Claw Caps Not Really Any Better Than Declawing…

by Finn Frode
(Copenhagen, Denmark)

Claw caps

Claw caps

The picture is snipped from a recent article in the periodical issued by the Danish cat shelter "Inges Kattehjem". I hope they don't mind me borrowing it for a good cause...

The story is that a young Canadian lady had temporarily placed her cat at the shelter. While housed there, the shelter staff noticed those little blue caps on it's claws and wondered what they were for.

When confronted the lady told them that the cat sometimes suffered from convulsions that might cause it to harm itself and therefore her vet had recommended declawing. Knowing that this practice is illegal in many countries, the lady asked for an alternative and the cat ended up with these so-called "claw caps".

The young lady only wished the best for her cat, so after talking things over with the shelter staff, she wisely decided to have the claw caps removed from the cat immediately and instead seek proper medical treatment for the convulsions.

The shelter sees this case as the classic example of how you can do your pet a disservice in good faith - even when advised by somebody, who should be an authority like the vet.

Here in Denmark claw caps would no doubt be illegal, as they "cause considerable inconvenience to the animal" - that's at least the point of view of the shelter, who noticed that the caps seemed to prevent the cat from retracting it's claws.

If you google "claw caps" and "cats", you'll find some companies that offer these things. It's claimed that the caps do not "interfere with the normal extension and retraction of claws". But I somehow doubt that, because all the pictures show cat paws with those little caps sticking far out instead of being properly retracted...

Using claw caps is not as cruel as declawing, but it still seems like mutilation to me. It prevents the cat from following it's natural instincts by scratching and maybe climbing the scratching pole - and also from protecting itself. And each cap must be renewed every 4 or 6 weeks in a procedure lasting up to 5 minutes per claw while the glue dries. I doubt my big old moggie would ever have the patience for that...

Instead spend two minutes every two weeks trimming the claws on the front paws - it's really that easy once the both of you have gotten used to the procedure. And of course get one or more scratching poles that allows your cat to really stretch out.

Finn Frode

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Claw Caps Not Really Any Better Than Declawing...

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Feb 20, 2012 Declawing = way worse!!! It removes bone, ligaments, nerve & tendon NEW
by: Anonymous


"To remove the claw, the bone, nerve, joint capsule, collateral ligaments, and the extensor and flexor tendons must all be amputated. Thus declawing is not a “simple”, single surgery but 10 separate, painful amputations of the third phalanx up to the last joint of each toe. A graphic comparison in human terms would be the cutting off of a person's finger at the last joint of each finger."

Declawing cruelly tortures cats just so that furniture won't get scratched.

Feb 06, 2012 Really?? NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm very surprised at those that would chastise people for using claw caps. Review after review confirms that these things don't interfere with normal function. I have adopted strays since I was 9 years old. I have given many cats a wonderful, loving home, and a happy life. I just lost one who was with me for 19 years. That said, just like I wouldn't allow my child to paint on my wall (trust me, this is a natural instinct for a child), I don't want to allow an animal to destroy things in my house. That doesn't mean I'm cruel, or that I care about my furniture more than my animal. Please. Get off of the high horses and be thankful that so many of us are rescuing these animals from certain death.

Jan 17, 2012 I research my articles. Do you? 1/2
by: American-biased Journalist

I put claw-caps on my new kitten when he was five months old because he's rowdy and likes to playfight. Since I started while he was small, he doesn't mind in the least, and I don't need to curb his desires to playfight with my hand, since I don't have another cat for him to roughouse with. Even with the claw-caps on, he still loves his scratching post. The only issue he's run into is the fact that he can't jump halfway into my lap and claw the rest of the way there -- shredding my legs in the process. He has to jump a bit more carefully, or paw at my leg to let me know he wants to be picked up.

I also brush his teeth every day so he has less to worry about in the future in terms of anesthesia for dental care -- even though he's only got his baby teeth right now. Just like any solution, if you teach your cat/kitten to get used to it early/gently, they really don't mind.

What actually appalls me about this is the original author saying this is 'just as bad as declawing.' Really? Rubber caps that (if properly applied) do not in any way interfere with the claws being retracted are as bad as cutting out living pieces of the cat? This isn't just stupid -- it's blatantly poorly researched!

1.) Citation of an _obviously_ edge case where the cat is suffering some pre-existing condition that clearly has nothing to do with the claw-caps. That cat was going into convlusions before claw-caps were applies. The consulting vet that prescribed them (assuming your anecdote is even _true_, something I honestly doubt, since you have a picture, yet can't be bothered to include links) was obviously misinformed. Your approach/argument is sensationalist, biased, and on top of that, a straw-man argument.

Jan 17, 2012 I research my articles. Do you? 2/2
by: American-biased Journalist

2.) Gross assumptions on your part expanding on point 1 without showing any research beyond your opinion. Seriously -- you're stating the shelter as an authority superior to a veterinarian? I can buy that in once instance -- the veterinarian was probably wrong to say that claw-caps were the solution to convulsions. But if the convulsions were non-treatable due to a neurological issue, then the claw-caps are intended to treat a symptom -- and if the cat can/has hurt itself while seizing, then the shelter actually did worse by undoing what little improvement _had_ been made to handle its condition. In summary, even if the shelter were correct in this case, your assertion that they are superior to veterinarians in all cases is blatantly flawed.

3.) You then go on to say that claw-caps are a bigger hassle than trimming the cat's claws. Having done both myself, I can assure you ... you're just wrong. And can't be bothered to do the research because you just _assume_ that you're correct? Follow that up with, the statement that it 'seems like mutilation'? I can't see anything in your article that backs this up -- the full extent of your research is looking at pictures (_advertisements_, mind you, which are intended to showcase the product -- in this case ... the claw-caps) and saying, "That looks uncomfortable -- so it must interfere with the cat's ability to live its life!" It does not in any way diminish the cat from behaving as it always would. It does make their claws dull and rubber-tipped. My cat still loves his scratching post, even with claw-caps.

4.) Pretentious assertions that your approach is the correct one, even while acknowledging the lack of research and failure to show any proof. And you say us Americans are bigots....

At the end of the day, your article and the lack of research (as well as the pretentious, condescending attitude you serve it with) offends me more than putting rubber caps on my cat's claws. Frankly, I'm disgusted and disturbed by your attitude and your assumptions.

Please, if you understand what writing articles is about ... don't do it if you can't be bothered to do the research. There's a term for the type of unsubstantiated article you wrote. We call it 'trolling.'

Oct 07, 2011 Fine for my kitty
by: Anonymous

I understand your point of view, but I'm a huge animal lover and I recently applied claw caps to my cat, and she has no problem with them. She did chew at them for a short while, but she has no problem now. I made sure her nails retract and extend COMFORTABLY and that they are not uncomfortable for her. I made the decision to apply them because she likes to play fight like kittens do and she would scratch me accidentally. She plays with her scratch post, climbs and plays normally. Claw caps have not been detrimental to my cat in any way.

Sep 15, 2011 Really?
by: Anonymous

A million years later, but...
I recently got a kitten to keep my older cat company. The older cat's declawed (I brought him home that way, not my decision...) and much more timid than she is, so my main concern was that she's "better armed" and might be able to do real damage in any little arguments they had. I got claw caps, put them on her, and she doesn't even notice them. She still runs around and scratches the scratching posts (I did get them, because even the declawed boy likes to use them!) and she's never even glanced at the claw caps; I haven't seen her pick at them a single time. And they seem to retract just fine, too; I have to pick her up and really inspect to see if they're still on. The worst thing about it is that she falls off of things every now and again because she can't claw in and doesn't realize it, but I think that would happen just as much if I only trimmed her nails and it's decreasing as she gets used to them. So, I know a lot of people are judgey, but claw caps are not what some people are portraying them to be here. If she was constantly ripping her toes apart trying to get them off or something, there's no way I would continue using them. (She is, by the by, a completely indoor kitty. People can complain about "outside breezes and sunshine," but obviously they've never run into one that got torn apart by a neighborhood dog, or caught in a car's fan belt because it curled up in the warm engine, or got hurt in a cat fight, or whatever.)

Feb 17, 2011
by: Anonymous

No, there really isn't a difference time wise, but the caps stop the damage that a cat with only trimmed claws can still do. The nails are trimed before application btw. The other side of that is the behaviour of inappropriate scratching isn't really addressed; the cat still scratches where it shouldn't, it just doesn't do any harm. We're using them as a stop gap while we train her where to scratch so we still have furniture at the end of the day.

Feb 17, 2011 Cooperative enough for one but not the other?
by: Patrick

I would like to make one point (without taking either side of this argument). There isn't much difference between 2 minutes every two weeks to trim nails and 5 minutes every 4 to 6 weeks to glue on some plastic caps.

Feb 13, 2011 Self-righteous much?
by: Jessa

If these claw caps allow people to save animals whats the big?

Feb 01, 2011 You guys are *all* a bunch of toolbags
by: Goobergaul

Go munch on some turds....

Feb 01, 2011 get over yourselves people.
by: Anonymous

I have a cat that I adopted full grown (something I rarely do because one usually has to get them to unlearn bad behaviour, *surprise! guess what I've been doing for months*. She will not stop scratching everything. Now, we have multiple cat posts, liberally baited both with toys and honeysuckle; I've covered the more frequented spots with everything from tin foil, to sticky tape. We have more spray bottles in the house than we have rooms right now and nothing is working. Am I seriously, under all you people's definition of a good cat owner, supposed to tolerate the destruction of my dining room table, both sofas, all desk and desk chairs, my carpets, every bed in the house, and even some of my walls; Rather than put little rubber tips on my cats claws? Oh, and BTW they retract fine. If they don't they're too big, or a crappy brand.
You people need to get lives if this is what gets you all this riled up. Yes, our cats are valued members of our family. Yes, I accept and love cats for who/what they are, but I put diapers on babies and incontinent old people in my home, is that cruel? I ask people to take thier shoes off to protect my floors, is that evil?

Jan 28, 2011 RAW
by: Tim

How come the person hadn't mentioned these convulsions before they put the cat in? If I were the shelter owner I'd be pretty POed that I'd not been informed of the animal's problems before hand.

Give your cat up for adoption and buy some more ornamental furniture. You probably know more about that than you do feline anatomy.

Mar 30, 2010 Attitudes to cats need to change
by: Sue

I can hardly believe the difference in the attitudes of USA people to UK people.
So many seem to treat cats as possessions that they have to have to 'keep up with the Joneses'
Why get a pet then curb its natural instincts,why punish it for being a cat,why not just get a cat ornament,they sit still and quiet and that's what most USA people want.
For God's sake, cats are FAMILY,not pests to be squirted or shocked or have their claws tampered with.
Those who adore furniture to the extent that cats have to be afraid to go anywhere near it,need a short sharp reality check.Maybe their cats should be armed with a scat mat to shock those cruel people into thinking twice about hurting or frightening their pets.Let them see how it feels to live in fear of doing'wrong'

Mar 29, 2010 Am I in a parallel universe?
by: Petra Stephenson

Is this for real? Are we really having a conversation about putting rubber ends on a cat's claws because it commits the heinous sin of scratching? Excuse me but isn't that a thing cats do? It seems you don't know much about cats if you think they behave in the ways you so indelicately describe and so my advice to you would be to limit yourself to antiques after this, beautiful loving warm blooded creatures are wasted on you madam.
And as for scat mats, words fail me! I thought one normally owned a cat for the mutual love and pleasure of cat and owner. What point is there in owning a cat and scaring it with coins, dousing it with lemon juice and electrocuting it to keep it from entering a room.

Cats are not compulsary, if you don't like the way they act then don't get one.

For crying out loud folks haven't you heard of kindness in your miserable, harsh country?

Mar 29, 2010 Miserable American cats
by: Carol

Kept indoors forever,imprisoned for no crime,deprived of fresh air,sunshine and everything else cats enjoy.
Toes hacked off or rubber shoved on their claws.Yelled at,rattled at,squirted at,shocked,second place to furniture,their happiness given no consideration.
What a disgusting way to treat such beautiful animals!
Bad bad bad owners!

Mar 29, 2010 Sickening treatment of cats
by: Rose

What a sickening load of bumph!
Kristina you are one up yourself selfish and exremely unlikeable woman.Furniture isn't living,breathing or feeling,it's lumps of wood.
Your cat is the one living,breathing and feeling and he deserves to come before your revered lumps of old wood.Have someone ram rubber onto your finger ends and see how'small'the inconvenience is to you.
Oh but I forgot,your happiness is too important.
Lisa,as for scat mats,how cruel are they! A'little'shock,would you give your kids a'little'shock to teach them where is out of bounds?As for squirting water with lemon in,don't you know if the cat ingests any you could set off an infection.
You don't have to give cats shocks or squirt them or rattle coins and have them living in fear,don't you know punishing cats is cruel and pointless?
You train cats as you do children,by kindness and distraction.They are very intelligent and soon learn,there's no need to punish them.Do you punish your children too for being children and not knowing your rules?
I've heard of enough cruelty in the USA to last me a lifetime.All you need is a few scratching posters and pads around the house,show your cat how to use them,direct him back to them if he goes to scratch where you don't want him to.
I have small children,cats and dogs and NONE are ever punished,yet all are well behaved.I love them all and they love and respect me.If I hurt or frightened a single one of my children or my pets I would NEVER forgive myself and woe betide me meeting anyone like either of you!You'd be sorry you were ever born.There is NO need to frighten or hurt any living feeling being
My message is clear,anyone who resorts to frightening or hurting a cat for the sake of furniture should stick to soft toys.

Mar 29, 2010 To Kristina
by: Lisa


Wow. Not only pretty histrionic, but really badly misinformed as well. The adverse behaviors you seem to be describing I would ONLY attribute to a feral cat, & a feral cat wouldn't be an inside housepet anyway. The "pissing up the walls" is mostly hormonal behavior, done by intact males & females, or a terrritorial marking behavior done by neutered males & females. We have a going on 7 year old neutered male that sprays when his particular apple cart is upset for whatever reason, & we are thankful there's no smell associated with a neuter's urine. I am the mother of 5 children ranging in age from 22-10, have had cats my entire LIFE, & have NEVER had one "attack" one of my babies. Yes, they DO like to get in cribs, strollers, & playpens with babies, but it's NOT an aggressive act. It's because babies to a cat smell GOOD!!!! It's an AFFECTIONATE act. My introductions to the cats over the years started the DAY they came home from the hospital, & we laid them on a blanket on the floor & allowed the cats to come & sniff & wash them to their heart's content. My children have grown up to be pet lovers because they've never known a day without that love.

Keeping them off your antiques takes some creativity. If they are located in a specific room in your home & nowhere else, either keep the door to that room closed, or place a scat mat in the doorway, or on the pieces of furniture you don't want them on. The cat steps foot on it, is given a small shock, which startles them, & it teaches them to leave it alone. You can also put Sticky Paws strips on the legs/sides, so when they put their paws on it, it's sticky, & they'll leave it alone. The strips are clear, so they do not detract from the look of the piece you are trying to protect. You could also put clear plastic corner covers on the legs. Training them to leave it alone takes a bit of work, with either a water sprayer or a shake can. Neither hurts the cat, & both are effective training aids. Load your sprayer with half & half cold water & lemon juice, because cats don't like citrus. When the cat touches something you don't want it touching, spray it. A shake can is a simple concept too. Get a soda/pop can, toss in a few pennies or pebbles, & cover the hole with duct tape. When the cat goes near something you don't want it going near, shake the can & say no. The loud noise will distract it from what it was doing. Then toss it a jingly ball, catnip mouse, something.

Most of all, make sure your cat has several scratching post options with levels, & keep the nails trimmed once a week if young, & once every other week if it's an adult. Siamese are SMART, they learn very quickly, so it should be easy to retrain him/her to stay away from the things you want him/her to, & to scratch on his own things.

Mar 29, 2010 Soft Paws-To Anonymous
by: Lisa

Hi there. In your case, with a VERY elderly cat who has problems making it on & off the bed, adding a step of some kind, like Ruth suggested, would make getting up there with you at night much easier on the old thing's joints, & yes, I think in this case, you would also be justified in using the Soft Paws for the time your old cat has left for your safety as well as putting less long term stress on him.

Mar 29, 2010 To the happy furniture worshipper
by: Kathryn

Use claw caps if you must but as has already been said,why did you bring a cat into your home where YOUR happiness and inanimate wooden objects are more important than your cat?
We are so not impressed at your antique bits of wood, we much prefer our happiness by giving our cats the best life we can and making them happy.
Maybe you should wear claw caps yourself incase you scratch your precious furniture while polishing it?
You got yourself into a right tizzy spouting rubbish and bad language about cats scratching eyes out etc,such rubbish! Also mispelling words in your haste to make sure we know how you feel.
Hear this...we DO NOT CARE how you feel!
All I can say is God help your cat!

Mar 29, 2010 To Kristina
by: Ruth

So, your FRUNITURE and HAPPINES is MROE(YOUR spelling not mine) important than a small incovenience of your cat.
A SMALL ???? inconvenience.You obviously don't give a damn about your cats happiness, yes I ask too, where is HIS furniture ?There is no such thing as a bad cat but there are bad owners !Anyone who can't teach their cat gently and kindly to scratch where it's appropriate shoudn't have a cat !
You are one very selfish ignorant misguided person.
You rant and rave about ridiculous things such as pissing (YOUR language not mine)on walls,getting pregnant several times a year, abandoning their babies, scratching each other's eyes out and attacking whoever they consider a threat, including your baby.
Whatever cats are you talking about ? I have never had or know anyone who has, had cats 'pissing' up the walls,getting pregnant (TRUE cat lovers cats are neutered for their OWN sake)
Scratching eyes out and attacking babies, hold on, these are pet cats we are talking about, not wild beasts.
What a load of 'bollocks' YOU talk.
Go and sit on your precious FRUNITURE and enjoy your HAPPINES whilst your cat is being deprived of the pleasure of a good work out on a tall strong scratching post to exercise his muscles and stay healthy.
Yes claw caps are better than having cats toes amputated but what beats me is why people like you get a cat in the first place as you don't seem to think very highly of them.
Stroke your antique furnitire and see if it purrs.What a cold and sad life people like you must live.

Mar 29, 2010 To Kristina
by: Babz

So Kristina you've told us what YOU own but what furniture does your cat have to scratch on? Does he have a tall, sturdy upright scratching post treated with cat nip standing in a place where he has room to use it properly? Does he also have a flat scratching pad or even just a cardboard box to use? Have you shown him how to use them? Have you made scratching at the post a happy enjoyable task by playing with him and encouraging scratching? Or have you merely expected him to conform and when he hasn't you've shoved rubber gloves on him?
Your comments about pissing on walls, attacking babies etc are just ridiculous and over emotional as is your choice of title for your comment, the top and bottom of it is that you value your possessions too highly and really should never have had a cat. Cookiness is not only in allowing a cat to rule your life, it is also in allowing furniture worship to cloud your judgement. If YOUR happiness and furniture is more important than your cat's inconvenience then I hope this cat is the last one you ever own.

Barbara avatar

Mar 28, 2010 Bollocks!
by: Kristina

My cat is an indoor cat and has ripped two staircase carpets to shreds and now moved onto my antique furniture. I trimmed his claws, glued on the nail caps and now he is a hppy kitty and I am a happy owner. It is not true, that cats can not retract their nails - you have to glue the caps carefully and they will not interfere with anything. He gets a little bit bored and impatient, when I glue them on, but I keep stroking him during the process and he does not really mind. It is not anymore cruel or uncomfortable for the cat than a collar with a bell. They get used to the unusual sensation in half a day and never worry about itagain. Of course, if you let your cat out, the nail caps are as dangerous as declawing, but I do nto see any porblem indoors. Some comments here say it is natural for cats to scratch - well it is also natural for them to piss on your walls, get pregnant several times a year, abandon their babies, scratch each other's eyes out and to attack whoever they consider a threat, including your baby. Why don't you allow that? Not everyhting that is natural is good. And I am not going to become one of those cooky people, who allow cats rule their entire lives. Of course my fruniture and my happines is mroe important than a small incovenience of my cat.

Jan 02, 2010 To anonymous
by: Ruth

I do understand as our very old cat Ebony liked to sleep on the pillow next to me.What I did was put some 'steps' up to my bed for her,using a stool, a pouffee and then a chair level with my bed, and showed her how to use them to jump up and down safely.
The only other way to solve it is probably totally impractible for you as it would be to sleep on your mattrass on the floor so she doesn't have to jump.
It's worrying me that she may not have much grip after her claws are clipped and not knowing that, will slip, fall and hurt herself.
I didn't get much sleep as I was more worried about hurting Ebby than her hurting me but I'd do it all again just to have her back as there is a huge gap in our home now she's gone.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Jan 01, 2010 Cat scratches...
by: Anonymous

I totally agree with everything that has been said on this page, but what if you are continually being torn to shreds by your cat?? My cat is nearly 18 and due to not seeing very well, when she jumps up on me in the night, she digs her claws firmly in not to fall off, often getting them caught in my skin, like the back of my neck, legs etc. I know she doesn't realise what she is doing, but having your cat land on your bare skin with their extremely sharp claws sinking in is not a pleasant way to be woken and it's only a matter of time before she lands on my face / eyes causing irreversable damage! I am getting her claws clipped tomorrow at the vet as I think they are too long, but I just don't know what to do in the long term.. I don't want to stress her as she is a tortoiseshell rescue cat and gets upset easily and I adore her beyond all possible reason, but I don't want her to blind me with her claws or rip my face to pieces! Can anyone help..? I would be extremely grateful if there are any suggestions! Thank you very much!

Sep 05, 2009 There are exceptions
by: Barbara

Lisa in your case you are fully justified in using Soft Paws, you've obviously given a lot of thought to the options for this poor old boy and come up with the best you can for him. This is what Soft Paws should be for, when it is for the sake of the cat and not for the convenience of lazy owners who give no thought to the comfort of their cat, only to the state of their furniture.

It sounds as though there's life in the old dog yet!(Figuratively speaking - I know he's a cat) I wish him lots more biting time with you, you're an Earth Angel to care about him so much and not give up on him.

Can't think why I left myself as Anonymous on my previous post about Soft Paws, anyway it was me.

Sep 05, 2009 Lisa's old boy
by: Ruth

Hi Lisa, I do think in your old boy's case soft paws are well justified and with clear ones he keeps his dignity too, that is very important to a cat as you obviously well know.I admire you for not giving up on this poor cat,it must be a real struggle and I'm so glad he's with you for his last bit of time on this earth. My heart aches for the cats who never know even a bit of love and kindness in their lives.

Sorry I was hasty and wrote soft paws off,I was thinking about the cats not having the pleasure of using the claws they are born with to enjoy, as well as for the necessary things such as grooming and exercising,put on cats instead of providing scratching posts.

Thank you for making me think again, by telling us about your old boy.

Bless you for your good work.

Sep 04, 2009 Soft Paws
by: Lisa James

I just wish the US would take a page from the enlightened European countries who have made it illegal to mutilate your pets by declawing, ear cropping & tail docking. Dewclaw removal is another thing entirely.

We advocate trimming a cats' nails every other week, once a week for kittens, the use of scratching posts & pads, & education.

In rescue we've seen many declaws turn into biters in order to protect themselves from perceived threats.

However, the use of the Soft Paws should be done on a case by case basis, not just because some owners are too lazy to do it. Case in point, we have an old, sick boy that was given up a year ago for "aggression issues". This cat has all of his claws. You CANNOT trim them, or he will bite you, plain & simple. I think I can do ONE nail before he's onto me & tries to bite. Muzzling him with a cat muzzle stresses him out even worse & he puts all 4 sets out & slashes at me so badly that I end up having to drop a blanket on him in order to get it back off without him ripping me to shreds while I take the muzzle off. He came to us drugged so badly by his previous owners that he fell off a hope chest & bit my daughter so badly she ended up in the ER with a badly infected wrist. I absolutely refuse to drug him again. That's cruel when he's a CRF cat because it further depresses the immune & the rest of his systems.

So what are my choices with this individual cat? Left without having his claws trimmed because he's a really bad biter, he scratches bloody holes in his sides. I'm NOT declawing him because I categorically don't believe in it. Plus, he's too old & in too bad of a shape to put him under anesthesia because it could kill him. I paid to put the Soft Paws on him, & he was fine for about 3 MONTHS. He sat in the vet's office & let THEM trim his nails, but I can't afford a $40 vet bill every other week to keep them clipped.

My final option is to have him put down, which realistically with his health continuing to decline, we will have to do in a few more months anyway. So to keep him comfortable till the time comes to let him go, I really don't have any other recourse but to put the Soft Paws on him.

So I think the silly colors are undignified, & they DO have clear ones on the market, which is what I use on this cat I don't have any other choices on. The rest of my cats get their nails trimmed on a regular basis, & yes, they have scratching posts galore, but have ruined my couch. So be it, I can buy slipcovers.

Sep 03, 2009 Horrible things
by: Anonymous

Like everyone else I have to grudgingly admit that these claw covers have saved many cats from being declawed, but I hate the thought of them, as I said in this blog back in May. (new window)

because of the fact that not only do they look undignified but they must really irritate the cat. I too am sure that once those things are on the claws will be unable to retract and I also think that chewing them off could lead to swallowing them and internal troubles or to sore toes due to constant licking and chewing to get them off. To actually mess about sticking little plastic caps on to claws and expect the cat to put up with them makes me wonder what type of sawdust they have in their heads, I know I keep going back to this same statement but why do people get cats if they don't want them to bring their claws with them?????

It goes right back to self indulgence again "Oh I must have a cat" but a modified cat of course, one that has to toe the line (pardon the pun) and have the claws cancelled out in some way.

And those people who think a hulking big tom cat looks "cute" with pink claw covers and manage to get a cheap laugh out of it as well are just saddos. How can anyone who deliberately robs a cat of either claws or dignity profess they love their cat?

Sep 03, 2009 Soft paws
by: Ruth

Well Finn, thank goodness someone else thinks that way too!! I hate any method of people messing with cats claws and like your country, we in the UK know that Nature takes care of keeping those claws as they should be. We've had cats for 35 years and only ever had to trim one of our cat's claws as she was very old and they'd started to grow round towards her pads.

Every day I'm on Yahoo Answers trying to help educate people who think declawing is acceptable and every day there are others on advising trimming claws then using soft paws.Oh and they come in 'cute colours' they say and it's so funny to see a big black tom cat with hot pink nails !!Hmm not funny for the cat !! We all know cats hate being laughed at.

Yes they are definitely preferable to mutilating a cat by depriving it of the claws it was born with and needs !But what gets me is that people know a cat has claws,why do they react with shock and horror when they use them ? The number of people who don't even provide their cats with a scratching post then complain about their precious furniture being scratched, is sickening!

If furniture is their God, why do they get a cat? So many treat them like possessions and they know they can easily adapt them.They don't want a cat,they want a catalike, the furry bits but no claws.

A question I answered the other day was about a mother cat with new kittens,she had scratched the child of the house who had picked one of her kittens up,how could they stop the cat scratching her again. Instead of replying to keep the child from touching the kittens, this idiot said put soft paws on the mother!!

Imagine, poor cat with new babies, those things forced on her claws !! I've heard they sometimes come off or the cat chews them off.Imagine if one of those tiny kittens had choked on one of the things! Thankfully the asker came back on and had taken the advice of those of us who said to keep the child from touching the kittens until they were older and then teach her to be gentle.

Another asker said what could she drug her cat with while she put the claw covers on her as the cat hated them and wouldn't sit still? Apparently they have to be renewed every few weeks, so did she intend to dope her cat for the rest of her life?

Needless to say she hadn't even got a scratching post for the cat !They even make emery board type scratchers now! When will people let cats be cats and enjoy being cats as is their birthright, I wonder ?

Sep 02, 2009 "CLAW CAPS"
by: Rudolph.A.Furtado

First and foremost, any person keeping a "CAT" as a pet should understand the advantages and disadvantages of owning the pet in its natural state. Cats have claws which are meant to be used by them akin to a dog having a 'Barking" voice. "De-Clawing" a cat is akin to owning a "Toy", devoiding the animal off its natural instincts akin to muzzling a dog to prevent it from barking loudly and disturbing the neighbourhood. It's the "Pet owners" responsibility to discipline their pets and the pet proverb is absolutely true, quote,"SHOW ME THE PET AND I WILL FORECAST THE CHARACTER OF ITS HUMAN OWNER"!
"Claw Caps", an innovation definitely better than "De-Clawing" is ultimately also aimed at preventing a cat from living like a cat.

Sep 02, 2009 Agreed and thanks
by: Michael (PoC Admin)

I agree with you. I guess it might be a bit better because it can be reversed but it is another example of what I call disconnected people (DPs) treating cats as inanimate objects and being unable to accept the cat as it is.

Thanks, Finn, for a really nice post. Very educational.


Claw Caps Not Really Any Better Than Declawing… — 68 Comments

  1. I was actually reading some things on your site….until I came to this. How uneducated can you be? History: I had 3 cats. All died of old age at 12, 15 and 17. They were declawed. My eldest was having trouble walking on her front feet at the end due to pain/arthritis in the declawed paws. *front only* I got a kitten. He destroyed furniture. I tried scratching posts, sprays, sticky tape and every other alternative to declawing. The last resort was claw covers. I love them and he’s fine with it. I notice no discomfort or sadness on his part. He can still climb up a tree and with his back claws, defend himself. I’m sure such an expert as yourself knows that the back claws are used most in a cat fight.

    This keeps my cat *now over a year* in the house with me when he wants, but also allows him to explore.

    Dark colored claws are hard to see the quick in. With these I just trim the very tip of the claw. Many people have accidentally maimed a cat by trimming to far. This is a safe, effective and humane way to handle having clawed creature in your house as companions. For dogs they save your wooden floor from mutilation.

    But no no, I’m sure all the testimonies, vets and research done on the subject is wrong and your opinion is just….seems legit. :eyeroll:

  2. These days people don’t seem to care about their cats that much and just refuse to let them tear up furniture. I don’t care what anyone says most cats will tear up crap even if they do have a scratching post. I have a 3 month old cat and I do use the caps on him. The first time I put them on (while he slept in my lap for about 5 minutes) he would shake his paws when he would walk. That lasted a few hours and that was it. I have been using them for a month and they do not bother him at all and his claws retract completely. I do think it is best to take them off for awhile from time to time to prevent rotting of the claws but that is it. You can’t expect people to just deal with the clawing and scratching all the time, it just won’t happen. That being said yes I do recommend cat caps to anyone with cats.

    Mother of a very happy and healthy kitten

    • Thanks Cat Lover for your comment. I am not sure which country you live in. In the UK we do indeed deal with the clawing and scratching all the time. We don’t declaw and rarely if ever put claw caps on. We just accept things the way they are and if the furniture gets a bit scratched so be it. People rarely get scratched because you don’t if you handle a cat in a certain way. If you are American I am pleased you did not declaw and used caps instead.

  3. This article and all the comments just reinforce my belief that Europeans and cat people are a little nutty – and European cat people are the nuttiest of all.

    The nail caps do not hurt the cat or interfere with normal scratching behavior OR claw retraction. Science and research > your opinions. You do not prevent the cat from ‘doing what cats do’ – you just make it non-destructive.

    Bunch of idiots.

    • I think you are being harsh and rude. The point Finn makes is that it is just as easy to trim claws and then the cat can express natural desires properly. What is nutty about that? And what is wrong with accepting some so called “destruction”. If you have a cat you know beforehand that a cat needs to scratch. If you can’t accept this don’t adopt a cat. You seem to be narrow minded to me. And impolite.

  4. You’re all morons. Yes our animals are family but most of us like to keep our homes in a nice clean liveable condition. Scratching is a natural and they will do it with or without nails or caps on them. Animals adjust. Its humans that pigheadedly think they shouldn’t have to. If you think the caps are cruel don’t use them. But you’re still a moron. I wouldn’t let any of my animals destroy what I paid good money for and I shouldn’t have to. Nor should I let them have the ability to hurt myself, my other animals or my children.
    My animals are inside animals because they are my babies. But if you let your babies destroy all of your shit don’t wonder why you’re throwing away money and nobody wants to go to your ratty ass house.

    • You’re all morons

      This is unnecessarily rude. There is no need for it and believe me the person who wrote the article and the people who added comments are not morons.

      I wouldn’t let any of my animals destroy what I paid good money

      In that case don’t keep companion animals or learn how to look after them. My cats have never destroyed my possessions. What are you doing?

      they are my babies

      Companion animals are not “babies”. They are companion animals.

      • I apologize. I was quite rude. I do mean what I say when I say I won’t let my loves tear up my stuff. And I do believe nail caps are humane as long as they are used properly. My companions are my babies. They share a special bond with you that nothing else can give. They bring out the nurturing side and do not just you for what you do and say. To me companion animal sounds a tad too much like the title of a possession rather than a warm squishy place in your heart.

    • I’ve got news for you,you are the moron and tell me why you think our homes are not in a nice clean livable condition?
      We don’t shut dogs in our bathrooms to poo in the shower,I don’t call that clean,you ought to be prosecuted for leaving them like that.
      Has no one told you dogs are not inside animals they need taking out to poo?Yes I read your rubbish on another page.
      Babies destroying all of your excreta I don’t get at all,you sound to be a very bitter and twisted child so I suggest you go and play with the other childish morons just like you are.

      • I take very good care of my dogs. There was absolutely nobody that could have taken care of my dogs. My dogs are very smart and clean and I made sure they had all the comforts they needed for the time we were away. Nobody in their right mind would take my dogs away from me.

  5. Mariah you are very immature, don’t call people morons or use the word s**t or ratty ass house if you want to be taken seriously.
    I thought an ass was an animal anyway?
    It’s rich this rubbish coming from someone who shut her ‘babies’ in a bathroom for days on end, I hope you don’t think that’s how other people treat their ‘family’ and it worries me your animals are inside animals, I assume your dogs you are talking about, dogs need taking for walks you know.
    You are very lacking in education and in good manners too, you need to do some learning about animals and respect and you also need to do some growing up.

    • I am taken seriously by many people because I am intelligent. Regardless whether I curse or not. I take my dogs outside every day. Dogs cannot be strictly inside animals. I’ve already explained that my dogs had everything they needed and were only in the bathroom because of an emergency.

  6. Yesterday morning out of the blue. My friend and companion Panda Bear had been nestled next to me in right arm. I was woken up by sharp pain in my face. Calmly, I moved the cat over so I could go to the mirror in my bathroom. Blood dripping my arm and hand I turned on the light switch and looking in the mirror I had two large gashes in my forehead. I immediately cleaned out the wounds and applied triple antibiotic ointment. I walked back to the bed the wounds still dripping and looked at the cat. He appeared as startled as I was.

    I had NO IDEA why he had attacked me. I don’t know if he knew. The wounds were still dripping blood when I moved around so used paper towels to dab it up. He stuck to me like glue for the next 4-5 hours. He followed me around. I asked him what happen. I’m not sure he knew why he did what he did. The question of course was how to prevent it from happening again. This happened at around 3:30 a.m. It took about an hour and a half before I could settle down enough to go back to sleep. The cat came back to bed to lay near me. I, probably,should have gone to the doctor. I didn’t have any

    Steri-strips or butterflies to approximate the edges so I’m, probably, going to have two nasty scars on my forehead. Thank God it wasn’t near my eyes. I haven’t done anything yet as far as the kitty is concerned. I consulted my vet. They suggested I put in a room by himself when I’m sleeping or use the tips. I believe isolating the cat is cruel and inhumane punishment. He loves to cuddle up next to me early in the morning. I’ve only had him about six months.

    I found him roaming around the parking lot at the local grocery store. I couldn’t leave him there. He was very talkative and friendly. He probably, had had a hard life. He freaked out when I got him in the car. I had the steering wheel in one hand and the cat cuddled in the other. Trying to get him in a pet carrier to get him to the vet was a challenge. I had to wrap him in a blanket to get him in it after having my arm and hand clawed quite well.

    He hadn’t been neutered. But he must have been around people to some degree. Although from his behavior he appeared to have been an outside cat. To say the least vet visits are traumatic for him. So, do I try the nail tips? I’m not going to abandon my Panda Bear. He is not a candidate for adoption with his inadequate social skills. If you want any more info about the cat I’d be glad to fill you in. I had no luck finding a previous owner. So, fellow cat lovers what do I do. I want to do what is best for us both. Some type of compromise is needed. I love my cat and know he loves me. He didn’t know what he was doing when he attacked me. Poor guy. He was as dumbstruck as I was. So what do you all suggest? What is the most humane???

    • I don’t believe Panda Bear attacked you. “I had two large gashes in my forehead”. Looks like claw marks. It is possible that he climbed over you and slipped or something like that or lost his balance near you and grabbed with his claws causing the two scratches.

      It is almost inconceivable that any domestic cat would attack someone while they are asleep because there is no need to. Cats only attack for a reason: to attack prey or to defend. I believe this is an accident.

      What should you do? I don’t think it will happen again but what you might do is let him sleep near you but not on you.

      Thanks for asking and sharing your interesting story. Well done in rescuing Panda Bear.

  7. Maybe, he thought he was protecting me from something. Maybe, he saw a shadow across my face. I’ve never had anything happen like that before. Last few days he’s been terrified when he see the sheets move across the bed. He must have been scratching for a reason. Those scratches were jagged and deep. I am not taking any action with soft paws or any other options at this time. I am taking the wait and see approach. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • I’m pretty certain your injuries had to be from Panda Bear but not intentional. It sounds like something spooked him and he reacted. The bedsheets may have created something that frightened him. It may never happen again.
      I commend you for not over reacting and putting blame on him. You’re a good caretaker.

  8. Hi Marri, Let me tell you my story , then I will get to the point: we have had all rescue dogs and cats for about 30 years; from new born to.terminally ill with leukeimia or fiv (feline immuno deficiency disease); at this writing our eldest kitty is 15 years old, and still plays like a young kitten in all sense of the word. This is Spaz.,she camen to us as anorphaned , very referral young kitten( I watched an elderly neighbor shoot her mother point-blank in a wood pile)(sorry, I meant FERAL )I had Spaz declawed on the front only because it “was the thing to do”at the time.Next is 11yr old Simon. He was abandoned by someone in a nearby neghborhood,adopted by a neighbor(he was a little kitten)and when the kids decided they didn’t like him, they put him out the door only to be shot by another neighbor. I took him in and we got him neutered
    and the shot takenout of him where it landed on his spine. He died on the operating table and they brought him back.I did not have home declared at all.He’s been through enough; he hasn’t let me down either!! Then comes Missy out of the corn field, mde friends with Annie, our reuse Therapy dog( Another WORNRFUL story for another time) it is so very difficult to correct words on these sites!! It messes all the others words up! Above, the words should be, in order..mde-made;reuse-rescue; wornrful -wonderful; We made living space on our porch for Missy and all was well unroll a family of foxes moved in and started to kill the outside cats, we brought Missy in. She provoked herself to be a dangerous boxer with a strong right hook. We had to declaw. Our vet suggested a New procedure of laser -declaw, but there’s NO decapitation AT ALL!!! Tthe nail & nailbed are the only things removed!! She doesn’t walk around with only 1/2 a foot!!! NeXt is our Gideon,he was found in an engine as a . Wee tiny kitten,we adopted him after looking uncommitted for a while after our Bobby passed over the Rainbow Bridge, we were wanting really to adopt an older hard to adopt cat….we did NOT declaw Gideon,we decided to wait and see how he was; he is REALLY SMART. We found thatspending time with your cats , talking to them, real words, not babytalk , be PATIENT, train them well(we clicker train) do not ever raise the voice !! Well, except to call for dinner or something FUN! Otherwise, if you need them in a dire emergency, they will run and hide.( same thing true for dogs!!) Cats thrive on praise, pets, and permanence. They Need stability. Whith a drastic change in the cat’s environment and/or life,including moving furniture,we need to add the word perception…we need to be especially sensitive to the needs of our cat. Your cat Marri, I agree, did not mean to scratch you, whatever happened only he knows and if he meant it for wrong/evil/anger whatever, he WOULD NOT be curled against you at the same time..catand dogs are not hippicrites, nor are they liars, it isn’t in them like it is human,that is what separates us. Keep an eye on your precious boy, I know you will be fine. The restof my story..remember Missy with strong right hook we had lasered in front? 5 yrs later. She has developed some kind of allergy to food, flea meds all the above or SOMETHING!! The vet is stumped, she has tried everything , and we are trying all we can, Missy has a bald neck and I’m even making a “cozy” for her to wear instead of e-collars all her life, the others are all too big.And, yes, she is on grain-free food.all the cats are inside only, shoes off when come in, etc…I will not laser-declaw her just so she won’t keep shredding her neck and ears,(flea meds orally) and causing infections, formatter how often I wash her, as per vet instructions. So we are trying the KITTY CAPS .Now, wouldn’t some of you nay-sayers think this is a better alternative??

    • ‘Our vet suggested a New procedure of laser -declaw, but there’s NO decapitation AT ALL!!! Tthe nail & nailbed are the only things removed!! She doesn’t walk around with only 1/2 a foot!!!’

      There is NO WAY to declaw a cat without amputating the BONE, each claw is embedded into bone and never meant to be removed. ALL declawed cats are disabled cats and almost certain to be living with pain. Please do some research!

  9. Well, darn it, this spell check is for the bad birds ( sorry bird folks!!). Up above it says I “didn’t have a home declared” for Simon… It SHOULD say..”I didn’t have him DECLAWED ! ! ” that’s right!! He had been through enough for a kitten by the time we adopted him!!! I should say, we have two cats with all claws intact, ( the males) The females have their back claws intact and ONE wears soft claws. There was talk if furniture, one lady is right, there are covers that are very nice looking that you can throw in the wash to keep fresh and nice; underneath? Yea, it’s pretty much shredded, back claws will damage also during those wonderful times of “catch me if you can” or the night time fun-times, or just anytime, who cares??? It’s an inanimate object!! What do you count when you count your Blessings??? ‘.,.’__/ u meow

  10. Dear Ruth and anyone who cares about God’s precious 4 legged beautiful creatures He created for us to be faithful stewards of while they and we are on this temporary world until Jesus returns. I DID research very carefully options for my dear kitty WITH my VET. AT that time, there was no such thing as Kitty CAPS OR OTHER SUCH PRODUCT, or I would have opted in that direction for her. The laser DOES NOT REMOVE BONE in the fashion the surgeon performed the procedure that you showed on the diagram, or I wouldn’t have done this either. I’m so very sorry you good folks in the UK have such a bad flavor in your mouth for the Animal lovers in the USA, there are more humane rescue groups/organizations and foster groups who care for the unwanted and undesired and elderly and ANY legged animal that needs love, a roof over it’s head and food and warmth, than there are animal shelters (usually one shelter per city, or 2-3 if it’s a large city) and what ever medical need comes out of the pocket of that person whether they can afford it or not. The veterinarians are accommodating for these dear animals needs as well to help with costs. So, you see Ruth, we aren’t monsters just because a few people talk about declawing their cats, this is only a tiny drop in an ocean of water. I DO thank you and wish many Blessings for your (and many of your other folks!) concern! ^.,.^__/ meow! 🙂

    • So Ann you know better than the Paw Project vets do you?
      Why don’t you ask them if you don’t believe us here?
      Strange that the Paw Project vets are using my diagram to show that laser declawing has the same outcome as any other method if you are the one who is right.
      Laser declawing DOES remove the bone, there is NO WAY to declaw a cat without removing the bone:
      Sadly you are another person to be taken in by this story which regularly does the rounds.
      Please stop trying to justify this cruelty to cats.
      The only animal lovers in your country are the people who arte against declawing by any method at all, all methods cripple cats!
      Please do some more research before you come along with any more stupid and cruel untruths, you are just making a fool of yourself!

        • It’s so aggravating that some people believe that rubbish, I wish they would do some real research instead of just spouting the lies they heard. How many more cats are suffering because of people doing this!
          It makes my claws come right out in defence of those cats claws in danger from those who think laser declawing doesn’t amputate the toe joints…..
          Hope you are OK Dee, B has 2 weeks off, wonderful day today at a nature reserve, really recharged the old hiss and claws.

          • Understandable, R.
            I know all about going from simmer to boil in a flash over hardheaded folks who are blind believers.
            Doing OK.
            Happy B is getting some time.


      Declawing is amputation; it is not merely the removal of the claws. To declaw a cat, the veterinarian cuts off the last knuckles of a cat’s paw – cutting through bone, tendons, skin and nerves. In a person, it is equivalent to amputating each finger or toe at the last joint.

      • Except with the laser method the vet doesn’t cut off the last knuckle but BURNS off the last knuckle

  11. Hello and a Hearty MEOW! to my UK Friends!! AND to all OF MY OTHER FRIENDS AS WELL!!! I DON’t leave any one out, since I like to consider all as friends!! WE all just wear different hats! 🙂 Anyway, an update to my saga, OR should I say to my heavily debated saga with my little Missy and her kitty claws. To recap, She has had her front claws LASER declawed instead of the traditional amputation declaw. Since Fall of 2013 she has been scratching her neck to a bald shredded ribbon.

    WE are (the kitties are on) grain-less food,we are careful with her laundry as well. the house-hold cleaners are all natural and she is never any where around during or quite a while We have a wonderful veterinarian who thinks of everything, Missy is now taking her med orally as well, “COMFORTIS”‘ very good,

    BUT, the real subjects of this Letter are Missy’s toes! she has been wearing her kitty caps for 1 week now and she is doing so very well!! Now at first, she did shake her paws mildly , but when she found nothing out of place, she went on with her business. I am thrilled and over joyed that i don’t have to get her declawed and lose all sense of protection, sense of feeling, balance, or just her well being.

    It would be like someone coming in and cutting off all my hair everywhere!!!you would feel too strange.VERY EASY TO DO !! Her hair is growing back so very nicely on her neck, even though she can still scratch, she does no damage and she can get relief from the little caps, they do have a little point.Missy is much more relaxed and peaceful and lovey-dovey again.

    The other 3 kitties have always been used to me cutting their nails since they were new; first thing I did was take them to the bathroom and sit there with them and treats, I solidly stand firm on my choice to choose the kitty claws rather let her go “Natural” and injure herself and cause infection the we humans could possibly get in spite of very diligent hand washing procedures.(i think I neglected to tell you dear friends, Missy DOES have Toxoplazmosis, so I have to be almost obsessive with the hand washing and the litter boxes. and the kitty claws have saved Missy from the painful declaw, no matter which procedure.

    When I go on my phone, I will send a picture of her toes, WHICH by the way, she can extend and retract them very nicely. I think it may be a size issue of the artificial nail caps and amount of the “super glue used, (only supposed to fill the nails 1/2 way) or, if they used nails too big where retraction isn’t possible, as well as too much glue the kitty fingers are glued also…. that glue is strong and tight stuff- I spilled it on me, BIG mistake!!But my Missy is having NO problems!!! NO DECLAW; NO PAIN, NO REJECTION, VERY HAPPY KITTY !!! ^.,.^__/ meow!

    • Hi Ann, thanks for visiting and sharing. I presume the front claws are removed (declawed) and the caps are on the rear. Is that correct? Or have I got that wrong? I am concerned she scratches her neck. I guess you have put on the caps to stop her injuring herself but she still scratches. Do you know the reason now for the itchy neck?

      For me all declawing is bad, very bad. Laser declawing is no better. It was just marketed by the vets as better. It is a marketing tool no more to encourage more declawing.

      I am pleased the claw caps are working OK. A lot of cats have dormant toxoplasmosis (asymptomatic). I don’t think it is that big a deal to be honest. A lot of people have it too!

  12. first I would like to suggest to the kitty with the allergies..we just lost our baby girl of 14 yrs and she had horrible allergies..first thing vet did was no fish and it worked miracles. Those were not her only allergies but it may I say and attack me if you will because that is the only way you seem to you know how many cats are put out once a piece of furniture is scratched…

    my girl had her front declawed when we got her and no one will tell me that she was not the most loving affectionate cat I have ever had and this from someone who had cats my entire as you wish but please stop reading and believing all the fanatical things you spout at others are a group of very misinformed and may I say mean people..mean makes you ugly and it is hateful and what a shame this is what we have become.

    My cat was so very happy and never did I have a cat that even when dying wanted to be with us..not off on her own. You may have your beliefs but shame on you for treating others with such disrespect because they do not believe as you do!

    • Thanks Adrienne for taking the time to share your experiences. However, people who dislike declawing are not fanatical. We don’t spout misinformation and we’re not mean or ugly. We just don’t like people mutilating their cats for their convenience and I think that is a very good attitude to take. It is a compassionate attitude. And if the reason why people declaw their cats is so that they don’t abandon them after they have scratched their furniture then the obvious and much better answer is not to adopt a cat at all. There is no counter argument to that simple statement. There simply can’t be and therefore I regret to say that you are wrong. Personally, I respect the views of others but I cannot respect people who declawed their convenience. I just can’t because doing something for themselves which hurts their cat and then they proclaim to the world that their cat is loving and they love their cat. It does not make sense to me. You wouldn’t chop the fingers off your baby and say you love your baby at the same time would you? I wonder whether you know what declawing actually is. It is not, as you may well know, the removal of the claw but it is the removal of a part of the toe and that means chopping through bone. It is an amputation.

      • Michael I can show you 2 more articles for the other side, I can have my vet sit here and speak and I can let you sit in and observe the wont make any difference and we just go around again. I have read many many articles on this subject and I still believe you take it to the extreme and actually scare people without warrant. This is a much tamer discussion than I have witness and kudos for that. I also would never ever let my cat be an outdoor cat..not my domestic cat..and expose it to dangers that it does not need to be exposed to ..why would a loving cat owner want to expose you animal to the horrors it cannot defend itself cat was not a wild cat and claws or no claws she would not have lasted a day out there let alone get a disease that she would not get in the house..she was very content to lay in the sun all day and hethrough the house at midnight..use steps and a chair to happily climb in bed..get her treats and settle in on my husband legs..every night even her last. I will get another cat and I will do the same things with my next cat and can only hope it is as loving and affectionate as my cat was. She made believers out of non cat people. She stole my husbands heart and he hasnt looked back! I will miss her everyday and know I gave her a wonderful happy life and she was not in pain. I do wonder who did more for who…her for us or us for her.. I like to think it was completely mutual!

        • We will have to agree to disagree but also remember that there are many countries in Europe who ban declawing. That is whole countries which ban the operation. That must tell you something about it surely. With respect to you, I think you are in denial about it. It is clearly immoral and there’s no getting away from that conclusion. You can justify that much as you wish and people who declaw their cats always do. They always find a reason why they can do it. It is human nature but that does not make it less wrong.

        • Have you not read any of the latest evidence from the Paw Project who are repairing the paws of cats mutilated by declawing? If not I think you should and should educate your vet too who is breaking his oath by being the cause of cats suffering.
          Many cats have bone splinters from botched declawing,
          you don’t know that your cat didn’t suffer, cats are very stoic, they hide pain!
          Because she couldn’t dig in her claws to exercise as cats need to, the chances are high that she suffered at the very least arthritis.
          What option have cats but to carry on as best they can, suicide isn’t an option for them, so they have to get used to living a disabled life.
          Of course she was loving, like all declawed cats she didn’t know who had betrayed her trust and paid someone to amputate her toe ends.
          We are not extremists, we just love cats and are passionate about their welfare, declawing is CRUEL, it ruins cats lives, therefore we have to stop it and believe you me, we WILL stop it! It’s as simple as that!

  13. whoa whoa whoa now you seem to be issuing a threat or ??
    my vet is a highly acclaimed vet..doing great work and recognized for his work with allergies and FINALLY getting others in the field to agree cats are allergic to fish..not all but many many more than you can ever imagine. It absolutely DID NOT ruin my cats didnt know her or us and I do not appreciate you even talking about my cat in that context as I said we JUST lost her please respect that. Michael lets just agree to disagree and I am very impressed or was with the debate here. I was very interested in looking at the rest of this site and just leaving this conversation,however, it seems my first comments were dead on and I do not wish to be around this Ruth’s last comment has made me once again say this is what is wrong with America LAND OF THE FREE. WE ARE FREE and I wont have others talking about or inferring violence or any other means against ones will or against the law to get me to see it their way..this is UGLY Ruth you completely lost any credibility in your argument. I have nothing else to add or care to add..again Michael thank you for listening to what I have to say..I am utterly disgusted by the behavior I have just witnessed..Ruth you are vile

    • ok yes one more thing to say since I just read the entire post by Ruth and may I say if you would get your head out of your ass you would know I was talking about her being in pain before she died..yes I knew my cat very I couldnt know but you know all..I am beginning to see if you are not of the opinion you are not welcome a cat site I was looking for a little relief from this heartache..thanks for being so compassionate, you close minded ignorant excuse for a human being..with that being said I would like my email deleted from this site at once..thank woman have no rights in other countries and public hangings are still such thing as a fair trial in many countries so if you jump off a bridge i should too..think for yourselves people! but hey if they uk is doing it why dont you move there!

      • you close minded ignorant excuse for a human being

        People who don’t like declawing would quite possibly say the same thing about you, and people like you, that you have said about Ruth. Please remember that. We argue that people who don’t see the immorality of declawing are closed minded. They aren’t enlightened. They don’t see animal rights. They see animals as secondary to their rights. They see the domestic cat as something that should amuse them and keep them company but they don’t see that this is a living, sentient being with feelings and emotions. They don’t understand that the declaw operation can go very wrong but the cat can’t tell you about that. The cat simply suffers with bone shards in its toes. How many cats in America have bits of bone left in their toe stumps? How many cats in America have claw growth under the skin of their toe stumps? Can you answer that question? It is quite likely there will be millions and no one knows about it because no one cares except people like Ruth and me and the people at The Paw Project. The so-called good veterinarians like yours don’t know about it and don’t care about it, it seems to me. Don’t you find that a bit surprising?

    • Adrienne, I agree then America is the land of the free. It is a democracy. Freedom of speech is enshrined in the constitution so I hope you respect other people’s rights to say what they want to say. The thing is this: what you have said in support of declawing is upsetting to someone like Ruth who finds declawing objectionable and cruel. To a person who loves cats and respects cats declawing is a cruel operation there is no doubt about it. Anything said on the site against declawing is said with passion and common sense. It is a subject that generates passion amongst true cat lovers. With passion comes strong language and I hope people will accept and respect that.

      It is interesting that being American you have freedoms as you state. You have freedom of choice and you have the freedom to form your own opinions. It is ironic, therefore, that your cat companion has almost no protection or rights whatsoever by comparison in that Americans are able to mutilate their cat’s paws for their own convenience (yes, their convenience). If cats had the freedoms that people enjoyed America and if they could speak English what do you think they would say about declawing?

      Ruth is not vile. Please don’t insult her. She is a very good woman who hates animal cruelty.

    • No threats, only facts, declawing is being proved scientifically to be cruel, yet you continue to condone it and to deny cats suffer because of it.
      I think your very defensive and insulting attitude is because you know at the bottom of you that we are right.
      Maybe you are trying to justify declawing because you feel guilty, but there is no way to justify the amputation of a cat’s healthy toe ends.
      It wont be long before ‘highly acclaimed’ or not, declawing vets will be shown up for what they are, the very people who trained to care for animals are causing cats to suffer.
      You can argue and bluster and call me as many names as you like but I will continue to educate as much as I can about this legalised abuse.
      Notice I haven’t resorted to childish defensive insults, I don’t need to because I KNOW I am in the right!
      America is not the land of the free for declawed cats, it’s the land of suffering and the entire civilised world is watching and waiting for it to stop!

  14. so you are saying I am not a true cat lover..that is laughable and yes she has the right of freedom of speech that DOES NOT INCLUDE THE RIGHT TO THREATEN..THAT IS AGAINST THE LAW! if my cat could talk I imagine she would have much more to say than where are my claws, in fact I have a 5 minute video of her and I you even know how cats communicate? and she got us on to a completely different to treat others with RESPECT. You will continue to defend her actions and that is fine..but respect my opinions and my love for my cat and my cats love for her family. She cannot speak at all now but either way I will speak for her not someone who does not know her and only seems to care about her cat was so much more than if she was declawed or not. and an fyi on your discussion about losing fur..if allergy related as Cleo’s is most likely breaking off she is not gnawing it off..are you a vet or you just play one on your website. I was very kind and reading all opinions until it started to turn ugly and I have no room or time for that in my life. Carry on as you please but she should really watch her tongue..your mouth could be your own worst enemy and sorry but her comments conjure up images or people bombing a veterinary clinics..extremists as I said in the beginning. For the final record my cat was a rescue rescue..I did not declaw her she came to me that way but if she didnt I would do it in a heartbeat on my vets recommendation..if you were to site more than 1 reference over and over your information may sound a bit more credible and my vet has way more class than to put anyone down for their beliefs or take stock in what one website and 2 people are saying and yes he does it for the cats. I was amazed when she was sick of the horror stories I read about people just dumping the cats for financial or just because the cats were ill ..time to move why dont you go yack it up to those sickos! I would have sold everything I had to give her the best care possible so dont you dare tell me I didnt love my cat! 14 yrs a pretty good run I would say ..bless her little heart and my husband who held her for 5 hr as she was taking her last breaths ..she was gone but her heart kept beating and we were not going to abandon her or let her be alone,,which she did not want to be and never attempted to now you tell me I didnt love my cat..and remind me to come back her and verbally attack you just days after your “companion” has passed! you people have such tunnel vision just wow! I compare losing my cat to losing my mother..the same hurt but no i didnt care about her,,again utterly laughable.

    • so you are saying I am not a true cat lover

      You believe that you are a true cat lover but with respect you cannot be a genuine and true cat lover if you mutilate your cat at your convenience which is what declawing is and if you don’t get that you are deceiving yourself.


      You are anthropomorphising your cat. You can’t do that because if you do, you come to the wrong conclusion. A cat does not live by human laws. That is obvious and common sense and you know it. Cats do not threaten unless they are threatened. So if your cat threatens you with her claws it is because of something that you did or created i.e. the environment in which he or she lives.

      how to treat others with RESPECT

      I will respect you in terms of your rights etc. but I cannot respect your opinions about declawing because they lead to what is considered across all of Europe as cat cruelty. What you think is all right and decent is also considered cat cruelty in Israel. How can I respect that opinion. From the perspective of Europeans, your views are immoral in respect of declawing. That does not mean you are immoral it just means that on this issue you have unethical inhumane views according to European values.

      or you just play one on your website.

      I never try and play the vet on this website. I always remind people to see a vet and remind them that researching information on the Internet is not a substitute for proper veterinary care. I know more about declawing in terms of its consequences than 90% of America vets. Botched operations.

      extremists as I said in the beginning

      Every person who is against declawing is not an extremist. They are simply expressing an alternative view to yours with passion. It could be argued that your views are extremist because they are out of step with the rest of the world. America and Canada are the only countries where declawing happens. Both these countries are out of step with modern veterinary care and thoughts on the planet. It is American veterinarians and yourself who are the extremists in perpetuating declawing it could be said.

      I would do it in a heartbeat on my vets recommendation.

      American veterinarians recommended declawing because they make a lot of money out of it. That is the only reason why they recommend it and it is against their oath. You know it and I know it but they carry on as normal.

      my vet has way more class than to put anyone down for their beliefs or take stock in what one website and 2 people are saying and yes he does it for the cats

      I am not putting you down. I am making my points. Many American veterinarians don’t like doing declawing. The Paw Project is an example of veterinarians who don’t like and don’t do declawing. The only reason why many veterinarians in America do declawing is because of peer pressure and because if they refuse it their client will go somewhere else. There are also millions of people in America who don’t like declawing and don’t declaw their cats. About 20 to 30% perhaps 40% of cats in America are declawed which means the majority of cats in America are not declawed which also means that the majority of people in America don’t agree with declawing. I regret to say that your veterinarian cannot have class if he declaws cats for profit.

      now why dont you go yack it up to those sickos!

      I do.

      you people have such tunnel vision just wow!

      I don’t know anything about you except for your views on declawing. I am do not have tunnel vision. Far from it. It could be argued that it is you who has tunnel vision. I would ask you to open your mind to the possibility of not declawing.

      again utterly laughable

      It is not laughable. Declawing a cat is a very serious matter.

      • Well said Michael, I wish people would just stop and educate themselves about declawing as we have done, instead of trying to justify and defend it.
        Yes it’s a very serious matter and every cat’s claws we save is worth a thousand insults. One day those who hate the truth we speak, will have to admit we have been right all along and declawing vets will be no more, I can hardly wait for that day to come.

        • One thing for sure pro-declawers hate to be told anything 😉 They particularly hate someone disagreeing with them. That alone tells us how arrogant and entrenched in their views they can be.

  15. So much nastiness, so defensive. We all know declawing is immoral, even those who won’t admit it must know deep down that it is cruel and inhumane to remove healthy toe ends for human convenience, there’s no justification for it so sadly pro declaws resort to attack as their only means of defence. Ruth can take it, she’s made of strong stuff where declawing is concerned, keep up the good work Michael and Ruth, a formidable team!

  16. I agree that it’s not ideal to cap a cat’s claws either, but it is definitely way better than declawing (for reasons that others have already noted). I have to cap my cat’s claws not for the sake of the furniture or for any humans, but because we also have a bearded dragon. While they are kept separate the vast majority of the time, sometimes our beardie likes to come out of his tank and explore. We only allow this under close supervision, but it would only take one swipe of one of our kitty’s uncapped claws to kill him. (There’s also the fact that she has been known to sneak into his room and leap into his tank!) So, to keep *everyone* safe, her claws do need to be capped. And you know what? She is still a perfectly happy and healthy cat, still plays, and still quickly climbs to the top of her cat tree.

    • I agree that it’s not ideal to cap a cat’s claws either, but it is definitely way better than declawing (for reasons that others have already noted).

      I agree. Although I respect Finn’s opinion (the author of the article). I am interested in a cat and a bearded dragon living together. You should take some pictures. You can upload them to a comment. Thanks for commenting.

  17. Do you wear shoes, do you wear gloves in the cold Danish winter? Of course those also cause some inconvenience; or would you rather cut your hand or feet off so as not go get cold?

    Your argument is absurd. We are here to protect animals and they are here to serve us. If a shoe protects your feet and gloves protect your hands; moreover, shoes and gloves do provide safety from external issues in e factories and elsewhere, so do the caps protect our (human) investment and property from animals.

    Your final assumption would be not to have any domestic animals and let them in the wild only. The problem with such ideology in Scandinavia is to provide greater rights to animals over humans and our property. Should a bear enter my property and present a threat to life, liberty, or family, I will kill it. You would have it kill me as to protect my liberties would be illegals.

    God bless America and our Constitution.

  18. NOTE: This article suggests taking the time to trim your cats claws. THIS SHOULD BE DONE EITHER WITH EXTREME CAUTION OR BY A PROFESSIONAL. A lot of people do not realize, but the veins of a cat extend into their claws. When you clip a cat’s nails, you have to be careful not to clip far back and clip the vein, as the cat will start to bleed heavily. Though they won’t bleed out, it’s still not that great of a thing to go through. SO BE CAREFUL.

  19. Are You People Kidding Me?!?

    Americans are cruel to animals and wanting possessions instead of pets? Where do you get your information?

    I have 2 very happy, very healthy cats. Both have been spayed and both wear Soft Paws. Remarkably neither one has died or become deformed from it.

    Their claws retract fully with them on. Their claws retract fully with them off.

    I have Cancer and am undergoing chemotherapy. It would not be in my best interest to get scratched by a kitty having used a litterbox. Am I supposed to say gee as long as the cats are free to demolish my furniture, carpets, legs, etc I will just deal with possible toxoplasmosis?

    I feel the scat mats are MUCH more cruel than caps. The caps don’t hurt, the cats operate just fine with them on. Shocking, popping, scaring, squirting, etc a cat is horrible!

    Trust me, Lunabelle and Cleopatra are just FINE with caps on their claws!

    Get the heck over yourselves and find something real to get your feathers ruffled about! Like starving children, pregnant crackheads, meth use, terrorism…….

    Not 4 oz of silicone I choose to put on my cats claws.

    • Thank your for commenting. The views expressed on this page are those of one person, Finn, in Denmark (a good guy by the way). They are not necessarily the views of other people. So when you say “Get the heck over yourselves” you should be saying “Get the heck over yourself”.

      The best of luck for the future and I hope you beat cancer. I have a neighbour who has terminal lung cancer. He lives 100 yards from me and his wife says he won’t live more than 2 weeks. It makes me think.

  20. I use caps for my cats nails and in no way has it ever caused problems for my cat. The cap sticks out further than the normal claw would because they are PLASTIC CAPS and go OVER the nail. Also, the caps do not prevent the cat from retracting their claws whatsoever. You would have to be extremely careless when putting on the caps to cause the cat any type of harm. My cat doesn’t mind them whatsoever. If she did I wouldn’t use them and would rather let her claw my furniture than to permanently mutilate her paws. I have been around a cat that was newely declawed and it was the most horrible thing I have ever seen. Please don’t compare plastic caps that eventually fall off to permanently mutilating an animal.

    • Thanks Kimberly for a very sensible and convincing comment. The author of the article is one person’s viewpoint as I am sure you understand.

  21. I’d have to add that the only reason the claw caps seem like they’re interfering is because they are much more noticeable. They’re over top of the existing claw so they are thicker than just the tip of the nail when it grows out. Thus they can be seen a lot better when the nail is retracted. If you put claw caps on a cat yourself then you would notice this. The claw caps don’t cover the entire nail so that the nail can in fact retract properly.

  22. Mutilation: to injure, disfigure, or make imperfect by removing or irreparably damaging parts: Vandals mutilated the painting. 2. to deprive (a person or animal) of a limb or other essential part.

    Gel nail caps do not mutilate a cat, they do not cause mutilation. They are very temporary.

    I am not a fan of them because they do prevent a cat from scratching, which is a natural behavior and essential to a cat for both mental and physical reasons. Scratching leaves behind a mark and a scent that says to the cat ‘I own this’ so not being able to do that means the cat has a much harder time feeling at home. It would be a lot like a human living in an white walled apartment with no furniture. The physical aspect of clawing also helps with the muscle tone of the cat.

    That being said, I actually used the caps for a few months when I had a kitten who had no manners when it came to clawing, and even trimming the claws as short as I could didn’t help. Using them for a few months helped a great deal in not only my sanity but it helped him learn to live life with out clawing first. That was 12 years ago and he and my seven other cats are all claw intact and I haven’t had another cat that ‘needed’ them – including 400+ fosters, but I have recommended them to other people who have young obnoxious cats.

    You know, doing an xray of the paws would immediately put to rest the argument if the cat’s claws can fully retract or not. I believe they do and you see the gel cap because it is thick, not because the claw is unretracted.

  23. Ok I know this is an old discussion, but for those of you against claw caps, I’ll tell you my current situation. And please, if you don’t agree with my choice, try to be a civil adult and refrain from the insults and name calling that I saw in earlier posts. And yes I am American and absolutely loathe the idea of declawing. I don’t have one bit of care for the state of our furniture. We have 2 boys that are very rough n tumble & I’m pretty sure that the majority of the damage is from them, not the puppies or cats.

    We have 3 cats, 2 bulldog puppies, and recently discovered a cat hanging around outside. We live out in the woods in a very rural area, so seeing a cat out here, we thought for a few weeks that it was from our neighbor’s place. A couple days ago I guess he decided that we were ok & approached the house, where I realized he was EXTREMELY hungry. I fed him & he was so sweet & loving and had no fear coming up and rubbing all over our legs. He was healthy looking but way too thin. The only thing we could think of was that he’d been dumped out in the country, probably by someone who inherited cats from a deceased family member, (a mommy cat showed up at our neighbor’s @ the same time). Sadly that sort of situation happens a lot out here. We took him to our vet and he was too terrified of a carrier so we wrapped him in a towel to transport him, handled the exam & shots beautifully, and we figured he just needed time to recover & realize he wouldn’t be abandoned again. We’re keeping him mostly in a separate room from the other fur babies while he gets used to our home & doesn’t get too stressed out. We also plan on getting him fixed once he’s gotten more comfortable in a few days or so. And he & our older boy who is autistic have made an amazing connection. J. will just lay near Percy and show him his lego collection or read stories to him.

    But in the past 2 days, in the middle of being lovey, he’s turned & scratched our 9yr old child badly. We keep telling our kid to go slow, but he can’t seem to remember when Percy is being so sweet. I think it’s that A. gets too enthusiastic, forgets, and starts treating him like our other non-traumatized cats. Getting him neutered will probably help some, but he’s been thru an extremely rough time so needs time to fully heal mentally.

    So these are our options. 1) Put him back outside & let the coyotes get him in about a week or so. 2) Send him to a shelter that is already overpopulated where they might have to put him to sleep if he isn’t adopted into an understanding home. 3) Just go ahead and have him put to sleep ourselves. 4) Keep him, but get him declawed so that he doesn’t hurt the boys or our other animals. 5) Keep him, but have our vet put the claw caps on him until he fully trusts us & knows that he is safe.

    Personally, I’m going to go with the non-permanent caps. Yes it seems like it would be uncomfortable, but given his limited options it’s also his best chance. It might take years before we can stop using them, or we may never be able to. It all depends on how badly he was traumatized by losing his family and then being left in an area that was so dangerous and scary.

    So that’s my story. Ya’ll can agree or not, it’s your right. But it won’t change what will happen. Don’t judge all Americans by just a few. Yes, he’s probably going to lose full use of his claws for however long, but he’ll be alive and in a loving home where he’ll be able to heal.

    • Hi, many thanks for taking the time to tell us your story. It is a great story well told. I completely agree with your assessment. It is very sensible. I would hope that the time comes when you can dispense with claw caps. The article was written by a colleague, not me. I tend to accept that on occasions like yours that claw caps are very useful and a “solution”.

      I’d like to turn your comment into an article. I’ll presume that you’ll agree. I promise that you will not get upsetting comments. I doubt whether you’ll get any upsetting comments anyway but if there are some I’ll either delete or modify them. Many thanks again.

      Do you want to tell us your name?

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