Norwegian Forest cat vs Maine Coon Cat | know the differences!

Norwegian Forest cat

If you are a cat lover, the differences between Norwegian Forest cat vs Maine Coon Cat must have been in your head at least once in your life. It is not just you, and this is a universal question of cat lovers. Since then, we have thought of telling you everything about these two majestic cat breeds. Before jump into the differences, let’s talk about the similarities of them.

Norwegian Forest cat vs Maine Coon Cat, similarities

When you think of Norwegian Forest cat vs Maine Coon Cat’s personality and traits, there is a lot that you can find. First, their origin, which has some relationship between the root back in the 1970s. Maine Coon cats are not a mix of domestic cats and racCoons! That resembles Norwegian Forest cats, mixed with some domestic cats from North America in the 18th century. However, the breeding history of the cats of these breeds is a bit different from each other.

The Norwegian Forest cat’s history

The Norwegian Forest cat comes from Scandinavia, as its name suggests. It is quite likely that semi-longhair cats from the Middle East were also the ancestors of the Norwegians. In the Medieval Period, they landed in Norway with the Vikings’ vessels as house pets. They developed over the ages with a sturdy body and a heavy coat to survive in Norway’s climate.

The Norwegian Forest cat is reminiscent of the Nordic myths. Long-hair cats were used to drawn goddess Freya’s Chariot. In the 20th century, the breed almost vanished, but breeding plans began in the 1930s to support and promote it. But with the Second World War, it was a bit challenging to stick to the plans. After a short break, In the 1970s, the breed began to be recognized by official organizations in the USA. Also, the Norwegian Forest cat was named the official cat of Norway by King Olaf.

The Maine Coon Cat’s history

By the end of the 19th century, the Maine Coon Cat breed began to evolve and become famous. It was all because of the farmers of the state of Maine.  They were very proud of their cats. Until the 1950s, it was less prevalent, and Persian was on the top of the market. This breed grew in popularity again in the 1960s and was recognized in 1967 by the ACFA. Since the Maine Coon belongs to Maine State, they became the official cat of Maine as well.

Norwegian Forest cat

What are the main differences between Norwegian Forest cat vs Maine Coon Cat?

Both these cat breeds are known as the largest cat breeds in the world. So if you need to identify which one is a Maine Coon, that’s not something you need to lookup. The weight of the cats can be slightly different, not enough to compare to each. So then you need to move into the other physical traits.

The shape of the head

There is a square head on the Maine Coon, and it is mildly elongated, adding a slight concave curve to the profile. The muzzle is quadratic. The Norwegian has a triangular head, which is almost equilateral. From the tip of the nose to the slightly rounded forehead, the profile is long and straight.

When looking at ears, both breeds have very characteristic ear tufts. The ear tufts of the Maine Coon are large and considerably unique from a Norwegian cat. However, both breeds have long fur sticking out from the tip of the ear. That is adding a lynx-type look to both cats. Breeders also refer as ‘furnishings’ to their ear tufts.

So the head is the best place to identify the difference between these cat breeds, but if you still struggle to do that, let’s see how to do that from the coat.

Coat and Color variation

None of them got long hair. It’s always semi-long fur with double coats. For the Maine Coon Cats, it is a very silky overcoat and a short and soft undercoat. Their fur has different lengths, and some areas got longer fur than other parts of the body. As an example, the stomach and britches have long fur and short fur on the shoulders. Ruff of hair around the neck is more prominent than Norwegian cats.

Since the Maine Coon breed has long uneven fur, with a ruff of hair around their neckline and chest, this is another significant indication. Often, this hair mane makes them look like mini lions! By contrast, the Norwegian Forest Cat has a double coat of fur all over its body, also in weight.

When compared to the Maine Coon, the Norwegian Forest cat also has a distinctive tail. But if you want to name the breed by looking at the tail, this is hard. Their tails are subtly different, but for the adult cat, the distinctions are harder to find. Both have long and elegant tails, but the Maine Coon thick tail curves to a bushy end. It is harder to note the Norwegian Forest Cats tail’s long flowing nature, which tapers to a tip.

When we talk about the color of the coat, both breeds have the same similar colors. However, the Amber color category does not exist in the Maine Coon breed. So it can’t be a significant clue to tell the difference of each breed.

Personality also has differences?

Well, some say that this can be different for individual cats. But in general, both cat breeds have the same personality.

Both cats are known to be very affectionate, making family pets wonderful and lovable. They’re also very spontaneous, so if you’re planning to keep them behind doors, you need to revise your decision. In case you can’t create a more enjoyable environment within the four walls, take them for walks more often as they get bored.

Maine Coons Cats are very loyal and friendly. They are known for their gentle little chirrups, while Norwegian Forest cats prefer to be calmer and silent. However, most Norwegian cat owners say that their cat purrs are sometimes really loud. So the vocals depend on individual cats, according to the nature that they live with humans.

If you own a Maine Coon cat, they are very attention-seeking and always try to close to you. But the Norwegian Forest cat doesn’t need attention, and they find something else to focus on if they are bored.

Can both breeds live in the same house?

Yes, even both breeds seem to be very territorial, they are good with other pets. In summary, Maine Coon cats are playful and clingy. While Norwegian Forest cats are not very active, they prefer to stay inactive most of the time. But they both are good with kids and small dogs.

Norwegian Forest cat

Health issues of Norwegian Forest cat vs Maine Coon Cat?

Like most cat breeds, both Norwegian Forest cats and Maine Coons are sensitive to progressive heart disease. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most prevalent cat disease. Therefore, if you’re buying any of the kittens, make sure that their parents have been screened free of such a condition.

These larger breeds also suffer from common issues in their joints. The Norwegian and the Maine Coon, both cats are vulnerable to Hip Dysplasia. This disease can be most frequently reported by dog owners as well.

Besides, both breeds are also prone to Polycystic Kidney Disease, a genetic disease that gradually damages the kidneys. Sadly, there is no DNA test currently offered for this. But the disorder can be identified by ultrasound. For that, the cats should be at least 10 months old, if not older.

Who lives the longest?

Life span information may not always be precise. Still, after several types of research, some information may be based on the cat’s expectancy. On average, Norwegian Forest cats live that long-spanning between 14 and 16 years, while Maine Coons is known to breathe for as long as 11 years. It depends primarily on the food you give your cat and the efficient way you live.

What special care needed by the Norwegian Forest cats & Maine Coon Cats?

It’s pretty clear that if you bought a cat, you’re going to take extra care of it. Most cats do not have to be groomed because they have lesser fur on their coat and thus do not shed quickly. By comparison, breeds with medium to long fur coats, such as Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest cats, need their fair proportion of care at least weekly, if not daily.

Whether it’s the Maine Coon cat or Norwegian Forest cat, you’re going to start early. Usually, they make it a bit easier to brush around the back or head, but they start giving you a stinky eye when you move the brush across the belly and the hind legs. You just need to make sure that you use a soft bristle brush to avoid damaging your cat’s skin.

What exercise my cat needs to do more often?

Other than brushing, you need to shorten the fur on their paws. It is easy for them to walk if you maintain the fur as they have big paws as an adaptation to walking on the snow. However, taking a Norwegian Forest cat for a walk is a bit hard thing. But the Maine Coon cats love to walk, and they can be trained to walk on a leash. They have a more dog-like nature than other cats.

Especially diet and exercise play a significant role in their life. As they are good hunters, they are good climbers as well. Even the Norwegian Forest cats don’t like to walk with you. They will surely climb the trees. You can buy a lot of stuff to keep your cat busy, such as balls, teasers, hunters, plush and mice toys, engaging toys, electronic gadgets, cat trees, scratching pulleys, and even yarn balls.

Like all cats, they require regular dental care. Brush your cat’s teeth at least once a week to help to prevent tooth decay. Cats also admire a clean litter box, which is cleaned a few times a week. Also, you need to wipe the corner of the Norwegian cat’s eyes once a week. It’s necessary to clean it of any discharge to save them from eye diseases. Always use a new, clean cloth for each eye to prevent cross-contamination.

Bathing is also essential for the cats to maintain a good coat!

The Main Coons are fascinated by water. You can find them playing in the rain if they don’t see a pool at the house. Norwegian Forest cat also loves water but will not jump into the shower to play. For both cats, it is essential to wash the coat regularly to maintain a clean coat. Since their furry coat washes quickly, and don’t have to struggle with their matt parts. Both the Maine Coon and the Norwegian Forest Cat require access to a water supply at all times to prevent them from dehydrating.

Food and nutrition

Usually, the larger breeds need to be fed food with High protein levels, low carbohydrate levels, and Omega 3 and 6 fat and fatty acids. It is not advised that you provide over 2-3 servings of wet food per week to your Maine Coon. They get obese quickly, and the same goes with the Norwegian Forest Cats. They also need taurine in their meals as this essential amino acid makes sure that your cats’ heart health and vision stay healthy. Nutritionally complete foods guarantee that they live a healthy lifestyle. Obesity tends to lead them into most

If you love to get one of these breeds, go to a local shelter and register there to get a cat, they inform you. Generally, it is not an annoying lengthy procedure unless it is close to Halloween. Most shelters don’t allow adopting Maine Coons around Halloween. Especially the Black Maine Coons as they are known to be pets of witches.

Norwegian Forest cat

Maine Coon vs Norwegian Forest Cat Price Comparison

There is a significant price difference when purchasing a Maine Coon cat or a Norwegian Forest Cat. At the end of the day, the cat breed you choose will actually rely on your own personal family situation, finances, and which unique cat characteristics you consider. For example, prospective buyers are likely to pay a premium price for Maine Coon kittens. Especially if they have kids, this breed is pretty affectionate, relaxed, and good for kids.

You can buy a purebred Maine Coon Kitten for around $1000, while a Norwegian Forest kitten costs about $800. When buying an adult cat, prices may get down, yet around $600 for a senior Maine Coon cat. When getting one from a shelter, you may have to pay about $250 as a shelter fee, which goes to the other cats’ welfare in the shelter.

Middle-aged cats will not need frequent check-ups, but kittens and more senior cats would need regular veterinary care. This includes routine vaccines, which can cost you anything between $50 to upwards of $150. Consider those facts before buying a cat from these expensive breeds.

Where can I buy a Norwegian Forest Cat?

If you would like to buy purebred Maine Coon vs Norwegian Forest Cat, always check with the breeders. If you are from the states, only two cat associations can breed purebred Maine Coon cats and Norwegian Forest Cats. Both enable trusted breeders who agree to maintain their requirements to be able to qualify for their cattery. You can check the breeder profiles here.

What if I find a Maine Coon or a Norwegian Forest Cat for a lower price? [H5]

Some local breeders sell the Maine Coon cat a lot cheaper than this price. In case you are buying from such a place, requesting to see parents is a must. Some may have purebred kittens; some may give the mixed with other breeds. Suppose you are looking for a purebred Maine Coon kitten. In that case, we recommend reading our previous article about identifying a purebred Maine Coon cat. Buying from a reputed breeder will always save you hundreds of dollars from your vet visits.

If you’re investing in a cat, you need to understand that it’s not a one-time expense. You may save a couple of dollars when buying from a non registered breeder. But the cost of maintaining a dog or cat is ongoing and needs to be paid to keep your cat well-fed and healthy.


Since now you know the differences of these largest cat breeds, before you decide on a way out, talk to people. Talk with a cat owner, join the online bulletin forum or group on Facebook and ask about them. Reputable breeders are also a good source of knowledge to take your questions about these gorgeous cats. While both are equally gorgeous and adaptable, it probably depends on which one you fall in love with when you visit a pet shop or shelter.


1. What are the similarities between Norwegian Forest cats and Maine Coon cats?

Both breeds share origins in history and possess comparable traits, despite differences. They are known for their large size, sturdy build, and semi-longhair coats.

2. Can you tell me about the history of the Norwegian Forest cat?

Originating from Scandinavia, Norwegian Forest cats evolved to adapt to Norway’s climate. They have ties to ancient Norse mythology and were named the official cat of Norway by King Olaf.

3. What is the history behind the Maine Coon Cat breed?

Maine Coon cats gained popularity in the 19th century thanks to farmers in Maine, USA. Recognized in 1967, they became the official cat of Maine due to their regional popularity.

4. How can I distinguish between a Norwegian Forest cat and a Maine Coon cat by their physical features?

Look for differences in their head shapes; Maine Coons have square heads, while Norwegian Forest cats have triangular ones. Pay attention to ear tufts, mane-like fur, and tail characteristics.

5. What sets the coat and color variation of these two breeds apart?

Both have semi-long fur with double coats. Maine Coons have a distinctive silky overcoat with longer fur on specific body parts. Norwegian Forest cats have an overall double coat with a more consistent length.

6. Are there differences in the personalities of Norwegian Forest cats and Maine Coon cats?

In general, both breeds are known for their affection and spontaneity. Maine Coons tend to be more vocal and attention-seeking, while Norwegian Forest cats are often calmer.

7. Can Norwegian Forest cats and Maine Coon cats coexist in the same household with other pets?

Yes, both breeds are generally good with other pets, including kids and small dogs. Maine Coons are playful and clingy, while Norwegian Forest cats are less active.

8. What health issues are common in these two large cat breeds?

Both Norwegian Forest cats and Maine Coon cats are susceptible to heart disease, hip dysplasia, and polycystic kidney disease. Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial.

9. What is the average lifespan of Norwegian Forest cats and Maine Coon cats?

Norwegian Forest cats typically live between 14 and 16 years, while Maine Coons have an average lifespan of around 11 years. Proper nutrition and care can influence these lifespans.

10. How should I care for the grooming and exercise needs of these breeds?

Both breeds require regular grooming, with special attention to their fur, teeth, and eyes. Exercise should include playtime, climbing opportunities, and dental care to ensure their well-being.

Reference: Norwegian Forest cat by Wiki

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