The Ultimate Debate on Maine Coon vs Norwegian Forest Cat

How Similar Are These Two Cats?

Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest cats are ones of the largest domestic cats. The Maine Coon cat is slightly larger and has a broad, lion-like face. On the other hand, the Norwegian Forest cat has a triangular face.

Breed History

The Norwegian Forest cat is a Scandinavian breed, brought to Norway by the Vikings around 1000 AD, most likely from the Middle East. The Maine Coon cat is the oldest North American breed, first recognized in Maine.

Face Features

Face features are the thing that truly sets these two breeds apart. The Maine Coon has a square-shaped head and an elongated nose. The Norwegian Forest Cat has a triangular head and a flatter forehead.


The Main Coon cat usually weighs 15 to 25 pounds.  The Norwegian Forest cat is lighter and weighs 12 to 16 pounds.

Coat And Color

The Norwegian Forest cat has a silky outer coat and a wooly undercoat. The Maine Coon has a coat that appears a lot rougher, but it is still very soft to touch.  Both cats come in a large variety of color patterns.


Both these cats are intelligent, and, therefore, easy to train. Still, Maine Coon cats are usually more open to the idea of a harness and they also enjoy playing fetch.

Communication And Affection

The Norwegian Forest cat is quite independent, but still tend to really bond with her owners. Maine Coon is a more playful cat. The Norwegians are more autonomous, while Maine Coons are more demanding, and quite vocal about their needs.


Both cats are prone to heart diseases. Maine Coons are likely to develop hip dysplasia and muscular atrophy.   Norwegian Forest Cats might suffer from diabetes.

Life Expectancy

Maine Coons usually live up to 11 or 12 years on average.  The Norwegian Forest cat is likely to live up longer – up to 14 to 16 years.

Care And Maintenance

Both these cats require regular brushing. Maine Coon cats will be more tolerant of water and can be trained to baths and shampoos, while this will not be so easy with Norwegian Forest cats.


Both breeds thrive in cooler environments. Still, the Maine Coon cat could adapt to hotter and humid climates.