a maine coon on a cat tree

Do Maine Coon Cats Scratch Furniture

Maine Coon cats are one of the most popular breeds in the world.

They are known for their friendly and loveable nature, placid at best, having been given the nickname ‘gentle giants’.

They aren’t always angels though.

They can be seen being used as therapy cats that help people with disabilities or those who suffer from depression.

However, their size means they could do a lot of damage, albeit with a ‘who, me?’ attitude.

Do Maine Coons scratch furniture?

A Maine Coon will scratch furniture if it isn’t given another outlet. Provide a few scratching posts and reward the good behavior while discouraging them from digging their claws into a couch, table leg, or the back of a chair.

This article explores whether if you get a Maine Coon you will see them scratch all your favorite furniture.

Although they are family friendly and very dog like in behavior, they are still cats, and cats are known for getting their claws out and digging them into furniture, either ruining or destroying an item.

a ginger maine coon displaying a bushy tail in a cat bed

Why Maine Coons Will Scratch Furniture

It’s a well known factor in owning a cat, that you have to protect your favorite table legs from the cat’s claws.

The Maine Coon is no different.

Given an opportunity, it will scratch the furniture, that carpet, or any fabric its rather large claws can put a rip into.

Even the back of a couch isn’t immune.

Maine Coons are known for their tendency to scratch furniture, but contrary to popular belief the habit is not out of spite.

Nor is it a willingness to destroy something.

A Maine Coon will scratch during play or even while stretching.

I own a Maine Coon (obviously) but I have yet to experience Alita scratching me or another purpose.

Maine Coons often scratch furniture to mark their territory or as a sign of dominance.

The act of scratching removes frayed and claws that a re wearing out and to help expose a new sharper claw.

It’s an instinct that helps them survive.

Nevertheless, when scratching they can help wreck some of your favorite items in the household.

maine coon on the balcony

What Can You Do To Stop a Maine Coon Scratching Furniture

The best option for owners of Maine Coons is to teach cats what and where to scratch, rather than trying to eliminate the behavior.

One way to deal with the scratching is by providing your cat with an appropriate surface and object for her to scratch, such as a scratching post.

Here are a few tricks and tips to help your cat scratch without damaging anything.

Scratching Posts

The obvious is to provide your Maine Coon with a viable alternative that it gets to know.

The scratching post.

Outdoor Maine Coon might do this procedure outside more often but even outdoor cats will scratch indoors if it’s appropriate.

Offer a variety of scratching posts to satisfy the Maine Coon and keep your furniture intact.

Try different materials.

Provide your cat with a variety of posts, like cardboard, carpeting, wood, rope, or other fabrics.

Styles of posts can sometimes make a difference.

A table leg is vertical whereas the top of a couch is horizontal.

Match the post style with how you observe your Maine Coons preferences.

They might mix and match depending upon whether they ‘stretch’.

A few scratching posts might be needed before your Maine uses the provided options rather than your prized possessions.

The Maine Coon is a large and physically powerful cat, don’t get a flimsy scratching post.

A lot of Maine Coons will stretch as they scratch so get one that’s a complimentary size.

Make It Attractive

You can help make your Maine Coon use a scratching post by making it easy for them.

Keep the posts visible and in areas where they frequent often, possibly even spraying the post with catnip.

Don’t force your cat to use it as that will backfire.

Discourage The Alternative

One way to discourage scratching inappropriate objects is to remove or cover them.

Speaker coverings are always a favorite so you can turn them at a difficult angle to scratch.

You can also place slightly tacky paper under the area where the Maine Coon would need to stand in order to scratch.

The sticky feeling underfoot will help discourage your Maine Coon from the practice.

Arranging objects so that it becomes difficult to stretch is also an easy to implement idea.

Alternatively, just put the tailor-made scratching post right next to the area where you are trying to teach to stop.

They make take the easier option.

Making loud noises sometimes helps a Maine Coon desist an action, so if you see your Maine Coon teeing up for a good scratch in the wrong place then a swift and loud clapping of the hands sometimes works.

a maine coon looking at grass stalk

Declawing Is Not The Solution

To stop clawing, a perfectly instinctual activity for your Maine Coon, some people consider declawing their cat.

I will hope to discourage you from this option.

There are much better alternatives than to permanently remove your Maine Coon’s ability to provide food for itself (suppose it escapes or goes on a walkabout and needs claws to defend itself).

It’s a permanent solution to a problem that has better options.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) opposes the declawing of cats.

Not only are there other options but the act itself hasn’t been proven to be an effective cure for the issue.

The term ‘declaw’ sounds pretty unobtrusive and it does a great injustice to the practice.

It’s not like pulling a hair follicle, where a new one will grow.

The process is called onychectomy.

It actually removes the bone that helps the claw retract and extend.

Not only is it painful to recover from your cat can now no longer hunt for food or defend itself.

2 maine coons side by side near a window


Maine Coons are very family friendly and they are a great match for people who have cats that love to climb.

Maine Coons can be destructive with their claws if you don’t provide them the right scratching post or other options.

Maine Coons may need a variety of posts to satisfy their needs according to what type of material is available suits their preferences.

To help encourage Maine Coon use of a scratching post make sure it’s easy for them by placing it in areas where they frequent often and making sure it’s at an appropriate height so that Maine Coon’s stretches will fit on the surface area.

Declawing should not be considered as declawed cats are defenseless on a permanent basis.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Spray On My Couch To Keep A Maine Coon Off?

Apple cider vinegar has a distinctive smell that is repellent to cats. They really dislike it. Dilute some and put mix in a spray bottle. Lightly spray the area with the spray and see if your Maine Coon now avoids the area.

Are Maine Coon Cats Destructive?

Maine Coons aren’t any more destructive than another breed of cat. Individual cats may have issues and preferences, but the breed itself doesn’t deliberately break or destroy possessions on purpose. They are large cats so beware of things that their size might be an issue, like breakables on a mantelpiece.

Are Maine Coons High Maintenance?

You might think with all that fur an unusually large frame that a Maine Coon might be a drain on your time, often termed “high maintenance”. Maine Coon aren’t high maintenance as a breed, and no more effort than any other breed of cat is needed. They aren’t attention seeking, and although they follow you around, they aren’t underfoot as they do so.

About the Author


My name is Ann and I have been looking after and breeding cats since 2013. I am currently the proud ownder of Alita, a female Maine Coon to whom I've dedicated this site. She has had 2 litters and is around 3 years old. We share adventures and stories together.

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Maine Coon 101 | Read This Before Getting One