If you’re a cat owner, you’re probably familiar with the situation in which you’re happily rubbing your cat’s belly only to be hoping you won’t bleed to death a few moments later. Yes, cats love tricking us like that, and even though we are aware of it, we still fall for it every time.
However, there are ways in which you can put their little razors under control and protect not just your skin but your furniture as well. One way is by using claw covers – but of course, every solution comes with its upsides and downsides, so here’s what you should know about this option.
What Are They?
Claw covers are stick-on caps that go over your cat’s natural claws. They are designed to reduce the damage cats can do with their claws. They are also quite durable and can last for 4-6 weeks before they fall off on their own due to the claws’ natural growth.
Here are few popular options to choose from:
The covers are shaped to match your cat’s natural claw shape, and they are available in many sizes. This means that they won’t bother your cat or make it feel uncomfortable in any way. They also shouldn’t affect the movement of your cat’s claws or their natural growth – if glued correctly, of course. Finally, they are a great alternative to declawing, and they are harmless to your cat’s health.
Since the covers are dull, your cat won’t be able to damage your furniture or hurt you by scratching. This might be a lifesaver if you have expensive furniture that you don’t want to see ruined, or if you have small kids and you don’t want them to get hurt while playing with your cat.
Now, keep in mind that the covers shouldn’t be your first option – scratching is normal for cats, and if you give them plenty of toys that they can scratch, most cats won’t feel the need to sharpen their nails on your furniture. That being said, if your cat seems determined to use your favorite armchair as its scratching post, it’s okay to protect your interior.
Also, in case you ever have to be away for a while, there’s always an option of reliable pet boarding. However, if your cat isn’t used to strangers, it might not feel comfortable around different pet sitters. This is another situation in which claw covers can be used to protect the people who are taking care of your cat.
Finally, as already mentioned, using claw covers is safe for your cat and much less harmful than, for example, declawing. It doesn’t change the anatomy of your cat, it’s not permanent, and it can give you a peace of mind not having to think about what your cat will destroy next.
When it comes to the downsides, many people have complained about claw covers becoming a fashion statement rather than a practical piece of pet equipment. There were many people who bragged about their pet’s nail job and tried to match the color of the claw covers with the color of their own nails, which overshadowed the actual purpose of the covers.
Next, it’s true that the covers can protect you from your cat’s little razors, but by doing so, they are also rendering your cat almost defenseless. It cannot hunt, and in case it got attacked by another cat or dog, it would have no way to defend itself. This is why you should only do it with a housecat –and prevent it from going outside while it has the covers on.
Also, as mentioned, you would need to glue the covers onto your cat’s claws properly in order to ensure that your cat can still withdraw and extract them without any issues. This, though, might be a bit more challenging if you have a stubborn cat.
Scratching is a natural behavior for cats, but it still doesn’t mean that you should just accept having your furniture shredded and your hands constantly in Band-Aids. Of course, it goes without saying that your cat should have a scratching post and be well socialized so it doesn’t attack people for no reason.
Nevertheless, if your cat is displaying any kind of destructive behavior or seems to be more agitated and willing to hurt somebody than trimming you cat’s nails or the usual, cat claw covers might be a good temporary solution until you figure out the reason for such behavior.
About the author
Zara Lewis is a regular contributor at highstylife.com and a full time animal lover. Passionate about creating a better world for the generations to come, she is a mum of two, raising them inseparably from their furry family members.
I love how shallow this article is. First it chastises women for daring to add style with functionality. Because somehow they shouldn’t be using these covers as a fashion accessory but a last ditch solution. The comfort of your cat should be prioritized over your vanity. Then you say it is totally acceptable though to protect your furniture over the comfort of your cat.
I don’t understand, are these bad for your cat or not? Either they are or they aren’t. Or are you just for being one sort of vapid, but not the other? Either they are harmless and it shouldn’t matter if women match their nails to their cats. Or they are harmful and they shouldn’t be used at all because your pet’s quality of life is more important than an upholstery job.
Make up your mind.
I don’t interpret the article as shallow or indecisive at all.
Thank you, Zara. The article was well written and informative. You brought up valid points and remained neutral about the topic.
The claw covers seem safe when properly applied. They don’t damage the natural nail, hinder or alter the cats anatomy or growth and they are temporary. The cat may not be thrilled with idea, but the bottom line is, the cat is not harmed. So dispite the owners reasoning for using claw covers; it’s safe.
Thank you again, Zara. Keep up the great work! 🙂
It’s unfortunate that simple articles about claw covers aren’t safe from internet trolls…
How can anyone say this is ok for the cat?
Gloves arent harmful to humans but if someone glued a pair to my hands for 4-6weeks I wouldnt be happy about it.
Dont declaw or put these on your cats.
Your comparing your hands being glued instead of your nails. Most girls & women do use Fake nails witch they do use super glue to put them on humans & what do you know. In 2 -4 weeks we redo them again because they grow out… Just like the Cats will .
It’s more similar to fake nails. Except we do it for fashion and we have Kitty wear them for safety or health reasons. I’m not the hugest fan of nail caps, as a groomer I don’t offer the service because I think they are a pain to apply. I see them as a training tool so people don’t get hurt and things don’t get destroyed during the training process. They are an alternative for people who might have to give their cats away otherwise.
Hello. Do you know how to take the nail caps off? I accidentally made it so his claws can’t extract on one paw. And I got a bad feeling about it. I am scared and crying. I want them off now and I’m afraid I have really done something bad.
Hey Braelynn, I hope you were able to figure it out! In case you still need help, here’s a video that provides some instruction.
Sarah, you’re comparing apples to oranges. Humans have acrylic or gel applied to their nail beds for 4 weeks or more, sometimes nonstop for years on end, with no damage if applied properly. It’s much more akin to that.
I can’t definitively say these led to our cat suddenly pooping & peeing outside her litter box,..but she did get them within the last couple months, and that’s around the time she started darting off to pee and poo on the basement den’s carpet, every chance she got. This is even while continuing to use her litter box as she’s done successfully for 15 years.
So we locked her out the basement, and she started using every carpet upstairs, from the welcome rugs, to our bathroom rugs. I notice it’s the same general places she used to use as scratching type materials. She’s not suddenly peeing on our wood or tile floors. Just the carpeted areas.
We’ve tried everything to get her to stop. We even changed her to a new, even bigger litter box, in hopes that would make her happy. But she still does it, every chance she gets.
Then it hit me tonight. ‘cats scratch, AND use urinating & pooping,..to multitask. Along with the practical reasons, they also use all those activities, Scratching, Peeing, and Pooing,..to mark territory. At least that’s what I’ve always heard. That scratching is a normal way cats Mark off areas.
So if we abruptly take that ability away, using nail covers,..is she content to just let us? To let us prevent her from stopping those areas smelling like her? Cuz the longer those covers are on, the less our those places smell like her..
Idk. I’m just desperately trying to stop this
I think you may be onto something here. I think it probably really throws them off balance.
I think you’ll notice that Kitty is still scratching, just not doing the damage she can do without the caps. Even cats that have been declawed with “scratch.” The scent glands they use to mark their territory are in their paws not the claws. So they are still capable of marking their territory. Not saying that the caps aren’t related to her bathroom issues though, she could just be sensitive to having them on. Test it – take the covers off and see if she stops. If so it’s an easy fix.
It would be interesting to find out how many cats ..kittens .. change their bathroom habits after the claws are on what’s the ratio ??
I’d really like to know some stats on
Behavior changes, the age of the cat as well.
I have a feral, I got her at 2 weeks.. she will be 3 months around the 1st. She is a wild little thing. She uses her posts, scratching pads, it’s when she is playing, she hides and pounces and attacks , and holds on. The dogs have her in check. I’ve been on her like I did the pups.. She understands NO, her name. She just hangs on with those claws.
I haven’t had a kitty in 15 yrs.
I applied these to mt indoor kitten. PRO: He can’t claw the furniture
CON: He has gotten his claw caught twice, once on a rug and once on a blanket, scary. The loop or yarn could not slip off the nail because it got hung over the edge of the soft nail. If I had not been home, he would’ve hurt himself. There are three left on his paws. The rest he removed himself.
I decided to try these as I have small kids and a 6 month kitty. Very placid cat easy going but as soon as he smelled the glue he went all rage kitty didnt even manage to get the claw caps out the bag opened the glue he got a wiff and went all crazy on my luckily he cat slapped it out my hands with minimal claw damage
Some people are at great risk from cat scratches due to medical conditions, for example a history of mrsa or hip or knee replacements. Putting these on is a great alternative to declawing (never!) or giving the cat away (no way!)
Does anyone know how to take the nail caps off? I accidentally made it so his claws can’t extract on one paw. And I got a bad feeling about it. I am scared and crying. I want them off now and I’m afraid I have really done something bad
Thank you! This article is very helpful!
STOP telling people to use claw covers – a cat’s claws are NOT the same as human fingernails – vets have reported that claw covers can cause damage to the cat’s claws and toes.
Yes, it’s not as barbaric as de-clawing [thankfully banned here in Europe, and several US states] but it’s still not something that should be done.
Cat owners should accept that cats will occasionally claw things, but they can be trained to do it less, and there are items on Amazon etc that will protect furniture without being unsightly. Scratching trees, and corners that can be applied to cabinets, walls etc are also great.
Thank you for sharing this. There are definitely some downsides to applying claw caps, and they’re best used as a temporary solution or training aid. I’m not sure where you’ve seen vets reporting that they cause damage, though. Can you please provide a link to this? I’d like to be able to add this to the article if possible. Thanks again.
Hi Mallory – I saw an advert for these on amazon UK while searching for cat trees, wondered what they were and clicked – there was a review left by a practicing vet. I saw another vet comment on another article, but I don’t recall where, sorry, it was a while ago.
Thank you, Libby. I appreciate you coming back to clarify that. I’ll keep it in mind!
What about just covering a small portion of the nail instead of covering the whole nail. Has anyone tried this ?
Dora, unfortunately, I don’t know much about how that would affect the safety, comfort, and effectiveness of the claw caps! Hoping that someone else can weigh in from personal experience.