How To Prevent Cat Scratches on You and Furniture (And It’s Not Declawing Cats)

Declawing cats is a popular practice because of the cat scratches on people, other pets, or furniture. There are more humane alternatives, like scratching posts, catnips, and the use of cat nail caps.

Why Declawing Cats is a Bad Option

declawing cats

Declawing cats or onychectomy is a surgical procedure that is actually the amputation of the last bone of the cat’s paws. This is similar to a human finger amputated at the last knuckle.

This is a painful, stressful procedure for cats. Even with adequate anesthesia during the procedure, there are long-term effects of declawing.

This is actually a lifelong debilitation for cats and can cause unwanted cat behavior like biting or avoiding the use of the litter box because the litter hurts their tender paws. Some cats have even become aggressive as a result.

In certain cases, cats have been crippled or have died due to serious infections as a result of declawing. There were also studies saying it causes arthritis in cats.

Declawing also does not guarantee that claws will not grow again, in some of the cases it actually does regrow, and worse, they can grow back into the paw pad, which causes excruciating pain.

Declawing Cats Banned in Many Regions

This surgical procedure, however, has been frowned upon by many and even banned in certain countries such as Australia, Brazil, and much of Europe. Israel has a very steep penalty for declawing cats – $20,000 or one year in prison. All in all, there are 21 countries to date banning declawing.

In North American territories, several cities in California have banned declawing. This is also the sentiment of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, stating the practice actually causes unnecessary and avoidable pain.

Alternatives to Declawing

Scratching Posts

Provide several stable scratching posts (horizontal and vertical),  even one at least for every room. Other options are cardboards, wood, carpets.

Training & Conditioning

Give your cat a mild spritz or spray of water when it tries to scratch on your furniture to train its behavior. You can also put sticky tapes on surfaces where you want to keep cat away.

Trimming Cat Nails

There are the scissors-type and the grinder type available. Some cats resist nail cutters, so the grinder type is a gentler alternative.

Cat Nail Caps

They are vinyl type covers for each claw that will protect people, other pets, and furniture from cat scratches.

Cat Nail Caps – The More Humane Alternative to Declawing

cat nail caps We recommend the use of these cat claw covers as a humane and harmless alternative to declawing a cat.

Cat nail caps are vinyl covers that you can easily slip on a trimmed claw.  The cat can still retract its claws and does not really affect its behavior. You just need to replace them every six to eight weeks.

It is available in several sizes for kittens to adult cats and comes with adhesive glue to keep it in place.

A Worst Case of Unprotected Claws

A kitten was playing with another kitten and, in the course of the playtime, has scratched the other’s left eye and it got swollen and infected so bad. No amount of medication saved the kitten’s swollen eye, and eventually, the kitten’s left eye was surgically removed.

Hence, cat nail caps can really help prevent serious harm, without the cat having to suffer from declawing.

How to use Cat Nail Caps

  1. Trim cat’s nails either with a trimmer or a grinder for pets.
  2. Place about two drops of glue into each cat nail cap
  3. Slip the cap on the nail and gently press the cat nail cap on the sides of the claw. Done!

Now here is a video of how to put on cat nail caps on a difficult cat 🙂

credit: Scott Robinson

Frequently Asked Questions About Cat Nail Caps

Q. Will it get in the way when my cat retracts its claws?

Correctly fitting covers will allow full retraction and extension of the claws. Simply follow the correct application of the nail caps.

Q. Will the cat not chew on them?

It might happen in a few cases, especially for the first time and in the training phase, but will eventually get used to it. As you can see in the video above, even if the cat resisted initially, it was okay after.

Q. Is it safe?

They are completely safe, even if you have a difficult cat and swallows it, it will just pass through the digestive system.

Q. Shall I place on the hind claws as well?

A cat scratches itself with its hind claws, and because of that, some cats have actually hurt themselves to the point of bleeding when they scratch. If your cat does this, putting caps on hind claws will prevent the cat from hurting itself.

Q. How does one remove the caps?

In about 4-6 weeks, it will start to fall off as the claws grow. Another way to remove them is to cut the top of the cap and peel off.

credit for the video: PetPrepper

Overall, the benefits of having cat nail caps outweigh any perceived inconvenience as your cat adjusts to it.