'Cruel' cat owners criticised amid growing trend of fitting pets with fake nails to show off on social media

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Cat owners who give their pets colourful pedicures have been slammed for animal cruelty as the bizarre practice grows in popularity.

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home hit out at the “worrying” trend which it said caused more harm than good and risked disturbing natural behaviours.

Photos of pedicured pets are shared regularly on social media as owners show off their unusually groomed moggies.

But the south London rescue centre said: “Whereas painting your own talons might be a fun fashion statement, the same can’t be said for dogs or cats.”

It said it was concerned about the “dangerous rising trend” of pet owners and their cats getting their nails done to match.

Vets recently took in a five-year-old tabby called Christina with red claw covers and said they were worried about how long she had “endured” them for.

Lindsey Quinlan, Head of Catteries at Battersea, said: “This is the first time we’ve seen a cat come in with claw covers and we’re concerned that this craze is becoming increasingly popular with pet owners.

“It’s extremely cruel to inflict this sort of thing on your cat as it stops them from displaying their natural behaviours.

“It’s worrying that claw covers for both cats and dogs can be so easily sought from the internet. Pets are not fashion items. We want to spread the message that claw covers are unnatural for both cats and dogs.”

She added that the nail caps prevented cats from using their claws to groom themselves, and also stopped them scratching – a process which helps the animals leave their scent and mark territory.

But some cat owners insist their pets like the accessories. Londoner Hilary Leighter told the Daily Mail her moggy Bertie was ruining her furniture before she decided to have the fake nails fitted.

“He was destroying everything in the house and I was in despair,” she said.

“I didn’t do it as a fashion thing, but an ‘I don’t want the cat to destroy the house thing’.

“He’s quite happy when we put them on, if he didn’t like them, he’d resist.”

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