Maine Coons vs. Norwegian Forest Cats

Do you love cats? Have you ever considered owning a Maine Coon or Norwegian Forest Cat? It’s time for an epic battle. The Maine Coon vs. Norwegian Forest Cat debate has been raging for decades. It is a battle that will likely never end, but we can all agree on one thing: both breeds are stunningly beautiful!

A battle that will determine which animal is the best pet you could ever have and which one will be your favorite. These two breeds are the most popular cat breeds in the United States. They have a lot of common ground, but also many differences that set them apart from each other. Let’s take a look at how they stack up against each other!

The differences between Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest cat

Both breeds have their own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s up to you to decide which one suits your needs best. However, let’s take a look at some differences between these two breeds that may help you make an informed decision when picking out your new pet!


The first difference you’ll notice between Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest cats is their appearance. Maine Coons have longer fur than Norwegian Forest cats. Maine Coons are known for their flattened ears whereas Norwegian Forest cats have pointy ears. The most notable difference is that the Maine Coon has an extra toe on each paw whereas a Norwegian forest cat only has four toes per paw! 

Maine Coons on average weigh more at between 12 – 15 pounds (between 5000g – 6000g). Norwegian Forest Cats usually don’t reach over ten pounds (4000g).  The lifespan of these two types of cats is different as well: Maine Coons live an average of 15 years in captivity but can live up to 20 or more depending on various factors; Norwegian Forest cats only live about 12-14 years on average in captivity, though they can exceed this range if cared for properly.

Maine Coons have a long nose and raccoon-like appearance, whereas Norwegian Forest Cats have a short nose and fox-like face with pointy ears and oval shaped eyes. Norwegian Forest Cats’ tails have an “uber fluffy” appearance which some would say resembles a feather duster or the fluff that comes out of pillows when you plump them up by pulling on one side. Maine Coon’s tails, on the other hand, are generally about medium length and lie straight. Maine Coons also have a thicker coat and may be too warm in the summer months, while Norwegian Forest cats come with an undercoat that lends them more heat during these times of year. A Norway cat’s fur is softer than a Maine Coon’s. It also has a weaker sense of smell compared to its counterpart which can help keep it from getting lost as easily.

Personality & Activity

The differences in the two breeds of cat become more noticeable once they start playing. The typical Maine Coon has an outgoing personality while Norwegian Forest Cats are more introverted by nature. Maine Coons are known for being playful like big cats, while Norwegian Forest Cats prefer to be at a distance from humans or other animals that it doesn’t know well yet. This is one of the most significant differences between these two breeds as far as playfulness goes because Norway’s don’t seem interested in chasing anything around unless it’s an on-going game where they can attack back when someone else tries to attack them first. Some Norwegian Forest Cats can be quite playful as well depending on their upbringing; if they choose to play, it will typically be for a short period of time before they become tired and want to take a nap. Maine Coons are known for how wonderfully playful and energetic they are; they never seem to tire out, and can play as long as you are willing to.

When it comes to activity level, both breeds require attention from their owners every day but Maine Coon will settle down more if left alone outside the house. The Maine Coon cat is often called the “dog in the cat world” because they enjoy being trained to walk on a leash. Norwegian Forest Cats are not always interested in this type of training and can act more independently than Maine Coons, who tend to be more dog-like. 

Maine Coons are known to meow louder than most breeds. On the other hand, Norwegian Forest Cat meowing may not seem as loud but it can still carry a long distance because it has been reported that they have an unusually wide vocal range and frequency span. Maine Coons meow like the domestic cat breeds they’re descended from while Norwegian Forest Cats tend to use a mixture of vocalizations that include growling, purring and even hissing so it’s important to be aware if you have other pets in the house or live near neighbors because these sound can be quite loud!

The difference in their personality could mean different things for you and your family.  Do you prefer a feline who stays in the house, is less than average in size and likes to just cuddle up next to your owner all day long, or do you want something that can keep up with kids playing outside but also wants to be near their humans as much as possible?

Grooming needs

Norwegian Forest Cats need less grooming than Maine Coons. They only need to be groomed once or twice per week, while Maine Coons should be groomed daily, as their coats are thicker and denser than Norwegian Forest Cat.

While brushing out your Maine Coons fur, you may notice a small bump on the cat’s back. These bumps are called “spurts” and can be found along their spine or back legs (specifically above the tail). Spurts will most often show up when they’re startled by something like that time your dad dropped his phone down with an open toilet.

What do they have in common?

The similarities between Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest cats are plentiful. Both breeds come from cold climates, they are both long-haired (can be either short or medium-length), fluffy fur come in a variety of colors and patterns, and are exceptionally intelligent. Other features for both breeds include almond shaped eyes (Maine coons typically being blue), pointed muzzle (muzzle being shorter than other cat breeds) and tufts of fur between their toes as well as those on the tips of their ears.

Which one is better?

Both breeds are extremely cute! They’re both good at catching mice and they could probably win any game of hide-and-seek against other housemates due to their natural stalking skills (we would not risk our own lives testing this theory).

There is no one better than the other because both of them are completely different in many ways. They have different personalities, body types and lifestyles. Both Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cat breeds are awesome pets but have different strengths and weaknesses, so you’ll need to decide which cat is better for your lifestyle.

Which cat is best to own?

Do you love big cats? Then you will want to go with the Maine Coon Cat! They are large, fluffy felines with sweet dispositions. Did someone say “jumping on furniture”? The Maine Coon Cat can do that too. Maine Coons are big and fluffy with bushy tails that they like to keep warm under their paws during winter months. They’re playful and intelligent cats that can be trained to do tricks. 

Norwegian Forest Cats are large, strong felines with long coats of fur coming down from their heads all the way to their toes. They’re generally shy but when they feel comfortable around people, they will play fetch and enjoy being petted while sitting on your lap or shoulder. So if you prefer a quieter life, then maybe try getting an indoor Norwegian Forest Cat, who has a more laid back attitude and tendency to stay indoors rather than roam outside like their American cousin does.

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