Are Norwegian Forest Cats Bigger Than Maine Coons? Discover the Truth About These Majestic Breeds

Let’s start by getting to know the Norwegian Forest Cat. This breed, also known as the “Wegie,” hails from Norway and has a fascinating history. Legend has it that these cats were companions to Vikings, protecting their homes and ships from rodents during their explorations. With their strong, muscular bodies and thick fur, Norwegian Forest Cats are well-equipped for life in harsh Scandinavian climates.

About Maine Coon Cats

Moving on to the Maine Coon Cat, we find ourselves in the United States. This breed, often referred to as the “gentle giant,” has a captivating history as well. While there are many legends surrounding their origins, one popular theory suggests that Maine Coon Cats are descendants of longhaired cats brought to America by European settlers. They adapted to the harsh New England winters, developing their iconic thick coats and large size.

Distinguishing Features and Physical Characteristics

Norwegian Forest Cats

Norwegian Forest Cats are known for their strong, sturdy bodies. They have a rectangular shape with a broad chest and well-developed muscles. Their legs are long and powerful, allowing them to jump and climb with ease. One of their most striking features is their large, almond-shaped eyes, which come in various colors. Their dense, waterproof fur is another standout characteristic, with a full ruff around their neck and tufts of fur on their ears and paws.

Maine Coon Cats

Maine Coon Cats are equally impressive in terms of physical characteristics. They have a more substantial build compared to Norwegian Forest Cats, with a rectangular body and a broad, muscular chest. Their legs are strong and well-boned, giving them a sturdy appearance. Maine Coon Cats have large, expressive eyes, which can be gold, green, or copper in color. Just like Norwegian Forest Cats, they have long, shaggy fur, with a prominent ruff around their neck and fluffy tufts on their ears and paws.

Origins and History

Norwegian Forest Cats

As mentioned earlier, Norwegian Forest Cats have a rich history intertwined with Norwegian folklore. They were highly valued for their hunting skills and were even believed to have magical powers. In the 20th century, efforts were made to preserve the breed, and they gained recognition internationally for their beauty and charm.

Maine Coon Cats

Maine Coon Cats, on the other hand, have a fascinating history rooted in the United States. They were popular working cats on farms and ships, known for their excellent hunting abilities. While their exact origins remain a mystery, they became a recognized breed in the late 19th century. Today, they are adored for their friendly nature and distinctive looks.

Temperament and Personality

Norwegian Forest Cats

Norwegian Forest Cats have a reputation for being independent yet affectionate. They are known for their intelligence and love exploring their surroundings. Despite their independent nature, they are often described as gentle and friendly, forming strong bonds with their families.

Maine Coon Cats

Maine Coon Cats are renowned for their friendly and sociable personalities. They are often described as “dog-like” due to their loyalty and willingness to interact with their owners. Maine Coons are known to be great with children and other pets, making them an excellent choice for families.

Size and Weight

Norwegian Forest Cats

When it comes to size, Norwegian Forest Cats are no small cats. While they are not as large as Maine Coon Cats, they still have an impressive stature. On average, male Norwegian Forest Cats weigh between 12-16 pounds (5.4-7.2 kilograms), while females weigh around 8-12 pounds (3.6-5.4 kilograms).

Maine Coon Cats

Maine Coon Cats are known for their substantial size. Males can weigh anywhere between 13-18 pounds (5.9-8.2 kilograms) or more, with some exceptional individuals tipping the scale at over 20 pounds (9 kilograms). Female Maine Coon Cats are slightly smaller, weighing between 8-12 pounds (3.6-5.4 kilograms) on average.

Coat and Color Variations

Norwegian Forest Cats

Norwegian Forest Cats have a long, double-layered coat that keeps them warm in colder climates. Their fur is water-resistant, allowing them to withstand wet weather conditions. The breed comes in various colors and patterns, including tabby, tortoiseshell, and solid colors like white, black, and blue.

Maine Coon Cats

Maine Coon Cats also have a long, thick coat, which is designed to protect them from the cold. Their fur is soft and silky, with a water-resistant outer layer. This breed also comes in a wide range of colors and patterns, including tabby, tortoiseshell, and solid colors like white, black, and red.

Care and Grooming

Norwegian Forest Cats

Both Norwegian Forest Cats and Maine Coon Cats require regular grooming to keep their luxurious coats in top condition. Norwegian Forest Cats have a dense undercoat that requires thorough brushing to prevent matting. Occasional bathing may be necessary, especially if they get dirty during their outdoor adventures.

Maine Coon Cats

Maine Coon Cats also have a double-layered coat that needs regular brushing to prevent tangles and mats. They require more frequent grooming during shedding seasons to keep their coat in check. Additionally, routine nail trimming, ear cleaning, and dental care are essential for their overall health.

Health and Potential Issues

Norwegian Forest Cats

Norwegian Forest Cats are generally healthy cats with few breed-specific health issues. However, they can be prone to certain conditions, including hip dysplasia and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (a heart condition). Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial to ensure their well-being.

Maine Coon Cats

Maine Coon Cats are also known for their overall good health. However, they can be predisposed to certain health conditions, including hip dysplasia, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and polycystic kidney disease. Responsible breeders perform health screenings to minimize the risk of these conditions.

Choosing the Right Breed for You

Lifestyle Factors to Consider

When deciding between a Norwegian Forest Cat and a Maine Coon Cat, it’s essential to consider your lifestyle. Both breeds thrive in homes with ample space for them to explore and play. If you live in a small apartment, you may need to provide them with plenty of vertical spaces and interactive toys to keep them mentally stimulated.

Comparing your Preferences

Ultimately, the choice between a Norwegian Forest Cat and a Maine Coon Cat comes down to individual preferences. Consider their size, grooming needs, and temperament traits that align with your lifestyle. It’s also worth noting that both breeds are known for their loving nature and make excellent companions.


In the grand debate of whether Norwegian Forest Cats are bigger than Maine Coon Cats, the answer is clear. While Norwegian Forest Cats are certainly large cats, Maine Coon Cats have the edge when it comes to size. However, both breeds share many similarities, including their stunning looks and affectionate personalities. Whichever breed you choose, you’re sure to have a magnificent feline companion by your side.

ThePetFaq Team