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Popular Cat Nail Caps Pros and Cons – Here Are The Facts

Cat Nail Caps - Pros and Cons.  There are more pros than cons I'm sure you will be happy to know.  There are still a couple of pitfalls which are discussed. 

This post will outline all you need to know regarding the pros and cons of cat nail caps.  

OK - Big decision! What color are you going to choose?


  • Cat nail caps prevent damage to furniture and other household items that result from the cat scratching using claws. The nail caps are soft but firm and rounded at the ends so that damage cannot be inflicted.
  • Cat nail caps protect adults and children from being scratched. No one wants to be scratched by the cat.
  • Your cat can still stretch and do all that he would without the caps.  It just means that your belongings are not being destroyed.
  • The cats claws can still extend and retract within the caps even though the nail is totally covered by the caps.
  • They are safe for use with kittens (usually over the age of 3 months) and come in kitten sizes.
  • Nail caps are safe for the cat.  They are non toxic and if swallowed, the caps will pass through the cats digestive system. The glue becomes inert once it is dry and poses no problem if ingested.
  • Using nail caps is an alternative to declawing cats which is thankfully becoming less common as people realize what is really entailed in the declawing process.
  • The nail caps are shed with the natural growth of the cat's nails. This takes approximately four to six perhaps eight weeks. There is nothing you need to do to remove the caps. Occasionally  the caps may not come off and there is information here about what to do if this is the case.
  • They are easy to apply however as with anything it becomes easier over time. It may take some practice to get it right so don't give up if things don’t go according to plan at first.
  • Most cats appear to forget about the caps and don't notice them after application.
  • Nail caps are an affordable option. They can be purchased in multi packs so you have always have some back up if some should fall off from time to time.  


  • Some cats may not be too keen about having nail caps put on.  A two man job may be required, one person to hold the cat while the other puts the nail caps on.
  • Some of the nail caps might fall off in the beginning and this is understandable.  Be prepared to waste a few as you are learning the drill and becoming familiar with the amount of glue required to hold the caps in place.
  • One potential issue with nail caps relates to the caps not coming off between four to six weeks and the nails can become too long.  As the nails grow in a curved manner the nails can grow and curve around onto the pad of the paw and may even start to grow into the pad.
  • When using nail caps check the condition every so often to ensure that the nails are not curving under the pad as described above. If this is the case they will need to be removed.  The easiest way to do this is to clip the top of the gel cap. This will loosen the cap and you will be able to gently remove it.  
  • If it does not remove just wait a few days as it may come off by itself now that the tip has been removed.  You can also try to remove it during this time.  If it still cannot be removed try trimming the tip of the nail and the gel cap and then removing the cap.  Once again if it doesn't remove it may come off of its own accord in the next couple of days. You can also trim carefully down the side of the cap and then peel the cap away.


Cat nail caps, pros and cons largely falls in favor of cat nail caps are safe to use.  It may take some trial and error to get used to using the correct amount of glue.

Read all instructions before applying. This last point is important as we know that once kitty is spooked it is hard to get kitty to reverse his judgement.

The product is non toxic to the cat. The nail covers will eliminate damage done by scratching. It is not a permanent option.  

If you decide they are not for your cat, simply don’t reapply. The different color choices look very cute but if color is not for you choose a clear option. 

Cat Nail Caps FAQ

Why are the nail caps falling off?

The most likely cause of this, is using caps that are too large. The manufacturer will have detailed information about what size is best for the age and size of your cat.

Why is the glue oozing out as the nail cap is applied?

The common cause or this is that too much glue is being applied.  Don’t overfill, less is more in this case.

Can cats still do normal scratching behavior?

Cats can happily carry on with their normal stretch and scratching regime. Less stress for you though as nothing is getting ruined in the scratching process.

How do I know what size to get?

Be guided by the manufacturer's size guide. The age and the weight of the cat at the deciding factors for choosing the correct size cap.

Is the cat likely to get an infection under the nail?

No because cats claws are not the same as human nails.  A cat has an outer sheath around the nail, which is shed naturally. You may have seen these sheaths around the cats scratching post. The nail caps come off with the shedding of the outer nail sheath.  This is normal.

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