Maine coon VS Norwegian Forest Cat – How to Differentiate

Maine coon VS Norwegian Forest Cat

If you had read my article about Maine coon vs Ragdoll, you should know all the differences between these 2 breeds. Then you might wonder what is about Maine coon vs Norwegian forest cat since they also seem identical.

Please do not worry, this article will cover some facts that differentiate a Mane coon cat from a Norwegian forest cat. 

But remember, if you find some characteristics listed below in your cat, it will not make it a Maine coon or a Norwegian forest cat. This will give you a layout to know the physical differences between these two breeds.

To know precisely that your cat is a Maine Coon or a Norwegian forest cat, you must know about their exact pedigree. This will give you detailed information about their true lineage. So, let’s dive into the topic.

Maine coon VS Norwegian Forest Cat

1. Size and Appearance Size

The most obvious way to distinguish between a Maine Coon and a Norwegian forest cat is the size. If you know the size, it can tell you it is a Norwegian or a Maine Coon breed cat. The Maine Coon is a bigger breed than the Norwegian breed.

The weights of both Maine Coon and the Norwegian forest cats are as follows.

  • Maine Coon’s male breeds are usually around 7-12 Kg (15-26lb), and female breeds are 5-8 K (11-18lb).
  • Norwegian forest’s male breeds are usually around 6-9 kg (13-20 lb.), and female breeds are 4-6 kg (9-13 lb.).


There are multiple differences between the Maine Coon and the Norwegian forest cats, which can be identified in their appearance. Let’s find what distinguishes both in color, fur, head shape, ear shape, and eye shape.


Both Maine Coon and the Norwegian forest cat have various colors except pointed patterns, lilac, fawn, cinnamon, and chocolate. 

The Maine Coon breed doesn’t have amber colors. 


Both these cats have semi-long fur. The Maine Coon’s upper coat has a silky texture with an undercoat that is fine, soft, and reliable.

On the other side, the undercoat of the Norwegian forest is wooly with a water-repellent upper coat. The Norwegian forest breed has a noticeable mane. 

Head Shape

The muzzle and the head of the Maine Coon is square. The profile of the Maine Coon is a concave curve.

The head of the Norwegian forest cat is equilateral triangular. From rounded forehead to the nose, they have a straight profile. 

Body Shape

They both have an energetic and muscular body.

The legs of the Maine Coon are of medium size with a strong and muscular chest. While the Norwegian has a strong chest with high hind legs. 

Ear Shape

Their ears are wide with or without the tips of the lynx. The ears of the Maine Coon are set above the head as the ears of the Norwegian forest cats follow the outer lines of the face and the baroque look.

Eye Shape

With the distinction of eyes, there’s no excuse left to make that which cat is Norwegian forest or the Maine Coon?

With slightly oval, large, and rounded eyes, the Maine Coon breed enjoys its life. Their eyes become oblique in their regular width and breath.

The Norwegian eyes are almond-shaped, and they become almost oblique upon cautiousness of any threat. 

 2. Personality

When we talk about the personality of the Maine Coon and the Norwegian forest cats on some fronts, they show relatively similar characteristics, and on the other side, they show some stark differences such as;

  • Vocal aspect of the Maine Coon and the Norwegian forest cats is interesting. The chatty, active, and alert Maine Coons are known for their chirrups. While the quieter, calm, and composed Norwegian forest cats are known for their unexpected purrs.
  • The breeds of both cats show intelligence in their day-to-day activities. Their owners describe them as dog-like because they seek their affection. The Maine Coon is particularly inclined to climb because of its resilient claws.
  • Socially, both cats are outgoing and can’t sit still behind the doors. They always remain busy doing different mischievous activities. So, if you’re thinking of keeping them behind the door, you should think once more. 

3. Shedding and Grooming

Maine Coon cats

Maine Coon cats have long fur and bushy tails. Mostly the Maine Coon cats do shed hair. They have long upper coat hairs, which they seldom shed on the carpets of their owners. That’s why grooming with the Maine Coon cat is a must-to-do list. 

The grooming of the Maine Coon cat will not reduce their fur shedding and protect their furs from getting hairballs and getting things entangled that can affect their health drastically. 

The Norwegian forest cats

The Norwegian forest cats shed too much in the seasonal time that one might suspect in their identity. To prevent them from mats, do their grooming twice a week to make them healthy and keep your house and carpet clean.

4. Life Span

The life span of both breeds is difficult to measure. It largely depends upon the domestic condition, the treatment you display with them, and the food you give them.

But after several types of research, there is a point to make about their life span. According to the repeated studies, the life span of the Maine Coon is 10-12.5 years. While the life span of the Norwegian forest cats is 15 years.

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