The Thing About Nail Caps

I have recently seen a post stream about nail caps.  Products like SoftPaws are acrylic caps placed over a cat's nails.  Whereas these products use to be clear, over time color and sparkle was added allowing owners to chose a what they liked.

I don't use nail caps.  My only reason being that my vision makes it hard for me to put them on and taking the cats to the vet or groomer to have this done as often as it should be could get expensive. I wasn't aware of any controversy surrounding its use until I started reading these threads.  I did a little research, and there are some pros and cons to the practice.

Let's do the Pros first.

Nail Caps are an alternative to declawing.  Let's face it; the primary reason why people don't keep cats is home destruction. By nature, cats scratch to strip their claws and mark their territory.  I had my first two cats declawed in the front for this very reason. Education over time changed my view on the subject, and I've not had any declawed since.  However, I don't shame anyone who does. I'd rather see a well loved declawed pet alive in a home than one with all its claws about to be euthanized. If the nail caps are kept up properly, the practice will reduce (not eliminate) the damage.

Nail Caps are not harmful if digested.  For the most part, this product will pass through your cat's system and come out in the poop.  Being acrylic doesn't automatically make it toxic. There is nothing in research or med journals suggesting this product will build up in the get or become lodged in hairballs.

Nail Caps are easy to apply.  My vision notwithstanding, if your cat allows you to cut their nails with ease, you can put these on.

Nail Cap colors are Cool. A fashionable pet is not evil or cruel. My explanation for this has long been chronicled on this blog. I will again post my reasons it a separate post this week.

Now the Cons.

You are busy and little lazy.  The nails continue to grow under these caps, and you have to trim the nails just as you would normally.  Failure to do so can lead to infections and painful, broken nails.  Your lack of vigilance and not the product is the cause.

The glue can break down nail health. If you (people) have your acrylic nail done at a salon, you know how thin your nail are after you remove them.  The glue, though not crazy glue is still a strong adhesive. When you remove old caps, the same result will happen to your cat's nails.  You will need to give your cats a period without caps and glue to prevent this.

Consult you Vet for any and all procedures.  If you do this right, Nail Caps can be cool.   But above all, weigh its use by your cat's comfort and safety. 

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