Registration: CATZ


What are Clippercats?

They are a recently recognized breed, which is being developed under strict guidelines.

In a nutshell, the Clippercat is the New Zealand shorthair cat and / or the Australian longhair cat. with polydactyl feet. Poly– means “many” and Dactulos – means “fingers”.

Cats usually have 5 claws on its front legs.. (4 plus a snail claw) and 4 on each hind leg. Cats with the polydactyl mutation can have between 5 and 7 fingers on the front legs and between 4 and 7 in the rear.


In New Zealand and Australia, between the years 1850 and 1900, large numbers of immigrants arrived on the Clipper ships that sailed the seas between England and the Antipodes.

Many of these ships docked in Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf, where today we find the highest concentrations of polydactyl cats.

Following the policy of CATZ Inc of inclusion and establishment of rules for the responsible registration of cats, these cats, which are a natural mutation, and an expression of an incomplete autosomal dominant gene, can now be registered with CATZ Inc under the breed name “Clippercats”, formerly called Antipodean Shorthair and Longhair Cats, with the addition of the polydactyl mutation..

Unlike the United States.UU., the Clippercats (Polydactyls of Domestic / Antipodean origin) cannot be raised with others Clippercats, and there are strict guidelines established by the Registry for their breeding to ensure that all Clippercats recorded are the Heterozygous form of this mutation.

At this time, if you have a polydactyl cat, you can register it in the open registry as Clippercat, if you meet very specific guidelines.

Breeding conventions include recording the number of toes on each foot and the breed standard includes both a limit on the number of toes allowed and restricts the structure of the feet to three accepted structural formats..

The Clippercats they can only be bred with short hairs / New Zealander longs and the breed standard calls for the New Zealand SH / LH type with the addition of the polydactyl mutation.

The Clippercats cannot be crossed with any other currently recognized championship breed.

Where do polydactyls come from?

The polydactyl cats they have a long and interesting history. For many centuries they have roamed south-west Britain and there is evidence of polydactyl cats in countries as far away as Norway, although reports in Europe are few and far between, mostly due to the perceived relationship between cats and witchcraft.

The polydactyly is a trait allowed in the breed of Pixie Bob cat, which is classified as a natural breed, and that competes in the TICA championship, the International Cat Association. (USA)

It was also a dominant trait in many of the early Maine Coons, and it was considered that it helped those cats to overcome the heavy snows of the winters of the State of Maine. Breeders, However, selected to remove the trait of that specific race.

There are several reports of a folklore in southern England, which states that when people found cats with too many fingers, they offered them to the captains of the ships, who apparently considered them “lucky cats” and very suitable for a sailor's life. They were also considered gifted buzzards and, thanks to your extra fingers, more fit for life on mobile covers.

Large populations of cats with this mutation were seen in and around the Boston area, where they were commonly called “boston thumbs cats”. An article published in the magazine “Cat Watch” from Cornell University in 1998 analyzed the studies carried out on polydactyl cats between 1940 and 1970 and tentatively concluded that the trait probably occurred in cats that came from England to the Boston area with the Puritans in the mid-17th century. These studies focused on the unusually high concentration of polydactyls in that area., and in other ports on the east coast with strong maritime links to the British Isles, like Halifax and Yarmouth, and in Nova Scotia, where there were also higher concentrations of polydactyl cats.

The author Ernest Hemingway is also recorded as a gift from a ship captain polydactyl cat of the race Maine Coon cat, and this cat is believed to be the progenitor of the many polydactyl cats now cared for in the trust established for them on the author's home island in the Florida Keys. Apparently, This led to the polydactyl cats will sometimes be called “Hemingway cats”.

There are currently three separate private registries in the United States where polydactyl breeders can register their specimens.. These cats are often called “American Polydactyl Cat“.

However, it would be very conceited to consider them only natives of the United States, when its story is rather associated with the many boat cats that traveled with immigrants from England and Europe to the United States and other parts of the world between 1620 and 1900. Even the famous “Mayflower” It was a merchant ship before its well-known trip to the USA.. and in those days he made several trips between England and Norway before being chartered by the pilgrims.


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