Categories: Declawing

Claw Caps Not Really Any Better Than Declawing…

by Finn Frode
(Copenhagen, Denmark)

Claw caps

Note: this article was written by a valued guest, Finn Frode. It is his opinion. People have different opinions about claw caps. Please see the more than 70 comments for their viewpoints. Note: this page has been re-dated to bring it forward.


CLICK THIS LINK TO SEE SEVERAL OTHER ARTICLES ON 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

Comments for
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

DECLAWING is WAY WORSE! When a cat is declawed IT IS LIKE REMOVING THE LAST JOINT ON ITS TOE. THE CLAW IS CLOSELY ADHERED TO THE BONE. OBVIOUSLY, plastic caps are better!

"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.

@Kristina
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

Kristina,

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.


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.


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.
x


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.

http://clawsforever.blogspot.com/2009/05/rule-britannia.html (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.


Michael Broad

Hi, I am 70-years-of-age at 2019. For 14 years before I retired at 57, I worked as a solicitor in general law specialising in family law. Before that I worked in a number of different jobs including professional photography. I have a longstanding girlfriend, Michelle. We like to walk in Richmond Park which is near my home because I love nature and the landscape (as well as cats and all animals).

View Comments

  • This article is truly an opinion piece rather than anything scientific. It’s a shame that people get so riled up after reading one flawed, illogical article on the internet and use it as an excuse to bash on each other, while failing to provide any evidence for their argument themselves. This website should be ashamed of itself for posting such blasphemy from such an uneducated author with no facts to support it. I came here purposely looking for a reason NOT to cap my cats nails and have only found that your side fails to provide any evidence, in fact it uses inconclusive evidence (the siezures and nap caps are not related sweetie!!! One is trying to remedy symptoms of the other!) to progress it’s point. Please take this down and provide a factual, non-biased, complete article on this topic from a credible author. I would actually like to learn something, thank you!!!!

  • I highly recommend nail caps on hairless cats! They stay in place and shed off like their normal nails! My cats have no problems with them and the caps have saved my new couch. My last couch they completely destroyed even though they are provided with many different types of scratch posts and toys! I also highly recommend Cat Scratch Guards for leather coaches!

    • Many thanks Adrianna for your nice comment. One thing about claw caps on hairless cats is that you manage them better because you can see them better.

  • I don't know how these claw caps work but I have a male cat and his mother and I don't know why he despises her she tried to be friends as well and it drives me crazy why he can't just ignore her if he don't like her. But everytime she has her back turned or if she's walking past him he runs after her. She won't even use the little box around him or she's afraid to walk past him cuz he will fricken sit there near the room where her litterbox Is I even wake up through out the night and put her in the room where litterbox is and put gate up to see if she got to go because she will hold pee and poop all day to avoid him its insane so I have to do this every so often day and night and when I leave I have to keep them separated because of this in case she's got to use bathroom cuz I won't be there to put her in her room...if I had a bigger place it would be so much better and we r looking for a bigger apartment then they have more room to themselves... cuz right now I have to put a baby gate up and give one half the house the other half eventually got to put another on top cuz he can't jump high don't know y but he does not jump he will avoid it if it's his but I've saw him climb the gate before, when she's in there he won't climb but if he is stuck in her room he will try now if I put a towel covering the whole where he can climb on he can't at all but prob best to get another gate ..but mama is such a amazing cat I can't let her have to live like this having to worry about getting scratched at cuz he will chase her and when she's not paying attention or even when she's sleeping he will just swipe her. I wanted him declawed so bad but I can't cause how bad it is but I wish there was some way to just stop him...and these claw caps really seem like the only option to hopefully stop him from drawing blood or scratch marks and yes I clip his claws but he can still do damage if he wants.. Unless someone knows a better way...cuz I hate her having to be worried 24/7 because of him and yes they are both fixed and I clip both cats Nails..

    • Danielle, thank you for telling us your story. It looks as though the boy cat has grown up, become independent and demands his own territory. As you are living in quite a small place his mother is intruding upon his territory. He wants his mother out of the way to have his territory to himself. When offspring grow up they become independent and lose those family connections.

      The problem you have is animosity between the male offspring and his mother. The problem is not really the scratching but the animosity between the two. Claw caps will certainly help to eliminate scratching. They are simply glued onto the claws. They need renewing from time to time and I think they are not that good and a problem but they will certainly help to reduce the damage.

      However the better and more permanent solution is to separate the two cats. I am not going to advise this but the better solution would be to rehome the boy cat so that he has his own territory. Or, as you say, get a bigger place to allow him to have some of his own territory. But that may not work properly because you don't know how much territory he wants or needs or demands.

      I am sorry that you are suffering with this very difficult problem. The best of luck with this. And thank you once again for commenting.

    • In the pic teenie is the one way in the background he's tan and white. Mama's the one up close by the scratched she's a dilute calico and spookie who gets along with both Teenie and mama and they get along with him. Thing is teenie was taken from his mother very early when he was young he don't remember her brought him home and he grew up with spookie who was already a full grown cat when he met teenie who was a baby kitten. Then a year later we get mama because we couldn't get her right away. My great aunt had mama till I could bring her home...the situation why I couldn't bring her home right away cuz we lived with his parents at the time and they had animal issues cuz there two dogs peed everywhere even though my cats have never peed anywhere other then there litterbox. It all depends if the owner takes care of everything and keeps everything clean and sanitary...

  • So if I shouldn't use claws caps or delcawing I wonder what your suggestion would be to otherwise keep kitty from accidentally scratching up furniture even with trimmed claws. And 'dealing with it' is not the solution.

    • The article about not using claw caps was written by a colleague of mine. They are his personal views. Clearly, plastic claw caps are much better than declawing a cat, we should never happen.

      The answer really is to trim the claws and accept some damage by a cat's claws. The best answer really is to accept it although that may be impossible for some people. Another answer is to buy furniture which you don't mind being scratched or which is difficult to scratch and then of course you can provide lots of big cat scratching posts. But there is likely to be some scratching of furniture in my view and as mentioned, it is to be accepted.

      Thanks for commenting by the way.

  • 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.

    • What did you do?
      Personally I think number 3 is the best option. I would rather die than being tortured. I don't think dying is bad - it's the ones left who's grieving.

      I wouldn't do anything. My child would leave the cat alone after being clawed enough. :)

    • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • Thanks Alison. You are correct of course. I have always found trimming a cat's claws tricky. Cats don't like it unless trained to accept it from a young age.

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