I definitely view declawing as a last resort, but if my cats start to destroy our new couch, all bets are off.

Quite a few cat owners as well as Beamer and Scout’s vet suggested I try a product called Soft Paws to put over their claws. I decided to give this product a shot.

What are Soft Paws nail caps for cats?

Cat wearing Soft PawsSoft Paws (or Soft Claws) are nail caps for cats that you glue over your cat’s front claws. The Soft Paws keep the claws covered and therefore reduce the amount of damage caused by the cat’s scratching.

The Soft Paws could also be used to prevent a cat from scratching a child or a dog, however that was not my reason for trying this product.

Before I tried the Soft Paws, my main questions and concerns were:

1. How easy are the Soft Paws to put on the cats?

2. Will the Soft Paws nail caps for cats actually stay on?

3. Will the Soft Paws nail caps for cats really prevent damage?

4. How much do Soft Paws cost?

5. What will my cats think of the Soft Paws?

6. Are there any problems with the Soft Paws?

So now that I’ve been testing the product for about a month, I’m ready to go over each of these questions with you so you can decide for yourself if the product sounds right for your cat.

1. How easy are the Soft Paws to put on the cats?

Applying the Soft Paws (now called Soft Claws) is about as difficult as giving your cat a nail trim.

If you can see well close up and your cat doesn’t try to bite your face off during nail trims, the Soft Paws shouldn’t be too much of an issue for you to put on your cat.

They nail caps are tiny, and you have to squirt a tiny amount of adhesive into each cap using a tiny glue bottle with a tiny applicator tip. Then you have to slide a cap over each of your cat’s front claws.

The Soft Paws are easy for me to apply, but it took a few tries to get a good system down. So just assume there is a learning curve. I didn’t get enough glue in the caps the first couple of times, and some of them fell off right away.

The instructions have some useful suggestions, too, such as to fill all 10 nail caps with glue at one time and then apply the caps. The instructions also say to fill one-third of the cap with glue, not the entire cap.

2. Will the Soft Paws for cats actually stay on?

Yes, the Soft Paws stay on, but not as long as intended.

My cats tried to pull the Soft Paws off initially, but then they got used to them. The caps fit pretty snugly even without any glue, so they do stay on better than you would think.

Tabby cat wearing Soft paws cat nail covers

On its web site, Soft Paws claims each application will last approximately four to six weeks, and therefore each kit (of four applications) should last four to six months.

Realistically, an entire kit will last about two months.

Just assume you will be replacing the caps as they fall off. Each nail cap will definitely not last a whole month.

Tabby cat wearing Soft Paws - they seem to work pretty well

3. Will the Soft Paws nail caps really prevent damage?

Even while wearing the Soft Paws, cats are still able to cause some damage by scratching. However, the Soft Paws will lessen that damage.

If you want to prevent your cat from scratching something, you have to follow through with your usual training methods.

We don’t allow our cats on the couch, for example. When we are home we tell them “no,” squirt them with water or push them off. They have plenty of other places to sit and plenty of scratching options. At night or when we are not home, our cats stay in our large laundry room.

The Soft Paws have made it possible for our cats to have a lot more freedom because even if they do decide to scratch the couch, they are unable to cause as much damage.

4. How much do Soft Paws cost?

Each Soft Paws nail caps for cats kit is $18.95. Order on Amazon here.

Each kit includes 40 nail caps, two tubes of adhesive and six applicator tips.

In my experience, each kit will realistically last me about two months. I would also need to order at least 30 extra applicator tips ($0.25 each) because there are not enough of these in each kit.

There is a flat shipping rate of $3.99 on all orders.

So for me, the cost to use Soft Paws on my two cats for one year would be approximately $238.89 if I ordered everything at once. That is a price I am willing to pay for the product.

($18.95 * 6 kits * 2 cats) + ($0.25 * 30) + $3.99 standard shipping = $238.89 per year.

5. What will my cats think of the Soft Paws?

My cats don’t really mind the Soft Paws. They tried to bite them off the first few times, but then they got used to them. It also helps to distract the cats with food or catnip right after they get their Soft Paws on.

The Soft Paws do make it a bit harder for my cats to grip when they jump up onto something, but I say tough luck. My cats still go through their normal scratching motions while wearing the Soft Paws, and for the most part the product stays in place.

6. What are some problems with Soft Paws

There are a few problems.

1. The Soft Paws do not stay on as long as the company claims.

Soft Paws nail cover kit for cats

2. There are not enough applicator tips in each kit.

Each kit comes with six applicator tips. These tips are used to put on the end of the glue bottle in order to squirt the glue into the nail cap. The glue bottles are resealable for re-use, but you have to use a new applicator tip each time you re-apply the caps.

Since I have been replacing a nail cap every few days with my cats, I ran out of tips pretty fast. It has been about a month since I opened each kit, and I have lots of nail caps and glue left but only one applicator tip.

Scout is missing one of his nail caps right now, and I’m waiting for a few more to fall off before I “waste” my last tip.

I contacted Soft Paws about this problem. I thought the company would be eager to mail me some extra tips. Instead, the representative told me I could order more for $0.25 per tip.

She also suggested I try to put a piece of foil around the tip for storage after each use while keeping it attached to the adhesive tube. This is kind of hard to understand unless you have actually used one of the kits. I tried this suggestion, and it does help a little.

Will I continue to use Soft Paws for my cats?

Yes. I do plan to continue using the Soft Paws for my cats. I am happy enough with the product to buy it. It’s certainly not perfect, but I want to keep my couch nice without having to declaw my cats.

Win a free Soft Paws kit for your cat!

Note: This contest has ended.

There are lots of colors to choose from, and they are all very cute! 

Here is Scout modeling his red, manicured paws. He looks so small in this picture – a pocket kitty!

Order nail caps here.

Have you used Soft Paws for your cat? Were you happy with the product?

Tabby cat wearing red Soft Claws nail caps for cats