Alternative Glue for Soft Paws?
January 15, 2013 5:46 PM   Subscribe

I have used Soft Paws to prevent my two cats from scratching our furniture in the past, and they worked really well. However, either they redesigned their glue dispenser, or I've developed serious glue-handling issues, because I went through three bottles of glue spilling all over the place before I gave up. Is it safe to use Krazy Glue, or some similar product instead of the glue they provide?

I've googled this issue and have received mixed messages, so I'm wondering if anyone has had good or bad results with alternate glues. I just bought a new chair, and normally the cats tolerate the Soft Paws really well, so I would like to keep using them, but I can't afford to buy new packages over and over (at about $20 per package) again just to get the glue.

Just for informational purposes, when I cut just the very tip of the glue off to put the needle/dispenser part on, the glue still spilled out everywhere, which I know didn't happen in the past. I couldn't get a tight fit, no matter what I did, so I'm assuming they must have changed the design for the worse.
posted by odayoday to Pets & Animals (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
superglue: probably no. It's not instantly poisonous, and in a pinch you can glue a wound shut, but in general it's not something you want to have on your skin. Also, removing it generally involves acetone which likewise isn't great stuff to have in contact with your skin, though again a splash or a remove-superglue-application won't kill you.

I don't have a good suggestion, though. Clear nail polish might be sufficiently adhesive.
posted by Sunburnt at 6:03 PM on January 15, 2013

I can only add that I recently had the same experience you did with the glue: the applicator didn't "latch" to the glue container, and the glue spilled out the top of the applicator onto my fingers and anything else it came in contact with. I'm planning on taping the applicator to the glu next time to at least provide a shield between my fingers and the glue.
posted by deadweightloss at 6:07 PM on January 15, 2013

Superglue was actually developed to glue wounds shut; when I cut the tip almost off my little finger with a bread knife, they used superglue to glue it back on. They use it for cornea surgery, even. I've managed to fill my mouth with superglue on more than one occasion (shut up) and suffered no ill effects.

Clear nail polish will be less adhesive, and also requires acetone to remove. I'd go with superglue. It's fine to have on your skin.
posted by KathrynT at 6:08 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've used those successfully on my dog before, and when the glue dried up the folks at the pet store suggested getting nail glue - the kind you can get at the drug store to keep your own press-on nails stuck to your fingers. Not sure how different it is (if at all) from superglue, but it might be worth checking out.
posted by DingoMutt at 6:11 PM on January 15, 2013

Just FYI, you can buy bottles of glue by themselves for $2.50 from the Soft Paws website.

I would think that nontoxic super glue would work just fine, as an alternative.
posted by southern_sky at 6:16 PM on January 15, 2013

(whoops, hit Post instead of Preview, but was going to add that the nail glue did work for our dog, and was reasonably easy to apply to the nail caps)
posted by DingoMutt at 6:19 PM on January 15, 2013

I'm not a chemist, but I've always thought it looks, smells and behaves exactly the same as Krazy Glue. That said, I have always just ordered a bunch of extra glue and tips when I ordered the Soft Paws, because we seem to go through them much faster than expected.
posted by primethyme at 7:03 PM on January 15, 2013

One thing to keep in mind is, is how toxic is the superglue? Because don't forget the kitties will be grooming themselves, and even if they're NOT specifically trying to gnaw off the Soft Paws, they WILL at the very least be licking it. Buying extra bottles of glue specially formulated for the Soft Paws might be safer.
posted by easily confused at 7:38 PM on January 15, 2013

The glue is definitely cyanoacrylate, just like Krazy Glue. I've used it in place of superglue plenty of times and it acts exactly the same. There's no special formula, just branding.
posted by odinsdream at 7:46 PM on January 15, 2013

The cyanoacrylate in Krazy Glue ("ethyl-2-cyanoacrylate") is slightly different from the medical grade cyanoacrylate (Dermabond, "2-octyl cyanoacrylate") which is used on skin, but you're not putting it on skin anyway. I can't seem to find exactly what type of cyanoacrylate adhesive is used in the Soft Paws, but I think it would be fine. This link anecdotally suggests it would be fine.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 7:59 PM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

You might also call/email the company and tell them that you love their product but are having trouble with the glue. They need this feedback in order to improve the packaging, and they may send you some extra glue to help resolve your problem.
posted by judith at 8:10 PM on January 15, 2013 [3 favorites]

Nthing the fake finger nail glue. I always used that when I ran out of the proper soft paws glue. Never had any ill effects.
posted by MayNicholas at 5:18 AM on January 16, 2013

Superglue / Krazy Glue is cyanoacrylate. I'm pretty sure the Soft Paws glue is exactly the same thing. But you might take a look at a bottle and see if it lists the ingredients.
posted by rocketpup at 6:56 AM on January 16, 2013

Oops, treehorn+bunny FTW.
posted by rocketpup at 7:02 AM on January 16, 2013

Thanks for the responses everyone! I think I'm going to give either super glue or nail glue a try, as well as emailing the Soft Paws people about their product. I would be willing to buy extra glue from them, but the fact that every single bottle I have used recently (the last batch, which we did about six months ago, behaved the same way) has spilled everywhere, causing me to glue my fingers together and making it extremely difficult to apply the Soft Paws, makes me want to avoid that glue like the plague.
posted by odayoday at 8:11 AM on January 16, 2013

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