Maine Coon vs Norwegian Forest Cat – Whiskered Wonders

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

maine coon vs norwegian forest cat

Aside from being well-known large cat breeds, Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cats are celebrated for their abundant, lustrous coats, calm dispositions, and affinity for the outdoors.

If you plan to have either of them, determining which breed to choose requires a thorough examination.

In this article, we will examine the comparison between Maine Coon vs Norwegian Forest Cat. And to assist you in your choosing quest, we have compiled a comparison table outlining the key characteristics of both breeds:

Characteristic Maine Coon Norwegian Forest Cat
Size Comparison Large Large
Height 10 to 16 inches tall 9 to 12 inches
Weight 8 to 18 pounds 12 to 16 pounds
Head Square-like (front)

Boxy snout (side view)

Triangular (front)

Flat snout (side view)

Eyes Oval Almond-shape
Coat Long, thick, and shaggy Long, dense, and water-repellent
Temperament Gentle, friendly, and sociable Intelligent, independent, and friendly
Activity Level Highly active Moderately active, but also enjoys a calm environment
Origin New England (United States) Scandinavia (Norway)

NOTE: This is only a general comparison. There are variations within individual cats of each breed, which is why it’s always important to consider specific traits and consult breeders or veterinarians for more detailed information!

Overview of These Two Cat Breeds

Let’s look at the shared origins and similarities between these two remarkable cat breeds: Norwegian forest cat vs Maine coon.

The Majestic Maine Coon


The Maine Coon, a magnificent long-haired feline breed, has a fascinating history that traces back to the United States.

Its origins can be traced back to New England, where the breed first emerged. This cat exhibits a remarkable array of physical characteristics such as a rectangular body shape, robust bone structure, and muscular build.

Despite their size, Maine Coons are gentle giants with an affectionate temperament, making them well-suited for individuals and families.

To know the detailed guide on how to identify a Maine coon kitten, click here!

The Regal Norwegian Forest Cat


The Norwegian Forest Cat, or Norsk Skogkatt as it is known in its native Norway, is another magnificent long-haired breed of felines.

Believed to have originated from the Norwegian forests several centuries ago, this feline has adapted to survive the harsh Scandinavian climate and is often referred to as a forest fairy, fairy cat, or Wegie.

Similar to the Maine Coon, the Wegie is a large breed with a strong and agile body, built for climbing and maneuvering through its natural habitat.

This cat’s luxurious double coat is a standout feature, which helps protect it from the cold and snowy conditions of its native environment.

Often regarded as independent, Wegies tend to be initially cautious around strangers but quickly develop strong bonds with their trusted human companions.

Significant Similarities


The Gentle Giant and Wegies share several significant similarities:

  • Size: Known for their substantial size, these cats are among the largest domesticated cat breeds.
  • Coat: Both have long, dense coats that provide protection against cold weather and require regular grooming to maintain their quality.
  • Nature-inspired Adaptations: Both have developed physical features that help them thrive in their natural environments.
  • Health Considerations: While both breeds are generally healthy, they may be prone to certain genetic conditions such as hip dysplasia. Regular veterinary care and monitoring are important to ensure their well-being.

Distinguishable Differences


Now, let’s explore some of the distinctive physical features that characterize both breeds, highlighting their unique traits and appearances.

1. Feline Size


If you’ve been wondering how big are Norwegian forest cats vs the Maine coon, the latter typically stands between 10 to 16 inches tall, while the average Norwegian Forest Cat size is approximately 9 to 12 inches in height.

In terms of which is bigger, Maine coon vs Norwegian forest cat, the Maine Coon is generally a larger breed.

Male Maine Coons typically weigh between 15-26 lb, while females range from 11-18 lb.

In contrast, Wegies are about two to six pounds lighter. Males weigh approximately 13-20 lb, and females weigh around 9-13 lb.

2. Body

When it comes to their bodies, both the Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat exude a commanding presence with their large and muscular frames.

A Maine Coon’s body is well-proportioned and boasts a rectangular shape. Their legs are thick and robust and equal in length, giving them a balanced appearance.

Wegies exhibit a medium-length square-ish body. They have heavily muscled legs in which their hind legs are slightly higher than their front legs, adding a distinguishing touch to their physique.

3. Head and Face



A Maine Coon face shape displays a medium-width square or rectangle, with a wedge-shaped head, boxy snout, and high cheekbones.

A Norwegian Forest Cat’s face shape presents an equilateral triangular face, Its forehead is flat, and it boasts a flat snout that extends from the top of the head.

4. Eyes


Both the Maine Coon and Wegie captivate with their large and expressive gazes.

  • Maine Coon has alluring wide-set eyes that are oval-shaped. Also, it has a slightly oblique setting that slants towards the outer base of the ear.
  • Norwegian Forest Cat has large and expressive almond-shaped eyes. Moreover, it is set at a slight angle in which the inner corner of their eyes is positioned lower than the outer corner.

5. Ear Tufts


As for their ears, both breeds possess “lynx-like” ear tufts, contributing to their wild and majestic look.

Wegies and Maine Coons both have ears with wide bases, but the Maine Coons’ ears sit higher on the head and often appear pointed. Meanwhile, Wegies’ ears are at a lower angle instead, with rounded tips and a cup-like shape that faces outward.

6. Fur


  • Maine Coon has an uneven length of a heavy and long, silky coat with shaggy fur that drapes longer on the stomach and behind the legs. It’s also known for its ruff of hair around the neck!
  • Norwegian Forest Cat has a thick and long double coat consisting of a water-shedding, glossy topcoat and a wooly undercoat. The bushy tail is also its prominent feature, with a pointier tip than a Maine Coon’s tail!

7. Personality

Now, let us examine the temperament and personality of each of these charismatic felines.

  • A Maine Coon is known for its social and outgoing personality, enjoying the company of humans and other animals. They also exhibit high intelligence and curiosity, eagerly exploring their surroundings.
  • Wegies tend to be more independent and reserved, forming strong bonds with their owners over time. They are excellent climbers and hunters, displaying a playful and agile demeanor.

But, just like humans, each of our feline pals has distinct characteristics, regardless of whether they belong to the same breed or not. Each of them is unique and charming in their own way, and that does not make them less of a cat!

8. Lifespan

  • Maine Coons tend to live around 9-13 years.
  • Norwegian Forest Cats have a longevity range of 8-14 years.

9. Pros and Cons

The pros: Both have a social and gentle side to them. And most often, they get along well with people and other pets.

The cons: Both breeds require weekly coat brushing. They also don’t do well when left alone for long periods.

However, if you’re looking for the more technical-ish pros and cons, let’s proceed to how each breed costs.

10. Cost

The following table provides a brief overview of the estimated costs associated with each cat:

Breed Prevalence Overall Grooming and Basic Needs Price

Maine Coon

Common High Kitten (purebred) $1000-2000
Senior Cat $600
Rescue Cat $100-400

Norwegian Forest Cat


(outside Norway)
High Kitten (purebred) $400-2000
Senior Cat $500 or lower
Rescue Cat $50-300

Remember, these are only estimated prices for each, and the currency conversion may vary depending on which country you live in.

Which is Better?

Determining which breed is better comes down to your lifestyle and personal preferences. If you’re considering the prevalence and cost of each breed:

  • Maine Coons tend to be more widely available and popular, making them easier to find and potentially more affordable!
  • Wegies may come with a higher price tag, but that is due to their lower prevalence in certain countries!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are Norwegian Forest Cats so large?

The impressive size of Wegies can be attributed to their natural adaptation to the harsh Scandinavian climate and environment, which resulted in the development of a robust build and long, thick coats (see Bergmann’s rule).

What is the weight of the largest Norwegian forest cat?

The males are typically larger than their female counterparts. The males weigh around 8-20 lbs. Their height may reach a foot taller than the average 10 inches, and measure 36 inches in length (that’s a huge Norwegian forest cat!)

Are Maine Coons related to Norwegian forest cats?

Maybe. Norwegian forest cats are thought to be the ancestor of Maine Coons, though this is just a theory based on their similarities.

What 2 breeds make a Maine Coon?

Two Maine Coons mating with each other would make a Maine Coon. However, if we’re talking about origin, the specific combination of breeds that led to the creation of the Maine Coon is not definitively known.

What will happen if a Maine coon and a Norwegian forest cat mix?

A Maine Coon Norwegian forest cat mix would give birth to a hybrid offspring, inheriting the traits from both parent breeds.

Are there other cats that look like Maine coons?

The Wegie is one cat similar to Maine Coon! Aside from that, there is also the Siberian cat, the Somali, and the Ragamuffin. There are lots of maine coon similar breeds, which you can look up on the Internet!

Do Norwegian forest cats like to be held?

Although they may have a gentle temperament, they prefer not to be held all the time. This is quite typical of cats and isn’t exclusive to Wegies.


In the end, both breeds offer their own brand of charm and beauty! And if you’re still in doubt, you may want to check out some forums and adorable pictures of Norwegian forest cats and Maine coons across the cyber-world!

Needless to say, in choosing between Maine Coon vs Norwegian Forest Cat, it is essential to consider factors such as size, personality, grooming needs, lifestyle, and preferences.

With proper care and love, your feline pal will undoubtedly bring joy and companionship to your life for many years to come!

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