Why not retracting?

My 15 years old male cat has stopped retracting his rear claws.
Any idea why?


I don't have a definitive answer for you. I find it puzzling that your cat has stopped retracting his rear claws and tried finding an answer for you but I was unsuccessful. Here is what we know:

A cat's claws grow from the end of the last toe bone (distal phalanx) on each toe. The claw's normal position is retracted...held in place by a dorsal elastic ligament on each side of the toe bone. When a cat chooses to extend its claws, it contracts its deep digital flexor muscles. Tendons connected to these muscles pull the toe bones down...pushing the claws out. Tendons connected to extensor muscles hold the toe bones steady.

Since your cat is 15 years old, my guess is that some damage happened to either his elastic ligament and/or his digital flexor muscle which is preventing him from having control over the retractile functions. My suggestion is to ask your vet if he has any ideas. Hopefully, a few readers will offer their experience with this situation and add to this topic in order to assist you further.

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