How good are kitty claw caps?

Cats sometimes hurt each other and humans while playing. I’d like an alternative to declawing them. I’ve heard of claw sheaths or something along those lines. I don’t know much about them. The sellers’ websites say they’re great but that’s hardly reliable information.

How good are they? Are they easy to put on? Are they safe?

What are the different kinds of caps/covers/sheaths?
Please don’t make this conversation about declawing, let’s keep it to alternatives to it.

Haven’t used these; Am I to understand that there is no way your cats will let you trim their claws? (Both of mine let me do this, though one is a little grumpy about it, so it’s not THAT outrageous a suggestion.)

They are likely to be quite uncooperative. That and I’m concerned about cutting too close and hurting them.

A towel and a good pair of kitty nail-clippers is best. The caps just get pulled off by the cats. It’s not that hard to clip nails safely.

My daughter has used them for two cats for many years and swears by them. I have no first-hand data but I trust her judgment.

We use them on our cat. They last about 4-8 weeks before they fall off. The idea is that we use these while were training him what he can and can’t scratch. He’s getting better, but he still would tear up furniture if we didn’t use them.

The ones we get are soft rubber and come in different colors. They come with glue to attach them. After the first day, he seems to be over trying to get them off his paws.

We don’t put them on ourselves, our vet does it for $25. We drop him off on the way to work and get him in the afternoon.

The claw caps are effective when they’re on the cat. But I found them a right bitch to put on, and then my cats would obsessively work at them until they pulled them off, usually with a good bit of claw left inside. shudder

These days I just clip the points off their claws.

If you can’t trim the cat’s claws, you can’t put the caps on either.

This. You don’t need to get very deep into the claw, just knock off the tips-like maybe a millimeter or three.

Are there nerves inside the claw?

If I clip 1-3mm, how often will I have to clip them?

The claws are essentially just like our nails. What you’re doing is trying to clip the white bit hanging off the end and not go into the quick, just like with humans. If you look at the claws by pushing them out it’s usually fairly obvious where the quick ends, and then you cut a generous amount away from that. Even just 2 or 3 millimeters off the tip is all it takes to make the claws blunt enough to never cause accidental harm until the cat rubs it down to a point again.

Even if your cat is twitchy about it, just do it one at a time when they’re feeling particularly sleepy. It’s pretty easy to train them to think of the paw motions you do as part of petting/lap time if you feel like taking the time, too.

They grow back about as fast as a person’s fingernails do.

You can see the quick on a cat’s claws. They’re softer than dog’s claws and easy to cut, I just use human fingernail clippers on my cat. It takes all of 15 seconds and the cat is unbothered by it. I can’t even imagine how long it would take to try to glue caps on, and it seems like caps would make the claws irretractible? Seems uncomfortable. Plus costs money. Just trim the claws.

If your cats won’t tolerate nail trimming, they won’t tolerate you putting caps on. It’s a more time-intensive process (restrain the cat, pop their claws out, fiddle with the glue nozzle, stick the cap on the nail, make it stick there until it’s set, restrain the cat another few minutes until the glue is truly hardened). It’s ten thousand times easier to trim their nails and it takes a quarter of the time.

Not all cats like them, either. One of our cats would chew obsessively at his paws with the caps. And then you can hear them click-click-clicking all over the house on tile or hardwood floors.

Just trim the nails. The nail clipper costs $4.99 at Petsmart. My vet always offer to show people how to do it if they’re not familiar.

Unless they’re black then it’s harder, which is why I wouldn’t trim the dog myself. But you can compare to that picture for an estimate.

Personally, I just buy kitten mittons. It doesn’t matter if your cat is fat, skinny, or an in-between? Cause one size fits all!

I think even black cats have clear claws. I worked for a while as a vet tech, and I don’t think I ever saw cat claws that weren’t translucent. Dogs are much more difficult.

GIS isn’t helping, but regular Google suggests that they do (e.g.). Admittedly, my memory may be wrong and said cat is no longer with us, but one had random pink and black raisins (toe pads). The pink ones were paired with white nails and the black with mostly black/dark nails.

ETA: here’s a pic, although they won’t necessarily stay that way when it grows up. Or if that’s not just a bunch of crud.

Initially it will be hard to get your cat to go along with trimming his claws (still a hell of a lot easier than attaching sheaths though). It helps to time it when the cat’s a bit sleepy. He won’t like it but if you keep to a routine he’ll eventually become acclimated. I can now trim my cat’s claws (all four paws) in under two minutes.

Video from Cornell on how to trim a cat’s nails. It really is a small thing once you get your cat used to it. I timed doing three cats at home once, I had all three of them done in less than four minutes.

I also agree with the sentiment above that if you can’t trim the nails, you probably can’t place the Soft Paws well, either. I’ve never seen them stay on very long - it’s normal for cat’s nails to shed. The entire outer sheath can come off all at once, leaving what looks like a hollow nail behind. When that happens, the nail cover comes with it. This is why, if you read the instructions on the nail covers, they instruct to trim the nails first anyway. This is because, if you’ve seen enough nail trims, if you trim a nail when the sheath is close to detaching, the trim will make it detach. So trimming first will help remove any sheath that may make the nail cover fall off in the following few days. If you don’t, you may have to keep doing single nails every few days, and who wants to do that much cat wrangling?

I tried Soft Paws on my kitteh once. Once. She lets me trim her nails, but I was looking for something a bit lower maintainence. There was no trouble getting them on, or even in keeping them on. The trouble was in getting them off. They did NOT fall off in the suggested time frame. I had to go at them with a variety of clippers and scissors, which the cat did not appreciate. Even after all that hassle, a bit of cap was missed (she’s a Maine Coon with tons of foot floof), so the claw couldn’t properly shed or be sharpened, and it ended up ingrowing into her foot pad :frowning: Luckily my father and I were able to restrain her and cut the overgrown claw, but I’ve heard of others that have had to take kitty to the vet to get the caps removed.

I know everyone here has reported good experiences (and I actually had a good one about 10 years ago with my parents’ cat), but I can’t recommend them.