If you have ever made a failed purchase when looking for a good scratching post for your Maine Coon, or are in the market and wondering what you need to know before deciding on a purchase, you’ve come to the right place!
Knowing how to choose the best scratching post for your beloved Maine Coon comes down to height, sturdiness and balance, fabric durability, and strength of construction.
Due to the large size of a full-grown Maine Coon, you must choose a post that is tall, able to be leaned on without wavering, composed of long-lasting scratching material, and built to hold the weight of your full-size feline.
This article will show you exactly how the perfect scratching post for your Maine Coon should look, and we also show you some great examples you can get.
Note: Since most “normal” scratching posts are just not big enough for Maine Coons, we also show two cat trees for Maine Coons that make great scratching posts too.
Reach for the Sky
The first characteristic that you should typically look for in a scratching post for a Maine coon is height. On average, a fully-grown adult Maine Coon that is standing on its hind legs can reach between two and three feet!
This leads us to conclude that a scratch that provides comfortable scratching for your big kitty would need to be at least two feet high, however taller will certainly not hurt.
Choosing the right height for your scratching post will depend largely on your specific situation and cat or cats.
Get an Accurate Measurement
For instance, if you are making a purchase for an adult Maine Coon who is already at their maximum size, then you can take the step of measuring your cat to see exactly what you need as a minimum.
If you have multiple cats, we recommend basing your purchase on the tallest member of your pet family, since the extra height won’t bother the shorter cats.
To get an accurate measurement of what your cat will require in terms of height, see if you can catch your cat in the act of scratching. Then measure from the floor to the height of their paws on whatever they are leaning on.
Go for A Taller Scratching Post
On the other hand, if you are the proud owner of a kitten or young Maine Coon, you may be better off erring to the side of caution by looking into the tallest options.
Since you don’t have the benefit of knowing for certain what size your full-grown adult cat will become, we recommend looking for a post that stands at least 3 feet tall.
This way you can almost certainly count on the post to last for the lifetime of your cats. Even if you have to spend a little extra for a taller post, it will save you from having to buy another one if your Maine Coon does turn out larger.
1. Product Spotlight: Purrfect Post Mondo Standard
Our first featured product “purrfectly” meets and exceeds the height requirement for even the largest Maine Coons (see what we did there?!).
Standing at an impressive 39” tall, it is one of the tallest standard style posts available on the market today. While it isn’t anything fancy, it is a sturdy and straightforward scratching post that will not limit even the tallest Maine Coons.
This allows your flexible feline to reach as tall as they want and stretch themselves to the limit without worrying about running out of post. Boasting a nine-inch diameter post, your cat can feel free to spread out their paws for stability.
While we featured this product due to its outstanding height, we are pleased to find that it checks all the other boxes of needs in a great scratching post as well. For starters, the large diameter post is centered on a 19.5” square platform.
This sufficiently wide base just dares your giant kitty to just try to push it over (don’t worry, they won’t!).
This means they can really put their back into it and get the big stretches and scratches they are hoping for. Even with a full-sized Maine Coon perched atop the 13” square platform on the top of the post, there is no concern of tipping or rocking.
- Super tall, 9” diameter posts to stand up to even the largest and strongest cats
- Doubly thick and heavy base, nearly 20” square, to ensure stability
- Covered with durable and scratch friendly Sisal carpet
- Attractive appearance, and even available in multiple color combinations so you can match your home décor
- Quality “made in the USA” construction
- Comes with complimentary 100% certified organic catnip sample
- Accompanied by a money back guarantee: return it for a refund if you don’t like it
- A somewhat “plain” shape that lacks variety. Designed strictly for scratching and perching on top
- Price seems a little bit high for a plain post, but the quality is undeniable
Balanced Like a Boss
The next favorable characteristic of a great scratching post is its ability to remain upright and balanced while your cat pushes, leans, and climbs. This is a very important feature for the following reasons:
- If your Maine Coon is able to push it over or knock it down, they will no longer be able to use it as a scratching post
- Any significant movement will discourage your cat to press hard, likely causing them to find a more sturdy scratching spot (possibly back to your furniture).
- If it falls when your cat is climbing on it, your Maine Coon could be injured, and will most likely not be willing to use the post again
While there are many different designs that can accomplish the goal of being sturdy and well balanced, there are a few common characteristics.
In general, the following must be true in order for the scratching post to withstand the abuse from a Maine Coon:
- The base must be sufficiently larger than the top of the post
- The bottom of the post should be appropriately heavier than the top
- It must be designed so that the weight of the cat does not cause it to waver
- Use non-skid material on the bottom to prevent movement under pressure
In some cases, the scratching post is designed to be attached to an already stable piece of furniture, such as the corner of a sofa. In other designs, the scratching post may utilize the walls or a corner to counteract the weight of your cat as it pushes against the post.
The balance between the height of the post and how balanced it is can be a challenge, since the taller the post reaches, the more likely it is to be tipped over from being top-heavy.
2. Product Spotlight: New Cat Condos 110215 Large Cat Play Perch
Our next featured product does a great job of making sure your Maine Coon, no matter how large and strong, will never topple its play tower. The main reas0n this scratching post is the sturdiest of our choices is because it utilizes a multi-post construction.
Rather than a single round scratching post in the middle of a square base, the Cat Condos is a square base with three rectangular shaped “legs” that connect the base to the second level.
Then two more rectangular posts support the top “shelf” of the post, where your cat can safely lounge.
In addition to using multiple legs to balance more like a coffee table than a typical scratching post, each level is smaller than the base to make sure that the heaviest portion of the post is the bottom.
With a base footprint of 20″ square and an overall height of 32″, it will accommodate most Maine Coons height requirements while maintaining a good ratio of width to height.
It is also great for multi-cat households since two cats can share it comfortably and still not have to worry about tipping or toppling.
- Square base and multi-legged design protect from being knocked down
- Supports the weight of more than one cat at a time, rated for more than 50 lbs.
- Made of solid wood, household grade carpet, and high-quality sisal rope for great durability
- Comes in a variety of colors to match to your home’s interior, which is great.
- USA made quality with no assembly required
- Takes up slightly more space than a typical scratching post
- Some buyers received the product with a strong odor
- Carpet is attached with the use of staples rather than glue, so beware of sharp metal that the cat may get caught on its claws
Scratch Friendly Forever
The next quality to search out in a heavy duty, Maine Coon worthy scratching post is a durable and scratch conducive material that will not wear out prematurely.
It is widely accepted in the industry that natural Sisal material is perhaps the best material for scratching posts.
Along with naturally drawing in your cat and feeling good against their paws and claws, sisal is extremely fibrous and able to withstand scratching without tearing or shredding.
This material is commonly found in the form of rope or woven fabric in various sizes.
In addition to Sisal material, a lot of cat scratching posts utilize other materials such as carpet, wood, or even cardboard.
Although these secondary materials are not as tough and long-lasting as Sisal, most products can get away with this because your cat will seek out the toughest material and focus the majority of its scratching efforts there.
This leaves the other materials as a more comfortable surface to walk across, lay down on, or rub up against. For this reason, most scratching posts that also have a perch will use a softer, but less scratch friendly, material in those areas.
Placement of The Materials
Because your cat will naturally seek out the best areas for scratching in order to get the best results, placement of the materials becomes just as important as the type of material being used.
When looking for your scratching post, make sure the material that is meant for scratching is positioned in a place that makes sense.
Most often, this will be on a vertical side of the post so that the cat can stand on their back legs and scratch away at the post with their front. This provides the best access and most leverage for your cat.
3. Product Spotlight: Pioneer Per SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post
Our spotlight for durability goes to the Pioneer Pet SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post. This simple, yet elegant pick is designed strictly for allowing the best scratching surface your Maine Coon can ask for.
With tightly woven sisal material on each of its four sides, it is ready for scratching no matter what direction your cat decides to pounce from.
The square shape mimics the feel of the corner of your favorite couch or chair, so it will be the perfect substitute for your kitty while at the same time sparing your furniture.
It also has a small, solid platform on the top of the scratching post. While it is not large enough for lounging, it does allow for a higher vantage point for your cat to perch on while admiring their little kingdom.
At 32 inches tall, it will certainly accommodate the majority of Maine Coons with no problem. The four-sided design of the scratching area even makes it possible for more than one cat to enjoy scratching and stretching at the same time.
The 16-inch square base provides adequate support to prevent tipping or wobbling during use.
- Extra tough and scratchable sisal fabric surrounding all four sides of the post
- Tall enough for the full length of most grown-up Maine Coon cats
- Tightly woven fabric gives it a stylish and fashionable appearance
- Neutral and natural wood tones tie in seamlessly with any home interior
- Some assembly is required, although it is only two included screws attaching the base to the post
- Multiple users reported that their cat’s claws get stuck on the fabric, almost as if the fabric is too tough for some cats
- Chemical order is strong when new, may initially deter cats until aired out
Built for the Big Ones
Another important aspect of a scratching post that is built for Maine Coons is how much weight it can hold. This requires that it be built of a solid and sturdy material, such as real wood or an engineering grade plastic.
Since it is not uncommon for Maine Coons to weigh as much as 30 lbs., this is an important consideration for your purchase. This is even truer on units that have multiple levels to them or are designed to hold more than one cat at the same time.
Avoid Cheap or Pressed Type Plywood
When looking into different products, avoid those made with thin, cheap, or pressed type plywood. Look instead for scratching posts made from solid wood and with a well-supported design.
If you are questioning it, look for a weight rating in the product's specifications, or get a hold of the manufacturer to find out if it has been weight tested.
If it looks too weak and had not been proven out with weight testing, you are better off buying a different product.
The last thing you want is to risk it breaking while in use and injuring your beloved Maine Coon in the process.
Have A Look at the Weight Rating Before Purchasing
You must be especially wary of “hammock” style features or hanging platform designs, making extra certain that they are designed to handle the weight of your large kitty.
While an average sized house cat may be able to run around on a structure all day long, Maine Coons can be as much as two times the size of a typical house cat.
Never assume that a product will be strong enough to hold your cat just because it is designed for cats. Always look for a product that specifically mentions that it is built for larger cats and look for a weight rating if available to be sure.
4. Product Spotlight: Cat Tree King Cat Mansion
Our pick for a strong and well-constructed scratching post is the ultimate structure. They don’t call it the Cat Mansion for nothing! It is definitely built to please an army of Maine Coons. It is the perfect combination of strength and durability as well as comfort and luxury.
The super strong 5″ diameter corner posts are made from a special engineering grade ABS plastic. Solid wood is used to construct the base and platforms.
All materials are painstakingly covered with a combination of sisal rope used for the posts and plush, quilted fabric for the platforms and hammock structures.
Meant for much more than just scratching, the Cat Mansion boasts the following extras:
- Sisal covered slide from the base to the second level
- Cozy plush box for napping in privacy
- Two platforms for perching
- A ramp connecting the second and third levels
- Hanging hammock for the mid-air napping
- Top perch with a soft and fluffy pillow
- Swinging/climbing rope for the more ambitious cats
- Constructed with high strength ABS
- All sisal rope is glued, so if one spot breaks it does not unravel the whole post
- High-quality plush for a unique luxury feel
- Completely covered, no exposed or unfinished wood
- Strongest hammock on the market: rated to hold 44 lbs.
- Perfect for multiple large cats
- Large 23” X 29” X 71” size takes up a lot of space
- Cost may be more than most are willing to spend
Thinking Outside the Box
The characteristics of scratching posts that have been discussed in this article have focused largely on what one might consider a “traditional” style scratching post.
Typically, this means a combination of upright posts and horizontal platforms that cats love to climb, jump around on, or simply lounge and nap in.
However, as the expression goes, there is more than one way to skin a cat. With modern construction materials and more advanced manufacturing and engineering techniques, one can only imagine what the future hold for our furry feline friends.
Choose A Beautifully Designed One, Which Will Act as A Decoration Piece
As time goes on and technology allows us to accomplish more with our products at the same or lower prices, we can shoot for loftier goals.
Perhaps the next target for cat scratching post designers is a product that doesn’t look much like a scratching post at all, but rather as artistic décor that simply doubles as a place for cats to scratch and play.
We will be waiting expectantly for this new line of multipurpose products.
5. Product Spotlight: PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher LoungeFilling in our futuristic and modernized slot is the PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge.
An award-winning product in 2015 for eco-excellence and featured on Animal Planet’s hit show, “My Cat from Hell,” this cat scratcher doesn’t look quite like any other cat product you’ve seen.
The sleek, curved design is reminiscent of an infinity symbol and looks great in just about any area of your home. Set in a bay window, or stood in a corner, it tends to have a better visual appeal and natural look than the eyesore of some traditional cat scratching posts.
- Sleek and modern design abandons the normal “look” of a scratching post
- Made of recycled, non-toxic, and eco-friendly materials
- Curved design serves the dual purpose of both scratching and napping
- Symmetrical design allows for double lifespan (just flip over when one side is worn out)
- 6-month warranty to protect you against receiving a defective product
- Some cats prefer a vertical scratching surface, so they may not use this product for scratching as much as just lounging on
- Cardboard material does wear out faster than other scratching materials, it is likely that this product would be replaced more frequently than other products depending on how much your cat likes to scratch
- Not recommended for cats who like to chew, as it does not hold up well to teeth
It is our hope that with this information as your guide, you will be able to make the best scratching post purchase for both you and your magnificent Maine Coon.