Toe bean is a common term used to describe a cat’s paw pads. A cat’s toe beans are arguably one of a feline’s finest features. In addition to being irresistibly adorable, each bean has a special purpose… But have you ever noticed what seems to be an extra toe bean on your cat’s floofy paws?
That’s right. There’s a 6th toe bean on our cat’s front paws. Just above the smooshy big pad, you’ll find this little treasure. Some of our cats hide it better than others because it may be the same color as their fur. Other cats have such a prominent 6th bean that cat owners have thought it was an abnormal growth. Nope. It’s not.
This special, boopable bean is called the carpal pad. There’s no claw that accompanies it – it just lives all by itself. But why? As cat lovers, you likely already know that every part of our feline friends has an important purpose. And the same is true for the carpal pad. In fact, it’s purpose is three-fold.
The Magical Carpal Pad:
- Sudden Stops. Agility is most every cat’s middle name. They are super spry and fast on their feet. The carpal pad is akin to an emergency brake. It help cats stop on a dime.
- Running downhill. It’s a well known fact that cat claws make it easy for them to climb or run up something – but coming down can be a challenge. Picture a cat at full speed running downhill. This extra toe bean helps ensure they have the traction needed to not slip and turn into a kitty missile.
- Shock absorber. If you have a cat that enjoys vertical space, you may be shocked how often a cat decides to jump from a high perch – versus coming down the way he got up. This special carpal pad helps soften the landing. It acts as an extra shock absorber when jumping from shocking heights.
As with anything and everything regarding our cats, supreme appreciation is deserved. Next time you’re admiring your floofs perfect paws, don’t forget to give this special toes bean a tickle.