The Norwegian Forest Cat (Wegie) is very unique in many ways, but it does have significant similarities to other breeds (most notably the Maine Coon). These similarities can be confusing for those who are not expert cat fanciers or breeders. There are however subtle characteristics that, once learned, can help you to immediately identify a Wegie.
Norwegian Forest Cats are not the only forest-dwelling cat breed in North America. Many people confuse Wegies with Maine Coons. In this guide I’ll give you the secrets to be sure that you are not looking at a mix, a Maine Coon or any other feline lookalike.
First, the Wegie is a large cat. It generally isn’t as massive as the Maine Coon, but its build will be substantially larger than most other common domesticated or feral cats.
Get a comb or brush, and gently apply it to the fur of the cat in a backward motion. The purpose of this is to check the undercoat. Wegies have a second woolly and curly undercoat underneath their waterproof and smooth topcoats. In contrast, Maine Coons will have no such undercoat. Their topcoat will be soft and silky but a bit shaggy.
3. Head Shape
The Norwegian Forest Cat has a slightly triangular face. It will also usually have a larger head size than Maine Coons and most other breeds. The nose should be long, with the cheekbones and the forehead not particularly well-defined. Maine Coons, on the other hand, usually have a square or “wedge” shaped face and a medium size head. Additionally, Maine Coons will almost always have prominent forehead curves and defined cheekbones. Their noses are also substantially shorter.
Wegies have big, strikingly beautiful almond shaped eyes, while a Maine Coon’s eyes generally have more of an oval shape.
5. Legs and Tails
Norwegian Forest Cats have longer hind legs than front legs. In general their legs are longer than Maine Coons, which have medium-sized legs with all four legs about the same length. Wegies also have longer fur on their tails than Maine Coons.
These five characteristics should be enough to help you confirm if a cat is a genuine Wegie, but the only sure way is to check with a reputable Norwegian Forest Cat breeder.