Nail caps for cats to stop cats from scratching

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

43 thoughts on “Nail caps for cats to stop cats from scratching”

  1. Great post! I think Murphy would look great with either pastel blue or just plain blue… Your review was extremely helpful!

  2. Cool! I love the pink for my black cat Valentina- I think they’d really stand out! 🙂

    I’ve used them long ago- I didn’t even use the tips, I just squeezed the nail and put the glue tip in there (just snipped off the very top of the glue), It may be too much glue, but it’s not oozing out, so it worked for me.

  3. Your post was very helpful! I think my black cat Dory would look great with the silver glitter or purple soft paws 🙂

  4. Thankfully I have a black female cat but I think she could pull off any color I love her so od course like any owner I’m bias, raven has her own room at night so she can’t destroy everything in the house a lot like the laundry room method you use. I think she would look adorable with the snowflake combo colors. But that’s just me. 🙂 also I love the fact that people are using these as an alternative to declawing. Thanks for the realistic review on the tips and how long they last its really helpful to know how it really lasts not just a guestimation 🙂

  5. Like the snowflake combo colors! Right now my cat has on a silver glitter, a light blue and a dark blue that look really nice together.

    I also agree with the tips…I used them at first but in the end, just used the tube without it. Works just fine.

    Also, the time on the claw depends on how fast your cats shed their claws. I find mine last up to 3 months sometimes as some of his claws don’t shed very fast.

  6. I LOVE soft paws and recommend them to everyone with a cat. I think two months might be about right, but I rarely use the applicator tips. If you cut the glue opening at a slant, it works just as well. We have been using softpaws for almost two years now and will never stop. Our couches, walls, and dogs (who like to play with the cat) thank us.

    I also appreciate that they don’t charge a ridiculous amount for international shipping (we are currently living in Taiwan).

    I enjoyed the red/green combination over the holidays (I got a lot of compliments on it!), but I’m most excited about the blue glitter ones I ordered for the rest of the winter.

    Thanks for your review and thank your softpaws for saving so many cats from declawing!

  7. I have one question about the product. Is it more effective then keeping a cat’s nails trimmed? I’m not sure I”m willing to try this as one of my cats really doesn’t like her paws touched, but she only scratches her tree. My other cat, the newer one, scratches the tree but does occasionally scratch my soft seated chairs. I haven’t trimmed my cats’ claws, but I think I’m going to start. Or at least have a professional do it! I like the red color on Scout by the way 🙂

    1. Since my cats actually do like to scratch the couch, chairs, carpet, etc., the Soft Paws are way more effective than just trimming their nails. I typically trimmed their nails every two weeks. That lessened the damage, but it was not as effective as the Soft Paws.

      I still trim their nails before putting the Soft Paws over their claws.

  8. I love the blog about Soft Paws, I have not used them yet as my Bella is still a little small for them, she is a rescued Lynx Point Siamese, and I think the Blue Glitter ones or the pink glitter would look GORGEOUS with her blue eyes. My daughter uses these on her cat and they stayed on really well, however, we do trim her cats nails slightly before applying the soft paws. I think they stay on better if the nails are not too sharp.

    I am looking forward to using them on Bella soon. I think more people would want to give these a try if the realized that declawing was actually amputation up to the first joint (not just the nail), and it can also alter the cats personality. Thanks for sharing the info Lindsay !

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I hope they work well for your cat. There is a size for kittens that might work for her if the small size is too big. And it was nice to meet you yesterday, Gail!

  9. Great review. You really covered things thoroughly. I am wondering how long it took you to “do each cat’s nails.” It seems like it might take a while. Scout’s red ones look prettty cute.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      The first time it might’ve taken 10 minutes. Now that I have a routine down it definitely takes less than five minutes.

  10. Bradley Baker

    From every thing I have read about this product seems to be great. My cat seems to scratch every thing and was considering declawing my cat, not realizing how inhumane it really is. I am really considering getting this product for my cat so she does not suffer. Mara is my favorite cat I have ever had and want her to be pain free, and i refuse to put her in pain. I think she would look great with the glitter pink with her all white fur. I am excited to give this product a try in hope that it will help with the scratching.

  11. I love the review and it has helped me decide that I will be buying this product! I think the pink is my favorite color… or the blue glitter… dang it, I like both colors

  12. My two month old cat scratched my 6 year old daughter pretty bad today. Definitely want to try this product. I think blue would look good on my Siamese.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Definitely give the product a try! I am still using SoftPaws for my cats several months later. Sorry to hear about the scratch 🙁

  13. I bought a small kit from eBay for a little bit of nothing, figuring if they didn’t work well at least they didn’t cost much. I’m so glad to hear that these work well! I ordered purple caps for Atticus, who’s black and white. 🙂
    One thing I’m wondering, is it necessary to clip the nails before putting them on? I haven’t ever clipped his claws since I heard you don’t really have to, but I’m a bit nervous.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I’m not sure how long your cat’s nails are, but with my cats, the caps stay on better if I don’t clip the nails. If the nails are too short, there is less “surface area” for the caps to stick to and they fall off.

  14. Just got them in the mail today–they work great! He’s been licking at them a bit, occasionally biting but nothing bad. Putting them on was fairly easy. He didn’t mind me bothering his paws, the only issue was a fly buzzing around the room so he couldn’t sit still for long. :3 Thanks for the tip, by the way!

  15. I have 2 little kittens about 14the weeks old ..i also have a 3good yr old son so i would live to try this product..i like red for color however i would try to let my son pick.

  16. Donna Fontenot

    Thanks for your great review & info on soft paws. My Elliot would look great in the orange color!! Hope I win!!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Thanks for your comment, but the contest has ended. I love the nail caps for my cats. I’m still using them.

  17. SoftPaws1stTimer

    Best review I have read yet of the Soft Paws product. I have ordered it for my two cats and am waiting for its arrival. I don’t think I ordered enough of the applicators — the sales reps on the Soft Paws website I mentioned did not tell me of this problem. It seems after so many years of making it that they could solve it by now, especially when their “free shipping” only kicks in after $49. Kind of high when a kit costs $18.95 – have to order 3 kits to get free shipping. Really, free shipping IMO at Soft Paws should be after $35 like Amazon. They have colors I couldn’t find anywhere else, though, so that is why I ordered from them. I may see if there is any alternative to their applicators. Would another type of glue work other than the type that comes with the Soft Paws kit?

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