September 28, 2020

Why Only Pet Cats Have White Footsies

 

Those cute little kitty toes and white furry paws are unique to our domestic felines. Why do their wild cousins rarely have “white socks”?

 

According to a study on this important question on Livescience, its all in the genes- mutated genes.

 

Wild cats predominately have coats that blend in to their surroundings-  camouflage   White paws and legs would make them vulnerable to predators, and scare off their prey.  They either become someone’s dinner, or they starve.  This mutation would die off by natural selection.

10,000 years ago people started domesticating a small feline in Africa and Eurasia.  When coat color mutations occurred that people liked- they bred them. For thousands of years, these domesticated cats lived close to farms and grain mills feeding off of an abundance of  rodents.

 

Eventually white sox became a common trait found in our adored cats around the world. If your cat has white socks, legs, chest, or any significant amount of visible white hair,  it makes your cat more easily seen by coyotes, hawks, eagles and other predatory birds, and other hunting animals depending on where you live.

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