There is still some confusion about the difference and breed specific features between the Norwegian Forest Cat, a Siberian, a Maine Coon and a Domestic Longhair. Though we love all of our cats the same, and all of the cats, for that matter,  – the same, we would like to contribute a little to clearing this confusion. Mostly because it is important to see the signs of breed, even in mixes, as it could greatly help with understanding your cat’s behavior.

We will use the latest pictures of our handsome boy Nine to illustrate some Norwegian Forest Cat breed specific features to help you with defining the differences between Domestic Longhair, Norwegian Forest Cat, Maine Coon and Siberian breeds of cats.

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In defining Nine’s breed, we could only rely on our research and extensive experience of raising all of the breeds, our vet’s expertise and also the unfortunate sighting of his Dad and little sister killed on the Highway, within the short distance of our village. (You can read the full story about how we got Nine (Ni Lille Mann Monark Undre Stovier) here: Three Catooges). Where Nine is a very good model for exploring the Norwegian Forest Cat breed specific features, he is still not pedigreed, and there is a possibility of a mix. However, he does posses enough of the characteristics for us to make our little contribution to the topic and, if all else fails, to showcase the most adorable Canadian miracle stray kitten. Enjoy! Please, remember to share your thoughts with us in the comments below.


Here is Nine lazying out the extreme cold spell we had at the end of December. Even though it did not really prevent him from having some fun outside (see the video Canadian Kittens Are Tough!), he was more true to the cat’s natural drive to seek comfort, warmth and quiet environment for the mandatory naps. In this picture he generously allows us to admire his heavily furnished ears, one of the most definitive features of a Norwegian Forest Cat (also can be found in MC and Siberians, but not in Domestic Long Haired cats).

The Norwegian Forest Cats have pointy ears, which are situated more to the side of the head. Their ears can also have lynx-like tuffs (more commonly seen in Maine Coons, and not in DLH or Siberians)

Norwegian Forest Cat Kitten Nine 6 Months heavy ears furnishings. Cute Canadian Stray Kitten.
Nine 6 Months. Note the heavy hair furnishings in his ears.

Norwegian Forest Cat Kitten Nine 6 months demonstrating the pointy ears with lynx-like tuffs situated more to the side of the head than to the topNine 6 months. Pointy ears with lynx-like tuffs are more to the side of the head than to the top. Compare with the DLH/MC mix (DLH prevails) Sky below:

Domestic Longhair Mix with Maine Coon does not have the same ears as Norwegian Forest Cat They are rounded and set further apart without heavy furnishings

Norwegian Forest Cat kitten Nine six months demonstrating the side position of ears The ears are pointed forward and inwards
Nine’s paws

Also, the ears on a Norwegian Forest Cat are slightly tilted forward and pointing inwards, almost like he is listening to something all the time.


Another incredibly outstanding feature of the Norwegian Forest Cat breed is their coat. Nine is too young yet and found us before his first winter. So, we can only have a slight idea of what his coat will be like when he matures. But he possesses the maximum representation of the breed’s coat expectations:

The coarse and very shiny top coat (guard hairs) that carry the water-repellant qualities. Very thick, dense undercoat (literally impossible to get through to his skin!) The tail looks like it is growing from his bum, it is so wide and fluffy at the base. We are not looking forward to spring, when all this will end up on the carpets and furniture… Oh, well, just have to get the brushes and lint rollers ready:)

Norwegian Forest Cat kitten Nine six months showing off the beautiful shaggy coat and the base of the most luxurious tail any cat can have.
Nine showing off the beautiful shaggy coat and the base of the most luxurious tail any cat can have.
Norwegian Forest Cat kitten Nine six months has the breed specific dense guard fur which makes the coat very glossy
Note the mirror-like reflection on Nine’s back coat. The hairs (outer guard hairs) make this gloss effect because they are very dense, positioned very close to each other.


Oh, the eyes of a Norwegian Forest Cat! It is that type of cat that when you look at her, will make you wait for the cat to start talking human. Beautifully shaped almonds, changing the color in the nice spectrum of bright green and golden hazel. The outer corners are higher than the lower. They are the most expressive eyes you would ever see on a cat.

The head is a perfect triangle, or to be precise – one equilateral triangle (chin to bases of ears on each side) inside another (chin to tops of ears on each side). Found in Norwegian Forest Cats only, this is, arguably, the MOST definitive characteristic of the NFC breed.

Norwegian Forest Cat Kitten Nine six months demonstrating the incredibly beautiful eyes

Norwegian Forest Cat Kitten Nine Distinctive shape of the eyes with perfect straight nose decorating the triangular shape of his head


The Norwegian Forest Cats have a very distinctive and very captivating feature: their paws are very heavily tufted, pretty much leaving no open skin.
Norwegian Forest Cat Kitten heavily tufted paws

Norwegian Forest Cats have heavily tufted paws to help them stay warm in the snow
Nine’s paw

We hope you enjoyed our little illustration tour, and we would love to hear back from you!


It was a nice and lazy Sunday afternoon. Sky was resting on his favorite cat tree, making sure the neighborhood was under good watch. He was so handsome, I had to take some pictures.

I read somewhere that black cats get that red shade to the fur if they spend too much time in the Sun. I have to disagree with that. Sky hates the Sun, and heat, for that matter. Every time we let him out in the enclosure, he makes sure to head for the shade.His favorite spot happens to be by the East side window, which is shaded by the trees most of the time. So, that theory kind of does not work here.

Sky maintains his luxurious coat well, and I partially credit

for such shiny coat.

Sky is Domestic Long Hair cat, and that means that his fur can not be classified as “smoke”, which is the trait of pedigreed Maine Coons. As much as I would like to call this “chocolate smoke”, it is not. And I have no idea where he got this luxurious red tone to his beautiful coat.

Once again, I attribute it to the food I give him, for the fact he hardly ever has hairball problems. Not that they do not exist at all, but way less than you would expect from such long hair kitty. I also do not support bathing cats. So, I brush him regularly.

Here is our King Sky:


Pictures from the first couple of days when Nine found us.

This is the first ever picture I took of Nine. The only way I could see him was with the camera flash. He was completely dehydrated, hungry and on his last breath.
After I fed him and he drank plenty of water, I was able to pick him up and cuddle in the warm towel.
A kitten is a kitten! Once the food and water and cuddles did their magic, Nine started to do what all kittens do – destroy things! On the other hand, he might have been showing his resume… 🙂
I will forever keep this image in my memory. Tiny sweet furball, so wanting to have a home!
Day 2. Must have coffee!
Day 2. Still very shaky, very tired, he never left my side.
First night he became a house cat. Later on he would sleep on my drum set a lot.
After helping us plant trees the whole day, he was exhausted and cuddled up with his panda. Day 4
Day 5. He would not leave my side. I was making some videos, and he supervised me in my office.
Day 7. After the first vet visit. He got a clean bill of health, but was exhausted at the end of the day.
Day 7. After the first vet visit. He got a clean bill of health but was exhausted at the end of the day.
Day 7. After the first vet visit. He got a clean bill of health but was exhausted at the end of the day.
This the apartment number 9 we built for him when we thought we would keep him outdoors.
Day 12. For at least next two weeks this is how he drank out of the fountain. My little dinosaur.
2 weeks in. He is getting fluffier by the minute. He slept a lot at the beginning.
Is this a kitten or a fox?
He discovered TV very soon and was binge watching it. He also likes to chew on the remote.