factor cute and interesting
    You could ask why do people breed for example,cats with no tails, no fur,flat ears,pug faces or curly fur, well because we like to create different breeds,and a cat with a difference

  6. My boyfriends cat had kittens. So when the kittens were born with extra toes,i was very concerned, but after researching i came across about this "breed." At first i was a bit worried about their health and how this would affect them, but now he's all grown up as well as his brothers. He's 5 months old and perfectly healthy. :3

  7. It`s great to read reactions about Shipscats or how they are called her in Norway:
    I own one myself and she is great, she has really something extra!!
    She can jump higher, run faster and juse her paws more that my other cats, she juse them like a hand! Very special to see. She is poly on every paw. She got 3 kittens and all of them had normal paws. I put my link her, with my pinterest page with more then 300 pictures of the Skipskatt from Norway with some information. Cause there`s not much information about these amazing poly cats from Norway/Sweden to found!



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