Soft Paws are the first humane alternative to declawing. I've always been against declawing. It is horribly inhumane and unnatural. In fact, in most European countries, declawing is illegal! (Europeans are always more forward thinking than us). Now people are lobbying to make declawing illegal, beginning in California. Soft Paws is on the forefront of this initiative, working to ban declawing altogether. This is because cat's nails are part of their bone. When a cat is declawed, the lowest joint on each of their toes is completely amputated. This is obviously extremely painful. Imagine having to walk around after having your toes cut off. Painful, right?
My sister recently became the owner of a declawed kitten named Kobe. After a 21 college student adopted Kobe from an animal rescue this past October, he had him immediately declawed. Then a week later, he asked my sister to 'petsit' him. Well, needless to say, he never came back for his kitten. We watched poor Kobe attempting to jump, run, climb, and claw. He slipped off of everything he tried to jump onto, he was totally unable to climb and play, and he quickly developed a habit of biting (many cats that are declawed resort to biting in their frustration). He often acts as if his feet hurt him, holding one up at a time when he is sitting down or crying out when someone touches them.
Seeing poor Kobe suffering through this reminded me of Soft Paws, a product I had heard of years before but had never tried. I mentioned it to J and he responded quite well. (Something along the lines of: "Something like that exists? We need to get it - now!"). J likes/tolerates my our cats, often saying, "I'd like them much more if they weren't destroying my furniture." And they certainly do tear his furniture apart. His office chair is rippled with cat claws, the sides and back of our couch are pilling from cat play, and they once went to town tearing apart one of his ties.
So I decided to give Soft Paws a try!
Instead of inhumanely removing claws, you can cover them with Soft Paws. Soft Paws cover the nail with a rubber sheath, making it so that cats can still detract claws but they cannot scratch. They were invented by a veterinarian and have been on the market for twenty years now. They have even been featured on ABC's 20/20 as a safe alternative to declawing. The cap adheres to the nail for about 4-6 weeks at a time.
Soft Paws should of course only be used on indoor-only house cats. Because Soft Paws cover the claw, outdoor cats will be unable to defend themselves with their claws.
The Soft Paws kit comes with 40 nail caps (in all kinds of colors - I chose pink!), or enough for 4 nail applications for one cat. One pack will last about 4-6 months for one cat. It also comes with two tubes of adhesive, applicator tips, and instructions. I watched the instructional video before I gave it a go with my mellow cat, Chloe. The video can be found at the instructions page.
I invited my mom over to help me put them on. She held Chloe while I trimmed each of her toe nails, then I put a drop of glue inside each pink cap and, extending her nails, gently pressed a cap onto each one. It was SO MUCH EASIER than I was expecting it to be - and it was over in 5 minutes!
I decided to try Grace next. She is my rowdiest cat and she is one wiggly worm. It was a little more difficult, but overall went really well.
Chloe wearing Soft Paws
Grace wearing Soft Paws
No more scratching!
But she still bites, haha.
Chloe wearing Soft Paws
J now notices all the damage the kitties have done to his furniture over the years (although he doesn't seem to mind the fact that he has spilled cheese fondue, beer, tomato sauce, red wine... the list could go on and on, on his precious sofa). So now that the kitties are Soft Pawed, he wants me to buy him new furniture. HA!
But he is completely and totally in love with the Soft Paws. He has shown much more interest in Chloe and has actually gone out of his way to pet her, hold her, and let her sit in his lap (before he complained that her nails hurt too much).
I adore Soft Paws. I have been SO IMPRESSED by how well they have protected the furniture, plus, the cats don't mind them at all! There hasn't been a single downside.
Soft Paws cost $18.95 for 40 nail caps and can be purchased directly from SoftPaws.com
They come in a boatload of colors, such as green, grey, red, and color combos, like black/pink, red/green, and even sports team colors!
Check out the gallery of adorable kitties sporting their Soft Paws HERE.
Have you tried Soft Paws? Or do you know someone who may be interested? Consider spreading the word! Soft Paws are humane and kitty-friendly, plus super cute. Hopefully we can work towards a future where declawing is illegal here in the US.
Thanks for reading!!