comparison photo of maine coon and norwegian forest cat

What are the differences between a Maine Coon vs. a Norwegian Forest cat? I was at a cat show several years ago and almost mistook a Norwegian Forest cat for a Maine Coon. With a trained eye, you could distinguish one from the other. Indeed it was a beautiful cat, but the devil is in the details.

Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cats are both large, long-haired cat breeds popular with cat lovers worldwide. While these breeds share some similarities, they differ significantly in their physical appearance, temperament, and history.

maine coon vs norwegian forest cat

Physical Appearance

Maine Coons are one of the giant domestic cat breeds, with males weighing between 18 and 22 pounds and females weighing between 10 and 15 pounds. They have long, shaggy fur, tufted ears, and large, expressive eyes. Their coat can come in various colors and patterns, but the most common are brown tabbies and red tabbies. Maine Coons are also known for their long, bushy tails, which they can wrap around themselves like a furry blanket.

Norwegian Forest Cats are also a large breed, with males weighing between 12 to 16 pounds and females weighing between 8 to 12 pounds. They have distinctive triangular faces, almond-shaped eyes, and long, fluffy ears. Their fur is also long and shaggy, with a thick undercoat and longer guard hairs. Norwegian Forest Cats come in various colors, but the most common are brown, tabby, and white.

norwegian forest cats
Norwegain Forest Cats


Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cats have similar temperaments in that they are both intelligent, social, and friendly breeds. However, some differences in their personalities are worth noting.

Maine Coons are often described as playful and curious, with love for exploring their environment. They are also known for their gentle nature, and they get along well with children and other pets. Maine Coons are affectionate cats that enjoy spending time with their owners. Still, they are not overly demanding and can be independent at times.

Norwegian Forest Cats are known for being excellent hunters and skilled climbers, thanks to their firm, muscular legs. Norwegian Forest Cats are also playful and social cats, but they have a more reserved and cautious nature than Maine Coons. They can be shy around strangers and may take longer to warm up to new people.


Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cats have different origins, and their history can help explain some differences in their physical appearance and temperament.

Maine Coons are believed to be one of the oldest domestic cat breeds in North America. They are thought to have originated in the state of Maine, where they were valued as working cats for their hunting skills. Maine Coons were bred for their size and strength, which helped them survive in the harsh New England winters.

On the other hand, Norwegian Forest Cats are a native breed of Norway. They are believed to have been brought to Norway by Vikings over a thousand years ago. Norwegian Forest Cats were used as working cats to help control rodent populations in barns and homes. They are valued for their warm, thick fur, which allows them to survive in Norway’s cold, snowy climate.

brown tabby maine coon european
Beastie – Brown Tabby European Bloodlines Maine Coon Cat

In conclusion, while Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cats share some similarities, such as their size and long-haired coats, they also have significant differences in their physical appearance, temperament, and history.

If you are considering getting a cat, it’s essential to research and find the breed that best fits your lifestyle and personality. Sassy Koonz specializes in beautiful high-quality Maine Coon cats with good health and excellent temperaments.

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