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Doesn't retract claws!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi, not sure if this is the right place to post this, but my male cat Brandon who I adopted in April almost always has his claws out. He kneads with them out, has them out when when touching me, and it hurts! I do have them trimmed at the vet when I can, but of course they grow back quickly. He is about one and a half years old and I adopted him from a rescue organization. My previous male occasionally did this, but if I said "easy" he would retract them. My female Kabou ususally retracts hers as well when touching me. Has anyone else experienced this? And, stupid question I know, but any ideas on how to train him to retract them? Thanks!
post #2 of 11
How long are they? Will he let you touch his paws to check their length? Assuming they're not just too long to be retracted, I'd take him to a vet to get him checked over.
post #3 of 11
As he is a rescue cat, he could be part Siamese and therefore unable to completely retract his claws.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks for both of your responses. It never dawned on me that this could be a physical issue rather than a learned behavior issue. He hates to have his paws touched and I have tried to look closely at them while he is sleeping and they appeared to be retracted. But, I'm going to try a little harder to get a better look and have him checked out if necessary.
post #5 of 11
Does he let you handle him free enough to trim his claws yourself? The way I do it with Maia is 1-2 claws maybe one paw, sometimes all depending on her mood..... As long as your trimming just the tip, they can't feel a thing!
post #6 of 11
Originally Posted by Anakat View Post
As he is a rescue cat, he could be part Siamese and therefore unable to completely retract his claws.
I didn't know this. When Bijou plays with me, he retracts his claws and he is Siamese.
post #7 of 11
All my Siamese have made a clicking noise with their claws when they walk on a hard floor
Tolly's do as well, they are out a bit more in the pic because he is playing with Chloe, but you can always see them. I thought all Siamese were like that.
post #8 of 11
My Siamese can certainly retract theirs too!
post #9 of 11
Technically cats don't have retractable claws, they have extendable claws. Meaning, the natural state of their claws is the withdrawn or "retracted" position. They have to extend them in order for them to be out, normally, so I would say there may be some sort of issue in the feet of a cat that always has their claws out if they are totally extended and not just sticking out a bit past the sheath.

As for your kitten hurting you, all the activities you mention are ones in which a cat would normally extend his claws. My guess is that your Kabou has learned that it hurts you when she uses her claws, and Brandon has not. You pretty much just need to teach him that he is committing a social faux pas when he uses his claws on you, that it hurts you pretty bad, and that us naked apes bleed and hurt when they use us a a scratching post.

The best way to do this is to completely overreact when he uses his claws. If Brandon is a shy or not totally adjusted cat, this probably isn't the best idea, but if you have a good relationship and he is a normal, confident, loving former shelter kitty, then it should work really well. Everytime Zissou used her claws on me, I would yell "OW!" (not like you are mad, like you are seriously hurt, think papercut in the eye) and then hold where she had scratched and pretend to cry. Never punish the offending cat, though. Zissou will absolutely not use her claws on me ever, not even if she's falling off my lap. She knows it hurts!
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all of you for your responses! I don't know if he has some siamese in him or not, but his claws definitely click on the floor when he walks. Wish I could trim them myself, but not an option. He's big, I'm very small and he hates to have his paws touched. I have observed him alot this week and he seems to pull them back in most of the way when not climbing on me for a face lick or kneading my legs. In other words, he extends them fully when getting/wanting affection from me. It's almost like the extended claws give him comfort. So, I will take Zissou's advice and voice a loud "ouch" each time he does it and hopefully that will help. Thanks again!
post #11 of 11
Instead of letting the vet trim nails, why not learn to do it yourself? Then you can check and clip once a week as needed.

It might be that his nails are still too long. The more often you clip the shorter they will be.

Also look at his paws - they are small and very short hair. My rexes had small feet and the nails were noticable. Most cats with more fur around the feet will have less noticable nails and because of the extra fur, you would not hear them on the floor.
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