Claws that can be protracted (extended) from its
Cats’ claws are protractile, but often (incorrectly)
retractile. At rest, the claw is
retracted; muscular action (contraction)
protracts the claw out of, rather than retracts
it into, its sheath.
When the muscles in the toe are relaxed, the claw is
sheathed. When the muscles are contracted, the ligament
attached to the claw forces it out of the sheath.
When claws are not protracted, they will usually not register.