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Scratched sofas and shredded curtains are a reality faced by many cat owners. Despite what we might occasionally believe, this kind of behavior isn’t some sort of vendetta! Cats naturally scratch to keep their claws in top condition, and can usually be trained to use a cat scratching tower. However, sometimes razor sharp claws can pose a real problem to the humans of the household – if a cat is aggressive or destructive, sharp claws are an effective weapon. If a member of the household suffers from an autoimmune issue, or blood that doesn’t clot well, scratches can prove more than just an inconvenience. A couple of decades ago, declawing wold be the most frequently used solution, but today many consider the practice inhumane, and reserve it for medical necessity only.
Fortunately, there’s a middle ground between declawing your cat and leaving their claws at liberty altogether: cat nail caps. These caps are made from plastic, rubber, or silicone, and are attached to a cat’s nails with an adhesive. The caps have soft, blunted ends, preventing your cat from doing any damage to furniture or skin.
Below we reveal our top picks, helping you choose the right product if you decide to give claw caps a go.
For something a little more muted than the bright colors which other brands offer, you could turn to Soft Claws. Their clear caps are made from a non-toxic, durable vinyl, and last for four to six weeks on your cat’s nails.
They’re quick and easy to apply, and come with plenty of adhesive, too. Most cats will adapt quickly to their new manicure, and the caps do not affect normal claw retraction and movement.
Clear, colorless caps are a subtler alternative to bright tones
Durable, non-toxic vinyl
Caps last for up to six weeks
Set comes with adhesive
Available in various sizes
Comfortable to wear, and won’t interfere with claw retraction
With 100 caps and five colors contained in this set, VICTHY’s cat claw covers are among the most cost effective on the market. Like Soft Claws’ caps, they are non-toxic, come with five tubes of specialised adhesive, and are available in a variety of sizes, from kitten to large.
One attached, the caps will stay on your cat’s nails for four to six weeks, and they’re tough for cats to bite off. Despite their hardiness, VICTHY’s caps are safe and comfortable for cats to wear, and allow cats to retract their claws as normal.
Available in packs of five random colors, this 20-piece nail cap set is a good option to safely cover up your kit’s claws. And the color range is really vibrant, meaning your stylish cat will stand out in the crowd! Made from vinyl resin that is totally pet-safe, the set also comes with adhesive and applicator to make it a quick and easy job. Once in place, these well-made nail caps will not interfere with your feline’s normal claw movements, meaning they can go about their business while you and your furniture remain scratch-free.
For many cat owners, declawing is the last step to be taken, not the first. If your cat keeps scratching you, your furniture or keeps getting their claws stuck around the house, you’ve probably considered going to the vet for that; however, before you get to point where you need to declaw your cat, there are alternatives to consider, such as buying the best nail caps for cats. And you might want to consider trying the Soft Nail Caps For Cat Claws first – this is a decision you’re not likely to regret.
These nail caps are designed for your cat’s convenience. First of all, this veterinarian recommended brand are not only efficient but can last up to four to six weeks. What’s more, it comes with a large variety of colors, which you’ll no doubt have fun choosing from. Also, the Soft Nail Caps For Cat Claws is recommended for being natural and comfortable, allowing cats to adapt to them very quickly. After purchasing this item, the general consensus is that this is a sound investment for both you and your cat.
Safe & Non Toxic
Comes In 4 Different Sizes
Each Application Lasts 4-6 Weeks
Over 40 Available Colors
Comes With Applicator Tip, Adhesive & 20 Vinyl Nail Caps
JOYJULY offers the largest set on our list, which contains 140 variously colored caps as well as seven tubes of adhesive and reusable applicators. You’ll have the choice between matte and glitter caps, too, so can easily add a little sparkle to your cat’s look if you so desire. Like other high quality caps, these fit well below your cat’s cuticles and will not interfere with claw retraction, making them comfortable to wear.
These caps might be the most durable on the list; being made out of high-quality, non-toxic vinyl, they can last for up to eight weeks on your kitty’s claws. They even come in a handy case, meaning that none will go walk about.
140 claw caps in a variety of glitter and matte colors
Made from non-toxic, durable vinyl
Set includes seven tubes of adhesive plus applicators
Caps can stay on your cat’s claws for up to eight weeks
Comfortable to wear and don’t interfere with claw retraction
If you were hoping to combine the benefits of nail caps with some sparkle and glamor, this is the set for you! Ninery Ave supply cat claw caps in a variety of glittery shades, alongside five tubes of adhesive. They’re made from a non-toxic silica gel, so are a little softer than some of the other products on this list. This means they could be a good option for cats who haven’t had claw caps applied before.
Each set includes five glitter colors; gold, blue, red, purple, and green. The glue does take a relatively long time to dry, though, so leaving it in the cap for a moment before applying it to your cat’s claw is a must. Each set can be comfortably worn for up to three weeks, assuming you use the right size and allow the adhesive to properly set.
Glittery colors for a feline manicure
Softer, more flexible material than other brands
Both caps and adhesive are non-toxic
Last for around three weeks
Comfortable for cats to wear
Available in a variety of sizes, including for kittens
At a little over ten dollars, this set of cat claw caps is one of the most cost-effective on the market. The set includes five randomly selected colors, with 20 caps in each shade. Five tubes of nail adhesive are also included, and everything is non-toxic.
As their name would suggest, Sot Pet’s nail caps are of the soft, flexible variety, making them especially comfortable for cats to wear. Despite this, they’re very durable, and won’t be dislodged by a little chewing. They will generally last for around three weeks before they need changing. Like the other caps on this list, they’re available in a variety of different sizes.
Set includes an array of five colors, as well as five tubes of adhesive
Safe and non-toxic
Soft, flexible material
Comfortable for cats to wear, and don’t affect claw retraction
Available in a variety of sizes, including XS, suitable for kittens
With 100 pieces per pack, this nail cap kit from YMCCOOL is excellent value for money. And, as it comes with enough glue and applicators for five full sets, you can be sure to keep your favorite soft furnishing safe from the clawing attentions of your kit. There are also 10 different solid colors per set, ranging from after-dark black to hot pink, so you can create a host of different looks. The vinyl caps are also soft and comfortable for your cat to wear and won’t get in their way or impede the natural movement of their claws. And they can last up to six weeks, although expect less if you have the more rough and tough type of cat.
Kitty Caps are a little more expensive than some of the other brands here, but they’re highly durable and well designed. They also give you the chance to choose your own colors, so you can give your cat a unique style!
These tough, non-toxic vinyl caps can be worn for six to eight weeks before they need replacing. They’re comfortable for cats to wear, too – like all good quality cat nail caps, they do not interfere with claw retraction or other movement in the paw. Finally, they’re easy to apply, thanks to the fast-drying adhesive which comes with every pack.
Plenty of choice when it comes to color
Durable, and non-toxic
Easy to apply
Lasts for six to eight weeks
Pack comes with two tubes of adhesive
Comfortable for cats to wear and will not interfere with claw retraction
The Soft Claws Feline Nail Caps protect the home from scratch happy cats that have the habit of destroying anything they can lay their claws on. This product can be applied to the claws of the cat as a simple safe and inexpensive alternative to surgical declawing. It is ideal and works best for cats and kittens in their first year. It is not poisonous and is safe even if swallowed by the animal. It comes as a clear liquid in a 1.6 oz pack.
For its administration, simply trim the tip of the claws of your kitty, pour the adhesive into the nail cap until it is 1/3 full, dip the nail into the adhesive with your index finger and observe the pet for five minutes before release it. The drops of gel on the claws will dry quickly.
If you think claw nail caps might be the right solution for your cat, you’re probably wondering how to use them, and how they could benefit both you and your beloved pet. Below we address some common issues, and answer some questions you might have about introducing your feline friend to claw nail caps.
Things to Consider When Buying Nail Caps for Cats
All cat nail covers are designed along the same principle; they mimic the natural shape of your cat’s claws in order to achieve a snug and comfortable fit, which won’t interfere with their day-to-day feline business. Each is moulded with a blunted tip to prevent destructive scratching, and is attached to the natural nail with an adhesive. Here are a few things to consider when deciding which caps are right for your cat:
Whatever color, size, or material you choose, make sure that your both cat caps and adhesive are non-toxic. Some cats have a tendency to chew their caps off, especially when they haven’t had a chance to become used to them. This can result in the cap being swallowed, so it’s vital to make sure this won’t have a negative impact on your cat’s health.
Most manufacturers will advise you about how long you can expect their caps to last. Generally speaking, longer predictions denote better quality, so try to go for a cap which will last for at least two weeks on your cat’s nail.
Choosing claw caps in the right size is absolutely essential: too small and they won’t slide onto your cat’s claws, too large and they will become loose and fall off much more easily. Generally speaking, kittens aged 16 weeks and up will be able to wear XS, small cats and kittens aged over 6 months will wear S, average sized domestic cats will wear M, and large cats, such as Maine Coons, will wear L. Each manufacturer will provide further advice about their particular product, but sizes are fairly standardized.
If you prefer to steer clear of bright colors, some manufacturers provide clear caps which are not noticeable, but others stick to bright shades. Vivid colors can actually be a practical choice as well as an aesthetic one, since it will be easier to tell when your cat has lost a cap.
Benefits of Using Nail Caps for Cats
It can be tricky to get the hang of applying cat nail caps – especially if your cat wriggles around –but a little patience can be well worth it when the benefits of using these caps are considered:
Cat nail caps provide a safe, reversible, and humane alternative to declawing, which brings the risks of discomfort, pain, and infection
Nail caps prevent your cat from destroying furniture and fabric around your home
Nail caps prevent your cat from accidentally injuring you with scratches
If your cat has a wound or skin condition, nail caps prevent them from doing themselves further damage through scratching
These caps don’t prevent your cat from extending and retracting their claws as normal when applied correctly
Nail caps are simple to apply
Nail caps reduce the frequency with which you’ll need to trim your cat’s nails
Training Techniques You Should Try Before Using Cat Nail Caps
Not all cats will take equally well to nail caps, so you should try and build up to applying them gradually.
Get your cat used to having their nails handled, clipped, and capped from an early age. Kitten claw caps are available, and if you plan on using caps, starting at a young age will allow your cat to get comfortable with the process.
Before you apply the caps, begin to gently handle their paws to get them used to the sensation.
Practice extending your cat’s claws by pressing gently just above where the claw retracts into the paw.
Get your cat used to having their claws clipped. Clip only one paw at a time at first.
When your cat is calm during the clipping process, you can try applying caps.
Best Cat Nail Caps FAQ:
Q: What are cat nail caps?
A: Cat nail caps are plastic, rubber, or silicone caps, which are placed over a cat’s claws to prevent destructive scratching. They offer a safer and more humane alternative to declawing, and can be applied fairly easily at home, or by a vet. Caps put an end to scratching whilst being comfortable to wear, and don’t interfere with a cat’s ability to retract their claws.
Q: How long do they last, and how often do they need to be reapplied?
A: How long nail caps last will depend partly upon which brand you choose, but largely on your cat’s behavior. Some cats get used to the caps quickly, and forget about trying to remove them, but others may chew their caps at first, which could cause them to pop off. When a cat is used to wearing nail caps, they will only need to be changed every four to six weeks.
Q: How to apply the cat nail caps?
A: You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, but nail caps are generally applied by:
Clipping your cat’s nails
Ensuring the cap is a good fit (it should stop just short of your cat’s cuticle)
Placing a few drops of adhesive into a cap
Waiting for a moment, before sliding the cap onto the claw
Distracting your cat – for example with food – to allow the glue time to set
Q: Can cats get infections from nail caps like humans can from acrylic nails?
A: No. As long as you apply claw caps correctly, they won’t promote infection. The cap sits on the tip of the claw, which is naturally shed as they grow, so there is nowhere for an infection to form.
Q: Should nail caps only be used on indoor cats?
A: Generally, yes. If your cat spends the majority of their time outdoors, they’re much more likely to need sharp claws to hunt, defend themselves, and climb. If your cat only spends a small amount of time outdoors, whilst supervised, then nail caps could still be an option, but you should be cautious. Nail caps are mainly intended for use by indoor cats.
Q: Can cats still retract their claws while wearing nail caps?
A: Yes. The caps only cover the part of the claw which is always exposed, meaning their claws can be extended and retracted as usual. This is vital for comfort, and many cats extend and retract their claws repeatedly as a stress-release mechanism.
Our Top Pick
Our prize for the best nail caps for cats has to go to Soft Claws. Their set of 40 claw caps are bright and fun, as well as being durable and easy to apply. The set can be had for under 13 dollars so is a great, cost-effective solution to scratching problems. Soft Claw are definitely the best-known brand of claw caps for a reason!