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The Norwegian Forest Cat vs Maine Coon: Differences

The Norwegian Forest Cat vs Maine Coon: Differences

You would be forgiven if you mistakenly mistake a Norwegian Forest Cat for Maine coon, because they look very much alike. They have a fantastic coat that gives both of them a soft look but above all keeps them warm in their freezing natural habitat. They are also two rather large cats, but there are several characteristics that allow the differentiation of these two breeds.

Physical Features Comparison

Norwegian Forest Cat

norwegian forest cat

Ears

Moderately large, broad at the base, well open, and slightly rounded at the ends. Well-spaced, placed on the sides of the head so that the lowest outer corner follows the line from head to chin. Long hairs inside.

Head

Triangular shape, as long as it is wide. Flat front. A straight profile without break. The muzzle follows the line of the head, without a pinch. Medium length nose. Firm chin, square rather than round, never pointed. The first Norwegians had a shorter head and their profile was less straight than today.

Eyes

Large, almond-shaped, placed slightly obliquely. All colors are accepted, but their best colors are green or gold. Blue, copper, and odd eyes are accepted in white cats.

Dress

Double dress. Medium-length coat, very thick, woolly undercoat. The smooth, shiny, oily covering hairs are waterproof. The coat is irregular, shorter on the shoulders, gradually becoming longer on the back and sides. A frill, a ruff, and well-provided panties complete the fur. All colors are recognized except colorpoint, chocolate and lilac, cinnamon, fawn, and the Burmese pattern. Any amount of white is accepted.

Neck

Massive, robust, giving an impression of power. Moderately long with a broad, rounded chest. Heavy bone structure and substantial musculature.

Body

Massive, robust, giving an impression of power. Moderately long with a broad, rounded chest. Heavy bone structure and substantial musculature.

Paws

Moderately long, muscular, straight. The hind legs are longer than the front ones, so the rump is higher than the shoulders. Strong skeleton. Well muscled thighs. Large, round feet with tufts of long hairs between each toe.

Tail

Long, carried high, can touch the neck. Wide at the base, shaggy, tapering at the end.

Maine Coon

Maine Coon cat

Ears

Large, broad at the base, moderately pointed, set high on the head. The interior is well supplied with long and fine hairs, starting horizontally. Desired tufts of lynx hair.

Head

Medium in size, typically wedge-shaped. Slightly rounded forehead. Slight concave curve in profile. High and prominent cheekbones. Square muzzle. Broad nose, sometimes slightly rounded at the end. Chin firm. Powerful jaws, fairly long.

Eyes

Large, wide apart, slightly oval, but appear round when wide open (t). Set slightly obliquely. All of the colors are acceptable.

Dress

Fur suitable for all seasons. Dense, silky, short on the head, shoulders, and legs, longer on the back and sides, with large, well-stocked panties. Long hairs under the belly. The collar is desired. The undercoat is soft, fine, covered with a smooth, waterproof, and slightly oily coat. All colors are allowed, except chocolate, lilac, colorpoint and in addition to cinnamon, and fawn. Any amount of blank accepted. The main categories of colors can be classified as follows: – tabby – unicoloured – tortoise shell – silver – smoke – particolored.

Neck

Long, rectangular, large in size. Substantial framework. Powerful musculature.

Body

Long, rectangular, large in size. Substantial framework. Powerful musculature.

Paws

Medium length, strong. Strong bones and musculature. Large, round feet. Well-supplied interdigital tufts.

Tail

Long, broad at the base, tapering to the tip, with long, profuse, flowing hairs.

Very similar personalities

Both cats are very affectionate in this respect, which is great if they are to be part of a family. That said, Maine coons are extremely intelligent which allows them to be trained easily and they can be taught to wear a harness so they can hang out with you. They are very outgoing by nature and there is nothing they love more than playing with children.

The Norwegian Forest Cat (or Norwegian cat as it is usually called) on the other hand, is very playful and also incredibly cunning. They are autonomous by nature even though they don’t like being alone for long periods.

These cats always want to be busy and for them having nothing to entertain themselves is extremely boring, which is why they don’t like to stay indoors but instead prefer to go outside in the sun to hunt and chase their prey.

Given their intelligence, they must always be entertained with a few games, and why not, you might as well be the one they want to play with!

The Norwegian cat will have no problem sharing Its space with children or other animals, as long as they have the opportunity to get to know each other. They are fantastic pets thanks to their calm and not at all annoying presence in the house.

The Maine coon, on the other hand, is the gentle giant of felines, and as already mentioned, it’s much more intelligent than other breeds. Like the Norwegian cat, the Maine coon does not like being trapped indoors, in fact, It too prefers to spend its time outdoors. However, they are fantastic animals, always playful (even at an older age!) And always close to the people they love.

They are also known for their melodic meows with which they manage to entertain the owners!

The biggest difference is the shape of their head

The biggest difference that can be seen in these two cats is in the head, the Maine coon has a more wedge-shaped head while the Norwegian Forest Cat has a more triangular one with a flat forehead. This difference is easily discernible if the cats are viewed in profile.

The difference in the coat in both breeds

Both have a very soft coat but the Norwegian cat boasts a double coat and, going into the details, we can say that the outer coat in addition to being water-resistant and soft as silk, forms a graceful mane around the cat’s neck!.

For the Maine coon, it tends to be much rougher and above all short, it does not have double hair. The Maine coon has a more tousled coat, around the neck tends to be shorter but tidy at the same time.

The differences in the queue

Both the Maine coon and the Norwegian Forest Cat have fantastic tails which make their appearance unique. They are soft and very hairy, that of the Norwegian cat if measured starting from the shoulder up to the base of the tail can even reach the length of the entire body of the cat.

That of the Maine coon on the other hand, although not as long as that of the Norwegian cat, has a bushy hair at the base.

Final Thoughts

The Norwegian Forest Cat and the Maine coon are not very different from each other, even their personalities are very similar. The only big difference you will find in them is the shape of their head, which is easier to distinguish when viewed in profile.

The Maine coon is considered to be one of the smartest cats in the world and in addition, it can also be trained to wear a harness like a dog. Neither breed is recommended for someone who wants to share their home with a pet considering they both love to be outdoors and would be quite bored if not allowed to explore their surroundings.

Written by Amanda

Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, canine behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..)

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