The Best Cat Nail Caps To Help Save Your Furniture
Because declawing shouldn't be an option.
Declawing cats is an inhumane practice because it leaves them defenseless should the worst happen and they’re faced with a threat. But what can pet parents do to prevent their furniture (and arms!) from being destroyed by cat claws?
Cat nail caps are basically press-on nails for your cat, except they serve a function besides just being beautiful. They can actually prevent your cat from clawing your couch without interfering with your cat’s natural desire to extend her claws, stretch and (attempt to) scratch.
The best cat nail caps don’t interfere with your cat’s extension and retraction of her nails (it should note this on the packaging), are made with nontoxic materials, and come with a cat-safe, nontoxic applicator solution.
When looking for a great set of cat claw caps, there are a few things you’ll want to consider during your search.
The first thing you’re going to notice about cat nail caps is that they come in a variety of fun colors that make it look like your cat just went to the nail salon. You can also get clear nail caps if you don’t want to draw attention to your cat’s claws. But bright and colorful caps are easier to find if they fall off.
Cat nail caps come in various sizes that correspond to the size and age of your cat. Make sure you’re choosing the right size when purchasing. Each package or online listing should have a size chart you can refer to.
Some caps come with gripping nodules on the inside of the caps to make them stay on longer. Cat nail caps stay on for about four to six weeks, so these gripping nodules ideally help the caps stay on up until that six-week mark. Though these inner grippers aren’t necessary, they may cut down on how often you have to apply them — which could be great for cats who don’t have a lot of patience.
How many caps per package
You may find that some packages only come with enough caps to last a few weeks, whereas others come with hundreds that will last for months. So if you’re not sure your cat’s going to handle nail caps well, opt for a package that doesn’t have that many caps and then make a larger investment later down the road.
The best cat nail caps to prevent scratching
These are some of the best and highest-reviewed nail caps you can buy.
The Soft Claws cat nail caps come in sizes small, medium and large and feature a “cleat locking system” that supposedly makes the caps stay on cats’ nails better and for longer. They’ll last up to six weeks, and each kit comes with a four-to-six-month supply of caps. You can also choose clear caps or caps in a variety of fun colors. And these caps won’t interfere with your cat’s nail growth or extension.
In each pack of VICTHY cat nail caps, which have over 6,400 five-star reviews on Amazon, you get 140 colorful claw covers, and you can order the caps in one of four sizes (XS through L). The glue has passed the EU’s safety regulations and is made specifically for cat nail caps. And, as the packaging states, the caps won’t interfere with nail growth or extension.
For just $16, you can get a whopping 200 nail caps in 20 different colors. This kit also comes with 10 cat-safe glue tubes and applicator tips, so you’ll be stocked up for months. This pack is a great buy for cats who are already used to wearing cat nail caps and are used to the application process.
If you aren’t sure how your cat is going to react to nail caps, you can pick up a pack of 20 here for just $5 to try them out before investing in a larger amount. Plus, these caps from Purrdy Paws glow in the dark, which not only looks cool, but could be easier to find when they fall off in your cat’s favorite dark hiding spot.
Applying cat nail caps
Nail caps can be applied the same way you apply press-on nails. You simply put a few drops of the applicator solution into the cap and then slide the cap over your cat’s claw, pressing your cat’s paw pads slightly to extend the nail. The bond will adhere quickly.
Your cat should stay indoors while wearing nail caps because she’ll be unable to climb and escape from predators if the worst should happen. And it may take some time before your cat becomes comfortable wearing claw caps, so wait a few days to see if your cat is warming up to them.
Some cats may not be OK with wearing claw caps at all, and if that’s the case, remove them ASAP so as not to cause trauma. Rather than caps, introduce your cat to scratching posts or boards, instead!
Removing cat nail caps
After about four to six weeks of wear, it’s time for the old nail caps to come off and be replaced with new ones to accommodate your cat’s new claw growth. Some claw caps will come off on their own as the glue breaks down over time or as the cat’s nail naturally sheds. Or, cats may decide to chew the caps off themselves.
But if the caps remain in place, then you’ll have to step in and remove them. To do so, gently restrain your cat (this may take two people to do), and press her paws between two fingers to extend her claw. Snip the very end of the claw cap with fingernail clippers or claw clippers to break the cap’s seal over your cat’s claw. Don’t cut too much at the tip or else you risk snipping your cat’s quick, which will cause pain and bleeding.
Then flex and squeeze the remaining tube around the claw until it loosens enough to where you can slide it off. If it’s not loosening, you can gently clip away a bit of the exterior using your clippers and peel the remaining coating off the nail.
If it’s stuck for whatever reason, leave the cap as it is and allow the bond to break down on its own within a few days.
Don’t declaw — use this temporary option instead to cut down on scratched-up furniture.