Why do cats’ claws retract but dogs’ claws don’t?

Dog's paw on a human hand. Image of friendship between man and dog.

Imagine the sound of a dog walking across a tile floor, the “click, click, click” of its claws tapping against the ground. Now, imagine a cat padding across the same floor — the difference is the cat moves in total silence. Cats can fully retract their claws, giving them superior sneaking ability.

But why do cats have retractable claws, whereas dogs do not?

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