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Why won't my cat's claws extend for trimming?

Black-and-white cat curled up in a fetal position, with three paws visible.

(Photo: Flickr/Quinn Dombrowski)

Why won't my cat's claws extend for trimming?

July 17, 2013

Q: I went to trim my cat's nails, but one claw seems stuck in the paw (i.e., could not be extended). What would cause this?

A: Honestly, this happens to me sometimes, and the claws just won't pop out. I have to keep trying and manipulate the nail a little differently to get it to go. But sometimes a previous injury (that you may not be aware of) can cause some ligamentous injury to the nail, affecting the ability to retract.

I am not concerned about it, unless the nail is growing awkwardly or if your cat is limping on that paw.

-- Answer from Dr. Andy, a veterinarian on JustAnswer.

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