Best Cat Nail Caps

Updated May 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

12 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
467 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for best cat nail caps

Last Updated May 2019

Cats have a tendency to scratch things, whether it’s furniture, carpets, people, or other pets. Declawing is an expensive procedure that brings up some ethical questions, but cat nail caps are an inexpensive and humane solution.

Cat nail caps are small pieces of synthetic material that you glue onto your cat’s nails, preventing your pet from scratching things with the same ferocity. The best part of these convenient tools is that they’re completely humane and fall off naturally after a few weeks as the claws grow out. Cat nail caps are a good option for indoor cats, but they should not be used on outdoor cats for the same reason outdoor cats should never be declawed: they need their claws to defend themselves. Cat nail caps are available in a range of colors and typically come in packs of 40 or more.

If you think cat nail caps are right for you and your feline friend, continue reading to learn more about the types available and see a few of our favorites.

Cat nail caps are an inexpensive way to prevent your cat from using its sharp claws to damage your furniture.

Key considerations

Declawing vs. cat nail caps

  • Declawing: Removing a cat’s claws is an expensive surgical procedure. It involves removing the bones that produce the nails and sometimes some of the padding of the toes. This leaves your cat sore for days or weeks, and many people (including veterinarians) argue that this is an unethical procedure. It may also be illegal in your area.

  • Cat nail caps: On the other hand, nail caps don’t hurt or permanently affect your cat in any way. They’re applied to the nail with a strong glue, leaving the cat able to retract and extend its claws as normal. Because the shape of the nail caps imitates the shape of the claw and fits snugly, most cats experience little discomfort. Applying cat nail caps can be a challenge, however. And not all cats will react to cat nail caps in the same way – it’s possible that your cat won’t like them. Cats with nail caps might still try to claw things, but they won’t be able to do as much damage.

Many people prefer cat nail caps to declawing for ethical reasons.

Staff
BestReviews

Cat nail cap features

Select cat nail caps based on their material and size. You want to find a set that fits your cat perfectly and lasts for several weeks at a minimum.

Materials

Cat nail caps are made from a few nontoxic materials that vary in softness and durability.

  • Rubber: Soft and comfortable for cats, rubber is also fairly durable, lasting as long as eight weeks.

  • Vinyl: One of the most durable options, vinyl lasts up to eight weeks, but it isn’t as soft as the other materials.

  • Silicone: One of the softest options, silicone is a good choice for cats wearing nail caps for the first time. However, it isn’t as durable as other materials and may only last a couple of weeks.

Size

Cat nail caps can fall off if they don’t fit snugly, so finding the right size is crucial. You can use the weight of your cat to determine the claw size.

  • Kittens: Extra-small cat nail caps

  • Under 8 pounds: Small cat nail caps

  • 8 to 14 pounds: Medium cat nail caps

  • Over 14 pounds: Large or extra-large cat nail caps
     

Also take note of the thickness of the cat nail caps. Thicker caps are usually duller, preventing your cat from damaging furniture or carpets. They may be less comfortable for the cat, however.

Color and quantity

  • Color: Many cat nail caps come in a range of different colors. One pack may contain several colors or only one color. Neon caps look cute on your cat, and they’re also more noticeable so you can easily see if a cap has fallen off. If you prefer less vibrant colors, there are many more muted options, including clear. The available colors vary from one brand to the next.

  • Quantity: When it comes to quantity, most brands offer anywhere from 20 to 120 nail caps. The more nail caps you purchase at once, the less frequently you’ll have to buy more. Since most nail caps last anywhere from two to four weeks (and you’re using them 18 at a time if you cover all the cat’s claws or 10 at a time for just the front paws), you can go through them fairly quickly.
DID YOU KNOW?

Unlike declawing, cat nail caps are a temporary solution.

Cat nail cap prices

As with any product sold in large quantities, take a moment to figure out the cost of each individual cap when determining the actual cost of cat nail caps.

Inexpensive: Cat nail cap sets that cost $2 to $5 may include as few as 20 to as many as 100. They might use harder synthetic materials that aren’t as comfortable for some cats, especially if the cats have never worn nail caps before.

Mid-range: Cat nail cap sets that cost $5 to $10 typically come in quantities of 40 to 120. These often use higher-quality soft, non-toxic materials like silicone. In addition, you’ll typically find a wider range of colors at this price.

Expensive: High-end cat nail caps that cost $10 to $20 come in quantities of 40 to 120 and use high-quality non-toxic materials that are soft and comfortable for cats. These sets also often include extra applicator tips and adhesive. Some more expensive options have a locking system made of small ridges or teeth on the inside of the caps. This helps the caps grip the nails and stay on longer.

EXPERT TIP

With the exception of very young kittens, cat nail caps can be used on cats of any age.


Staff  | BestReviews

Putting nail caps on your cat

Your vet can likely apply nail caps for you, but if your cat isn’t too aggressive, you should be able to do it yourself. Some brands may have different recommendations for applying nail caps, but there are some general steps.

  • Trim your cat’s nails. Since cat nail caps fall off after a certain amount of growth, shortening the nails helps to keep the caps on longer.

  • Test the nail cap to see if it fits. It should fit snugly and without covering the whole nail.

  • Fill the nail cap partially with adhesive. Use the applicator tip (if one is included) to fill the nail cap one-third to one-half with the adhesive liquid.

  • Put the cat nail cap on the nail. Keep your cat still for a few moments.

  • Don’t let your cat bite the caps. After applying all nail caps (to either the front paws or front and back paws), discourage your cat from biting them for about five minutes so the glue can set.

Other products we considered

While we believe our top recommendations represent the best cat nail caps available, there are a few other products worth mentioning. One popular option is the JOYJULY Cat Soft Claws, a pack of 140 at a fairly low price. We love that this set includes ten different vibrant colors in addition to plenty of adhesive and seven applicator tips. Another affordable option that comes in a pack of 140 is the zetpo Soft Cat Claw Caps. Though these are somewhat thin compared to other caps, they work well for a few weeks and are a good option if you want to see how your cat deals with the caps. For tougher nail caps that cats won’t be able to chew off, try the Brostown Soft Pet Nail Caps. Though these caps don’t have a locking system, they stay on well and are made of a highly flexible material.

Cat nail caps are perfectly safe. They aren’t known to cause infections, nor do they prevent cats from retracting their claws.

FAQ

Q. Won’t cats just chew off nail caps?
A.
The included adhesive is usually strong enough to prevent this. Also, the nail caps and adhesive are made of nontoxic materials in the rare event that a cat successfully removes one.

Q. How old do cats have to be for cat nail caps?
A.
Most brands recommend waiting until your kitten is at least 12 weeks old. You don’t need to trim kitten nails before applying cat nail caps.

Q. Don’t cat nail caps prevent cats from fully retracting their nails?
A.
No, they don’t. Nail caps only cover the tip of the nail, allowing cats to retract their nails as usual.

Q. Are cat nail caps reusable?
A.
No. The glue hardens in the tip of the cap. In most cases, part of the nail will come off with the cap when it eventually falls off.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Erica
    Erica
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Peter
    Peter
    Writer

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