Should you be investing in cat claw caps and covers?
Scratching is a natural and instinctive behavior for your cat. Our furry friends use scratching as a way of expressing their emotions (like stress or excitement), marking objects with their scent, or just removing dead parts of their nails. Our furry pets also scratch when they want a nice stretch.
The only problem? As healthy as scratching might be for your feline pals – it’s not the best for pieces of furniture, especially if it's a constant scratching. If your cat prefers to use your carpet, sofa, curtains, and other similar products for scratching, instead of a scratching post, you’re going to end up with a mess of a home.
So, what can you do about it? There’s always the option of training your cat with catnip and other tools to attempt to draw them to a decent scratching post. However, if that doesn’t work, you might decide that cat claw caps are an ideal alternative.
What are Cat Claw Caps and Covers?
If you are a new cat owner you may not be familiar with Cat Claw Caps.
Cat claw caps and covers are simple, non-toxic solutions for reducing the destructive behaviors of your house. Although there is some controversy around the concept of using claw caps, the reality is the covers are often much safer than you think. The best brands are designed to coat your cat’s claws, without harming the nail or underlying skin.
Claw caps are one of the best ways to protect your furniture and family from your cat’s claws. They also help to avoid extremely dangerous and painful procedures like declawing.
Nail caps are essentially small plastic covers which you glue onto your cat’s claws using a safe adhesive. The products are usually easily accessible and cheap, and they can last for up to 6 weeks before they fall off as a result of the nails growing.
Most of the time, cat claw caps and covers are available in a range of colors and sizes. The sizing ensures you get the best comfort level for your cat, while the color is purely for your entertainment.
How to Apply Cat Nail Caps and Covers
If you’re sick of dealing with ruined furniture, cat nail caps can save you a lot of time and money. However, it’s important to know how to apply them correctly. As you might imagine, this process requires some practice. It’s not always easy to get your cat to stay still while you apply something to his or her claws.
To begin with, get your cat used to staying still. Work on sitting with your cat and pressing the pad of the paw carefully to extend the claws from time to time. Don’t apply anything straight away. Just get your cat used to the sensation.
Prepare your nail caps:
Get the caps you want to use ready for application. It doesn’t matter which color you choose, or even if you have a matching set. The most important thing you can do is ensure the caps are the right size. Most average-sized felines usually need “medium” sized caps. If you have a larger breed, you might need to opt for bigger caps.
While prepping your caps, make sure you also have the adhesive, applicator tip, and instruction manual handy. It’s a good idea to have some treats ready for after the application too.
Trim your cats’ claws:
You’ll need to trim your cat’s claws carefully before applying any new nail caps. Use a pair of reliable cat nail clippers, and make sure you never cut too far. If you’re close to the pink part in your cat’s nail, you could cause serious damage. Trimming the nails should ensure that your cat nail caps las a little longer.
Get some assistance:
We’d recommend not trimming your cat’s claws and applying the caps on the same day, as this can take a lot of time and lead to an agitated cat. If you are applying caps for the first time, ask for help. It’s worth having someone handy to help you. One person can carefully hold the cat while the other applies enough glue and caps.
Remember, your cat can sense your mood, so it’s important to remain calm – no matter how frustrating applying the caps might be.
Apply the nail caps:
Follow the instructions provided for your cat claws and covers. Most of the time, this involves applying a small amount of adhesive into the claw cap and press the cover onto the cat’s claw. Gently squeeze the cap again to distribute the glue and remove any excess with a paper towel.
You’ll need to keep your cat’s claw extended when applying the caps, and be careful to get a snug fit, so the cap looks comfortable.
Reward your cat:
Remember, the application of cat nail caps and covers can be stressful for your cat. Once you’re finished adding the covers to each claw, give your cat plenty of treats and positive reinforcement. Talk to your kitty in a soothing voice, and even play with them if that helps. Using kitty treats to distract your cat while you apply the caps could be useful too.
How to Remove Nail Caps
Once you’re comfortable applying your cat nail caps, you’ll need to learn how to remove them successfully. Most of the time, cat nail caps will come off naturally as your kitty’s claws continue to grow. Occasionally, however, there’s a chance the nail caps will stay on longer than intended. When this happens, hold your cat in place, with the help of a friend or family member.
Use your fingers to gently squeeze the pad of the cat’s paw to extend the claws and trim the nail caps like you would a cat’s claws. Breaking the seal of the nail cap will allow you to remove the nail cap by applying a slight amount of pressure to the base of the plastic.
If the cap doesn’t come off easily, don’t pull at it, just leave the glue to wear off for a few more days.
After removing the caps, provide your kitty with plenty of treats and praise to let them know they’ve done a good job. Wait a couple of days before you apply a new set of nail caps.
Are Cat Claw Caps and Covers Safe?
As mentioned above, there is some controversy surrounding cat claw caps, as some people assume applying caps is dangerous or cruel. However, it’s important to remember that as long as you get the right size of nail cap, and do your research, you shouldn’t cause any damage to your cat’s claws.
Be careful not to use too much glue when applying the caps, as this can cause a little irritation. You shouldn’t have to worry about any issues if your cat accidentally eats part of a nail cap either. Most of these covers are non-toxic, so they should pass through your kitty’s system without an issue.
Always look for non-toxic cat nail caps with claw adhesive which will be safe for kitty ingestion. It’s also worth checking among the top nail cap brands to ensure you can find a cap that’s suitable for the size of your cat’s claws. Remember, cat claw caps are suitable for:
When to Use Cat Nail Caps
The most obvious reason to use cat claw caps and covers is to protect your furniture and reduce destructive scratching behavior from your cat. If you have an indoor cat, your kitty probably doesn’t need its claws to protect itself against predators, or go hunting, so you’re not going to be depriving them in any way.
However, if you do apply claw caps, and your cat seems overly agitated by them, or tries to bite them off, this could be a sign that covers aren’t suitable for you. You can use nail caps when:
Myths about Cat Claw Caps
The main reason cat claw covers are met with such controversy, is the large number of myths surrounding these products. There’s a significant amount of misinformation out there. With this in mind, let’s look at some of the myths of using claw caps.
The Pros and Cons of Cat Claw Caps
Cat claw caps and covers have their positives and negatives, just like many kitty accessories. On the one hand, they’re ideal for reducing damage to your furniture over short periods of time. On the other hand, cat claw caps and covers can also be very difficult to apply and not the most fun for your kitty (even if they are quite safe).
Popular Claw Cap Brands
There are plenty of different kinds of claw caps and covers out there to choose from. Some of the most popular brands include:
Brostown soft nail caps
One of the more cost-effective choices on the market, these soft nail caps are flexible and comfortable for your kitty. There are five colors to choose from, and a range of sizes. All of the vinyl is non-toxic, and the flexible material allows your kitty to move around naturally.
Final Thoughts on Using Cat Claw Caps and Covers
Cat claw caps and covers are a fun and safe alternative to some seriously dangerous strategies to reduce scratching throughout the home. While scratching is a natural behavior for cats, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of destroyed furniture. Make sure that if you do invest in claw caps, you do your research to find the safest options first.
Learn how to apply the caps correctly and be patient – it can be a tricky process. Make sure you pay attention to your cat’s reaction to the caps too, so you can see how they feel about them. Remember to trim your kitty’s claws regularly, and ensure they have an top quality scratching post available for good nail health too.
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