Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Not Declawed

When people see our cats, often the first thing they say is, "Oh! They have painted nails!" Actually, our cats are wearing a product called SoftPaws, plastic nail caps that glue in place.

Angel wears blue caps:

George wears pink caps:

The caps are hollow and come with small bottles of SuperGlue and nozzles to squeeze the glue into the caps. They come in several sizes (our cats wear Medium). Once the cap is slipped on with the glue, they immediately stick in place.

The different colors serve a purpose beyond fashion. Each cap, once glued in place, remains on the claw until that claw is shed, or sloughed off. This takes between 6 and 8 weeks, so on average, each cat sheds about 1-2 claws per week. When we find, say, a pink claw floating around the bus, we know it's time for George to get another cap. Don't like pink or blue? SoftPaws come in thirteen colors. I occasionally get emails from the company trying to sell me "seasonal" colors for different holidays. I suppose if you're really into decorating, you could choose orange and black for Halloween...

The caps don't seem to bother the cats at all. They don't shake their paws or try to bite or lick the caps. The only time they were unhappy was during the very first application, when 10 caps were put on at once (we only cap the claws on their front feet.) I think they disliked having their paws held for that long. Now, though, with only 1 or 2 caps going on at once, they don't object. In hindsight, I could have put on a few caps a day and made it easier initially.

SoftPaws don't stop the cats from scratching. They still stretch out and try to dig into soft surfaces. However, the blunt ends of the caps don't catch on anything, so no damage is done. George and Angel are strictly inside cats and don't need their claws to climb or fight. While they could be surgically declawed, that is a major medical procedure. SoftPaws is easy, safe, completely reversible, and relative inexpensive. Certainly less expensive than replacing damaged furniture! After almost three years, we have been completely satisfied with this product.

On edit: Sean just read this post and said it sounds like an advertisement. Just to be clear, we have nothing to do with this company except as happy customers. It was time to reorder more claw caps and I decided to blog about them.

1 comment:

  1. This post changed my life; I promptly went to the SoftPaws site and ordered a package! I have no idea how I ever lived without them.

    Another way that your post has helped is that I have been interested in the RV lifestyle but didn't want to indulge without my cats and couldn't imagine bringing the cats because the one with claws would tear my motorhome to bits. Not an issue now. :-) (I'd like to point out that the one without claws was adopted as such.)

    I've really enjoyed reading about your travels and taking a virtual tour of your Odyssey. You're a real inspiration. I wish you many more years of happy travels. I hope you come up to Canada someday and see what we have to offer.


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