Maine Coon vs Norwegian Forest Cat: Best Comparison

Maine Coon vs Norwegian Forest Cat

Thinking about adding a new feline companion to your family? But not sure if Maine Coon or a Norwegian Forest Cat which one is best for you? Then no need to look further this guide is for you.

Stick with me till the end of the article, and I’ll assure you, you’ll get your answer.

Both cat breeds are known for their beautiful coats, large size, and loving personalities, making them popular choices for cat owners.

Here we’ll compare their history, personality, appearance, care requirements, and common health issues. Whether you’re a seasoned cat owner or a first-time pet parent, this comparison will help you make an informed decision on which breed is the best fit for you and your family. So let’s dive in and take a closer look at the Maine Coon and the Norwegian Forest Cat!

Quick Comparision Table:

Maine CoonNorwegian Forest Cat
HistoryNative to North America, believed to have descended from domestic cats and wild catsNative to Norway, adapted to the cold climate and rough terrain
SizeLarge, males can weigh up to 18 lbs and females up to 16 lbsLarge, males can weigh up to 16 lbs and females up to 12 lbs
CoatLong and thick, with a water-resistant top coat and a soft undercoatLong and thick, with a water-resistant top coat and a dense undercoat
ColorAvailable in a variety of colors and patterns, including solid, tabby, and tortoiseshellAvailable in a variety of colors and patterns, including solid, tabby, and calico
PersonalityAffectionate and playful, known for their dog-like loyalty and intelligenceIndependent and intelligent, known for their athleticism and hunting instincts
Care RequirementsHigh grooming needs, requires regular exercise and mental stimulationModerate grooming needs, enjoys climbing and playing, may need access to a scratching post
Common Health IssuesHip dysplasia, heart conditions, and eye problems such as progressive retinal atrophyHip dysplasia, urinary tract issues, and eye problems such as distichiasis and entropion
Maine Coon vs Norwegian Forest Cat


Norwegian forest cats are large and heavily coated, with strong bones. The chin is strong, and the ear is medium-sized. They have strong bones to resist accidents.

Norwegian Forest Cat Breed
Maine coons cat Breed

While the Maine coon has a rough, two-layered coat known as the ‘gentle giant‘, it means sociable giant. The ear is sharp upwards and quite long compared to Norwegian forest cats.

Below I have shown the differentiation for expressly-

Weight Range

Maine coons are healthy cats and they are generally larger. Males weigh between 10 and 25 lbs, while females are smaller than males and weigh between 8 and 18 lbs.

Norwegian Forest Cats are stronger than Maine Coons, and they are giant cats like Maine Coons too. The males weigh between 13-18 Ibs while the females are between 8-12 Ibs.

Eye Color 

Norwegian Forest cats have beautiful eyes which draw attention. Their eye shape looks similar to that of almonds.

Their eyes might be green, copper, or gold, but if your pet is a white breed, then the eyes are blue.

Maine coons’ eye color differs from gold, orange, green, and orange.


Before choosing your cat, you need to know how much attention they require and the average life expectancy, which is an important fact.

Norwegian Forest Cats are expected to live from 8-14 years while Maine coons live 10-12.5 years. 

Now let’s talk about attention and social importance. Based on the research, we can say that these two breeds need great social attention. So this is included in their needs and you cannot ignore that.


Maine coons have a coat with colors and combinations, and sometimes with stripes and this is a fantastic fact that they have a total of 85 coat colors and color combinations

Maine coons are resilient to cold and they have a thick coat that protects them from cold their paws are also well developed to resist cold. In addition, their glossy coat helps them to repel water and snow.

Norwegian Forest Cats
Norwegian Forest Cat
maine coon
Maine Coon Cat

Now, you might be thinking if Norwegian Forest Cat’s coats can protect them from cold, the answer to your question is right here-

Norwegian forest cats are long and have water-resistant double coats that they take off according to weather conditions. This coating keeps them warm.


Now let us get a clear conception of the two cats’ characteristics and what cat would suit your house.

Does my cat need enough social attention?

Maine coons are playful and intelligent and they want social attention but do not demand it. They can play alone if you can provide them with a suitable environment.

Most Maine coons are happy just because of your presence and they express this by playing by themselves. Thus, they can be termed ‘Lap cats.’

While Norwegian Forest cats are indoor playful cats and a bit more independent than lap cats, you can still expect them to share a loving purr and lay against your hand.

If you are looking for a lap cat or clingy cat, you might go with Maine coons, whereas if you want your cat to be independent and playful, you should choose Norwegian forest cats.

Do You Have Other Pets?

This part of the content is for those who already have a pet. If you already have a pet, you need to know if your chosen cat can get along well with other pets or not.

Other Pet

Many people usually skip this part. As a result, they need separate rooms for the two pets, which is hard for the pet themselves. So now, first, check what pet you have at your home.

Do You Have a Dog?

We generally see cats and dogs fight, but we can say that they get along very well with dogs and other pets when talking about Norwegian Forest cats. They might be termed as the “dog lover’s cat.“

Norwegian Forest cats get better with dogs, in fact even better than other cat breeds. They adapt very well to dogs and other cats in the home.

Maine Coons are giant cats and they are very gentle and sensitive and get on well with dogs and other cats. However, large male Maine Coons might be risky if you have a small dog or a puppy.

Do you have mice or birds at home?

If you think of putting your cat and birds in the same room, you might be wrong. Cats, irrespective of Maine coons or Norwegian Forest, would prey on smaller things like mice or birds.

Bonus tip: Don’t put your cat and birds in the same room. Cats naturally like tom prey and they would not bother you. However, if you can train your cat well, you might see a better view of this thing.

What Breed of Cats Can Be Left Alone?

The Maine Coon is known as the ‘ gentle giant ‘ and is an affectionate, social cat. This breed likes to be alone around the home without supervision. This is one of the reliable breeds of cats that can be left alone at home.

But it is better not to leave your Maine Coon alone at home for more than 12 hours straight. You should have someone to feed them. They do not require any more additional care or extra trouble, which is excellent!

Norwegian Forest Cat in snow

Norwegian Forest cats are a playful and patient breed of cats. They can be left alone at home but not for a long time. It is fine when you leave them at home alone for a short period.

So if you are a working person and you need to stay out for 8-10 hours straight of the day, or there is no one at home to look after the cat for a long time, then I would suggest you purchase a Maine coon as this breed can be left alone at home without any trouble expected.

Potty training: Maine coon vs Norwegian Forest Cat

It is easy to potty train a Maine coon compared to other cat breeds. This is because Maine coons are comparatively more intelligent than other cat breeds and you can potty train a Maine coon with ease.

Guess what more can their intelligence help you with! You can also train your Maine coon to sit and follow your commands as it is easy to prepare a Maine coon.

While Norwegian forest cats are not as intelligent as a Maine coon, they learn by seeing their mother use the litter box or sand. It takes approximately four weeks to train a newborn Norwegian Forest cat.

Indoor vs Outdoor Cat

A Maine coon is both an indoor and outdoor cat. People, however, prefer to keep them indoors. They are also known to house cats. Therefore, there should be adequate facilities for them to play and roam around the house. Avoid locking them in a room while you’re out.

Norwegian Forest cats enjoy the great outdoors. They are treated as outdoor cats mainly. The Norwegian Forest Cat is the right choice for owners who live in a safe area for the cat to roam and play around. They are friendly cats. They can be kept as indoor cats too. 

Can Maine Coons Be Stolen?

The Maine coons are giant cats and as they are a coveted breed, there is a risk of being stolen if they go out alone as they are mainly indoor cats. If they are taken alone, you might use a belt to take them with you. 


Maine coon is a healthy cat breed and large cat breed, but they might face genetic diseases. Therefore, it is essential to know about your cat’s health before making a decision. 

maine coon cat
Maine Coon cats are among the largest domesticated cat breeds. They’re known for their luxurious fur, sweet personality, and distinctive breed markings.

Follow me to the end to know the health risks and choose the right cat.

Both Maine coon and Norwegian forest cats both are likely to have a common disease- hip dysplasia. Though this disease is commonly seen in dogs, large cat breeds also risk this disease.

Are Maine Coons Healthy?

Maine coon is a healthy cats, but they are genetically prone to these three diseases – hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, heart disease, hip dysplasia, and spinal muscular atrophy, which may reduce their life span and also threaten their existence.

Hip Dysplasia

This is a common disease in giant breed cats. Because of having a big figure, there is more stress on the ligaments and muscles. 

Male Maine coons are more likely to suffer from hip dysplasia because they have a comparatively giant figure than females. Norwegian forest cats are also prone to this disease genetically.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

This disease is more threatening than hip dysplasia. It is one of the common forms of heart disease in the Maine coon cat breeds.

Typically middle-aged or old-aged cat breeds suffer from this disease.

The cat with this disease is isolated. According to research, 1 out of 3 cats have heart problems. This disease arises due to family history. 

Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

SMA occurs when nerve cells in the lower spinal cord do not develop properly. This is a genetic disorder. This disease is detected at 3-4 months when cats lose hind leg muscle tone and have trouble walking. 

Do Maine Coons Shed? 

Since they have so much fur, they shed just like other cats. However, since they’re hairy cats, you can expect a bit more shedding. Some Maine coons shed often. To avoid shedding here and there, brush them regularly and avoid feeding them oily foods.

Are Norwegian Forest Cats Healthy?

Norwegian Forest Cat laying down

The Norwegian forest cats and Maine coons have two diseases in common. These are – 

  1. Hip dysplasia 
  2. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy leads to heart failure and threatens the life of a Norwegian forest cat. There are some other diseases too, but in an overall view, Norwegian forest cats are more healthy than the Maine coons.

Do Norwegian Forest Cats Shed?

No, the Norwegian Forest cat is more comfortable to handle than other hairy long-haired breeds. They don’t shed too much. However, it requires some maintenance, like brushing regularly to avoid shedding. They have a semi-long double coat on their body.

Food Habits

Since Maine coons like almost all types of food, including cat food, meat, supplements, and wet foods twice a week in their diet. Give them regular home food sometimes but don’t forget to indulge them in treats occasionally.

While Norwegian forest cats have descended from hunters and they prefer a high-protein meal. This breed of cats are hunters and eat meat exclusively, so you need to check that their food does not exceed 5% carbohydrates.

How Often Should I Feed My Cat?

Maine coons are hungry most of the time, but it is ideal for feeding them 3 ounces of dry food and 9 ounces of wet food per day. Regular-sized Maine coons might eat ½-¾ of dry kibble a day. 

Maine coons are hungry most of the time because they are not fed enough and this breed of cat requires larger portions of food than other cat breeds. 

How Often Should I Feed My Cat?

Norwegian Forest cats don’t eat much compared to a Maine coon. However, kittens up to six months of age consume comparatively more than adult cats 3-4 times a day, while adult cats of one year or more intake once or twice a day.

Healthy Diet Tips

Make sure you follow the tips below to keep your cat healthy –

  • Don’t feed the same food every day.
  • Dry food, however, does not meet their demand as wet food does. Provide them with dry food a few times a week.
  • Cats generally eat the grass of wheat, barley, oat, etc. Make sure you provide them with the facility to have grass.
  • Try to feed your cat pumpkin juice with their regular food occasionally. This is good for their health and intestines.
  • Don’t feed your cat too much. That might end up with obesity and laziness of the cat. Feed at the right schedule.
  • Make sure you take your cat to the vet once a year for a health checkup.

Toxic Food for Cats 

  • Raw meat, fish
  • Raw eggs
  • Raw bones
  • Chocolate and caffeinated drinks 
  • Dog food 
  • Milk and dairy products 

Can I Feed My Cat Milk?

No, you cannot feed your cat with dairy products as their intestine cannot process milk or dairy products. This results in them having diarrhea or vomiting.

Can I Feed My Cat Milk?

Cost: Maine Coon vs Norwegian Forest Cat

Maine coons are priced between $400-1600, depending on the age of the Maine coon. If the cat is healthy with a hairy body, it would cost around $1500. The maintenance cost is excluded here.

Norwegian Forest cats tend to cost between $800-1500. However, they are healthy cats and live for approximately 15-16 years.

Check Out Other Cats Comparison Guides

Final Thoughts 

If you have a safe neighborhood for the cat to roam around or want your cat indoors and outdoors, you might choose the Norwegian Forest Cat, which loves to enjoy the outdoors.

While if you want to keep your pet indoors, always choose the Maine coon. Maine coon has a risk of getting stolen if they are let go out alone.

Maine coons are even more significant than the Norwegian Forest cats and if you want a giant cay, go with Maine coons.

Food consumption is also a matter of fact that you have to think about. Maine coons consume more than Norwegian Forest cats. The Norwegian forest cats lived in the wild and were termed feral cats.

I have mentioned all the facts you need to know about to choose your ideal cat, including the prices and features. Know your best cat according to your conditions and facilities.

20 thoughts on “Maine Coon vs Norwegian Forest Cat: Best Comparison”

  1. I had a Maine Coon male cat he was so smart and entertaining, got along with all animals from rabbits, baby chickens, to one day he went nose to nose with a SKUNK oh my! So many great memories! 99% of the time he was an inside cat.

  2. I have a beautiful tortoise shell female Norwegian, she’s already 10 pounds at one year, eats like a horse, loves raw chicken and cooked turkey. She’s very playful, loving and curious. Has beautiful copper eyes and a long tail, I love her!

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  4. Enjoyed article as I recently adopted a 5 yr old polydactyl (13 toes) half Maine coon. Very capable of opening cupboard doors and boxes.He is 18 lbs, loves being with me gardening and comes inside when called.He even enjoys being on the lawn to nibble some rainwashed grass. He does prefer the sliding door left open a bit so he can get back inside quickly as loves SOME rain.He has the big appetite but must present wet food in “licky” bowl to slow him down..

  5. Your article is very interesting. But now I realize I’ve been doing everything wrong for my indoor Maine Coon. He was born in my garage & his mom deserted him. So I raised him from a new
    Born until now. He is 2 years old. I have 2 other indoor male cats. They aren’t Maine coon cats. They all 3 get along great. I’ve been feeding all 3 of my cats the same food & same amount. My Maine Coon weighs about 15 pounds & so do my other 2 furbabies. Am I hurting my Maine Coon by feeding him too much? He had a gum infection & the vet put him on steroids. Now I’m afraid he will get diabetes. I had a cat that got diabetes. I gave him shots, prescription food & increased his life for 4 more years. I don’t want “Rafters” his name to get sick as I love him so much. His vet is sometimes ignorant. Can you suggest anything I can do to keep him healthy? Thank you
    [email protected]

    born until now. He is 2
    years old now.

  6. I, got a six week old kitten from my sister and not until she grew to adulthood did I discover she was a Maine coon or at least a Maine coon mix. I have researched the Maine Coon and she fits the description to a ~T. I could not believe that my Sister was the owner/mother of the Mother Cat that gave birth to a litter of kittens from a feral male Maine Coon cat. My Sisters Mother Cat could even be a Maine Coon without her knowing.

  7. I had a Maine Coon Cat for about ten years. I adopted him from a adoption center in Libertyville IL. They thought he had been a stray. His history was tainted because he’d been returned to the center about 5 times. He wasn’t a particularly nice boy as he would bite. Even though he loved to be petted and rubbed. When he had enough. He’d turn around and bite your hand hard. They put Chester on my should and he wouldn’t come down. He’d just move positions on my neck and shoulders. So he became my cat! They believed he was ten when we adopted us. He was around 20yrs old when he died from kidney disease!

  8. I would like to stress that the so called lion faced Maine Coons you see on Facebook or other media platforms have been recently bred to look like that. A true classic Maine Coon is a large, heavy coated cat with a big head. Most Maine Coons- years ago – had extra toes. Supposedly this helped them walk on the snow. They are very affectionate. They were popular in Northern New England. Many lived on farms. We really didn’t call them Maine Coons. We called them Angoras. Keep in mind, this went back to the fifties and sixties. The story we heard was these cats came off ships and spread throughout New England.

  9. We are enjoying our 13 year old orange colored male maine coon. HE is A MEMBER of our family and our life.
    He is playful, cuddly and gentle with all of us, He is loyal and very intelligent waiting to get permission with a look prior to climbing on the couch or armchair we are sitting on . He loves to watch us at mealtime hoping for a morsel of our food. He loves gardening with our family.

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