This past week, our page posted a picture of our fashionable Nala, a deservingly sweet kitty that our donors saved last year from pancreatitis. While trying to get the word out to others to join our army of angels and help these deserving pets, we ran into an alarming dispute about “Soft Claws”, an invention designed to place on your cat’s nails advertised as a safe and pain-free alternative to “save your floors and furniture” without declawing. As an organization, we don't promote the use of these covers, but we also do not fault pet owners for using them.
Cats scratch to mark their territory, to stretch, and to keep their worn-down nails feeling fresh. Cat owners can prevent their homes from being destructed by claws by providing cat(s) with scratching posts placed around the house, placing climbing materials such as cat trees around the house, and by having your Veterinarian trim your feline’s nails at the time of their vet office visit. These are all great alternatives for aiding your kitty’s scratching desires. But for some, Soft Claws are a personal choice that does not harm their cat.
I have never heard of these cat claw covers, and I am certainly not promoting them, but I began to do some research after this debate about them. Soft Claws nail covers were invented by a veterinarian as a way to create an alternative to declawing to satisfy cat owners without endangering their pet. Essentially, they are caps made from vinyl that cover each toe nail on the cat’s front paws. Each time these nail caps are applied, they can stay on 4-6 weeks. These covers are to prevent cats from using their nails to scratch furniture, carpets, or even your other pets. They are designed to be safe, non-toxic, and easy to apply. I was shocked to discover that they even come in every color of the rainbow...sparkly as well!
The conversation stemming from this topic can be contended in many ways as some believe Soft Claws are completely safe, and others have their mind made up as soon as this invention is brought up to be ethically controversial.
One thing that I think we can agree upon is that declawing is not the answer. In some parts of the world, declawing cats is straight up illegal, while for others, this is still a debatable topic of interest to feline owners as well as Veterinary professionals.
If you do not know, declawing, also known as onychectomy, is when the last bone in the cat’s foot is removed from each toe on each front paw, including the nail bed, so the nails do not grow back. I wouldn't want to have one of my fingers cut off.
If you saw the picture of pink-nailed Nala, please know she is safe, healthy, and well. We appreciate that you care so much about these animals, thanks for your concerns about their well-being. We did not put the nail covers on Miss. Nala, but we support her Mom’s decision to use Soft Claws.
For The Love of Alex Inc is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides emergency funding for urgent and lifesaving care of pets of low-income families.