It’s easy to see where the cat’s paw gets its name. Made of steel, a cat’s paw is a round or hexagonal bar that curves at one end to form a pointed, cup-shaped tip with a V-slot for gripping nailheads.
You hold the tool’s shank with one hand and drive the claw around a nailhead with a hammer.
When the V-slot is firmly seated around the nail’s shank, you rock the bar back to raise the head and then finish pulling the nail with the hammer’s claw.
The cat’s paw, also called a nail puller, is invaluable for demolition work but, because it tears up the wood around the nailhead, cannot be used for finish work.