• Question: Do you think cats could develop thumbs?

    Asked by willydowner to Arttu, Ceri, James_M on 23 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by anmoses.
    • Photo: Arttu Rajantie

      Arttu Rajantie answered on 23 Jun 2011:

      Interesting, I did not even know they don’t have thumbs. But a google search reveals that there is a mutation that gives them more toes , so therefore they definitely could if it gave them some advantage.

    • Photo: Ceri Brenner

      Ceri Brenner answered on 23 Jun 2011:

      Like in the advert? Haha. I hope so, how funny! perhaps if it gives them an advantage in life then perhaps through evolutionary changes (and many years) then cats with thumb-like digits might be common place-how odd would that be? ha lol

    • Photo: James M Monk

      James M Monk answered on 23 Jun 2011:

      I think opposable thumbs evolved in primates to help with gripping things, like when climbing a tree, for example. Most cats don’t climb trees as much as primates, so I’m not sure there is a good reason for a thumb. When cats climb trees they already use their claws.

      So if there was a kind of tree-dwelling cat then maybe in a few million years it would develop something like a thumb to help grip branches.