Decorating with Cats

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I’ve gotten a number of comments from friends who have admired my home, and then asked “But wait, how do you keep your cats from destroying everything?” It’s been an issue that I have really wrestled with, and so I thought it was high time to do a post about a product I discovered which turned out to be a complete game-changer for decorating with cats—Soft Claws.

For those who knows me well, I am a total cat-lover. I adore my two little fur babies, and when I first brought them home, I genuinely didn’t have any nice furniture to speak of, so when my cats clawed my used IKEA chairs, I didn’t really worry about it. But after I moved into our townhome in 2016 and began buyer nicer pieces, I quickly realized this was becoming a major problem. For months I tried to discipline my cats better; I yelled at them, sprayed them with a water bottle, and locked them in a bathroom when they misbehaved. I bought them nice scratchers to dissuade them from using the furniture as their scratching post. Basically, I tried everything and nothing worked. I was waging war with my cats to try and save my home, and it was making everyone (including my poor husband!) miserable.

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Finally on New Year’s Eve in 2017, I totally lost it and realized that something had to change. Either I had to give up my cats, declaw them, or give up on my home. None of these options seemed very appealing, so in desperation, I started googling the issue and discovered the website savethecouches.com. This site is dedicated to preventing cat-owners from declawing their cats, while also helping them to save their furniture. It introduced me to the product called “Soft Claws,” which are basically small plastic naps that can be superglued onto your cat’s nails. It seemed like such a brilliant idea, and so the very next day, we went out and bought a set to see if it would work.

The short answer is: YES. This product has literally saved all of our furniture, without the drastic measure of declawing our cats. However, I will say that it takes a while to get the hang of applying the “Soft Claws,” and they might not work equally well for all cats. Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you are interested in using this product:

1) This product will work best for you if your cats are friendly and used to being handled a lot. Specifically, they need to get used to having their paws touched, which they often do NOT like. My cats are extremely friendly and cuddly, however, they still did not love having their paws handled. But as we began using Soft Claws regularly, they gradually got more used to the idea and now tolerate it very well.

2) Applying the Soft Claws is a two-person job. Usually, I hold the cat firmly and gently squeeze its paw to expose the claws, while my husband fills the plastic cap with glue and then quickly applies it to the nail. Initially, I tried scruffing the cats by the neck or even covering them with a towel to hold them still, but they hated that and struggled even more. I have found that they prefer to see what’s going on, and as long as I hold them firmly but reassuringly, they trust me enough to hold still while we apply the nail caps.

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3) One of the trickiest things is filling the nail caps with just the right amount of glue. Not enough, and it won’t stay on. Too much, and the glue can spill out and stick to the cat’s fur. We’ve found that it’s best to fill the nail caps about 1/3 to 1/2 full. If any glue does spill out when you are applying the nail, you can just quickly dab it away with your finger before it has a chance to catch on their fur.

4) We don’t ever try to apply more than 2-3 nail caps per cat in one go. Although they tolerate the ordeal very well now, trying to apply of them at once will make you and your cat very miserable. Also, keep in mind that it’s really not necessary to apply them to their back claws—just the front ones will be enough to protect your upholstery.

5) We always clip our cat’s nails before applying the nail caps. It’s generally best for your cats to clip their nails regularly anyway. Once the nail cap is applied, your cat’s nails will continue to grow, until after about 4-6 weeks, the tip of the nail will break off, along with the nail cap. Then it’s time to trim their nails and apply the plastic caps all over again!

6) To keep our cats happy and prevent them from trying to bite off their plastic nail caps, we always feed them right afterwards! It gives them a little reward and helps to make the experience more pleasant for them.

And there you have it! I really can’t emphasize how life-changing this product has been for us! I enjoying being around my cats so much more and I am able to decorate my home without constantly worrying about what the cats might do to my furniture!