What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs Day

Happy “What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs Day!” Yes, it’s true–a holiday that is both a question and a celebration! This particular question/holiday is the creation of Thomas and Ruth Roy, under the name of Wellcat Holidays & Herbs and brings to mind any number of ways to celebrate your companion pets. But mostly it’s a day to sit back and ponder the age-old question: what if cats and dogs had opposable thumbs?!

Some animals other than humans do have opposable thumbs. Chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans have opposable thumbs. Many of these primates also have toes on their feet that perform like an opposable thumb; these “opposable toes” are used in climbing trees. Opossums have toes on their hind feet that help them grip branches and climb, while giant pandas have a bony portion of their wrist bone that they use like an opposable thumb to grasp bamboo when they eat. Polydactyl cats and dogs, those with more than the usual four toes, may exhibit extra dexterity, but they don’t truly have opposable digits.

Nonetheless, we’ve heard of a cat who can turn door knobs and a dog who can change the remote control–imagine what one of these handy pets could do with the addition of an opposable thumb? We know that Care2 members have especially extraordinary pets, and we want to know what special tricks your companions can perform. And tell us what you think they could achieve if they really did have opposable thumbs?!


Maureen Hawkins
Maureen Hawkins2 years ago

The Great Cat Mother in the Sky gave cats the choice of having opposable thumbs or not. They sensibly turned it down. If they had them, they might have to open their own catfood, clean their own litterboxes, and, perhaps, even have to work for a living.That 's why the Great Cat Mother evolved us from simians--to do all these things for them.

Dale O.

So very true, Sonia M...they would indeed rule the world. Which would be pawfectly okay with me, so many fabulous improvements that they would achieve. In fact, let's hand over the planet to a feLion government now! They certainly can't do worse than some of us humans have done.

= ^ . , . ^ =

Yes, just imagine what they would do on CarePaw2! Move over CareMoo, CarePurr Rules!

Sonia Minwer-Barakat Requ

If cats had opposable thumbs they'll rule the whole world.The internet will be The Catnet with Catbook,Cattube,lots of Catblogs write by cats.My cats will steal my laptop to surf the catnet and I'll have to buy one laptop to each cat(now I have two cats) :)

Natasha Salgado
natasha salgado3 years ago

Very interesting post!! Thx

Arwen Woods
Arwen Woods3 years ago

Bahahahahaha! I can just see us being their servants!

LMj Sunshine

Interesting article and comments, thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Interesting article and comments, thank you.

Shannon R.
Shannon R4 years ago

I once had a roommate whose cat would jump up and attack the peephole in our door when he heard people walking by outside. He could also open doors so well that we had to put those child doorknobs on so he wouldn't come in when we weren't home!

If my cats had opposable thumbs, they'd be changing their own litter. :) Or better yet, be toilet trained. I hear that's possible but, with five cats, I don't have the patience to try.

Veronique L.
Veronique L4 years ago

Thanks, very entertaining!

Past Member
Past Member 4 years ago

'Polydactyl'... cool word. I wonder if anyone has ever tried to breed for that trait.