The Difference Between A Maine Coon & The Norwegian Forest Cat

The Norwegian Forest Cat and the Maine Coon look a lot alike, don’t you think? That’s why I did some research for you!


Norwegian Forest Cat: Equilateral Triangle. Flat forehead.
Maine Coon: Wedge Shaped with a square muzzle. Forehead with a Gentle curve.


Norwegian Forest Cat:  Straight and with no break.
Maine Coon: Gently curved.


Norwegian Forest Cat: Their eyes are almond-shaped.
Maine Coon: Large oval eyes with an open expression. Often with black ‘eyeliner’ around it.


Norwegian Forest Cat: Outer edge of ear follows the line of the head down to the chin completing the triangle.
Maine Coon: The ears are set high on the top of the head with not more than a ears width apart.


Norwegian Forest Cat: Medium in length, but square-like in appearance with a full chest.
Maine Coon: Long and rectangular with a broad chest.


Norwegian Forest Cat: Medium, heavy musculature neck.
Maine Coon: Medium long, sturdy neck.


Norwegian Forest Cat: The back legs are higher than the front legs.
Maine Coon: Medium in hight/length.
Both the breeds have toe-tufts.


Norwegian Forest Cat: A long and flowing tail that is as long as their body.
Maine Coon: Less bushy as the Norwegian Forest Cat, but long as flowing as well and as long as their body.


Norwegian Forest Cat: Double coat, long guard hairs, with a thick and wooly undercoat.
Maine Coon: Silky, uneven coat with a little bit of undercoat.


Norwegian Forest Cat: When the cat is fully matured, a big ruff grows around the neck, but not all the Norwegians have this. But there should be a frontal ruff beginning at the base of the ears.
Maine Coon: a moderate frontal ruff around the neck.


Norwegian Forest Cat: Up to 15 pounds. The males are larger and more imposing.
Maine Coon: Up to 20 pounds. Females a bit smaller than the males.

Do you have a Maine Coon or a Norwegian Forest Cat?


Doug McFarland
Nicholas Erwin

18 Responses to “The Difference Between A Maine Coon & The Norwegian Forest Cat”

  1. nadbugs

    Great, Dianda, just great! I got curious about this, but way no time to find out. So I really appreciate this post. I thought Barney had Norwegian in him, but from your info, he looks more Maine Coon. But really. As the comments already say — beautiful beautiful cats. So happy.

  2. Tom Duhamel

    Based on the descriptions, I quickly figured the Maine Coon was on left and Norvegian on right on each of these pictures. I was wondering how you ended up the post without making this clear, and no one questioned that in the comments. Until I hoovered these pictures and found out there was a caption.

    I am not familiar with either species, and I admit they have a lot in common. But the distinctions are clear now that you pointed them out. Thanks for sharing the knowledge!

  3. Misaki

    My kitty cousin Daisy is a Norwegian Forest cat – are they usually grumpy or is that just her? BOL

  4. Margaret

    Such beautiful cats :3 I’m still dreaming of owning two norwegian forest cats in the future (when I can afford them and the costs of caring properly for them).

    • macilane

      Check the HD decease for the mother and father cats of any kitten you buy!
      X-ray is an ordinary check.

  5. Charlie

    You should throw Siberians into the comparison. I have two and they have lots of similarities with both breeds.

  6. Soulless1

    Hmm, both of my cats seem more ‘mixed’ than any of the descriptions–maybe they are part-breeds. I like mutt cats just as well, but one seems mostly maine coon while the other looks almost like a Norwegian.

      • Soulless1

        Most likely, as they’re both shelter cats. One is a 15Lb black tabby shorthair, but with pad and ear tufts(not fat, just huge) the other is a shaggy silver tabby with plumed tail, ear and paw tufts and about 11lb(skinny, his former owners abandoned him in the apartment they moved out of, without telling anyone) we’re working on getting him to a healthy weight, but he has issues(understandably)

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