Most cats have retractable claws, meaning they can extend and retract their claws at will. This is an adaptation that helps cats climb and hunt with greater agility. However, some breeds of cats with claws do not have this ability. Therefore, if you’re considering adding a cat to your family, it’s essential to understand which species do not have retractable claws to make the best decision for you and your new pet.
Seven breeds of cats that do NOT have retractable claws
1. Siamese cats
Siamese cats are a unique breed amongst their feline peers in that they do not possess retractable claws, meaning they are always extended even when not actively in use.
As opposed to other breeds of cats, such as domestic shorthairs or Persians who exhibit a claw retraction mechanism similar to that seen in dogs,
Siamese cats employ a different physiological structure that does not allow such an action to occur. Furthermore, due to their characteristically adapted musculoskeletal composition and extra-thick paw pads,
Siamese cats can often display impressive traction and grip on most surfaces thanks to their permanently extended claws.
2. Sphynx cats
Certain breeds of cats do not possess the ability to fully retract their claws, unlike many of their feline relatives.
Sphynx cats are a popular breed in this regard, as they are known for possessing extremely short claws that remain constantly exposed.
This trait is thought to be related to the breed’s lack of fur and other physical attributes; without fur or a thick paw pad,
Sphynx cats rely more heavily on these claws while climbing or jumping.
Additionally, due to the captivating look of their exposed claws and toes, some pet owners have decorated these digits with brightly colored nail polish.
3. Devon Rex cats
Devon Rex cats have a curious feature that sets them apart from most other breeds: they cannot retract their claws.
Usually, cats can ‘lock’ their claws in an extended position when not in use, but this breed is an exception – the Devon Rex’s claws appear permanently extended.
It doesn’t seem to affect their lifestyle, though; their shorter claws make it easier for them to climb, dig and scratch without fear of splitting or tearing their fur or skin.
Devon Rex owners should trim their cat’s nails regularly; however, regular trimming will still be needed, unlike other cats. All in all, Devon Rexes are special cats due to their unique retractable claw absence.
4. Cornish Rex cats
Cornish Rex cats are an uncommon breed of domestic cat that differs from most felines because they cannot retract their claws.
These cats also possess unusually fine and curly fur, partially due to their genetic background.
Many enthusiasts describe them as having a ‘mouse-like’ silhouette due to their slender, petite frame and supple coats that provide insulation against the cold.
Although this breed may not have the agility associated with some of its more agile cousins, its unique appearance makes up for any lack of mobility. As a result, Cornish Rex cats are an individual choice, either as companion animals or as residents of any household.
5. Peterbald cats
A Peterbald cat is a unique breed known since the early 1990s, originating in Russia.
Peterbald cats are distinguishable by their hairlessness or thin, soft fur, and they are quite delicate due to their small size.
Due to a genetic mutation, these cats must surgically remove their claws during kittenhood because they cannot retract them like other breeds.
As such, these cats can struggle to maintain purchase on surfaces and can find scratching furniture difficult.
While Peterbalds don’t possess the innate ability to retract their claws, like many other cats, they still require regular nail clipping and scratching posts for optimal pet health.
6. Bengal cat.
The Bengal cat is an interesting breed because it lacks retractable claws.
Unlike many ordinary domestic cats, the Bengal’s claws stay out all the time, which allows them to climb better than those with retractable claws.
Bengal cats have a wild look about them due to their origins from Asian Leopard Cat hybrids, and their permanently extended claws further add to this wild aesthetic.
They are also particularly intelligent and strong felines that can require more stimulation than other breeds.
Nevertheless, they are sweet-tempered cats if given enough attention and love from their owners.
7. Ragdoll cat.
Ragdoll cats are a unique breed known for their distinctive blue eyes and striking, pointed patterns.
Interestingly they are also the only cats with completely non-retractable claws that aren’t visible until extended.
This makes them excellent climbers, but having their claws constantly exposed like this can lead to damage or splitting of the nails if not cared for properly.
Consequently, regular nail trimming is advised to protect the cat’s feet and furniture from unwanted scratches. Ragdoll cats make beautiful pets whose natures almost compensate for their curious lack of retractable claws.
Cats with non-retractable claws require special care compared to cats with retractable claws; however, these breeds make wonderful companions nonetheless.
Whether you choose an American Bobtail, Bengal cat, or Ragdoll kitten as your new family member, regular nail trims (and often grooming) will be required to keep them healthy—but don’t worry; they’ll thank you later! With proper care and attention, your non-retractable clawed feline friend can be just as happy as any other purring pet.
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