Norwegian Forest Cat’s head should be an equilateral triangle (cf. Maine Coon)

According to the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) breed standard for the Norwegian Forest Cat (NFC) the head shape should be an ‘equilateral triangle’ “where all sides are of equal length as measured from the outside of the base of the ear to the point of the chin. The neck is short and heavily muscled.”

NFC (Norwegian Forest Cat) head is an equilateral triangle
NFC (Norwegian Forest Cat) head is an equilateral triangle. Image: MikeB based on a photo of an NFC in the public domain.
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An “equilateral triangle” is, as you might expect, a triangle in which all sides are of equal length. I think it is quite a good description for the head of this cat breed although it does sound a little bit peculiar when you first read it. When you superimpose an inverted equilateral triangle over the face of an NFC, as I have done above, you can see how the description works.

And to me, it highlights an important feature of this cat’s anatomy and a feature which distinguishes it from a similar breed, the Maine Coon. The muzzle (the projecting part of the face including the nose and mouth) of the NFC is triangular or more pointed than the square muzzle of the Maine Coon (see below). It is so important that under their breed standard the CFA disqualifies NFCs with square muzzles 😊.

MC (Maine Coon) square muzzle per CFA breed standard
MC (Maine Coon) square muzzle per CFA breed standard. Image by MikeB based on a photo in the public domain of a European-style MC.

The other main distinguishing feature between the two breeds is that the ears of the NFC are medium to large, rounded at the tip, as opposed to the MC’s ears which are considerably larger with pronounced tufts of fur projecting out of the tip which are described as lynx-tipped ears after the medium-sized wild cat species the lynx.

In harmony with this equilateral triangle description, the “nose profile” of the NFC should be “straight from the brow ridge to the tip of the nose without a break in the line”. I interpret this to mean that in profile the NFC’s nose should be straight leading from the eyes down to the nose leather (the end of the nose).

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