Norwegian Forest Cat vs Maine Coon

Norwegian Forest Cat vs Maine Coon

Norwegian Forest cats, or “Wegies”, are large and friendly cats that do not demand constant attention from their humans. They are avid climbers and renowned wilderness and farm cats. Meanwhile, Maine Coons are referred to as gentle giants due to their large size and gentle nature. Some people get confused between these two breeds because of their similarities, but they are actually unique and quite different from each other. 

Norwegian Forest Cat vs Maine Coon: What Are The Differences?

They differ in head shape. 

Norwegian Forest cats have an almost quadratic or triangular head, with a long, straight profile from the nose up to the slightly rounded forehead. Meanwhile, Maine Coons have a square head that is slightly elongated. 

The shape of their eyes is different. 

Norwegian Forest cats have large, almond-shaped eyes, set obliquely, and an alert expression. Maine Coons have large, slightly oval eyes that are slightly oblique and appear round when wide open. 

They differ in size. 

Norwegian Forest cats are smaller than Maine Coons. The former weighs around 20 pounds for males and 13 pounds for females, while the latter weighs 26 pounds for males and 18 pounds for females. 

They differ in fur color. 

While both breeds have many possible fur colors, they differ in pointed patterns such as lilac, chocolate, cinnamon and fawn. Maine Coons do not have amber colors. 

Norwegian Forest Cat and Maine Coon Cats: Similarities 

They are similar in their origins and history. 

Norwegian Forest cats, also called “Skogkatt”, originated in Scandinavia, arriving there on Viking boats where they were renowned as mousers. They are the likely descendents of semi-long-haired cats from the Middle East that evolved with thick coats and strong bodies to withstand Norway’s harsh climate. These cats have a role in Norse mythology, where they are said to be the cats driving the chariot of the goddess Freya. This breed was only recognized by official organizations in the 1970s, and was designated the official cat of Norway by King Olaf. 

Meanwhile, Maine Coons originated in Maine, USA, and there are several theories as to how these cats arrived there from Europe. One theory is that the ancestors of Maine Coons arrived with Vikings around the 11th century, while another is that they arrived with the boats from Europe in the 18th century. The breed rose to popularity in the 1960s and was recognized by the American Cat Fanciers Association, or ACFA, in 1967. 

They have similarly shaped ears. 

Both breeds have large, wide ears, with or without lynx tips. The ears are situated high on the head and the outer line continues the triangular line of the chin and face. 

They are similar in body shape. 

Both breeds have long, strong, muscular bodies. They have powerful chests and high legs, with the hind legs slightly higher than the front ones.

They have similar personalities. 

Norwegian Forest cats are gentle, sweet, and quite shy around strangers. Once you earn their trust they are very friendly and sociable. They are also intelligent with some dog-like qualities. They enjoy the company of small children and cat-friendly dogs. 

Maine Coons are also great with small children and cat-friendly dogs. They are affectionate, gentle and relaxed, with above-average intelligence. These cats are loyal to their humans but tend to be cautious around strangers. 

Other cat breeds that get along well with children:

  • Cornish Rex 
  • Birman 
  • Ragamuffin 
  • Korat
  • Selkirk Rex 

Norwegian Forest Cat: Fun Facts

  • These cats have water-repellent fur. 
  • They are large cats. 
  • They are related to Maine Coons. 
  • They are surrounded by legends.
  • These cats nearly went extinct.
  • They have a soft voice, but also tend to be chatty. 

Maine Coon: Fun Facts

  • They are referred to as gentle giants. 
  • They have a lovable temperament. 
  • They are playful. 
  • They are very vocal.
  • They love water. 
  • You can take them on walks because they can be placed on a leash.


Norwegian Forest cats are large cats with muscular bodies. They have a likable temperament and are sociable and friendly. They are related to Maine Coons and share many similarities, including body shape, ear shape and personality. However, they differ in size and weight, as well as eye and head shape. The breeds may be closely related, but each is unique and beautiful in its own way.

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