Nail caps for cats: pros and contras
Pieces of wallpapers hang from the wall, scratches on the hands and face cannot heal, curtains are “decorated” with loose stitches, the upholstery is torn – that is the picture familiar to many cat owners whose cat isn’t trained to sharpen claws on a prepared surface. Nail caps for cats seems to be an ideal solution to all your problems! Now you don’t need to spend time training your cat, don’t need to fear for the kid and worry about your furniture. Is it true?
First it is necessary to find out what are these nail caps for cats actually. This is a pretty simple device: a cap is made of plastic, rubber or silicone put on the cat’s claw. To fix the cap, the inner surface of the item is covered with the special glue that is sold together with the caps. To put on the cap, all you need to do is to press on the cat’s paw so that the claw was released.
Manufacturers of this miraculous product promise all the possible advantages, and it is not surprising: they need to sell their goods. Let’s see how truthful the information provided by the manufacturers is.
Promise #1: Nail caps for cats don’t cause any inconvenience. Cats as run, jump and climb on high surfaces without having any difficulties.
In reality: If a person has some experience in observing cats, it becomes clear that claws play an extremely important role in their lives. With the help of claws cats can hold on slippery surfaces, claws also work as a brake when the cat plays active games with lots of legwork. Without using its claws, the cat can’t climb higher, and if they try to, they may fall down and get hurt. Even soft silicone nail caps for cats change the leg position, and, as a result, the gait, because the pet can’t retract the claws, i.e. can’t give its paws their natural position. And this, of course, brings not only inconvenience, but sometimes even pain (imagine if you always had to keep your fingers spread wide apart. In addition, the cat can’t scratch normally and is not able to clean its ears and teeth using claws.
Promise #2: Regardless of the material, whether it is rubber, plastic or silicone, nail caps for cats are absolutely safe and harmless for the pet’s health. A cat can wear caps for months, and it doesn’t affect its health at all.
In reality: The adhesive used to attach the caps can cause severe allergies. Footpads cats sweat, and glands located between fingers secrete fat; all this flows under the cap and starts rotting there, leading to dermatitis and creating a favorable environment for pathogenic bacteria development. Since the cat can’t draw the claws in, it can break its fingers, after a bad landing after jumping.
If there are quite impatient family members, the sound of nail caps may be very annoying. When the cat moves on the floor not covered with a carpet or digs in the litterbox, the caps clatter with a terrible sound and sometimes produce a vile squeaking sound (as if the foam plastic scratched the glass surface). During cat’s active play the clatter is worth killing.
Promise #3: High-quality nail caps can be used for the period from three to six months. Put them on your cat’s claws and forgot about all the problems. Furthermore, this thing will save time and money.
In reality: If the cat is passive and indifferent to what is going on, the caps will hold for about a month, maybe two. If the pet is active and playful, the caps will come off one by one in 2 weeks. If the cat is nervous or very active, it will tear them off from its claws using the teeth. Besides a couple of them together with glue residue may get in your pet’s stomach.
About saving money: a standard kit of nail caps costs about 10$. It includes 40 caps and a tube of glue. For the same sum of money you can buy a cat scratcher that can be used much longer.
About saving time: putting on nail caps is much easier than to train the cat how to use a scratching post. But being aware of all the drawbacks of this device, would a responsible owner use it?
Nails caps can be useful only as a temporary solution. For example, if a trip to the vet is planned, and the pet is so aggressive that it doesn’t allow a stranger to get into contact.
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