American Polydactyl - Sweet Natured Cat with Additional Digits

American Polydactyl cats are cats with congenital physical anomaly known as polydactyl. This condition results the cat to be born with many toes on one or both of its paws. These cats gained an immense popularity as ship’s cats. Long-back sailors used them for their extraordinary hunting and climbing abilities which help them to control rodents on the shipboard.

Important Facts About American Polydactyl

  • The congenital anomaly of many toes is a distinct feature of this breed
  • Apart from these additional digits, they are known for their specific behavioral and physical traits
  • American polydactyl should not be confused with the Maine Coon polydactyl
  • They are sweet in nature and loving cats
  • They are intelligent and easy to train
  • They are highly sociable even to the strangers.


The American Polydactyl is a medium-sized cat which weighs around 11 pounds when they are fully grown. Their coats have varied lengths that range from very short to very long. They are available in various patterns and colors. Their grooming requirements and shedding level varies. Longhaired varieties need to be brushed several times in a week and the shorthaired ones need quick brushing. They have extra toes on one or both the foot and their nails should be trimmed monthly.



They are sweet and loving in nature. They are normally easy to train and can learn tricks and games easily. They are smart, highly active and playful cats that are happy in the company of kids. Their extra toes do not make any difference to their activities. They are affectionate and loved to be pampered. They feel cozy in your laps and love to remain there for hours.


Their grooming requirements and shedding vary. Longhaired breeds require regular brushing for several weeks whereas for shorthaired cats a quick brushing weekly is more than enough. Their nails need to be trimmed monthly. A regular brushing is also recommended to keep its coat in a good shape.


These are the hardy cats that have an average life span of about 14 years. They are susceptible to all the common diseases that affect feline. They may get affected by kidney and heart diseases as well. Owing to the genetic diversity of this breed, most of the hereditary health issues are not a concern.



These cats are bred as a specific cat breed and they have certain set of specific physical and behavioral traits in addition to the extra toes. It should not be confused with a pedigree called Maine Coon polydactyl which resembles it closely.

Personality And Lifespan

Despite so many of their unique characteristics, the American Polydactyl is more or less same as other domesticated cats. Though some of the breeders, enthusiasts and owners claimed that the breed is more intelligent and laid-back than most of the others. It is also described as affectionate and very loving to the children. A full-grown healthy Polydactyl weighs 10-20 pounds on an average and has a life expectancy of 15 years. Irrespective of their breed, outdoor cats have far lower life expectancy than the indoor cats and survive for 5 year lesser.

History Of Origin

They have thought to have developed and spread overseas in the ships that move between Europe and America and passed through Boston. The cat is a peculiar and commonly domesticated breed which is known for its uncanny number of toes. It is the result of the uncanny number of toes resulting from the spontaneous genetic mutation which has led many cats to emerge with up to 8 digits on a single paw. Sometimes referred to as Hemingway’s love of the breed, the cat was highly valued among the sailors for their unparalleled climbing and hunting abilities. They can flush out the rodents and control the vermin population. Some people belief that they are responsible for bringing good luck at the sea, others are of the belief that the breed was cursed and linked with the black magic.


Important Characteristics Of American Polydactyl

  • They are medium to large-sized breed that is distinct due to its unusual feet
  • The cat has a solid build, square face and wide-set ears with inquisitive eyes
  • They stand on straight legs and may have a short bobtail
  • Polydactyl with thumbs are commonly seen
  • Normally, the genetic mutation that results in the extra toes is completely harmless and it is not considered as deformity. The cat resembles closely to Maine Coon polydactyl
  • They are not prone to any serious health issues and it is resilient specifically
  • There extra digits do not hamper their activities
  • They are all-American cats that live up to 15 years if fed and groomed well
  • They are high-active, loving, resilient and talkative.