Maine Coon VS Norwegian Forest Cat : What Are The Differences?

Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cats in the eyes of the novice seem totally the same. 

Most get very confused since they are alike at first glance. Both arelarge breeds. Both have long silky coats. Both are well known for being outgoing and friendly.

Certainly, both breeds are wonders of nature. And, as hard pressing it is to distinguish a Maine Coon from a Norwegian Forest Cat, some differences set them apart.

If you are picking between these two plus-sized breeds and are having a hard time because they just appear to be very similar, read on to find out their dissimilarities. 

From there, you will have several factors to compare and contrast the two of the fluffiest cat breeds there was.

What do Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cats Have in Common?

Before we proceed with the distinctions of the two furballs, let’s first pay attention to the factors that make people think they are the same.

Many believe that Maine Coons are descendants of Norwegian Forest cats. However, this is only based on the fact that they both grow to a large size as breed and have long and thick silky coats. 

These coats are meant to keep them warm during harsh winters.

Both Coons and Wegies are social and friendly. They show great loyalty and they enjoy being around people especially around loving families.

The two are equally intelligent but, as mentioned, no matter how similar they seem to be, they are still two different breeds.

What Are the Differences?

In an overview, here is how you can differentiate the two based on their appearance.

Feature

Maine Coon

Norwegian Forest Cat

At first glance

Tough cat breed that can


withstand harsh winter


climates. Originated in Maine.

Huge and sturdy, muscular cat


breed. Females are smaller.


Males are big and grand.


Originated in Northern Europe.

Size

Large

Large

Length

19-40 inches

40-48 inches

Height

8-16 inches

9-11 inches

Weight

8-25 lbs

8-20 lbs

Head Shape

Wedge-shaped head with a square muzzle


High cheekbones


Medium width slightly longer face


Equilateral triangle head shape


Flat forehead

Nose Shape

Gently curving nose

Straight nose from brow ridge to


nose tip


Without a break

Eye Shape

Large


Expressive


Wide-set eyes


Opened oval shape


Slightly oblique setting


Slanting towards the outer base


of the ear

Large


Expressive


Almond-shaped eyes


Eyes set at a slight angle – the


inner corner is lower than the


outer corner

Muzzle / Chin

Medium


Visibly square


Strong chin


Well proportioned



Gently rounded


Firm chin


Whisker pads are not


pronounced nor pinched


Neck

Medium

Short

Ears


Lynx like’ ear tufts


Ears taper appearing pointed


Large ears are wide at the base


Approximately one ear’s width


apart and set high on the head




Lynx like ear tufts'


Medium-large ears with a broad base


Rounded at tip


Heavily furnished


Set on side of head cup pointing


slightly outwards


Coat


The thick, smooth, long shaggy coat


Fluffy fur


Uneven lengths of long hair –


hair longer on stomach and


britches, and short on shoulders


Ruff of hair around the neck


Short undercoat



Distinctive double coat


Silky Coat


Fluffy fur


Even long hair


No ruff of hair on the neck


Water-shedding hair


Wooly undercoat


Glossy topcoat


Tail

A long thick bushy tail that


tapers


The fur is long and flowing

Long bushy tail with long


sweeping hair laying in one direction



The base of the tail is brooded


Body Shape

A long body that is well


proportioned, and looks rectangular



Broad chested


Muscular



Males usually bigger than


females

Medium length body looks


square


Muscular


Substantial bone structure


Considerable girth, with a broad chest


Legs & Feet

Large round paws with tufts of hair


4 toes at the back, 5 toes at the front


Legs wide-set, substantial,


medium length



Straight forelegs

Medium legs with front legs


shorter than hind legs


Substantial lower legs


Firm large round paws, with


heavy tufting between toes

Growth

Slow growing cat breed,


reaching full size between 3-5 years

Slow growing cat breed,


reaching full size at 5 years

Personality

Physically they look pretty much the same, but a closer look at their personality tells otherwise. 

Both are active and busy cats. That means, if you take home either one of them, you need to have plenty of suitable entertainment. Keep in mind that Wegies have strong claws and they love climbing.

Both Wegie and Coons are intelligent and highly trainable. 

Main are particularly happy to walk on leash and play fetch like dogs. Coons like to chat and are very vocal while Wegies are quiet but may sometimes purr loudly. Both are potentially affectionate.

Life Expectancy

Lifespan figures for every cat breed aren’t always accurate. Basically, they are always dependent on how you take care of them. 

However, based on a study conducted by researchers in Sweden Maine Coons have an 80% chance of living up to 5 years and 41% of living up to 12 years.

Norwegian Forest Cats, on the other hand, are studied to have a 91% chance of making it to the 5th year and 62% of reaching 12.5 years.

Caring

The needs of both cats are almost similar, considering they both have the same type of fur and coat. 

Brushing twice a week with a well-made slicker brush is enough. If you aren’t too busy, you can do that at least once a day, to keep them from getting hairballs.

Feeding

Both Wegies and Coons need a diet that is rich in animal sources of fats and proteins. But, be sure to keep an eye on their weight. 

Since both are particularly large breeds, overweight may cause them to strain on their joints that can develop into hip dysplasia.

Conclusion

Coonie or Wegie, which is the better pet? 

If you are looking to pet a big cat, both can pass. Their muscular body covered in fluff is unlike any other breeds. If this is the feature you like in a cat, then it is unlikely that another cat breed can compare. 

However, in terms of good health and life expectancy, that of the Norwegian Forest Cat’s makes them unrivaled.

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