An animal charity has issued a warning about a “worrying trend” gaining popularity on social media where pet owners give their cats and dogs ‘manicures’ to match their own nails.

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home said painting your own nails “might be a fun fashion statement” but the same is not true for animals.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Last month, five-year-old tabby cat Christina was brought into the rescue centre with red claw covers which had been glued on. This left her unable to retract her claws.

The vets removed them but said it would have been a “very stressful situation” for her.

Lindsey Quinlan, head of catteries at Battersea, said it was “extremely cruel to inflict this” on an animal as it stops them from displaying their natural behaviour.

She said: “Pets are not fashion items.

“Anyone thinking about rehoming a cat needs to think carefully about what this means and realise that scratching is part and parcel of owning a cat.

“Scratching is a natural behaviour for a cat as it helps maintain their claws so they can effectively groom themselves by using their nails as a comb.

“Scratching also helps a cat leave its scent to mark its territory.

“There are alternative ways to keep your cat from scratching your household furniture, for example, providing a suitable scratching post which should be tall enough to allow your cat to fully stretch. Horizontal scratching surfaces are also available.”

After her claw covers were removed, Christina eventually found a new family to live with.