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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014

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In Living

Most pet owners buy the clear ones, but for your fancy feline Soft Claws also come in a variety of colors.

Soft Claws keep your pets' paws in check


The joys of pets are many ... almost as numerous as their frustrating habits and instincts to destroy your personal property beyond recognition. If you have cats with claws, you know what we're talking about. If you have dogs and hardwood floors, you also know what we're talking about.

Still, we love them. Their actions borderline on criminal at times, but when they cuddle or play catch, you're reminded once again why you didn't set them free in the country long ago. Face it, they're family and they're here to stay.

But, according to Bruce Muller, director of marketing for Soft Claws, their nasty habits don't have to.

Muller has worked with Soft Claws for 19 years and has watched the company evolve since its inception in 1990. Soft Claws produces small vinyl caps for cats and dogs that adhere to the animal's nails and prevent them from causing damage from instinctual scratching.

Two years ago, the company released an even more advanced nail product, which includes a series of tiny "cleats" that help the nail cap adhere to the nail. The result is a better fitting nail cap and longer lasting application.

Still, he says, the majority of the pet-owning population isn't aware of Soft Claws as a viable alternative to declawing.

"Not a day goes by that I don't hear someone say, 'If I'd only heard about this product earlier I never would have declawed my cats'."

Declawing is a permanent surgical procedure that is equivalent to amputating the last joint in a cat's toe, similar to if a doctor removed the end of your finger down to the first knuckle.

"The statistics show that upwards of 60 percent of declawed cats show a change in personality," Muller adds. "They're not the same cat. They walk a little differently, their psychology is different."

Cats have an inherent need to scratch -- it's part of how they mark their territory as well as a vital part of grooming their nails -- which is why veterinarian Dr. Toby Wexler developed Soft Claws as a safe and humane way to keep your pets' paws in check. They are made from non-toxic materials and are attached with an adhesive to each nail.

According to Muller, the caps do not restrict the natural growth of the nail, so they need to be clipped and changed every six to eight weeks.

One pack of Soft Claws ($18.95) comes with 40 caps and typically lasts four to six months.

For the most part, Muller says, customers purchase the clear coated caps, which are practically unnoticeable on the paw. But for the flashier felines, Soft Claws come in a variety of colors, including hot pink, purple and green.

In Milwaukee, Soft Claws are available at Pet Supplies Plus.


Talkbacks

taughere | May 10, 2010 at 4:27 p.m. (report)

Ok, if a cat is used to having its claws clipped...then you probably don't really need these. I tried to put them on my cat, and that was a no go - she wriggled away and I almost got superglue and nail caps glued all over her body. I've managed to get her semi-used to having her nails clipped. Between clipping and her diligent use of the scratching post only, I have no problems. But more power to anyone who can manage to get these babies glued on - I'd love to have my cat running around with cute little pink nails.

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twistedbeavers | May 10, 2010 at 11:46 a.m. (report)

But have you used them??? I would like to hear if they are hard to put on? If they work? A true life review...

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wstphl | May 10, 2010 at 10:40 a.m. (report)

"Is your cat making too much noise? Think there's no answer? You're so stupid ... there is! Kitten Mittens!"

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