I WOULD like to raise my concerns on behalf of Cats Protection about the increased use of claw covers for cats. This rising trend, which involves directly gluing a cover onto each individual claw, prevents cats from expressing their natural behaviours including claw retraction, scratching objects to keep their claws in good condition and to leave comforting visual marks and scent signals.

Not allowing a cat to exhibit normal behaviour may lead to the development of behavioural problems and place a cat at risk by reducing its natural defences from attack. This could mean the owner is failing a pet’s welfare needs and could be prosecuted under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Should the claw covers injure or harm the cat, they may have also committed the offence of causing “unnecessary suffering.” 

The only situation in which it would be appropriate to fit plastic caps to a cat’s claws is short-term for specifically diagnosed medical or behavioural problems while the underlying condition is being addressed.
It is important to remember that cats are sentient animals and not fashion accessories.

Vanessa Howie 
Clinical vet, Cat Protection