Cuttlefish bones (CBs) have emerged as attractive biomaterials because of their porous structure and components that can be converted into hydroxyapatite (HAp) via a hydrothermal reaction. However, their brittleness and low strength restrict their application in bone tissue engineering. Therefore, to improve the compressive strength of the scaffold following hydrothermal conversion to a HAp form of CB (CB-HAp), the scaffold was coated using a polycaprolactone (PCL) polymer at various concentrations. In this study, raw CB was successfully converted into HAp via a hydrothermal reaction. We then evaluated their surface properties and composition by scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction analysis. The CB-HAp coated with PCL showed improved compressive performance and retained a microporous structure. The compressive strength was significantly increased upon coating with 5 and 10% PCL, by 2.09- and 3.30-fold, respectively, as compared with uncoated CB-HAp. However, coating with 10% PCL resulted in a reduction in porosity. Furthermore, an in vitro biological evaluation demonstrated that MG-63 cells adhered well, proliferated and were able to be differentiated on the PCL-coated CB-HAp scaffold, which was noncytotoxic. These results suggest that a simple coating method is useful to improve the compressive strength of CB-HAp for bone tissue engineering applications. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater 101B: 1302–1309, 2013.