Extra Carpal Claw or Pad On My Cat

by Donna

My one yr old mixed breed male cat has the usual pads & claws, except he also has an extra growth above the carpal pad. It looks like a claw, but is soft like a pad & doesn't retract. He has one each on the lateral side of his front legs and each one is about an inch above his carpal pads.

He likes to have his feet rubbed & he doesn't react to my touching this extra growth.

Any ideas what this is or what it can tell me about him?

The growths are well above any weight bearing areas; really at the wrist level. The only other unusual thing I've noticed about him is that his back legs are much longer than his front.

Thanks for any help you can provide!

Vet Suggestion Polydactyl Cat

Hi Donna,

I’m having a little trouble picturing what you are describing. My best guess is that you have a “polydactyl” cat, meaning that he has extra toes on his feet.

This condition is not uncommon in cats. In fact, the Hemingway House on Key West is famous for the colony of polydactyl cats (in addition to being the author’s home, of course).

The only concerns we have with polydactyl cats are that the extra toes can sometimes be injured if they snag on things and the nails need to be trimmed regularly.

Ask your veterinarian to take a look at your cat’s feet during his next exam. He or she will be able to determine if your cat really is a polydactyl.


Jennifer Coates, DVM

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Aug 22, 2012
Hey, me too...
by: Ody

I was searching to see what these things are. My wife and I rescued 5 feral cats, and since they won't come in the house for more than an hour or two at a time, we have a shed where we keep cat toys, beds, food, etc.

The other day we found a kitten under the shed. As far as I can tell, he has no home, so I think we have six cats now. He has these on his legs, and I was worried about them. You're saying they don't bother the cat at all, though, right?

I knew Hemingway Cats had extra toes, but I thought those were on the foot with the regular toes.

There's no danger these will ever abscess or anything? We're taking this kitten to the vet as soon as we verify he's not lost anyway, but I'm curious.''Thanks.

Feb 17, 2014
Extra Carpal Pad
by: Laura A.

I've recently adopted a beautiful cat from a rescue group. He loves having his paws rubbed and I just noticed the extra carpal pad about an inch above his lower carpal pad (or heel). I was wondering if this is common in a certain breed.

He looks like he may have Turkish Van in him, but I know his mother was a Calico.

Oct 11, 2014
Extra claw - not polydactyl!!
by: Anonymous

Donna, my cat has it too! Having worked with cats for years, I know what a polydactyl cat is and this is not what you are describing at all. A polydactyl generally has all of the toes in the same general area of the other toes. I have only ever seen the 6th attached to the other dewclaw. My newest kitten has the same thing you are referring to. The "horn" you are talking about is located on the carpal pad. People call them just that, carpal horns or toe horns. Its not a scientific term. The research I have done turns up nothing major to worry about unless they bother the cat. We just have another type of cool, unique cat!

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