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American Polydactyl Cat

American Polydactyl Cat photo

Polydactyl cat at Ernest Hemingway House in Key West, Florida
Photograph by Marc Averette. Some rights reserved.

The most notable thing about the American Polydactyl is that they often have up to seven toes on each paw. There are various combinations of digits on the cats' paws, but the number of digits on each of the front and back pairs generally match. It is most common for an American Polydactyl to have polydactyl front paws only, and it is uncommon for a cat to have all fours paws polydactyl, and very rare for only the hind paws to have the condition. The cats are large and are powerfully built with wide medium sized heads and strong legs. The Polydactyls' bodies are squat and somewhat box-shaped. Their tails can either be long or bobtailed, and in bob-tailed varieties, the Polydactyl's hind legs are visibly longer than their front legs and their bodies are smaller. Their eyes are round and wideset at and angle, and can be any colour. Their ears are also widely spaced and are pointed. The fur can be any colour and length.

Other Names

Hemingway Cat, Mitten Cat


Medium to large




American Polydactyl cats are reported to be gentler and more easy going than other cats. They are very hardy and adapt well to both indoor and outdoor life. They are friendly cats and are relaxed and patient, particularly with children.

Suitable for

Polydactyls are suitable for anyone, particularly for families with children.


Polydactyl is a trait that can be found in any breed of cat due to genetic mutation which sometimes gives them bobbed tails, but the American Polydactyls are bred specifically for the gimmick of the extra toes and their hardy nature. There is argument about whether the Polydactyls came from America or were taken over from England during the Colonial period.

More American Polydactyl Cat Pictures
American Polydactyl Cat photo

Male polydactyl cat - right front paw
Photograph by Brian0918. License: Public Domain.