Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cupcake's Colorful Claws

Hi everyone! You all know I'm all about the girly things in life... but no, I didn't paint my cats claws. She's wearing a product called Soft Paws, an alternative to declawing, recommended by my veterinarian.

Soon after we got Cupcake, she got purple ones, and now she has them in pink. Yes, they're cute, but that wasn't why I got them. You see, months before we adopted Cupcake from the shelter, we bought a new house... and quite a bit of new furniture to go inside. An expensive leather sectional is something I don't want to get damaged, as it would cost too much to replace! My vet said Soft Paws would be a good thing to try. They aren't permanent, but might lessen a cat's tendency to claw.

I've received lots of questions on Twitter about the Soft Paws- so I thought I'd answer those that involve my personal experience with them, and let the Soft Paws website do the rest. The site also has a pretty extensive "Frequently Asked Questions" section that may help you, if this is something you're considering for your pet. They are something anyone can purchase online & apply themselves, however my vet happens to offer the service too.



Cupcake's Experience:

One day when I was taking Cupcake in for some shots, I also got Soft Paws done. First the vet clipped her nails. Then they applied Soft Paws with a glue that's pretty much like glue used for artificial nails. It took about 10 minutes... one person held Cupcake while the other applied the hollow tips (glue on the tip, and then put it on cupcake, and held it there so it would stay- much like fake nails except it surrounds the claw). Soft Paws come in a variety of colors & sizes to fit your pet (dogs can wear them too). My vet charged $10 for the Soft Paws, and $10 for the application. They're $18.95 on the website.

Cupcake walked around for a bit, probably thinking... what's on my claws!? She did a lot of licking on her claws (probably getting rid of any glue residue). Soon after you get these done, I recommend giving your cat something to eat... So the Soft Paws can continue to dry. Soft Paws are supposed to last for about 4 to 6 weeks. I believe this will vary, depending on how much you cat messes with them (and depending on your cat's nail growth). It's very likely a few may come off sooner. Cupcake did lose a couple before her 4 weeks were up. But as I said, these aren't permanent, so it's to be expected. I can re-apply them myself if I want, or wait for the vet to do it at a future visit. Whoever applies them really needs to use the same principles for applying glue-on nails-- make sure they have the right fit (kitten, small, medium, large) and press & hold them on.


My Thoughts:

When Cupcake's Soft Paws are on all of her front & back claws, she can't scratch my leather couch. She can have full access to the couch, running and bouncing around- and she won't leave a mark. Does she love having these put on? No. Does she mess with her claws, trying to get the Soft Paws off? Sometimes. Has it caused her to act differently overall? No. She's still VERY playful and still has all her usual habits. So, as with almost everything, there are pros and cons. I'm not sure how long I'll continue to do Soft Paws, but someone at the Vet's office told me that after her cats used these for several months, it lessened their tendency to claw. I'll keep you posted on that!

Overall, I think these are a pretty good alternative to declawing. They're not perfect, but there are also advantages to the fact that they're not permanent- perhaps Cupcake eventually won't want to scratch, and won't need anything on her claws to keep her from it. I like that the claws & glue are non toxic, and are a much less traumatic experience than de-clawing. As I said, if this is something you might be interested in, there is much more information on the Soft Paws website.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!


Em

21 comments:

  1. These are such a fantastic idea! I remember when I was a kid we got a kitten and it scratched out sofa to bits. It then had a go at my mums ridiculously expensive curtains.

    The most annoying this is how they'll walk straight past the scratching post and start clawing and the nearest piece of furniture :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awww bless her! I think this is the first time, I've ever seen a kitty with polished claws. x

    ReplyDelete
  3. But this way, the cat's nails will always stick out. I don't know if they will feel comfortable. I just cut my cats' fingernails.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Emily you're so kind for not doing that torturous thing of taking your baby's claws out! :) No animal should lose their claws, that's like humans losing their nails. AHH.

    Good luck with her not clawing though! =) (Have you tried those scratching strips you can get from the pet store? -probably have, haha).

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi, Wow what a nice blog you got there :)
    I'm a new follower!

    Maybe you can check out mine as well, some time?
    Http://tesjoesblog.blogspot.com

    Thanks :)
    Keep on doing a good job!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I use these for my dog. I'll admit though that I primarily do it out of vanity- they're just cute! However it doesn't hurt my legs so much if she jumps up on me when I'm in shorts though so that's a plus too.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've used these on my kitties too. They kind of get used to having them put on after a few times and mine got used to wearing them too. Its also good to get her used to scratching a post now because then she will scratch in appropriate places (ie NOT your furniture). Vertical scratching is something that all cats, just keep that in mind. Maybe she would even like her own piece of kitty furniture (mine LOVE their tower I bought at petsmart) Also a tip on posts - make sure they are rope and NOT carpet so she doesn't get to liking the way that feels when she scratches and "learn" to scratch carpeting. Sorry for the long comment. I have a LOT of cats and fostered for a while, so I always try to share what I learned :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. thanks alot for the infos =^^=

    ReplyDelete
  9. Emily, I think this is a great alternative and declawing in my opinion is inhumane, and illigal in some countries btw.
    if she is still playfull she is ok! and super cute as always! cupcake rules !!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love soft paws! I use them every month.

    http://whimsicalbrunette.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  11. Adorable! I love that it looks like she has painted nails, so feminine!
    I saw her sporting her purple ones on one of your youtube videos.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is so cute!

    xoxo,

    colormenana.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. i think they are fantastic! i adopted a 3 year old girl cat and she was destroying my furniture, try the soft paws and worked wonders, she eventually stopped doing it, now i don't use them anymore since she won't scratch things but loves to climb trees! i think that is a down side of it...they can't climb, my cat spends lots of time outside, but if urs stays indoors it's a great solution!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow, I had no idea they had something like this. First I thought it was just nail polish lol. But I'm definitely going to look into this for my chihuahua. He's always scratching me. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  15. cupcake its so cute! I have a kitty but she didnt have claws when I got her. she is 7 years now but still my baby! I love this post its too cute. I wanted to let you know I featured you on my blog and I would love if you would pass by my blog and read it it would mean a lot to me!

    http://silversaffire.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  16. Minnie, Cats CAN retract their claws with Soft Paws.


    De-clawing is so awful. Anything is better than that. I'm glad there are alternatives like this.

    ReplyDelete
  17. My boyfriend's sister tried that on her cats. Didn't quite work, it can be really hard to get them on. I think if you start it young enough you may be able to get the cats used to it. Or just try and train them when they're older.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I tried these a few times a couple of years ago and they do work until they fall off or kitty chews them off. Then we realized why our kitty did not use his scratching post and ever since we don't need them. The carpet on the post has to bu slubby, the kind
    that he/she can have his nails hooked in really good. Not all carpets and scratching posts are created equal. It's worth experimenting, but once you find one that best suits your kitty, he/she will use it and won't scratch up anything else. I am also so glad to hear that you chose an alternative solution to de-clawing, I don't agree with that practice either!

    ReplyDelete