Claws that can be retracted (drawn back) into
Cats’ claws are
protractile, but often (incorrectly)
described as retractable. At rest, the claw is
retracted; muscular action (contraction)
protracts the claw out of, rather than retracts
it into, its sheath.
Semi-retractile claws still
visible when not protracted. They are not completely
enclosed in a sheath, often because the sheath is not
large enough or is non-existent. (e.g. cheetahs)
The protective sheath is also known as pocket
When claws are retracted, they will usually not register.