A sharp set of sharp claws maybe a cat’s pride and joy, but as a pet owner, you might not share the same feelings— especially if your precious feline has a knack for scratching up everything in sight. No, your cat isn’t bad. He (or she) is just doing what comes naturally. Still, it probably doesn’t minimize the concern you have for your furnishings or your desire to do something about it.
Declawing your cat isn’t the answer.
The thought of declawing your cat might come to mind, but it’s essential to understand that your cat’s claws are an integral part of what makes them, well, a cat. Sure, declawing may seem like a harmless quick-fix, but unless there’s a medical need to do so, it’s a pretty inhumane way to go about it. In fact, removing a cat’s claws can change their whole demeanor— and not in a good way.
Try a more humane approach.
Scratching is instinctive and normal for cats. There are various ways you can either deter your cat from using their claws or minimize the damage when they do, which typically includes trimming your cat’s nails, blocking off certain areas of the house, and purchasing a scratching post. Another approach that you may not have considered, however, is cat claw covers.
Claw covers are exactly what they sound like: little hollow caps that cover your cat’s claws. While there are several different companies that make them, Soft Paws, which was invented by veterinarian Dr. Toby Wexler, is a popular brand that is commonly used among cat owners.
Nail covers are usually easy to apply and often made of soft, flexible rubber or vinyl that won’t interfere with the normal extension and retraction of your kitty's nails. Although cat nail covers don’t stop your cat from scratching, they make the nails dull, which means minimal or no damage to your skin or home furnishings. Therefore, a win-win for both of you!
Cat nail caps come in a variety of colors (also clear, if you prefer), which will add even more personality to your already unique feline. And, as your cat’s nails grow, so to the caps. On average, this means they need to be replaced anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks. Claw capping can be in conjunction with your cat’s regular nail trimming schedule.
If you dread the thought of trying to place claw caps on your cat, many groomers will perform this service for you.
Claw covers may sound silly, but they are actually a simple, safe, and effective solution to the damaging effects of your cat’s constant scratching. If you have an indoor cat and don’t mind taking time to reapply them, nail covers could be an excellent option for your favorite feline.