HomeCat BreedsComparing Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest and Siberian Cats


Comparing Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest and Siberian Cats — 91 Comments

  1. Welcome.
    Last summer, we rescued this 1-month-old kitten, who has since grown well, almost 7 kg.
    I think she is a DLH cat with Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat traits.
    What do you think about it?

    • Super-looking cat. For me she looks more like a Siberian. Or the Norwegian Forest cat. But all three are similar. The Maine Coon is slightly different because of more extreme selective breeding. Thanks for sharing. She is a real beauty.

        • Gabor, this cat does not look like the same cat as shown in your previous photo. Definitely a different cat. II agree that this cat does indeed look like a Maine Coon. No lynx tipped ears though but a MC muzzle.

          • And yet she is, on December 2, 2021. A lot has changed in a year. That’s why I can’t decide what type it might be?
            This picture was taken half a year ago.

  2. When I rescued her the organization said she was a Maine Coon mix. What do you think? I think, if anything, she looks like Norwegian Forest Cat.

    • I agree with you. She is quite a close match to the Norwegian Forest Cat. She would pass for one. Both the ears and the muzzle are those of a Norwegian Forest cat and not the Maine Coon. She is very beautiful. She looks distinguished and special. Thank you for showing me your cat.

  3. This is Simba (Simba Baby)…His grandmother was Mocha, a pregnant FIV positive Stray/semi-feral that I took in/was fostering. The finder did not know the parentage of the father/fathers. Mocha had two kittens, named Simba & Nala (later renamed Dorrie/Dorrie Nala) The kittens were born in the spring but the Local no-kill shelters were full all summer long; so, I continued to foster & isolate them until space would be available & they could be tested for FIV (FIV mothered kittens can test false positive up to six months or more…). Although the vets told us the kittens would be fine together for up to six months or so; we discovered Dorrie already had kittens (from her brother Simba sr.) at seven months of age. Only one orange male survived-which was also named Simba (Simba Baby). It was about that time (early fall) when their full coat began growing in, that I realized these were likely Norwegian Forest cats. Mocha & Simba were sheltered & adopted out soon afterwards & Simba Baby was recently rehomed; while I adopted Dorrie-Nala. Please tell me what you think these are. Except for their extensive fur, mocha & especially Dorrie were quite small; while Simba was a bit heavier.

  4. He’res is a picture of Gringo, my new buddy. His mother was a Highland Lynx and the father was a Norwegian forest Cat. I do think he’s got an heritage of his profile fron the mother which give him a Main Coonish look. His tail is shorter than NFC

  5. They were feral kittens from a nearby farm- lived in barn before we adopted them. We allowed them to be indoor/outdoor kitties the first two years, then we moved to a city on busy street, so we kept them inside for 9 months- then outside fore year and half… Now strictly inside as studio, though I’d like to let them out again as spring approaches a maybe sooner, providing they’ll not get lost, and be able to fun way home.

  6. Thanks Michael, we are at studio, 70 % o time after school work- so they get much interaction w people. I have stopped transporting them between home and studio for now since weather is so cold and they do not like the transport. Honestly I think they prefer to be in our laps up front as opposed to in carrier. I feel sad that they are not getting outdoor freedom, but concerned they may get confused or lost in new neighborhood where studio is. At some point I’d like to allow them to go out here.

  7. Olive’s left eye was clawed and he has some scarring. He’s the one who alwas seems to get hurt. My husband made a no pets in house rule when we moved to a new home last September. So these guys were strictly outdoor cats for a year and a half- ( w cat house lined w straw.) now they stay at my art studio indoor only when there. I realize they’re cold weather kitties by their fur and extra fur on foot pads, but the weather has consisted of extreme cold temps here in s.w. PA. Will it confuse them to go between I for ony studio and outdoor only home?

    • Thank you Jaime for showing me your cats. As far as I can tell, judging by appearance, they are not purebred cats but beautiful random bred cats. One is a ginger tabby and the other a brown tabby. They’re both long-haired cats as you say.

      If they were both indoor cats or indoor/outdoor cats before you adopted them then it would be too harsh I would say to make them full-time outdoor cats. It may lead to problems with health issues. But you say that they have been outdoor only cats for one and a half years with no apparent major issues. Were they semi-feral when you adopted them?

      But as I understand it, they can stay in your studio which gives them some indoor protection. I don’t know, though, how much contact you might have with them if they are restricted to your studio for indoor warmth and the outside. Personally, I don’t find the arrangement all that good for various reasons one of which is the cold weather and the other is restrictive contact with humans.

      Nonetheless, I understand completely the rules and they could be made to work provided there is some indoor warm areas to retreat to in the cold weather and a substantial amount of contact between cat and human caretaker.

  8. I suppose I can only load one at time of like to you profile and frontal of both kitties, please bear w me.;) girl kitty is very possessive over her person/ me— and doesn’t appreciatw boy kitty snuggling up to me, she actually my not come to me for a few days and when she was little she would fight boy kitty over this. So cute and so much smaller. Boy kitty has adopted my daughter as his. But girl kitty does not mind cuddling up to her. Boy kitty is like a dog he will wait at the top of drive for me when I get home in eve, he is more vocal and begs to be fed… He trills

  9. Hi Michael, I’m going to upload the photos and follow up w message. This is third try- it seems I get message written, go to upload and there comes a note saying error- page reloaded. We think maybe Siberian?? Barn kitties from Upstate NY. Boy Kitty (Olive) Girl Kitty (Opal). Four years old.

    • Thanks Jaime. If the picture upload fails it is because the image is too large. I mean the file size. Ideally it should be not wider than 700 px with a file size max of 150K. I’ll comment on the photos after upload if that is okay.

  10. Here are some photos of my Lily. Although I see it’s been noted that breeds can’t be ascertained without knowing your cat’s genetic history, I thought this might help some of you who have cats that look similar to my girl. She is 50% Maine Coon and 50% Siberian Forest Cat. I also think she’s one of the most gorgeous cats ever! (Not that I’m biased ;))

    • Hi MK, she is a super looking cat. I love the long dense fur, plumed tail and her feminine looks. She’s gripping with her paw as you take the picture. You were talking to her and she liked it. Nice portrait. She is a brown tabby.

    • He looks super as you say. Very cute and handsome. I am jealous 😉 Yes, he could have NFC in him. It is pretty well impossible to say. He has certain NFC qualities. You could say he has NFC in him. It’ll boost his ego 🙂 and yours..Thanks for visiting and sharing Ashleigh. The name is perfect for him.

        • I’d honestly be surprised if he wasn’t 100% an NFC, actually. He looks spot on!

          I recently had a discussion about this breed and I’ll guess that anyone who doesn’t immediately see the resemblance might be Americans, as I’m told the breed looks different over there. I’m from Norway and your little guy is a perfect match for a native Norwegian Forest Cat 🙂

          I’ll add a picture of my little guy so you can compare ^^

          • Thanks Joachim. Breeders in Russia, Europe and Scandinavian counties breed to slightly different standards or objectives than those in America in my experience. I think the European and Russian Maine Coons are amazing for instance.

  11. So this pic is of Nike, my polydactyl princess. She is a wonderful kitty and was bottle feed. We got her at 5 weeks.

    Super looking cat

    • Shelly, I removed the gif and rotated the image of Nike. Thanks again for showing us your super looking cats.

  12. I have two “Maine Coon mixes” Nike is a polydactyl whose mom and grandma we met, the “daddy” is a giant furry cat who runs around that neighborhood. I was told he was a Maine coon. Nike is two this August and weighs around 11 lbs. She is amazing.
    Sirius is 10 months old, 11 lbs and the shelter had him as a surrender said by the owners to be a dull Maine Coon. They listed him on the website as a mix. I’ve never had a more “dog like” cat. The bridge of his nose throws me though, it’s straight as an arrow. No square to his face, just a wedge shape. He fetches, “sings” (trills) to him self and comes when called, and loves water. He and Nike play in the tub water when I bathe. The photo is Sirius. The vet thinks he is going to get 15 lbs or so.

  13. This is our Odie. We have been trying to figure out what he is, we do know he is not pure bred. We got him as a rescue. He is a 16 pound ball of fluff and love who tolerates my young sons mauling very well. He has to be in the room with the people most of the time. What do you think he is?

    • He is a medium longhaired ginger tabby-and-white random bred cat. That’s the best guess and he is gorgeous. It does not surprise me that he has a great character. Ginger tabbies are like that.

  14. Hi- just adopted a semi/feral polydactyl boy and wondering if he is MC or NFC or bits of both. Booker is skittish & learning to trust but he is already being playful.

  15. If this works the picture is of my cat Roscoe. I think he might be part forest cat. He’s super friendly. Never bites or hisses or growls he’s almost always purring. He also follows me everywhere and loves yarn and bean bags.

  16. Hi Laura, Virgil is indeed an awesome looking cat. I can’t add anything to what you say because it is guesswork at the end of the day. He could well have Siberian cat in him. I have added one of your photos to this comment:

  17. This is my cherished longhaired boy Virgil. he is very cuddly, loyal, dog like and sweet natured. Also extremely intelligent!

    He weighs in at a healthy 15 lbs with just the slightest tummy. His haunches rest slightly higher than his front legs. He is also softspoken with a high pitched voice. The mother came to my home as a stray but she had remarkable features such as a broad body and luxurious long coat with a remakable ruff which was was inherited through her son. I strongly believe she was either full blooded or extremely close and either lost from her home or dumped off to arrive at my home.

    Through research I have found that he very closely resembles a siberian mix, though thought I would inquire as to whether anyone shares this sentiment.




  18. I know my Bella is a random breed. She came from the shelter. Of any of the possible mixes she might have do you think Siberian or NFC? I can’t tell from the shap of her eyes and face. I know it’s not MC. She is 10 years old and is as affectionate and talkative as ever. She weighs 13 pounds. She has long fur that sticks out between her toes on the bottom of her feet. This is fun for me because she really is my big beautiful baby.

  19. Hello,
    This is my male kitten Lino (7 months old, not sure if that’s still a kitten). He is very cute, friendly, gentle and cudling (only when he wants), independent, but in the same time he follows me around and doesn’t like staying alone in the room. Sometimes he reminds me of a dog, I throw some toys and stuff and he grabs it and carries it around in mouth:). He has the most hillarious sleeping poses and he is very active, likes to play and often acts like a little clown:). He is already a great hunter, too. His mother is tabby and this is the 5th time she delivers us kittens, but this is the first time we get such a different and fluffy kitten like Lino. He was the biggest of all kittens and he has a bit square body, slightly lifted up where the tail begins. I was wondering if he has some MC, Persian or Siberian or some other genes. And since I’m far from the expert (I did some internet research and became more confused than before), I would appreciate your help.
    Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Maja, thanks for showing us your handsome cat. He really is beautiful and he has a very nice character. From his appearance I don’t think we can say he has some MC, Persian or Siberian. It is just not possible. Of those three cats his appearance most resembles a Maine Coon. Lino may have some MC in him because this cat breed originates in random bred barn cats from Maine but the genes have spread far and wide in my opinion. Lino is a random bred, tabby and white longhaired cat and a fine one too.

  20. Hi,

    I have 2 kitties, just over a year old – I was told they were Siberian cross… they’re both crazy in different ways and definitely family now!! Babs is skittish and demand strokes, Gus is crazy and chases baubles across my whole house (there’s a pic with him “transporting” one!)

    Babs is the tortie, Gus is the black one 🙂

    • Hi Katy, thanks for sharing. They certainly have the Siberian look. It’s a look I like a lot. You can only guess though if they are a purebred cross because there is no pedigree. I suppose the truth of it is that the more likely explanation is that these gorgeous cats are random bred cats which look like the Siberian cat. But I don’t know.

      • Thanks very much! I’m sure you are probably right about the random bred bit, tho Gus seems to have a lot of the Siberian traits – loves to play with water (including playing out in the rain with no issues!), follows me round like a dog, very biddable too. Babs less so, but she does follow me about and is very vocal! Both have at least 2 coats and massive ruffs! So cute, soooo mental – best thing I ever did was to get them! Pic of Babs after my tuna pasta…

  21. Hi , i adopted this guy a 1 week ago, he is going on 6 months, he already almost same size as my mini poodle, i so love his fur, its like a rabbit soft fur, very long on belly , big paw for his age, big tail, love his face, looks like a lynx face,, could anyone can tell me what he could be ? maybe a mix of race too? thanks for all the help, its well appreciated 🙂

    • This guy is probably a medium-longhaired classic tabby random bred cat. But he may have some purebred pedigree in his history but we don’t know. He looks superb. He looks like a Siberian or Norwegian Forest Cat but without a pedigree you don’t know. By default the answer is that he is a tabby random bred cat until proved otherwise. He is wonderful though. So pleased for you.

    • Thanks for sharing Kate. I believe that there are many purebred cat mixes in the West. What I mean is cats who are one or two removed from purebred (purebred x random bred mix). Your cat may well be one of those. But it is too difficult to distinguish between them when the genetics are masked by random bred genes. Your cat is a random bred in my opinion (unless you are going to tell me otherwise!) but has a beautiful ruff. If anything I’d say there is a hint of Maine Coon there. Beautiful cat.

  22. This is our cat Rocky. The sweetest cat ever, and very dog like. We have never been able to decide if he is a Maine Coon, Siberian or NFC. He is very big, 16 pounds. What do you think?

    • Hi Janet, from appearance, for me, he is much more a Norwegian Forest Cat (NFC) or Siberian than a Maine Coon. On the balance of probabilities I’d favour NFC. And by the way he is fabulous. He has real presence and a kind face. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Dear readers and to those who posted their babies precious photo’s_ Cats come in many forms and the DNA/genes are often difficult if not impossible to trace. I say thank goodness we still have such a magical variety of them to incorporate into our families and to Love.

    Eva say’s_Steve-I believe you have a small Maine Coon litter mixture. Sweet and highly intelligent with a demure expression, long whiskers and large paws for such a little thing.On rare occasions some mixes remain small, so don’t use this as a reliable way to determine their origin. You are blessed. They have an innate tendency to let you spoil them. Keep a close eye on their overall health because cats hide any weakness or illness. It’s a survival instinct derived from their wild ancestors.
    Enjoy, listen to what they are trying to tell you and be their strong advocate.

  24. Hi!

    This is my cat, Koolio. I can’t tell if he’s Norwegian Forest Cat or Maine Coon. I’m thinking MC faces are much more masculine than his, so I’m leaning towards NFC, but I’m unsure. I really think his head is too small in general for him to be a Maine Coon.

    We adopted him when he was a kitten, but the place we adopted him from often has purebreds- I guess there are a lot of bad breeders around here. So it’s possible that he’s full-blood or close to it.

    He’s very big and very, very smart. He opens our doors all the time, so he’s long. Our dogs have tags on their collars that unlock their doggy door so they can go outside and Koolio has figured out that he can only go outside if he follows them out. So he did that a few times, then lost interest. He’s not vocal during the day. But several nights a week, he runs around the house and trills. Boy, does he love to trill. He also trills when he wants me to turn the faucet on so he can drink fresh water and when he can’t open a locked door. His trill and meow are high pitch and sweet-sounding. He comes when called, no matter where he is in the house (which apparently is rare? Both of my cats come when called, so I didn’t know that cats don’t really do that).

    He is beyond affectionate. He is so sweet! He LOVES to cuddle. He just hops on the couch or bed and nudges us until we pet him, then he lays on or up against us and will lay there for hours. Sometimes he’ll sleep the entire night cuddled up to me. He loves to be petted. He sleeps in twisted positions and likes to sit like a human, with his back up against the wall and his legs spread across the floor.

    While he is extremely sweet with us, he likes to show my older cat (who is 17) who is boss.

    As you can tell from the pictures, he has at least 2 coats. I’m not sure how to tell if there is more than two. But his top coat is extremely silky and shiny, and the coat underneath that is really soft and not silky or shiny at all. His tail is extremely fluffy and the texture is alost frizzy looking, bUT very soft. The tips of his ears have some short fur sticking up, but it’s hard to see in pictures. His feet have some short tufts of fur sticking out. His belly is, by far, his fluffiest part. Considering how much fur he has, he really doesn’t shed much.

    He LOVES boxes and bags/suitcases/purses. Don’t leave your bag open at all, he’ll try to get in! He loves flip flops and loves to rub up against them. He’s also a clean-freak. He cleans himself all the time. If you pet him while he’s cleaning himself, he will give you a really dirty look and re-clean the area you just touched. Haha

    He’s quite the scaredy-cat. Any sudden noise or movement will scare him away. He’ll play with strings for a minute or two, but then becomes uninterested. He’ll chase flies and moths all over the house, though. He’s terrified of laser pointers. He also likes to stare at walls and look around, as if something were crawling on the wall and ceiling.

    He’s an amazing cat. Everyone loves him- even the “dog people” who say they “hate cats.”

    • Great comment Kyleigh. I loved reading about your beautiful cat. I think you are correct in leaning towards NFC. His muzzle is more pointed. MC muzzles are very square.

      I have uploaded one of your photos to my comment. He’s a great looking cat and he has a great character too. I envy you.

  25. Hi, this is my cat Minsky. She follows me around in the house and she is very talkative. She loves to look trough the window and to put her paws in the running water. She likes to cuddle and jump and runs to the door when we arrive home, in fact she is very demanding. Right now she is 8 months old and she weights 6 lb. She is 6 months-old in these pictures. I put two because one zooms in her face while the others shows her whole body, including the fluffy tail.

    We tried all sorts of ways to discover her breed (we adopted her), but all people tell us is the generic “domestic long hair”. I’m aware she is probably not pure breed, but because she has the features of a NFC (or MC), I was wondering if you could help us distinguish which one she is more similar to (if any, since I’m not an expert).


    • Hi Poliana. I have to go for the NFC. It is about the head shape primarily. Minsky’s head shape is quite similar to the NFC. The defining characteristics of the Main Coon are the strong, square muzzle and large, lynx tipped ears, whereas the NFC has a more elegant, pointed muzzle and more normal sized ears without exaggerated lynx tips. So she looks more like an NFC and could have some NFC DNA in her. She is lovely looking. She looks like a medium longhaired mackerel tabby and white although I can’t see the pattern well in the photo. Thanks for asking.

  26. This is my little cuddler Sumatra. He is the most affectionate, loving cat that I have ever met! He comes when called (even waiting at the door like a dog), loves to play with the other cats, loves to cuddle and knead, turns into a ragdoll when picked up, and is very demanding when he wants something. He is quite vocal. He requires constant attention and often sulks and has a tendency to stop eating when he gets upset, especially if we are gone long hours. I know he’s not pure bred, but I’m thinking he is part Norwegian Forest Cat. I originally thought he was part Maine Coon, but his face shape seems to match more with a Forest. You can’t see his tail in the picture, but it’s very fluffy, although not as much as the Maine Coons that I have seen. He weighs around 11lbs, which appears to be his max size. His fur is long, dense, super silky, and he leaves matted tufts of fur all over the house. Any thoughts?

  27. Som was supposedly a Norwegian Forest cat, I think she is not pure and has some Thai Cat in there somewhere as she lives in Thailand and has a kink in her tail, not important, she’s family now.

  28. I guess our panleuk survivor Midnight Munchkin Whineybutt has the Norwegian Forest look to her. She has a brown tint to her in most of her photos.

    • In black angus cattle the brown tinge is caused by the animal being low in copper and zinc – most often visible in spring. Copper and zinc can easily become toxic if fed in abundance – a safe way might be to give them seaweed (sushi?) – works for cattle. Maybe fish will work as well, or copper wire/coin in the bottom of a water bowl.

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