Just like humans and their hands, many pets have a certain paw they prefer over the other. According to a recent study, 50% of cats are right pawed, 40% favor their left paw and 10% of them are ambidextrous, favoring neither!
So, is your pet right-pawed, left-pawed or ambidextrous? Here are a few simple tests to find out:
- If you teach your dog to shake, which paw do they offer you first and most often?
- If your dog or cat is playing on their back and you put your hand just out of their reach, which paw do they reach for your hand with?
- Fill a toy with something delicious and put it in the center of your dog’s visual field. Which paw does it use to touch the toy first? Which paw does your dog use to hold the toy?
- Put something sticky on your dog or cat’s nose. Which paw do they use to remove it?
- Place a treat or a piece of cheese under a sofa, just beyond your dog or cat’s reach. Which paw do they use to try and get it out?
- If your pet wants to get inside or into a room you’re in, which paw do they typically use to scratch at the door?
- Dangle a toy over your cat’s head. Which paw lifts to swat at it?
- Put a treat under a bowl. Which paw does your cat or dog use to move it?
Note which paw is used and once you’ve done several dozen (at least) tests, a clear dominant paw should emerge. If you’ve done 100-200 tests and there is no noticeable paw preference, your pet is probably ambidextrous.