Questions & Answers: Soft Paws for Cats
Cat claws are sharp — you know, to protect themselves from predators and stuff like that. But also, cats have to scratch stuff, which in the wild is not a problem, because they can just scratch tree trunks. As a human race we generally don’t respect trees so we respect cats for disrespecting trees.
Cats clawing on furniture and other household furnishings may be purely destructive behavior from your point of view but not from the cat's point of view. To them it's natural behavior, following a need to keep their claws in top shape and to leave visual and scent markings on the object, communicating territory boundaries to other cats and other animals. In addition, scratching provides a form of exercise for cats, stretching and retracting their shoulders, legs, and paws. Because scratching is a natural activity for cats, protecting your furniture and other household goods may take a little ingenuity and effort on your behalf but is not impossible.
Invented by a veterinarian in the early 1990’s, these claw protectors SoftPaws are actually soft plastic caps that are placed over the claws of indoor cats or dogs. They are recommended by numerous veterinarians and associations for the protection of animals, worldwide.Acrylic cat claw covers are the humane alternative to declawing a cat. People declaw cats for a variety of reasons, but the most common reason is to protect furniture, walls, carpeting and door and window jambs from being scratched beyond repair. Cat's have a natural desire to stretch out and draw their claws along a surface in a manner that looks as if they are sharpening their claws. They do this for two reasons, neither of which have to do with sharpening claws. In reality, there are scent glands in the front paws that are stimulated when the cat moves in this manner, and cats are territorial creatures. The movement also helps peel off the outer, dead layers of the claws. All this scratching is destructive to household furnishings. Claws also can damage the delicate skin of old folks and babies, so some people resort to declawing in an effort to avoid these problems. Soft Claws and Soft Paws cover the cat's claws, obviating the need for a declaw surgery. They do not interfere with the cat's natural instincts or the performance of the claws in any way.While grotesque, there are good reasons as well to have this done. We have adopted cats with blood borne illness and it has protected them as well as the cats we already had. I’d rather a cat loses his claws and gain a home for life than die in a pound or on the street.I have recently had full apartment thermal heat treatment coupled with chemical treatment of a limited bedbug infestation. So far (after about three weeks) the treatments seem to have been successful (fingers crossed). Along with the treatments the PCO placed Protect-A-Bed encasements on my mattress and box spring. I'm not asking for opinions on these encasements. I'm seeking to allow my two cats back on the bed for play and petting. They also sleep with me sometimes. So far I've locked the bedroom against their entering. Their claws if they penetrate the encasements will defeat the purpose of the encasements. Does anyone know of another mattress encasement which can be placed over the ones I already have that will not be pierced by cat claws? Several relevant mattress liner mfrs. that I've phoned say that they cannot help me. Although I do trim the cats' front claws I am not conscientious, at least up to now, about trimming them very regularly so that no sharp ends ever develop. Also vets now advise against trimming back claws in case they go out (which mine do) and need to get down from a tree. Training my cats not to claw furniture and rugs has not worked for me. They have never scratched much or at all in the bed, having zeroed in on a couch and rug, but who knows what they will get up to in the future, or what damage they might do jumping up onto the bed and down off it. Although I know I am a pushover for these cats, can anyone help?