Looks like claw caps caused an infection of the toe and nail

By Sarah Chew

Soft Claws nail caps

Soft Claws nail caps. Photo by Laura.

To whomever this may concern…

I used the plastic claw caps to stop my 6 month old kitten from clawing at the furniture. He definitely did not like the application process, I actually believe it caused him trauma. He has developed this anxiety disorder and is afraid of people coming near him. I never noticed this before, but he was a kitten at the time.

I knew they were temporary and most of them fell off and we reapplied them a few times after, except this last week when I went to put a new set of caps on I noticed that one of his toes was red and swollen, looking extremely infected so I opted to not put the caps on, clean his foot and monitor it closely.

When I checked his paws the next day I noticed the infection was spreading to his other toes and are swollen around the pad and nail bed. He doesn’t seem to be in pain but it has to bother him. I am taking him to the vet the day after tomorrow because I believe he may have caught a fungal infection from the litter box.

I am almost positive the cat claw tip were the blame for the original infection of the toe and nail. I would definitely advise against using them. I know declawing is painful and cruel, but I would rather it be surgery and healing vs constant infections and painful nailbeds. I suggest multiple scratching posts and weekly nail trimming.

Thank you for reading this good luck to you.

Sarah Chew

Note from Michael (Admin PoC): Many thanks Sarah for passing on your first hand experience. It is valuable to cat owners. Although declawing is far worse than claw caps in my view because it is 10 amputations carried out at once. The downside from declawing is potentially far worse than for claw caps. Your suggestion for trimming and scratching posts is the answer and an acceptance that some items of furniture are likely to be scratched. If people were more accepting there would be no problems.

I have used claw caps and found them unsatisfactory. My impression is that the majority of cat guardians don’t approve of them. A colleague of mine thought they were little better than declawing but that’s a slightly extreme personal viewpoint, I believe. They do leave the claws unusable, which impinges upon normal behaviour. If they prevent declawing I am for them, however, because declawing is a horror.

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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5 Responses

  1. Michele Massa says:

    Cats scream in agony and bounce off the walls all night after declaw when the anesthesia wears off. That’s why it’s always done by the monsters at the end of the day.

    This is from the FB page Cassandra wants her claws back:

    Dr. Nicholas Dodman, author of “The Cat Who Cried for Help,” has this to say about declawing:”The inhumanity of the procedure is clearly demonstrated by the nature of cats’ recovery from anesthesia following the surgery. Unlike routine recoveries, including recovery from neutering surgeries, which are fairly peaceful, declawing surgery results in cats bouncing off the walls of the recovery cage because of excruciating pain. –Declawing fits the dictionary definition of mutilation to a tee. Words such as deform, disfigure, disjoint, and dismember all apply to this surgery. Partial digital amputation is so horrible that it has been employed for torture of prisoners of war, and in veterinary medicine, the clinical procedure serves as model of severe pain for testing the efficacy of analgesic drugs. Even though analgesic drugs can be used postoperatively, they rarely are, and their effects are incomplete and transient anyway, so sooner or later the pain will emerge.”


  2. Michele Massa says:

    These caps are a form of abuse plain and simple. Don’t even get me started on greedy, unethical vets and so called pet parents who declaw. If you are too busy and/or too lazy to teach your cat to use scratching posts or value a piece of furniture over your pet’s physical and psychological well being please do not subject any animals to these abuses. Buy a stuffed teddy bear that won’t suffer at your hands that you will probably dump at the shelter because now you don’t want to pay the vet bills from the problems you caused or a declawed cat pees outside the box or bites you. Humans suck.

    • Michael Broad says:

      Thanks Michele. Declawing is the worst, claw caps are little better and accepting a cat’s claws is the best and only way to go.

  3. M. E. King says:

    I tip the nail on my cats if they overgrow but for the most part they use the variety of scratchers we provide and it’s not needed.

  4. Frances A Danna says:

    I have never liked claw cap usage for this exact reason. I have never used a claw cap or even seen one in person, but the likelihood of an infection occurring just makes perfect sense. I hope that all veterinarians and cat guardians are aware and diligent about inspecting their cats’ paws for this possibility. Poor kitty. ???

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