Many people want to know how to stop Maine Coon scratching furniture. Maine Coons will always scratch surfaces because it is in their nature to do that. Scratching objects is essential for their physical and psychological well being. But how can you keep them from damaging your furniture?
As a general solution to Maine Coon scratching, instead of trying to avoid this type of behavior, give your cat objects and surfaces where it can scratch, and make your furniture uncomfortable to scratch. Giving your cat these objects and surfaces is as important as giving them a plate to eat their food.
The problem of Maine Coon scratching furniture is very old and many owners have found different solutions. There are even products that are sold in the market to solve this type of situation. For example, some people like to but expensive cat trees, while others prefer more economical scratching posts.
Best Ways To Stop Your Maine Coon From Scratching Furniture
Here are some great ways on how to stop your Maine Coon scratching furniture:
- Trim the cat’s claws regularly
- Use double sided tape on the furniture
- Put a scratching post next to the furniture where you spend most of your time
- Put a horizontal scratching surface
- Use multilevel cat trees
- Use cotton balls with a strong citrus smell
- Use cat repellent spray
- Put noisy objects where the cat usually scratches furniture
- Put a protective covering on your furniture
- Play with your cat
- Limit their access to problematic areas when you are not around
- Cover the furniture with aluminum foil
- Place a rug upside down
- Use vinyl nail tips
1. Trim Cat’s Claws
A Maine Coons claws need to be trimmed regularly. By pressing the cat’s paws the claws will stick out and you can trim them with any type of nail clipper. Trim only the white tip of the claws. The pink, thicker part is called the quick, and it has many blood vessels. If you cut the quick, you will hurt the cat. Do not get anxious when you do this, or the cat will not allow you to finish. Try to do it when the cat wakes up from napping, so that it shows less resistance. If you cannot do the job, look for professional help.
2. Use Double-Sided Tape
Your Maine Coon will tend to scratch the furniture where you spend most of your time. Place double sided tape on the areas of the furniture that the cat likes to scratch the most. As soon as the cat touches the tape with its paw, it will dislike the sticky sensation and will immediately lose interest in scratching that area. At this point, the cat could try to scratch the surrounding areas of the furniture, so put some tape on those other surfaces, too. The most common places where people put this tape are: the top, front, and side of the arms of the couch.
3. Place A Cat Scratching Post Nearby
Put a scratching post near the furniture where you put the double sided tape, so that the cat has a more comfortable option to scratch and forgets about the furniture.
Scratching posts have to stay firm on the ground because if they wobble, the cat will not like them. They should also be tall enough to allow the cat to stretch out completely when scratching it. They come in many different types of materials, so choose materials that are similar to those of the furniture that the cat tends to scratch. In order to make the scratching post more interesting for your cat, you can hang toys it enjoys or objects with catnip from the top and let the cat scratch the post to reach them.
4. Horizontal Scratching Surface
Another solution is to buy multi level cat trees that your cat can scratch and climb. They can become a fun place for your cat to play and have fun. This is a much more expensive solution, but you might enjoy building it on your own and saving a lot of money. If you want your cat to use it and get excited about it, you can place either the cat’s food or some treats on some of the surfaces. You can also play with your cat while it is in the surfaces.
5. Use Citrus Spray
Maine Coons have a very strong sense of smell and feel aversion to some particular scents, like that of citrus fruits. If you want to know how to stop Maine Coon scratching furniture, test your cat to see what odors it repels. Then, place cotton balls with that particular scent in the places where you don’t want your cat to scratch.
6. Cat Repellent Spray
Repellent cat sprays are another way to keep your cat from scratching the furniture. There are a lot of options in the market that you can use, like pheromone sprays or citrus oil sprays. If you like this option, you need to find one that works for your Maine Coon. It is not recommended to use homemade sprays because some materials of the furniture could react to some of the liquids that are usually recommended for homemade sprays. Besides, the scent could be bothersome both for cats and humans. It is better to use homemade solutions in cotton balls which you can easily remove whenever you feel it’s necessary.
7. Use Noisy Toys!
Maine Coons have an excellent sense of hearing. Another way to keep your cat away from your furniture is by placing noisy objects on surfaces that the cat scratches. An example is pasting balloons or bubble wrap on the arms of the couch with tape so that they pop when the cat uses its claws. A tower of plastic cups that falls down when the Maine Coon passes by can also produce an irritating noise that will make the cat go away.
8. Furniture Coverings
A lot of people like to place a protective covering on the furniture that their cat tends to scratch. An additional advantage of this solution is that the covering also protects the furniture from liquids that are spilled. There are many commercial brands that you can use for this purpose.
9. Play With Your Cat
Playing with your cat will make it use enough energy to stop scratching your furniture because of boredom. Teach your cat some tricks, so that it gets entertained. Do not leave its toys out all the time because it could become apathetic very quickly. Try to take the toys out only when it is time to play.
10. Limit Cats Access Whilst You Are Out
Give the cat its own space, where it can scratch anything around, and that has a door which you can close when you are not at home. This will allow your most valuable furniture to be safe when you leave. Do not choose a creepy, dark, and enclosed room because it is not a punishment. Place some toys on the floor and on some higher places. Turn on the TV set and show programs that entertain your cat. The room should have windows where the cat can be able to look out and enjoy the view. If your Maine Coon learned how to open doors and windows, lock them. You can try using a baby safety doorknob in the inside of the room and a door top lock.
11. Aluminium Foil
Some people recommend covering the areas that the cat tends to scratch with aluminum foil. This will prevent the cat from doing that because they do not like the noise and the sensation that this material produces. However, try to use this only in furniture that does not look too bad with such a covering.
12. Place Rug Upside Down
Another way to solve the problem is by placing a carpet upside down on the horizontal areas that your cat scratches. Cats do not like stepping on that type of surface and will prefer to go someplace else. An advantage is that you can quickly turn the carpets right side up when you have visitors.
13. Vinyl Nail Tips
Some people recommend using vinyl nail tips to cover the cat’s claws. They are special coverings designed to be pasted onto your cat’s claws. They fall off as your cat’s claws grow and you have to paste them again. They produce no harm or pain to the cat. However, it might be better to try to leave this as the last solution to the problem because in the end, these are artificial objects and not the real claws.
Are Maine Coon Cats Destructive?
Since Maine Coons need to scratch objects, they could earn the reputation of being destructive. However, if you can orient this need to the right type of objects and surfaces, they should stop scratching furniture in your house. This way you can stop seeing them as destructive and enjoy bonding with them.
Do Maine Coons Destroy Furniture?
Maine Coons need surfaces to scratch. If they are not given those types of surfaces, they will damage the furniture of the house. They will never learn not to scratch surfaces, but they can learn which surfaces to scratch and which ones to leave alone. With the proper instruction, you can avoid Maine Coon scratching furniture.
Why Do Maine Coons Scratch Furniture?
In order to find out how to stop Maine Coon scratching furniture, it is important to know why they do it. All the solutions to this problem have to consider what the cat needs:
- To keep their claws healthy
- To mark their territory
- To avoid boredom
- To exercise
Maine Coons scratch to keep their claws sharp and working properly. Their claws have had a very important role in the survival of the species and scratching is the method through which they keep them in good condition.
Maine Coons are territorial animals and they have a psychological need to feel that they own a certain place. Otherwise, they will get anxious and insecure and this will lead to problems of bad behavior. Maine Coon scratching is one of the ways in which they mark their territory. They have the tendency to scratch furniture in order to mix their scent with that of their owners.
When Maine Coons get bored, due to lack of exercise and playing time, they will scratch objects as a reaction to that. Scratching produces a certain type of excitement for them. Cats can get bored, just like humans. They can even grow apathetic to some of their toys after playing with them for some time.
Maine Coons stretch and exercise when they scratch objects. They need to do it in order to have an adequate health. As they scratch, you can see how they stretch and sometimes even climb on surfaces. They evolved doing this and it is an inherent characteristic of the animal’s behavior.
Things Owners Should Never Do
In order to find out how to stop Maine Coon scratching furniture, some practices have to be avoided.
The most terrible one is declawing your Maine Coon. This is inhumane and very painful for your cat. It is not a manicure or a permanent trim of claws It is a major surgery that will dramatically worsen the cats quality of life until the day it dies. The cat will not be able to move or even stand up without feeling a lot of pain in its paws due to the bones that were removed. This practice should be avoided at all costs.
2. Yelling Or Hitting Cat
Yelling or hitting your cat will not stop Maine Coon scratching because it will not understand why you are doing that. Both hollering and hitting are very inefficient ways to discipline your cat and they will quickly ruin the bond you have with your Maine Coon.
3. Squirting Water At Cat
If you use a squirt gun to spray water on your Maine Coon every time it does something that you do not like, your Maine Coon will not understand what you mean and it will become afraid of you. This method of discipline is also inefficient and it will destroy the bond that you have with your cat.
How To Discipline A Maine Coon Cat Correctly
In order to define how to stop Maine Coon scratching furniture, a method has to be recommended. Put something uncomfortable for your cat, like double sided tape, on the surfaces where you do not want your cat to scratch and place an alternative scratching surface close to it. This will orient your cat’s preferences, and in time it will learn how to behave. In case this is not clear for your cat, put a treat on the scratching surface or place an object with catnip on it.
It takes time to learn how to stop Maine Coon scratching furniture. Every cat has a different personality and as a result, they all react in various ways to each of the given solutions. It is convenient to try them all and find out which ones work better for your cat. The only thing that remains consistent is that you should not just take a scratching area away from your cat and expect it to be happy with that. You should always leave another object or surface close by and let your cat scratch it.