norwegian forest cat size comparison

How To Distinguish Norwegian Forest Cat From Maine Coon?

If you are a normal cat lover, you might not be able to distinguish a Norwegian forest cat right away. I am sure you have encountered it sometime in your life but you are not aware that these cats exist. Let me give you some idea of what a Norwegian forest cat is. How it differs in personality and size when compared to other forest cats. In this article, you will learn how to distinguish a Norwegian forest cat easily.

The Norwegian forest cat and the Maine Coon are breeds of furry haired cat that you can consider. Most of the time Norwegian forest cat is being mistaken as Maine Coon because they have the same features. They are known as cold climate felines because of their fluffy coats. They are quite large as compared to other cats. Before you decide which of the two breeds to take home, you need to know first how one differs from another. Read on this Norwegian forest cat and Maine Coon comparison to help you how to distinguish one from the other.


The Size Comparison

The first thing that we will discuss about these two furry cats is their size. These two breeds are considered as the two largest cats you will find in a house. But they do not have the same size. The easiest way to tell the difference between Norwegian forest cat and Maine Coon is to compare the size of full grown male species.

Maine Coon Cat


Norwegian forest cat


The Maine Coon can become as big as 20 lbs., while the Norwegian stick to 15 lbs. at the most. Although some may become bigger than their usual size, the average cats fall into this spectrum, making it much easier to tell the difference.

Also, both breeds are known to have much smaller females. But, they are still both much larger as compared to the average indoor car, but the Norwegian female will be smaller than the Maine Coon female that is usually around 13 lbs. As mentioned earlier, these are huge cats. They look like a lion sometimes, and most people associate a lot of that with the size of these big cats.

The Personality Comparison

Let’s start comparing these breeds by mentioning how intelligent Norwegian forest cat and Maine Coon are. This type of forest cat is very intelligent and quite assertive with everything unfamiliar to them, which is a unique personality trait of this fluffy cat. Just like the Maine Coon, this breed is quite territorial. Norwegian forest cat loves to play and display its hunting abilities in which they are very good at.

Training Maine Coon


Being friendly is one of the distinctive traits of Maine Coon. It is a large cat that weighs up to 9 kg, and measures around 120 cm from nose to the tail. Females are smaller around the 4.5 to 6.5 kg mark. Just like Norwegian forest cat, they are intelligent and easy to train. Another distinguishing trait of Maine Coon that is not seen in other cats is their sound. This cat is a robust cat, it has a very sensitive sound, and they are known for its friendly chirps and soft sound.

Another important personality trait of Norwegian forest cats is the love of climbing and they are doing it fearlessly.

They have quite an appetite. But it is noticeable in males than in female Norwegian forest cats that are smaller and consume less food than an ordinary cat. When it comes from being clingy it is not as clingy as other cats but if left alone for a long time they would look for companionship.

Norwegian cat climbing


Norwegian forest cat angry


The soft spoken Norwegian forest cat can become vocal if they are in a house with a dog. These breeds behave well, and their exceptional personality traits make them an ideal pet for the family.

Maine Coon is also territorial, a characteristic that is distinct to these two breeds. This breed tends to dominate other breeds and everything around its environment. Just like Norwegian forest cats, it has a big appetite, so you need a bigger bowl particularly if you own a male Maine Coon. Being assertive is another trait of this breed. They love playing with water this is a distinct feature that differs a Norwegian forest cat from Maine Coon. This breed is very affectionate and happy, and they enjoy family activities like washing up and gardening.

The Difference In The Tails

Norwegian and Maine Coon have distinctive looking tails. They are fluffy, full and wide although the Norwegian tail does taper at the tip and it has the same length as their bodies if measured from the shoulder to the base of the tail.

The Maine Coon tail is as also as long and it tapers at the tip the hair is bushy and long right from the base to its tip.

Maine Coon tail

The Shape Of Their Heads

The Shape Of Heads


The biggest difference between the two breeds and the most noticeable is the shape of their head. Norwegian has a triangular head with a flat forehead. The Maine Coon has a wedge-like shaped head. By looking at their heads you can see the difference.

Final Words

The Norwegian Forest Cat and the Maine Coon are identical looking felines. With regards to their personalities, there is not much that sets them apart. By looking at the shape of their heads and the size of their body, you can distinguish which is a Norwegian and which is a Maine Coon.

For families who love fluffy haired felines, these breeds are perfect. Training them is also not a problem as they are both intelligent species. The only difference is that it is much easier to train a Maine Coon than Norwegian. Because of their unique personalities, fluffy coats and look, many cat enthusiasts loved these breeds. They are great additions to any home since they are both good with children.

Sarah Keene

I’m Sarah Keene, and I’m glad you found your way to my blog. I love cats so much; I consider myself a cat woman. I have 5 cats at the moment, and I am planning to grow my cat family. It is not easy to take care of these cats appropriately though I would wish to make them feel as comfortable as possible. This is why I depend on other blogging cat lovers like me to help me in providing all the necessities for my cats to have the best life possible.

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sharon - December 12, 2017

an odd question for you….we had a rescue cat that we believed was a maine coon. very large, silent, friendly but stand-offish. he had the strangest habit of lying flat, like our corgi! on his tummy with his back legs stretched out behind him. do you know if either of the above breeds tend to have this odd habit? we wonder now if he was a NFC. thanks so much for any info on this.

    Sarah Keene - December 24, 2017

    Yeah, the NFC is very large, sturdy and also very friendly. They can be friendly even with the strangers. In physical appearance they are like the maine coons. Yet there are some differences of their look and also color. The NFC has a tendency of sleeping on their tummy stretching their legs behind. Either of the above breeds tends to have this odd habit and they prefer this posture of sleeping no doubt. So it is clear that your cat is a NFC.

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