Questions I have about Soft Claws claw caps

Soft Claws nail caps
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Soft Claws nail caps. Photo by Laura.

Soft Clawsยฎ are well known and quite heavily promoted by a lot of websites. They are seen by people as an alternative to declawing and I welcome that because we all know that declawing is completely unacceptable. However, I have some questions about the efficacy and practicalities of using Soft Claws.

How many cat owners have bought this product? I get the impression that they are less popular than the promotional material indicates, which may be because that they’re not as practical as they first seem. No doubt they fall off after a certain period of time. How long do they stay on for?

You couldn’t use them for an outdoor cat because they would prevent the cat from being able to defend himself. That would exclude the majority of the domestic cats in the UK but it would suit a lot of cats and cat owners in the USA.

How safe is this product? Do domestic cats find them uncomfortable? We don’t know the answer to that last question because we can’t ask our cat but we do know that cats are sensitive to objects placed on them and to our touch. We know that paw pads are very sensitive and therefore I would expect a cat’s paw is to be generally sensitive. Can we assume that a cat feels the same wearing this product as we would if we had the tips of our fingers covered with a plastic cap? That is probably an unfair comparison because the tips of our fingers are very sensitive to touch but if the comparison is even slightly useful we would have to assume that our cat will feel the claw caps and they will feel uncomfortable. No doubt they get used to them.

We know that the outer lair of a cat’s claw naturally sloughs off in time and we all know that the cat encourages this to happen by scratching. Obviously if the claw is encased in plastic this natural process cannot take place. How does the cat feel about that? And what does the cat owner do to deal with it?

Soft Claws nail caps are stuck on with glue. Does the glue seep into the claw and make it softer? I have no idea, but if you are applying a chemical, which glue is, to a claw which is made of keratin there may be some sort of subtle chemical reaction taking place which we don’t know about.

Has there ever been a case of a cat swallowing a claw cap? It would seem to be quite possible that this might happen. I presume the product, if swallowed, does not hurt the cat and that it will pass through the cat’s digestive system. Can we be completely reassured that this is the case?

Is the glue completely safe even if it is ingested by the cat? I presume that it must be and I also presume that the manufacturers state that it is completely safe (I have not being to the manufacturer’s site to check) but this would be a concern to me if I bought the product.

Finn Frode doesn’t think they are any good. What do you think?

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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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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42 Responses

  1. Dee (Florida) says:

    These claw caps are confusing me some now because, if the nails are trimmed before they are applied, what is the purpose of them?
    Is there something cosmetic going on?
    And, I agree that they have to be unhealthy. I wonder how many cats develop nail fungus from them.

  2. Ahsan ul Haq says:

    I love your cats and kittens Dee and deeply thank you for sharing them with us. They are so pretty that I have no words to write here but only what I can say is that you are doing a superb job for them as they look very natural to me. I don’t know why people can’t understand that when we serve neglected ones, there is some one )GOD) looking to us all the time and he one day will reward us with that kind a reward which we have no idea in mind whether that is within this life or the here after, this is what I believe.

    A quote from my personal diary:” nevertheless, what people think about me or my Feral Cats, I am not going to please them by leaving the welfare of cats but carry on the welfare, I will keep pleasing my tiny friends.”

    • Dee (Florida) says:

      Oh Ahsan, there are more… and more…
      Here are Linel, Linus, and Corker.
      Linus and Linel are brothers.
      Every one of the cats I’ve shown you came from feral colonies and live inside fulltime with me.

      • Ahsan ul Haq says:

        Dee! they are really looking COOOOooool to me and really I am feeling so much deep connection with them, don’t know why I am always forwarded toward these ignored, really friendly and closed to spirit of mine.

        I am sorry for myself that I can not build a huge cage here due to my financial situations but perhaps one day all of you will see that I am successful in my mission to protect the cats from the cruel minds here.

        Right now, me and my wife wandered along the roads on my bike, and we saw FERAL dogs roaming and eating flesh on streets with blood. Don’t know where they got that raw food but as I observed(and my wife, too) that the population of cats have been reduced to nearly at the least minimum. And we are not so fool that we can not guess what has happened.

        Me and my wife knew about a colony of cats and kittens which I named (WHITE CATS COLONY). All cats and kittens were pure white from head to tail, but unfortunately with in the 10 KM drive, we could not trace that colony. It means that over 40 dogs which have been spreaded over the AREA has done their feast.

        Let me also clear that FERAL DOG of PAKISTAN is not a fatty, obsessed, healthy and active fleshy dog. It is a very thin and weak dog with many sicknesses. But we observed that these dogs, when they were released to the area, were very weak n thin but now they are very healthy and fat. They seem to be HUGE and dangerous now.

        DEE, I have begged my relatives and friends here but they have no hearts. Pakistani people only love those animals to be fed that are good for their own FOOD. i.e. goats, cows, hens, sheep and etc. the animals for slaughtering and beneficial for milk giving for human beings.

        I am not against the FERAL DOGS as perhaps anyone judges me wrong. But this is not the way to STOP the cat population. I am happy on one side that I found a friend vet who can give me discount in cat’s welfare but on the hand I am really depressed now and I went to the clinic and got relaxants. I mean tablets named LEXOTANIL 3mg. My doc is also angry with me and he has advised me to stay away from all matters of CATS & KITTENS so that my brain don’t get any negative impact. I often started speaking to my self and my wife and daughters began to be afraid, what happened to me.

        I am a cool minded man but now I feel this world is not for me. This is the extreme sense which I have gotten now a days but I am still gathering myself. I don’t know whether I will be successful to protect my own cat colony in near coming days. But I have to hope for every positive in my prayers to the lord of heavens.

        But DEE I pray millions of well wishes to you and your cats and if you don’t mind, You gotta have a huge, big HUG from me <3 <3 <3 please carry on the greatest ever work of welfare for cats. God bless you, amin ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Ruth aka Kattaddorra says:

          Ahsan you MUST look after yourself to be able to look after those cats, you are so needed there for your very important work, just as Dee is needed where she is.
          I know the feeling of this world not being for me, something has gone very wrong, it was not supposed to be this way with animals suffering, but many people can not realise that.
          Take care of yourself, be kind to yourself and know that although Michael’s PoC family are far apart we love you and all that you do for helpless cats x

          • Yes, agreed. I am working out through Western Union of getting some financial support to Ahsan as well.

            • Ruth aka Kattaddorra says:

              If you manage to do that Michael Babz and I will contribute a bit too, it won’t be a lot as by we support our local sanctuaries we don’t have much left, but every little helps we think.

        • Dee (Florida) says:

          Thank you, Ahsan.

          I’m certain that you will reach your goal of building the shelter.

          And, it’s really not scary talking to yourself. I do it all day long when I’m not speaking to the cats. For me, I think it’s a stress and frustration release. I’m sure that an outsider watching me might think I was crazy, especially when I laugh to myself. We all have our own ways of coping in this world.

      • kylee says:

        Aww Better Photos of Ginger/Reds. You have such a big Heart.

  3. Dee (Florida) says:

    Michael, in the kitchen scene, it’s hard to tell, but the only true gerey is Gre-grey. Those other are tigers.
    And, yes, I know which cats are related, but none in this scene are.

  4. kylee says:

    Well I know its Prob ok I still dont agree with it. Leave all Cats alot.

  5. Dee (Florida) says:

    So sorry, but I don’t add or take away anything from a cat except their ability to reproduce, which is bad enough.
    I don’t care about their claws getting hung up on rugs, curtains, or furniture. They free themselves quickly, even before I can get there. I’ve never awakened to find a cat hung up on anything.
    And, curtains, rugs, furniture are replacable.
    Only material…
    I can whip up a new set of kitchen curtains (5 paneled/windows) in about 2 hours.

    • I donโ€™t add or take away anything from a cat

      Nice summary of what the attitude of a cat owner should be.

    • Ahsan ul Haq says:

      DEE please share photos of your cats and kittens here so that I can see them, I am fan of FERAL CATS getting adopted and cared, thanks <3 <3 <3 Hope you won't mind ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Ahsan in the USA people who care for feral cats are sometimes attacked not physically but verbally and sometimes complaints are made about them. It is perhaps similar to Pakistan in that way. Perhaps Dee wants to keep a lowish profile. Like you, though, I’d also like to see Dee’s feral cats and know more about her work with them. She has written some articles however.

      • Dee (Florida) says:

        Hi, Ahsan.

        Almost every one of my inside cats began their lives as ferals or semi-ferals. All are domesticated with only a couple that are just a little wary and, probably, will always be. I’ll show you some of them below.

        I have never taken pictures inside my colonies for safety reasons. If I find a time when I think I can capture safely without any way of the locations being identified, I will.

        However, I did shoot a picture of a path leading to a colony with a feral sitting guard that I included in an article.

    • Barbara says:

      Well said Dee

  6. Cindy Shepard says:

    I know the nails must be trimmed prior to placing the cap on the cat because I have a friend that puts them on at adoption events and does it as a courtesy follow up for an adopted cat, to deter adopters from considering declawing. Why not just get the nails trimmed and be done? I rarely even trim any of my cats nails unless they have a jagged edge that is hanging up on the rug, or couch or whatever furniture they happen to be sleeping on.

    • Ruth aka Kattaddorra says:

      The only time we’ve ever trimmed a cats claws was when our Ebony was very old and hers started growing curved towards her pads. She hated it.
      Our cats take care of their own claws on scratching posts and pads in the house and their wooden catnasium in the garden.
      Claws seem to be looked upon as something horrible and dangerous by pro declaws, I really don’t know why they have a cat if they don’t love every part of them.

  7. Ruth aka Kattaddorra says:

    I hate nail caps but they are better than declawing because once the cats toe ends have been amputated, they have gone forever. I have asked many times about these and had the same reply that cats can still retract their claws and still scratch with them on. But how? I don’t see how they can. They can’t dig their claws in to exercise their muscles, they can’t dig them in to climb or balance and surely it must be unpleasant for them grooming themselves with them on! I have heard of them coming off sometimes, so what if a cat swallows one? Apparently they have to be changed monthly and the cats claws clipped before putting new ones on, so why on earth can’t people just clip the sharp ends off their cats claws if they must protect themselves and their precious furniture? I hate it that some people can’t see the beauty of cats claws and know they deserve to use them as Nature intended! If anyone is scared of a little scratch then they shouldn’t have a cat around, cats come with claws because they need to use them. I hate it that anyone can get a cat and do whatever they like to the poor creature.
    Don’t like claws, then don’t get a cat!

    • the cats claws clipped before putting new ones on, so why on earth canโ€™t people just clip the sharp ends off their cats claws if they must protect themselves and their precious furniture?

      I didn’t know that. I did not realise that the claws had to be trimmed before you put the caps on. That being the case it is completely pointless to put the caps on because as you say the cat caretaker can trim her cat’s claws once a month. Bizarre.

      • Ruth aka Kattaddorra says:

        Well they can’t shed the outer shards of their claws with those things on can they! The claws must grow inside them, I can’t see how it’s healthy for claws covered in glue and unable to ‘breath’
        Very un-natural and unkind, I think!
        But no doubt I’ll get shouted down ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • No you won’t get shouted at because you are right. The manufacturers conveniently ignore that. This product prevents the natural shedding of the claw sheath. This fact alone should prevent it from being used.

  8. kylee says:

    Well I dont really agree with that. Its just as bad as De-clawing just my Opinion. Better to just leave the Poor Cats alone. Cats need all their Claws how else are they to Climb Trees. My two Cats Jasmine and Ozzie Often Climbing up and down the tree. I know so many People worry about Furniture. Thats what Cat Scrathers are for as well if you get a soft material its not hard on the Claws.

  9. Ahsan ul Haq says:

    My typing errors, sorry for the bother reading

    1) Tiny not tint
    2) Lack not lake

  10. Ahsan ul Haq says:

    I am against such artificial claw caps.

    The reason being that I love to live with nature and let these tiny friends live within their own nature.

    If some thing is wrong with the cats or kittens, means some unexpected habits i.e. scratching the furniture of the house which is the common complaint from every cat owner, I call it the lack of training in cat from the age of her kitten-hood.

    I have few points here to share with all of you;

    1. Are we ready to accept the nature of a kitten/cat? if so , we must understand that claws are part of cat’s defences and cats are really sensitive about their claws. If you will not allow to use its claws on a scratching place or let the cat defend itself with these weapons, she will obviously start biting which will in return result to LEAVE the cat in wild or let the animal people take over her and RAAM NAAM Satya HAY.

    2. These cat claw caps must be changed after a month or 1.25 month. otherwise nails disease will rise in cats. I mean fungi or pain in cat’s claws/paws.

    3. I can just imagine this cap on my nails for a long period of time and if being myself a cat and having the habit to suckle my nails. I mean cats groom them self and suckle their nails with tongue. It will be not a happy experience to feel nail inside some where and just licking my tongue outside. Think like a cat as I always have mentioned before.

    4. What about scratching behavior which must be allowed to every cat and I think whether vets say what they say, but I don’t care what they have assumed from this scratching behavior. I have my own assumption about this behavior.

    Cats scratch because they want to show their nails/claws

    1. to sharp them
    2. to make sure they are clean
    3. to make sure that before they groom their claws, there must be no SHIT on them
    4. to ensure them self that they have strong claws
    5. to ensure that any frustration within them goes out with this scratching behavior
    6. to ensure that their arms work properly
    7. to ensure that anyone near them knows that they are equipped with weapons.

    Just one question, what if I take gun, grenade, shields, or any weapon from a soldier and say:- Hay soldier! go to the wild jungles! now fight TALIBANs ๐Ÿ™

    I think it is not a proper way to deal with cats, just seem to me as people want cosmetic pets not natural cats ๐Ÿ™

    Its a great discussion point Michael and please I want to know what my partner cat lover have experienced from claws clips. I think it is not cruel to cat but seems to me a bit business type of thing to improve the sale of product and making cat disturbs more than before rather than train it to as natural as possible ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you

    • Thanks Ahsan for your comprehensive comment. As you say it is a failure to accept the cat as he or she is. Putting plastic caps onto the claws of cats is in effect modifying the cat and making it something different to what it is. It is also a way of making money and the money is made on the desire of some people to modify their cat. It is remarkable that so many people wish to modify their cat. Surely it is a failure in the domestication of the cat.

      To me, this product, is a symptom of a failure in the relationship between human and domestic cat.

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