About the Difference Between Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat, The Maine Coon’s similarity to the Norwegian Forest Cat raises more questions than answers. Is the Maine Coon a descendant of the Norwegian Forest Cat? How can one distinguish one from the other?
And we’ve got all you need to know in today’s article.
Table of Contents
- Norwegian Forest Cat vs. Maine Coon: Breed history
- Appearance Differences Between Maine Coon vs. Norwegian Forest Cat
- Character Difference Between Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat
- Another Difference Between Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat
Norwegian Forest Cat vs. Maine Coon: Breed history
Norwegian Forest Cat
Fig 1: A male Norwegian Forest Cat with wide eyes
The Norwegian Forest Cat, or Skogkatt, is a natural breed from Northern Europe. Its ancestors may include the black and white British shorthair and longhaired cats. The British shorthairs found their way to Norway aboard the Viking ships after 1000 AD.
The breed almost became extinct in the 20th century, but breeding plans from the 1930s saved them from inevitable demise. By the 1970s, they were so popular that King Olaf designated the breed as the official cat of Norway.
Fig 2: A cat lying on a bed
The Maine Coon is one of the oldest natural breeds in North America, originally from the state of Maine, US. Its other names include Coon Cat, Maine Cat, and the Maine Shag. The story of how the cat got to the United States isn’t clear, leading to some speculations. One theory is that its ancestors arrived with the early Viking explorations around the 11th century.
According to the second version, the Maine Coon arrived on the ships of early European sailors in the 18th century. Today, we mainly recognize the Maine Coon by its great size and rich fur coat.
Appearance Differences Between Maine Coon vs. Norwegian Forest Cat
Fig 3: Two Main Coon kittens with flowers
The most distinct difference between the two natural breeds is the shape of the head. The Maine Coon has a square-shaped head with high cheekbones. Also, it has a square muzzle.
On the other hand, the Norwegian’s head is long and has an equilateral triangle shape. Additionally, it has a flat or slightly rounded forehead and a medium-length muzzle.
The Maine Coon has a gentle concave curved nose profile, whereas the Norwegian Forest Cat’s nose tends to be straight.
Maine Coon’s eyes are big, slightly oblique, and somewhat oval. On the contrary, they seem round when wide open.
The Norwegian Forest Cat has big, almond-shaped eyes and a vigilant gaze.
The Maine Coon has a square chin/ muzzle that’s strong and well-proportioned. Conversely, the Norwegian Forest Cat’s chin is gently rounded and solid. Also, its whisker pads are neither prominent nor pinched.
The Maine Coon has a medium-length neck, whereas the Norwegian’s is short and heavily muscled.
The Maine Coon has large tapered ears set high on its head and wide at the base. The Norwegian Forest Cat has medium to large ears that are more rounded at the top. Furthermore, its ears are set further to the side of its head.
Fig 4: A cat outdoors in the winter in the high snow
Even though both cats have a lot of furs, their coats differ significantly. The Maine Coon has a long, thick, silky coat with fluffy fur. The hairs are of uneven lengths, longer on the stomach and britches and shorter on the shoulders.
The Norwegian’s distinctive double coat features a smooth, water-repellant topcoat and a frontal ruff around the neck. The body length varies from medium to lengthy, whereas the coat on the shoulders and chest is shorter.
The Maine Coon’s tail is long, bushy, and tapers at the end. Also, it’s as long as the cat’s body. On the other hand, the Norwegian’s tail is long, bushy, and with hairs that sweep in one direction. The tail is at least as long as the cat’s length from its shoulders to the tail’s base.
Legs & Feet
The Maine Coon has big round paws full of tufts of hair. Also, it has five toes on the front feet and four at the back. Additionally, it has straight forelegs set wide apart.
The Norwegian Forest Cat has medium legs that are shorter at the front. They also have heavy tufts between the toes.
Both cats have many color combinations, excluding pointed patterns, lilac, chocolate, cinnamon, and fawn.
Size and Body Shape
The Maine Coon is generally bigger, longer, and more muscular than the Norwegian Forest Cat. Male Maine Coons weigh 7-12 kg (15-26 lbs), while females weigh 5-8 kg (11-18 lbs).
Conversely, the Norwegian Forest Cat males weigh 6-9 kg (13-20 lbs), and females weigh 4-6 kg (9-13 lbs). Also, you can quickly identify one as they are of medium length and with higher rumps.
Character Difference Between Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat
Both cat breeds are friendly and outgoing.
Friendly / Gentle
Both cat breeds are gentle, friendly, and reserved. But generally, the Maine Coon seeks attention from the owners, whereas the Norwegian doesn’t.
The Maine Coon has unwavering loyalty, whereas the Norwegian’s loyalty depends on your level of interaction.
Both breeds are intelligent.
Both breeds are highly trainable.
The Maine Coon is more playful than the Norwegian.
Both breeds have excellent hunting skills.
Difference Between Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat: Climbers
Both breeds have strong claws and are excellent climbers.
Difference Between Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat: Exercise
Both breeds love playing in the water.
The Maine Coon makes more noise with a lot of chirps and thrills. Conversely, the Norwegian is a silent cat with a quiet voice.
Both are great family pets.
Another Difference Between Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat
The cost of both breeds will, of course, vary according to where you live. Generally, the Maine Coons are more costly in the United States than Norwegian Forest Cats.
Difference Between Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat: Life Expectancy
Fig 5: A cat on an antique chair
The Maine Coon has an average life expectancy of 12 and 15 years. On the other hand, Norwegians can live well to the ripe age of 16 years.
Difference Between Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat: Feeding methods
Feed Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest cats high-quality protein-rich dry food with low carbohydrates. Also, ensure to provide a lot of water to avoid dehydration.
While these cat breeds have overlapping personality traits and features, significant variances allow you to distinguish them. Amazingly, we have conducted an in-depth study of both natural breeds. Aren’t the two large cat breeds just amazing?