Cats are predators. They are born with retractable claws for both hunting and protection purposes. Cat owners should remember this when considering putting nail caps on their cat’s claws. We are going to quickly discuss the reasons why people do it and the reasons why people should or should not consider them. As a natural cat food company, we have decided it is a no. What will you decide?
What are nail caps you ask? They are plastic coverings that can be put over your fur baby’s claws. There are a few reasons why some owners decide to apply these to their cats. One of the reasons is to avoid the cat from destroying furniture in the house. Another is to avoid the cat from scratching visitors, young children, or themselves. Maybe there are elderly people in the house with sensitive skin or health issues that avoid them from clotting effectively. The one that has truly baffled us here at PurrForm is because it is “trendy”. Apparently, there was a craze for nail caps to match cat’s claws to their owners due to the infinite options in colours for these nail caps.
The process can be simple depending on the cat and the person putting them on. The claws need to be trimmed a bit less than normal in order to avoid the glue sticking to your cat’s fur or paws. After the claws have been cut, the nail cap needs to be filled with the glue provided. You then proceed to slide the nail cap onto the freshly trimmed claws. These nail caps are supposed to be replaced every 4-6 weeks ideally despite some packaging instructions stating 6-8 weeks. It is important to keep an eye on these nail caps to avoid any sort of infections and/or discomfort to your cat. If you start using the nail caps when they are kittens, they can get used to having them on their claws, however, it is not guaranteed.
There are risks to using these nail caps. It can prevent your cat from climbing effectively. If they get into a fight, they cannot defend themselves properly. Grooming can get affected as well, especially if they are long haired cats, as their claws help get deep into their fur when they are grooming. If they decide they are not fans of them and start to chew at them or manage to swallow them, they can choke. This could lead to digestive problems leading to a very unhappy cat and a very pricey vet visit to remove the plastic from its insides.
The way we see it, it is very unnatural to put these things on your cat’s claws. When a person makes the decision to purchase a cat, they do this knowing that cats have claws and need to scratch things not only for entertainment and grooming, but for protective and naturally instinctive reasons as well. It is the owner’s duty and responsibility to ensure they train their cat not to scratch at everything but at scratching posts instead. There are plenty of solutions to stop your cat from destroying your furniture without depriving the cats from their necessary claws. While coloured plastic claws can look appealing, they are not natural, nor are they bio-degradable, and they are a risk for your cat’s health. If you train your cat (which is an incredibly intelligent animal) there is no need for these ‘cat manicures’.