NORWEGIAN FOREST CAT, MAINE COON, SIBERIAN OR A DOMESTIC LONGHAIR?
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.
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)
Nine 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:
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.
COAT AND TAIL
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:)
EYES AND FACE
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.
The Norwegian Forest Cats have a very distinctive and very captivating feature: their paws are very heavily tufted, pretty much leaving no open skin.
We hope you enjoyed our little illustration tour, and we would love to hear back from you!