I recently made my mark on my humans’ sofa, as is my right, and now they are talking about gluing these stupid bits of colored plastic over my claws. This seems inhumane and, IMO, callous. It is my right as a kitty to scratch stuff up. Also, I am a creature of the night. Who ever heard of a nocturnal predator with pretty nails?
Any advice would be much appreciated.
Right to Claw
This is a big debate that has been raging in cat communities recently. Is it or is it not humane to cover our claws with plastic? Let’s look at the pros and cons of claw covers:
Pros of Cat Claw Covers:
- Contrary to popular opinion, if your humans choose the right size for your paws and put them on properly, you don’t really notice them. You can still retract your claws normally and the claw covers, while pretty, do not add any weight to your paw.
- You can still stretch and scratch at stuff, but with claw covers on, your claws will not be able to snag or rip your humans’ precious furniture.
- They come in lots of fabulous colors.
- They are safe. Unlike human claw covers, cat claw covers fall off when you shed the outer sheath of your claws, so you are not at risk of infection.
- No matter how you feel about having your claws covered, these things are way better than the alternative that some humans still go for: DECLAWING!
Cons of Cat Claw Covers:
- If you are an outside cat or make your escape for a little outdoor exploration, you won’t be able to defend yourself against other cats or worse, dogs, with these things on.
- They are a little uncomfortable at first and if you pull them off and swallow them (as some cats are wont to do) before the glue dries, you can get sick.
- It can be a little embarrassing if your human picks the wrong color.
How to Sink your Claws into Fabulous Fashion
Cats instinctively claw at furniture, drapes, or rugs. It is a way of marking our territory and imperative to creating a comfortable living environment. Chances are, however, your humans are going to try to find some way to dissuade you. It’s just human nature.
If your humans put scratching posts in the locations you usually like to claw, I recommend you use the scratching posts instead of the furniture. This is a good compromise that seems to make everyone happy.
Some humans make it unpleasant to scratch at their sofas etc. by putting two-sided tape on the places you like to scratch. Yuck! Nobody wants to touch that sticky, gross stuff! After a few weeks, you will find a more pleasant place to scratch (such as a scratching post) and forget about the sofa.
Practical Information about Claw Covers
Some cats, however, are so set in their ways that these methods do not seem to sway them, and then the humans in the house may turn to claw covers. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to put these things on your feet is going to be up to your humans, because nine times out of ten, they are bigger than you, but if they do decide to go for it, here are a few things they should keep in mind:
- Not all claw covers are equal. We have used several ‘knock off’ brands, but we recommend the original, “Soft Paws” brand. Cheap claw covers can be too hard (difficult to get on), poorly shaped (easily fall off) or come with super-strong glue (don’t fall off with claw growth and eventually need to be snipped off.) We do not work for Soft Paws, so encouraging you to buy them does not benefit us in any way. If you do want to support us, check out our game: Click Here.
- Nobody wants to sit still while a human is pinching their foot and messing with their nails, so this is really a two-human job, and should be followed by lots, and I mean LOTS, of treats.
- Keep an eye on your claws. The claw covers should fall off after a few weeks to a month, but if they don’t, as your claw grows, the cover might start to dig into the pad of your toe, which of course would be quite uncomfortable. If a claw cover has not fallen off after six weeks, meow loudly at your humans until they clip off the offending claw cover.
- If the aim is to prevent furniture from being damaged, you do not need to cover your back claws, because we scratch stuff up with our front claws only. However, some cats have sensitive skin or anxiety issues which lead to overzealous scratching at the ears etc. If the aim, therefore, is to prevent you from scratching yourself, you should have the claw covers attached to your back claws.
I hope these tips help you in your long struggle to get along with your humans.
Your friend and fashion consultant,