I didn't at first, but it's surprising how much damage Jaden did to our couch with just two claws exposed. It's difficult to put them on, because of the way they retract next to her arm, but it's worth it. Also, they come off twice as fast as the other two but I keep replacing them. Besides, she doesn't need them for climbing as she is an excellent jumper. She just jumped into the closet again yesterday: about a 4 foot jump. It's owner's preference to cover them or not.