Do Maine Coons Tear Up Furniture?

Are you tired of constantly replacing your furniture due to scratches and tears? Are you considering adding a Maine Coon to your family, but worried about the potential damage they might cause? Look no further, because as an expert on Maine Coons, I’m here to answer the burning question – do Maine Coons tear up furniture?

Maine Coons are renowned for their impressive size and charming personalities. However, like all cats, they have a natural instinct to scratch in order to maintain the health of their claws and mark their territory. While some cat breeds may display more destructive behaviors than others, it’s crucial to provide your feline friend with appropriate scratching options to prevent them from damaging your furniture.

But what about Maine Coons specifically? Are they more likely to wreak havoc on your decor than other cat breeds? In this blog post, I’ll delve into the habits of these majestic felines and determine whether or not they pose a greater threat to your furniture.

Whether you’re a seasoned cat owner or considering bringing home a Maine Coon for the first time, it’s important to understand how to prevent destructive scratching and keep both you and your furry companion happy. So sit tight and get ready for some valuable tips on keeping your furniture intact while enjoying the company of one of the most fascinating cat breeds out there.

a. Overview of Maine Coon cats

If you’re on the hunt for a feline friend that’s big, friendly, and just downright charming, you can’t go wrong with a Maine Coon cat. These gentle giants have been beloved for generations and are known for their large size, long hair, and amiable personalities.

Maine Coon cats have earned the nickname of “gentle giants” because despite weighing up to 25 pounds, they have a relaxed and easy-going demeanor that makes them fantastic companions. They’re intelligent, playful, and are great with children and other pets, which is why they’re such a popular choice for families.

One common question among Maine Coon cat owners is whether these cats have a tendency to destroy furniture. While all cats love to scratch, Maine Coons may cause more damage due to their larger size and strength. But don’t panic. There are plenty of ways to prevent or lessen the damage.

One of the best things you can do is provide your Maine Coon with appropriate scratching surfaces like scratching posts or pads. These should be placed in areas where your cat likes to scratch and should be made from materials that are appealing to them such as sisal rope or cardboard. This will help redirect their scratching desires away from your furniture.

If you’re looking for an extra level of protection for your furniture, try using deterrents like double-sided tape or aluminum foil on the pieces that you want to protect. By making these areas unappealing to cats, you can discourage them from scratching there. Regular trimming of your cat’s nails can also help reduce the amount of damage caused by scratching.

It’s important to remember that punishing your Maine Coon for scratching is not an effective solution. Instead, positive reinforcement techniques such as providing treats or affection when your cat uses appropriate scratching surfaces can help encourage good behavior.

b. Reasons why Maine Coons may scratch furniture

This common behavior can be frustrating for cat owners, but it’s important to understand why your Maine Coon may be scratching and how to manage this behavior properly.

Instinctual Behavior

Scratching is an innate behavior for cats, and Maine Coons are no exception. They need to scratch to keep their claws healthy and sharp. Without access to appropriate scratching surfaces such as scratching posts or pads, they may resort to using furniture as a substitute. It’s crucial to provide your Maine Coon with suitable scratching surfaces made of materials that feel good to scratch such as sisal or carpet.

Marking Territory

Cats have scent glands on their paws, and when they scratch an object, they leave behind their scent as a way of claiming it as their own. If your Maine Coon is scratching a particular piece of furniture, it may be because they see it as their territory. To discourage this behavior, try using double-sided tape or aluminum foil on the surfaces that your cat likes to scratch.

Boredom or Stress

Cats need mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy. If your Maine Coon isn’t getting enough of either, they may resort to scratching as a way to relieve boredom or release pent-up energy caused by stress or anxiety. Providing toys and activities that stimulate your cat’s mind and body can help prevent this.


Scratching also serves as a way for Maine Coons to stretch and exercise their muscles. This is especially important for indoor cats who may not have access to enough physical activity. Make sure your cat has plenty of opportunities for playtime and exercise throughout the day.

Punishing is not the solution

Punishing your Maine Coon for scratching is not an effective solution. Cats do not respond well to punishment and may become fearful or anxious as a result. Instead, try positive reinforcement techniques such as rewarding your cat when they use appropriate scratching surfaces.

How to Prevent Damage from Scratching

Maine Coon cats are known for their love of scratching, which can sometimes result in damage to furniture and other household items. However, there are several ways to prevent this from happening without resorting to cruel practices like declawing.

Provide an Appropriate Scratching Post

One of the most important things you can do is provide your Maine Coon with a designated place to scratch. A scratching post should be tall enough for them to stretch out fully and made from materials they enjoy scratching, such as sisal rope or cardboard. It’s important to have multiple scratching posts placed in strategic locations around your home where your cat likes to scratch.

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Use Deterrents

If your cat still insists on scratching furniture, using deterrents can be an effective solution. Double-sided tape or aluminum foil can be placed on furniture to make it uncomfortable for your cat to scratch. Additionally, bitter apple spray can be sprayed onto furniture to discourage scratching altogether.

Regularly Trim Your Cat’s Nails

Trimming your cat’s nails regularly can also help prevent damage from scratching. This should be done every 2-3 weeks and may require the help of a professional groomer or veterinarian. Soft nail caps are another option that can be glued onto your cat’s claws to prevent them from damaging furniture.

Provide Plenty of Toys and Attention

Providing your Maine Coon with plenty of toys and attention can help prevent them from scratching out of boredom or frustration. Interactive toys such as puzzle feeders or laser pointers can provide mental stimulation, while regular playtime with their owner can ensure they are getting enough physical exercise.

Positive Reinforcement

Remember, punishing your cat for scratching is not an effective solution. Instead, positive reinforcement techniques such as providing treats or affection when your cat uses appropriate scratching surfaces can help encourage good behavior.

a. Provide Appropriate Scratching Surfaces

One of their natural behaviors is scratching, which they use to mark their territory, stretch their muscles, and keep their claws healthy. If they don’t have appropriate scratching surfaces, they may resort to using your furniture, curtains, rugs, or walls, and we don’t want that.

To prevent your Maine Coon from destroying your precious items, it’s essential to provide them with suitable scratching surfaces. The best options are scratching posts or cat trees made of materials like sisal rope, carpet, or cardboard. However, it’s crucial to choose a sturdy and stable scratching post that won’t wobble or tip over when your cat uses it.

Placing the scratching post in a visible and accessible location where your Maine Coon likes to spend time is also essential. For instance, near their food and water bowls, by a window with a view, or next to their favorite sleeping spot. You can encourage your cat to use the scratching post by rubbing some irresistible catnip on it or dangling a toy above it.

Besides scratching posts or cat trees, you can also add horizontal scratchers or wall-mounted scratchers if your cat has a particular scratching preference. These options can be especially useful in preventing damage to specific areas of your home.

Remember that providing appropriate scratching surfaces isn’t just good for preventing destructive behavior; it also promotes your Maine Coon’s physical and emotional well-being. Scratching helps them stretch their muscles, relieve stress and anxiety, and express their natural instincts. By offering suitable options, you’ll save your furniture while creating an enjoyable and healthy environment for your furry friend.

b. Use Deterrents on Furniture

Don’t despair. There are several effective deterrents you can use to prevent this behavior and save your precious items from damage.

One of the best options is to provide your Maine Coon with a scratching post or pad. Since scratching is a natural urge for cats, having a suitable place for them to do so can redirect their attention away from your furniture. Choose a post or pad that is sturdy and tall enough for your cat to fully stretch out while scratching, and place it near the furniture they tend to scratch. Your furry friend will appreciate having an appropriate outlet for their scratching needs.

Another option is using double-sided tape or aluminum foil on the furniture. Most cats dislike the texture of these materials, so they will avoid scratching in those areas. However, make sure to replace the tape or foil regularly as it can lose its effectiveness over time.

Scent deterrents can also be helpful in discouraging scratching behavior. Cats have a strong sense of smell, so using scents they dislike, such as citrus or eucalyptus, can be effective. You can also try commercial sprays specifically designed to deter cats from scratching furniture.

In addition to these deterrents, providing your Maine Coon with plenty of toys and playtime can help reduce their desire to scratch furniture out of boredom. Interactive toys, such as laser pointers or feather wands, can keep them entertained and mentally stimulated. And don’t forget to reward good behavior with treats or praise.

Remember, punishment is not an effective way to stop unwanted behavior in cats. Instead, positive reinforcement and redirection are key. By providing your Maine Coon with appropriate outlets for their natural behaviors and rewarding good behavior, you can help prevent them from damaging your furniture.

c. Trim Nails Regularly

Maine Coons are beautiful and playful feline companions that bring joy to our lives. However, their large size and robust claws can wreak havoc on our furniture, carpets, and curtains. That’s why it’s crucial to trim their nails regularly to prevent damage to your home and ensure your cat’s overall health and well-being.

To trim your Maine Coon’s nails safely, you will need specialized pet nail clippers. Using human nail clippers or scissors can cause discomfort and pain for your furry friend. Be gentle when clipping their nails and avoid cutting too close to the quick, which is the pink part inside the nail that contains blood vessels.

Teaching your Maine Coon to get used to having their paws handled from an early age is also essential. Start by gently touching and massaging their paws while they’re relaxed or distracted, and reward them with treats or praise. This will make it easier for you to trim their nails as they grow older.

Regular nail trimming should be done every 2-3 weeks, depending on how fast your Maine Coon’s nails grow. If you’re unsure about how to trim their nails or are concerned about hurting them, consider taking them to a professional groomer or veterinarian for assistance.

Trimming your Maine Coon’s nails is not only beneficial for preventing damage to your home, but it also ensures your cat’s comfort and health. Long nails can become uncomfortable for your cat, causing them to snag or get caught in fabrics. Overgrown nails can also curl under and grow into the paw pad, leading to pain and infection.

Punishing Maine Coons is Not an Effective Solution

However, punishing your Maine Coon for this behavior is not an effective solution.

To start, it’s important to recognize that cats have inherent instincts to scratch and climb. Maine Coons are no exception and have a natural desire to scratch surfaces as it allows them to stretch, mark their territory, and maintain their claws. Punishing them for displaying natural behavior can lead to stress and anxiety, which can result in other behavioral issues.

Moreover, punishment only addresses the surface-level behavior and doesn’t address the root cause. To redirect their scratching needs, it’s essential to provide them with appropriate outlets such as a scratching post or pad made of materials that cater to their preferences like sisal or cardboard. This redirects their focus away from your furniture and towards items that they can scratch without consequence.

Positive reinforcement is another effective way to modify behavior. When your Maine Coon uses the scratching post instead of furniture, reward them with treats or playtime. This reinforces the desired behavior and encourages them to continue using the scratching post in the future.

Positive Reinforcement Techniques

Fortunately, there’s no need to resort to punishment to stop this behavior. Positive reinforcement techniques are a great way to train your beloved pet to use a scratching post instead.

The concept behind positive reinforcement is simple: reward good behavior instead of punishing bad behavior. This approach is especially effective with cats, as punishment can often lead to increased anxiety and aggression.

If you want to use positive reinforcement techniques with your Maine Coon, start by identifying the desired behavior. For instance, if your cat has been scratching up the couch, try teaching them to use a scratching post instead. Whenever you see your cat using the post, give them a treat or offer words of praise. Consistency is key – make sure you reward your cat every time they exhibit the desired behavior.

Creating a positive association between your cat and their scratching post can also be helpful. Place the post near your cat’s favorite sleeping spot or where they like to watch birds out the window. This will make the scratching post more appealing and increase the likelihood that your cat will use it.

It’s important to remember that positive reinforcement takes time and patience. Don’t give up if your Maine Coon doesn’t respond immediately – keep rewarding them for good behavior and eventually, they will learn what’s expected of them.

Tips for Training Your Maine Coon Cat to Not Tear Up Furniture

Fret not, as there are ways to train your furry friend to stop tearing up your belongings. Here are five tips for training your Maine Coon to not scratch your furniture.

Provide Appropriate Scratching Surfaces

Cats need to scratch to maintain their claws, so it’s important to give them alternative surfaces to scratch, such as a sturdy scratching post or pad made from sisal or cardboard. Be sure to place these surfaces near the areas where your cat likes to scratch furniture and encourage them to use it by rubbing some catnip on it or playing with toys nearby.

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Use Positive Reinforcement

Reward your Maine Coon with treats or praise when they use the scratching post or pad instead of your furniture. This helps them associate good behavior with positive outcomes and encourages them to continue using the designated scratching surfaces.

Implement Deterrents

If your Maine Coon continues to scratch furniture despite having appropriate scratching surfaces, try using deterrents such as double-sided tape or aluminum foil on the furniture. These textures are unpleasant for cats to scratch on and will discourage them from continuing to use your furniture as a scratching post.

Never Physically Punish Your Cat

Physical punishment can cause fear and stress in your pet and damage your relationship with them. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement and providing appropriate scratching surfaces.

Consider Trimming Your Cat’s Claws or Using Nail Caps

Regularly trimming your cat’s claws or using nail caps can help reduce the damage caused by scratching. Soft paws or claw caps are small plastic caps that fit over your cat’s claws, preventing them from causing damage when they scratch.


In the end, Maine Coons are a delightful breed of feline that can bring joy and comfort to any household.

However, their innate scratching tendency can wreak havoc on your furniture if left unchecked. The good news is that by understanding why they scratch and taking proactive measures such as providing appropriate scratching surfaces, using deterrents, trimming their nails regularly, and positive reinforcement techniques, you can train your Maine Coon to stop damaging your belongings.

Remember that punishing them will only backfire and cause more problems down the line. It’s important to keep in mind that scratching is an instinctual behavior for cats, so it’s essential to offer them suitable options that cater to their preferences.

With a little patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement techniques, you can transform your Maine Coon into a well-behaved member of your family without sacrificing the beauty of your furniture.