The Maine Coon and the Norwegian Forest Cat are often seen as similar, but is a Maine Coon bigger than a Norwegian Forest Cat?
Many owners want a Maine Coon because they’re famous for their large size, but are there any cat breeds out there that are even bigger than Maine Coons?
The maximum size of a Maine Coon is larger than the maximum size of a Norwegian Forest Cat. Most Maine Coons will be larger than a Norwegian Forest Cat, but it’s possible for a larger than average Norwegian Forest Cat to be larger than a smaller than average Maine Coon.
Size isn’t the only difference between these two cat breeds, though!
Many owners have a difficult time choosing between a Maine Coon and a Norwegian Forest Cat because they both have their own amazing personalities and appearances.
Read on to find out all about the key differences and similarities between these two cat breeds.
Is A Maine Coon Bigger Than A Norwegian Forest Cat?
The Maine Coon is a rugged breed that developed naturally in the cold state of Maine.
These cats became popular for their ability to hunt mice, rats, and other vermin. Today, they are popular for their large size and sweet nature.
Norwegian Forest Cats developed in the similarly cold climate of Norway, where they are known as Skogkatt.
They similarly found a place among humans with their ratting abilities, and after World War II, they became a pedigree that was transported around the world due to their beautiful appearance.
At first glance, an untrained eye might easily mistake the two cats. However, there are many physical differences between these two cats.
The table below summarizes key physical differences between the Maine Coon Vs Norwegian Forest Cat:
|Weight||8 – 25 lbs||9 – 16 lbs|
|Height||8 – 16 Inches||9 – 12 Inches|
|Length||19 -40 Inches||12 – 18 Inches|
& Deep flanks
|Head||Medium Size &|
|Head Shaped |
|Muzzle||Square Shaped||Gently Rounded|
|Ears||Large Ears Taper |
Off To A Point.
|Wide Ear Base.|
|Eyes||Large Eyes That |
Are Either Green,
Copper, Blue Or
|Almond Shaped. |
Oily Fur With
Neck & Chest
|Tail||Long Tails With |
Thick Fur &
|Shorter Tail. |
Thick Long Fur.
Wide At Base
|Legs & |
|Long, Powerful |
|Long, Powerful |
Legs. Hind Legs
Here are more details regards the distinct differences and similarities of Maine Coons Vs Norwegian Forest Cats:
The Maine Coon size is very impressive, with females weighing about 12 pounds at the heaviest, and male Maine Coons weighing between 15 and 25 pounds.
They stand at a height between 8 and 16 inches tall, and measure a length of 19 to 40 inches, not including their tails.
The Norwegian Forest Cat size is also quite large.
These cats typically weigh between 9 and 16 pounds, with the females being a bit smaller than the males.
They average a height between 9 and 12 inches and measure a length of 12 to 18 inches.
This means that, while a Norwegian Forest Cat could potentially be the same size or larger as an individual Maine Coon, the Maine Coon breed is larger on average than the Norwegian Forest Cat.
So how big can a Maine Coon cat get? Click on the link to find out!
Maine Coons have long, rectangular-shaped bodies with powerful shoulders.
Meanwhile, the Norwegian Forest Cat has a body of moderate length with a powerful chest and deep flanks.
Head and Muzzle
Maine Coons have medium, wedge-shaped heads that are slightly longer than they are wide. They have distinctively high cheekbones and a square, powerful muzzle.
The Norwegian Forest Cat’s head is shaped like an equilateral triangle.
In profile, their head is a straight, unbroken line, with no dip from the forehead to the nose.
Their muzzles are gently rounded.
Maine Coons have large ears with wide bases.
Norwegian Forest Cats’ ears also have a wide base, but the tips of their ears are more rounded.
Both Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cats have long fur that comes from their ears, and they may also have lynx-tip ears.
You might be wondering if Maine Coon’s are related to Lynx cats. Find out the truth in my article ‘Are Maine Coons Part Lynx?‘.
The Maine Coon has large, expressive eyes that can be green, gold, green-gold, copper, blue, or odd-eye. Norwegian Forest Cats have large, almond-shaped eyes set at an angle.
They can be green, gold, green-gold, or blue.
Here are some more fascinating facts about ‘Maine Coon Eyes‘.
Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cats have very similar coats.
Both breeds developed in cold, snowy climates, so they have thick, double-coated fur that is oily and dense on the outside to repel water and snow.
Both breeds also have tufted paws.
Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cats can come in any color and pattern except colorpoint and some more modern and rare colors and patterns.
However, the Maine Coon has a distinctive ruff around the neck and chest that resembles a lion, which is less noticeable on the Norwegian Forest Cat.
Maine Coons have long tails with thick fur and a wide base.
These cats sometimes also have distinctive rings around the base of their tails. Could this breed be related to the Raccoon, with a similar black stripe around its tail?
Norwegian Forest Cats have shorter tails than Maine Coons, but they still have wider bases and thick, long fur.
Legs and Paws
Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cats both have long, powerful legs.
However, the Norwegian Forest Cat’s hind legs are longer than the Maine Coons.
A distinct difference between these two breeds is that the Norwegian Forest Cat’s backside is higher than its shoulders, and vice versa with the Maine Coon.
Both cats have large, tufted paws, but the Maine Coon’s paws are wider (sources 1,2).
What Is The Difference Between A Maine Coon And A Norwegian Forest Cat?
A lot of owners are surprised to learn all of the physical differences between the Maine Coon and the Norwegian Forest Cat but assume that the two are similar in personality.
When it comes to temperament, is the Maine Coon the same as a Norwegian Forest Cat? Not at all!
These two cats may share some personality traits, but overall, they are quite different from one another.
Despite originating in completely different geographical regions, the Maine Coon and the Norwegian Forest Cat both have strikingly similar origins.
The Maine Coon developed in the state of Maine, which is famous for its cold, harsh winters.
The Norwegian Forest Cat, on the other hand, developed in Norway, which is also famous for the cold.
Both cats adapted well to the cold weather, and developed long, thick fur and wide, tufted paws that would help them walk on snow.
They also both became popular among local farmers for their ability to hunt mice, rats, and other vermin.
Another similarity is that they both have mysterious origins, with lots of mythology surrounding how they came to arrive in their home countries.
Notably, however, the Maine Coon has skyrocketed into popularity, while the Norwegian Forest Cat is a moderately popular breed.
This could partly be because the Norwegian Forest Cat nearly went extinct during World War II, and efforts had to be made to bring the breed back from the brink of erasure.
For more information on the origins of the Maine Coon cat, read my article ‘Where Did Maine Coons Originate?‘.
Physical Build And Appearance
Both the Maine Coon and the Norwegian Forest Cat are large, heavy-boned, and well-muscled cats with long, thick fur.
The Maine Coon is larger on average, however, and the Norwegian Forest Cat has distinctly longer hind legs.
Both Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cats come in every variety of colors and patterns known to cats, except colorpoint, as well as a few newly developed or rare colors and patterns.
The Maine Coon personality remains kitten-like throughout their entire lives.
These gentle giants are patient and sweet, but also incredibly playful and active.
They love all sorts of toys to stimulate their minds and can become bored and destructive if these needs aren’t being met.
These are my top 5 favorite Maine Coon cat toys.
The Norwegian Forest Cat Personality is a bit more reserved, as well as less playful than the Maine Coon.
Norwegian Forest Cats love their owners but aren’t much for cuddling unless it’s on their terms. They can also be shy and reserved around strangers.
Furthermore, while the Norwegian Forest Cat loves to climb and play sometimes, they are far less active than the Maine Coon, and spend more time lounging and sleeping.
Maine Coons are highly sociable creatures that love to be around their owners.
While they aren’t known for getting underfoot or being excessively clingy, they do like to follow their owners from room to room.
This is why Maine Coons follow their owners.
These cats can’t stand being left alone for too long, and many owners have to get them a companion to prevent loneliness.
The Maine Coon is one of the sweetest, most affectionate cats out there.
While they do prefer to cuddle on their terms, they enjoy sitting in their owners’ laps, and they prefer to spend most of their time around humans.
The Norwegian Forest Cat, on the other hand, is far more reserved and independent.
They do enjoy the occasional pet, and they might sometimes jump onto your lap for cuddles, but they spend most of their time exploring and sleeping on their own.
This breed shows a softer side to its owners but is known to be aloof and shy around strangers.
Maine Coons can sometimes be territorial, but this is only if they feel that their space is being invaded.
Overall, these cats require some space for themselves, but won’t be aggressive about it.
In fact, these cats are some of the best at sharing and often get along very well with other cats or even dogs.
Find out why Maine Coon cats get on so well with dogs, in my article ‘Are Maine Coon Cats Good With Dogs?‘.
Norwegian Forest Cats are more territorial and independent. This particular cat breed is less likely to respond well to a new pet.
However, if you make sure to provide your cat with plenty of personal space, then it is likely to feel more secure in its environment, and will therefore be less likely to act territorial and aggressive.
Maine Coons are highly loyal cats.
They bond very easily with their owners and will do anything to remain with them. These cats are so loyal, they’ll even follow you around from room to room!
Norwegian Forest Cats can be just as loyal as Maine Coons, but they’re harder to win over.
These independent cats need space to make their own decisions, and they don’t take kindly to being picked up or messed with when they aren’t in the mood.
Winning a Norwegian Forest Cat’s loyalty takes time, trust, and patience.
Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cats are both incredibly intelligent cats that have excellent problem-solving skills.
The less active Norwegian Forest Cat is less likely to get into trouble, while the curious and active Maine Coon is more likely to use its intelligence to get into mischief.
Maine Coons are famous for their unusual voices. These cats don’t meow; instead, they chirp or trill to communicate with their owners.
These cats are also known for being quite chatty, and some can be a bit loud.
Watch the video below, to listen to our male Maine Coon cat ‘Pippin’ chatting away:
The Norwegian Forest Cat also has a unique voice that’s often referred to as “bird-like,” but these cats are very soft-spoken, only meowing to communicate a need, such as food.
Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cats are both notorious for their love of climbing.
Both of these cats require large, sturdy cat trees to climb, and installing cat shelves is also a good idea.
These are the best extra-large cat trees since they are ideal for the Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cats’ extra weight and size.
These cats don’t realize how strong they are, so also need cat towers that are more sturdy and long-lasting.
Norwegian Forest Cats are known to be a bit more adventurous when it comes to climbing, and they’re also better at climbing back down than Maine Coons.
Still, you can expect both breeds to climb as high as they possibly can!
The Maine Coon’s average lifespan is between 12 to 15 years, while the Norwegian Forest Cat can be expected to live between 14 and 16 years.
If you are keen to increase the lifespan of your treasured Maine Coon cat, make sure you read my article ‘Maine Coon Lifespan‘ for more information.
Both Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cats are considered to be sturdy, healthy breeds. However, they can still suffer from a few different conditions.
Both breeds are susceptible to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and polycystic kidney disease.
The Maine Coon is also susceptible to spinal muscular atrophy and hip dysplasia.
Meanwhile, Norwegian Forest Cats are more likely to develop retinal dysplasia and Glycogen Storage Disease IV (sources 1,2,3).
Are Maine Coons Related To Norwegian Forest Cats?
Maine Coons are not related to Norwegian Forest Cats, but both cats have murky origins.
In fact, one popular theory for both cats is that they were descended from cats brought by Vikings, so there’s a remote possibility that they are distant ancestors!
Norwegian Forest Cat Vs Normal Cat
The Norwegian Forest Cat is larger and more muscular than the average housecat.
Their hind legs are longer than their front legs, so their backsides are higher than their shoulders, which is not commonly seen in ‘normal cats’.
These cats also require less grooming than other longhaired cats, and only need to be brushed about once a week.
The Norwegian Forest Cat is also more shy, reserved, and independent than the average cat.
They are soft-spoken and have an unusual, bird-like chirp rather than a meow.
Furthermore, the Norwegian Forest Cat has an unusual love of water.
Finally, they are more intelligent and better at climbing than most normal cats.
Maine Coon Vs Regular Cat
The Maine Coon Cat is the largest domesticated cat in the world, so they are much, much larger on average than the average house cat.
They are also incredibly gentle, playful, active, and intelligent.
Maine Coons also make chirps or trills rather than meowing.
Finally, these cats also have an odd love of water that is unique to the breed.
Biggest Maine Coon Cat Vs Biggest Norwegian Forest Cat
The largest Maine Coon in the world is a cat named Ludo from Wakefield, England.
He measures a total length of just above 3 feet and 10 inches, and weighs in at 34 pounds!
Meanwhile, the largest recorded Norwegian Forest Cats are just about 20 pounds (sources 1,2).
Key Difference Between Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest Cat, And Siberian
The Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest Cat, and Siberian are all often mistaken for one another.
One key difference to help you distinguish these cats from one another is to look at their hind legs.
Both the Maine Coon and the Siberian have shorter hind legs than front legs, while the Norwegian Forest Cat has longer hind legs than the front legs.
Siberian cats have double-layered coats, which is different from the Maine Coon’s coat, which varies in length around the body.
These cats also differ in temperament.
The Siberian is extremely active, while the Maine Coon and the Norwegian Forest Cats are more mellow.
Finally, the Maine Coon is much larger than both Siberian cats and Norwegian Forest Cats.
Both Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cats are quite big, but is a Maine Coon bigger than a Norwegian Forest Cat?
While larger than average Norwegian Forest Cats can be larger than smaller than average Maine Coons, the Maine Coon is the larger breed of the two.
These cats have many other similarities, though, such as their long, thick coats, large paws, and tufted ears.
While the Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat may look alike at first glance, though, the Maine Coon has a more square muzzle, while the Norwegian Forest Cat has longer hind legs.
Norwegian Forest Cat Maine Coon Mix
It’s possible to have a cat that is a mix of a Norwegian Forest Cat and a Maine Coon. These mixes are likely to be playful and have thick, long coats.
Cats Similar To Maine Coons
A cat similar in appearance to the Maine Coon is the Siberian cat, while a cat similar in personality and temperament is the Abyssinian.