Maine Coon Vs Norwegian Forest Cat

Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest are both large and long-haired household cats. It’s easy to confuse these similar felines. Maine Coon can grow to their full size as soon as 3 years old and Norwegian are fully grown until around sometimes 5 years old due to their enormous size. Both cats have distinct tufts of fur on their ears. They also have long hair between the toes on their feet. 
Both cats are outgoing and friendly, but the Maine Coon is much more easy to train than Norwegian Forest. Both long-haired cats have similar grooming requirements, but Maine Coon requires more attention than Norwegian Forest. Maine Coon are well-known for their intelligence and ability to learn things more rapidly. Today in this article, we will discuss all the differences between Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest.

Maine Coon vs Norwegian Forest Cat

Aside from being well-known cats, Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest are celebrated for their abundant, lustrous coats, intelligence, laid-back dispositions and affinity for the outdoors. Without knowledge of the breeds you could easily be confused. Here are some of the most distinctive difference between Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest:

Characteristic Maine CoonNorwegian Forest
Origin Maine (United States)Scandinavia (Norway)
Heigh 10-16 inches9-12 inches
Weight 9-18 pounds12-16 pounds
Lifespan 13-14 years14-16 years
Coat Long, thick, and shaggyLong, dense, and water-repellent
Head Boxy in shape, with a nose that extends outward from the eyesA flat nose that extends from the crown of the head
Eyes OvalRound 
Body Legs are all the same length, strong and large.Back legs are taller than front legs; they are large and muscular.
Energy Level HighLow 
Grooming NeedsHigh High 
Temperament Intelligent and easily trained, independentEasy to train, intelligent, and curious

Breed History

Let’s study about both breeds to explain the similarities between them.  

History Of Maine Coon

maine coon vs norwegian forest cat

The Maine Coon, a long-haired cat breed, has a fascinating history that traces back to the United States. Maine Coon is originated from the state of Maine in the United States. Maine Coon exhibits a remarkable array of physical characteristics. There are many reasons about how these arrived in the region of Maine. Around the 11th century, the ancestors of Maine Coon lived with the Vikings. 

Despite their size, Maine Coon are gentle giants with an affectionate temperament. The farmers of the state of Maine made Maine coon popular at the close of the 1800s. The Maine Coon was then almost forgotten, it was less popular than Persian or Siamese. In the 1960s, this breed was again popular in the world and recognized by the ACFA in 1967. 

History Of Norwegian Forest 

maine coon vs norwegian forest cat

The Norwegian Forest comes from Scandinavia. The ancestors of the Norwegian were semi-long haired cats from the Middle East. They arrived in Scandinavia around the Middle age. This breed almost disappeared in the 20th century. They made a comeback in the 1960s and were recognized by the Officials Association in the 1970s. 

Norwegian has adapted to survive the harsh Scandinavia and is often referred to as forest cat. Similar to Maine Coon, Norwegian is a large breed with a strong body. Norwegian Forest built for climbing and maneuvering through its natural habitat. They have a luxurious double coat that helps to protect it from the cold and snowy condition. They are renowned for their strong relationship that they make with other people.

Key Differences Between Maine Coon And Norwegian Forest 

Maine Coon Are High-Energy Cats

Maine Coon are known for their high-energy level and loyalty that they show with other peoples. Maine Coon is a great breed for those people who want energetic cats

Harness training takes time and some cats just don’t take to it. We can make some generalizations based on breeds, because every cat has their own unique personality. 

While Norwegian Forest tends to sit at the other end of the energy spectrum and they can be seen as couch potatoes. They prefer a good nap to an intense playing session. All cats do exercise, so you need to entice your Norwegian to get up, exercise and stay fit. 

The main difference between them is that the Norwegian Forest can likely be done after 10 minutes to play or spend more time passively and Maine Coon will play more intensely.  

Norwegian Have Flat Snouts And Triangular Head

The main difference between these breeds is their face and head shapes. Norwegian have a snout that comes down from their head and in Maine Coon snouts curve outwards near their ears. Norwegian have a triangular face shape and Miane Coon has a boxy shaped face. 

Both breeds have big eyes, often with the tuft of furs. Maine Coon have large and slightly oval eyes and Norwegian have large almond shaped eyes. Both breeds have large and wide ears, but in Maine Coon the ears are high on the head and Norwegian ears follow the triangular line of the face.  

Maine Coon Have Varied Fur Length

Both breeds have a semi-long fur. Maine Coon coats grow longer around the mane, stomach and butt areas and Norwegian have coats all over their body. 

Both breeds require daily brushing to keep their fur free from tangling. Once the furs begin to tangle, it will pull painfully against their skin. It’s best to contact a professional cat groomer who can help to remove mats from their hairs. Both breeds have all colors of variety except pointed patterns lilac, cinnamon and fawn. 

They Originate In Different Parts Of The World  

Norwegian is an older breed and originated in Scandinavia. They have thick double coats that help to protect them from the cold and snowy conditions. The Maine Coon originated in Maine (the region of the United States).

How Intelligent And Trainable Are Maine Coon & Norwegian Forest 

Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest both have high levels of intelligence, which makes them easy to train. These breeds are compared to dogs, so you can teach them fun games like fetch, hide and seek or tricks.

How Affectionate Are Maine Coons And Norwegian Forest

maine coon vs norwegian forest cat

Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest are both friendly and affectionate cats, which makes them excellent companions for all families.  

Maine Coon expresses their love more openly, when they hear the key jiggling, they can run to the door to greet you and enjoy curling up in your lap. While Norwegians are not keen on public displays of affection. Norwegian can be independent cats and are not curled. If you can’t offer them attention, then they will leave you and find some other activities to entertain themselves. 

How Active Are Norwegian Forest And Maine Coon

Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest are both playful and active breeds. Maine Coon preserve their playfulness much longer, and Norwegian Forest become lazier as they grow older. 

Keeping them inside is not impossible, because both also love being outdoors. You should need to spend at least half an hour every day. Keeping your kitten physically active, play with them daily. 

Here are few things that might help you to spend time with your kitten:

  • Interactive toys
  • Food puzzles
  • A cat tree or condo
  • Perches
  • Scratching posts with dangling objects
  • Laser pointer
  • Balls and teaser toys  

If you decide to spend time with your kitten outdoors, first of all create a safe space where they can play and explore. Remove sharp objects and poisonous plants from that area. 

Health Issues Of Maine Coon And Norwegian Forest

Both breeds can suffer from a few health conditions. The common health issues that are found in both breeds are given below: 

  • Progressive heart disease
  • Joint problems
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Cardiomyopathy 
  • Liver Issues
  • Kidney Diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Urinary tract Diseases

Both these breeds may suffer from other breed specific diseases: 

Spinal Muscular Atrophy : This is a 
genetic disorder that affect skeletal muscle of 
the limbs and trunks. 
Glycogen storage disease IV : This is 
a condition that affects glucose metabolism
Retinal dysplasia : An eye condition that 
leads to spots on an affected cat’s retinas. 

Cost Of Maine Coon & Norwegian Forest

The following table provides you the brief overview of both breed’s cost: 

CharacteristicMaine CoonNorwegian Forest Cat
Size ComparisonLargeLarge
Height10 to 16 inches tall9 to 12 inches
Weight8 to 18 pounds12 to 16 pounds
HeadSquare-like (front)Boxy snout (side view)Triangular (front)Flat snout (side view)
CoatLong, thick, and shaggyLong, dense, and water-repellent
TemperamentGentle, friendly, and sociableIntelligent, independent, and friendly
Activity LevelHighly activeModerately active, but also enjoys a calm environment
OriginNew England (United States)Scandinavia (Norway)

Grooming Requirement Of Maine Coon & Norwegian Forest

Both dog breeds have semi-long hairs and shed a lot, but both have different fur quality. Norwegian coats don’t mate easily and are easier to maintain than Maine Coon. The grooming requirements for both breeds are given in the below table. 

Grooming StepMaine CoonNorwegian Forest 
Brushing At least three or four times a week, brush their coat. Regular brushing can help to remove loose hair and prevent tangling and matting.To maintain a Norwegian’s coat, brush once a week should suffice. 
Bathing Bath your Maine Coon after 1 month. More often if your cat goes outside and gets dirty. Bathe your Norwegian after every 6 to 8 weeks. It’s important to take your cats to the groomer because their fur is water-resistant.  

Beside brushing and bathing, Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest also needs: 

  • Daily teeth cleaning
  • Occasional nail trimming
  • Regular ear and eye cleaning 
  • cutting off the excess fur on their paws

Dietary Requirements Of Maine Coon & Norwegian Forest

Both breeds have the same dietary needs, but they differ in the portion size. Maine Coon are larger than Norwegian Forests, so they need a higher calorie intake. Both breeds require a high-protein diet which delivers essential fatty acid, antioxidants, amino acid, minerals and vitamins. Cats are obligate carnivores, so they don’t need vegetables, eggs, dairy, fruits, grains and sugar. Such ingredients can only make them fat that can cause digestive problems in cats. 

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting 
  • Flatulence
  • Constipation 
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Allergies 

When you buying a food for your cat, then make sure it contains: 

  • Animal Protein (More than 50%)
  • Animal Fat (About 20%)
  • Carbohydrates (less than 3%)

Key Difference Between Maine Coon & Norwegian Forest 

  • Maine Coon is gentle and Norwegian Forest is active and agile. 
  • Maine Coon are larger than Norwegian Forest Cats. 
  • Norwegian Forest can be more independent than Maine Coon. 
  • Manie Coon is more expensive than Norwegian Forest. 

Key Similarities Between Maine Coon & Norwegian Forest 

  • Long-haired
  • Great for first-time cat owners
  • Both are active and love to play
  • Similar lifespan
  • Intelligence
  • Grooming Requirements
  • Underlying Health
  • Colors


Both breeds are known for their own beauty and personality. Maine Coon first originated in Maine, (the region of the United States) and the Norwegian Forest originated in Scandinavia. The height of the Maine Coon is 10 to 16 inches and the height of Norwegian Forest is 9 to 12 inches. The average weight of Maine Coon is 9 to 18 pounds and Norwegian Forest weighs between 12 to 16 pounds. Norwegian Forests have a larger lifespan than Maine Coon. 
Both have many physical differences, but both are the best household pets. Both cats are loyal, intelligent, affectionate and charming. Both cats don’t need a lot of exercise, just a daily walk of 20 minutes is enough for their healthy life. Both breeds are easy to train. Both are prone to similar health issues such as liver issues, kidney problems, diabetes, hypothyroidism, joint problems, hip dysplasia and progressive heart disease. The Maine Coon cats are much more expensive than Norwegian Forest cats.


The male cats are typically larger than female cats. The average weight of the male Norwegian is 12 to 16 pounds and female Norwegian ranging from 9 to 12 pounds. 

Maybe. Norwegian Forest cats are thought to be the ancestors of Maine Coon. But this is just a theory based on their similarities. 

Maine Coon are known for their playfulness and they tend to preserve much longer, but Norwegian Forests become lazier as they grow older. 

The height of the Norwegian Forest is between 9 to12 inches, while the average height of the Maine Coon is 10 to 16 inches. So the Maine Coon is definitely bigger than the Norwegian Forest cats. 

The Maine Coon is the biggest cat in the world. Their weight is between 9 to 18 pounds and 10 to 16 inches tall at the shoulder. They are known for their long thick fur, which protects them from the cold. 

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