Blending the fluffy Norwegian Forest with a Maine Coon seems like almost blending like to like. The history of the Norwegian Forest Cat (NFC) sets him apart from most breeds. When we cross the Maine Coon with this ancient breed, each parent’s heritable traits are similar enough to make predictions about their kittens.
These two affectionate breeds create a sensitive, loving mix that will be perfect for a family with gentle children and predictable routines.
The kittens born from the Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat, or “Wegie,” as fanciers call them, will exhibit traits from both breeds, which are already similar in type. Because this cross produces a hybrid and not a purebred cat, individuals from the same litter will resemble each parent in varying degrees. Each kitten will be a unique individual, but there are some common traits to count on.
Norwegian Forest Cat
The Norwegian Forest Cat is an ancient breed from Norway, featured in folk tales and mythology throughout the centuries. This breed likely accompanied Viking explorers around the time of Leif Erickson to the New World and acted as rodent exterminators on the ship.
In Norway, before World War II, Norwegian farmers had begun to realize that the breed was in danger of being lost. Hybridization with free-roaming domestic shorthairs nearly eliminated the centuries-old breed. World War II put efforts to save the breed on hold, but soon after the war ended, the efforts to save the skogkatt, called by this name in Norway, started anew. Efforts were successful, and the late king Olaf declared them the official breed of Norway. Fanciers brought the breed back to the United States in 1979.
Maine Coon Cats
The Maine Coon is Maine’s official state cat. These sizable cats are considered America’s first indigenous feline, with adult males sometimes approaching twenty pounds. The Maine Coon’s lustrous coat has natural oils to shed water in bad weather. He even has fur between his toes like snowshoes to handle Maine’s extreme climate. Maine Coon may have a range of coat colors, but the Himalayan pattern that gives the Himalayan and Siamese breed their distinctive lighter body with darker extremities is not allowed.
Several theories abound about the history of the Maine Coone. One legend suggests the Maine Coon originated from a cross of the domestic cat with wild raccoons. While Maine Coons may have resembled actual raccoons with their imposing body and ample tail, this cross is impossible. Cats and raccoons aren’t even in the same family. The Maine Coon’s size, tufted ears, and snowshoe paws also encouraged a theory that Maine Coon came from the earliest domestic cats brought to the New World by settlers interbreeding with wild Bobcats. Modern science shows us that this isn’t genetically likely.
Another Maine Coon origin story is that a scheme to shuttle Marie Antoinette to Maine for safety during the French Revolution went wrong. Although she was captured, her cats were already on board the escape ship and made the trip without her and were part of the new breed. Other legends suggest Viking origin. The most likely history is that longhaired cats brought by traders and travelers from overseas interbred with shorthaired cats that were already surviving with their families in Maine’s challenging climate. Survival of the fittest brought us this gentle giant.
Maine Coon Norwegian Forest Cat Mix
The NFC and the Maine Coon share some developmental and personality traits. Both are slow-maturing breeds. Their kittens will take up to three years to fully mature. The NFC Maine Coon mix will be a heavy-boned cat, wide-bodied with large, tufted paws. Although their body and coat types are similar. Both the Norwegian Forest Cat and Maine Coon’s coats evolved to protect them from the harsh climates. This blend has a double coat with a dense undercoat covered by smooth, silky, water-resistant guard hairs.
Maine Coon Wegie mix cats will be sweetly affectionate. They may not be the cuddliest of cats, but they enjoy being near you. Gently playful, they enjoy the company of their family. Your blend may be a little shy when first introduced to his new home and family, but he will soon settle in if treated with kindness and allowed to warm up at his own pace.
Size & Appearance
Maine Coon Cats and Norwegian Forest Cats are larger than average, so a blend may be a giant. This blend produces a smoothly built, athletic cat. The Maine Coon NFC blend’s almond-shaped eyes give them a sweet expression, and their slightly curved profile ends in a dignified nose. Their strongly built necks carry a heavy ruff. They are heavy-boned, and strong legs support their body. Blended kittens’ hind legs sport fluffy britches, and their large paws are tufted. Their tail will form a full plume.
Coat & Colors
Because both Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cats have a wide range of potential colors and patterns, your blended kitten’s hue will depend on that side of the family for his color. Norwegian Forest Cats come in a rainbow of colors. The breed standard states they may be white, black, blue, red, cream, chinchilla silver, shaded silver, chinchilla golden, shaded golden, shell cameo, shaded cameo, shell tortoiseshell, shaded tortoiseshell, black smoke, blue smoke, cream smoke, cameo smoke, smoke tortoiseshell, blue-cream smoke. The coat patterns, including tabbies, suit any preference.
The Norwegian Forest Cat and the Maine Coon both have long, beautiful coats, double coats to protect them from the weather. Consequently, your blended kitten’s coat will have an undercoat. His coat will probably be easy to care for, even though he’s a longhaired cat. Combing him out a couple of times per week should keep mats away.
If your Maine Coon Wegie mix kitten has a Wegie-style coat, he may “molt” once a year. Norwegian Forest Cats lose their winter coats as if they were removing an overcoat. Although their coats are lighter in the summer than in winter, they come back thicker each year. Their coat will mat if neglected, but they require less grooming than most other longhaired cats.
These weather-resistant-style coats are easy to care for, and you’ll usually only need to brush them twice a week. Grooming with a slicker brush should do the trick to keep their coat healthy and mat-free. You may have to experiment as your kitten grows to adulthood, but with a wide-toothed comb for mats and this basic slicker, you should be able to address their grooming needs.
If the Norwegian Forest Cat side of your blended kitten is dominant, provide a safe space for your kitten to climb. NFCs love being up high and watching the world from this point of view. Be sure your cat trees are sturdy enough to accommodate their potential size and weight. Maine Coons generally don’t climb as much as other cats, so get to know your kitten’s unique personality to see which side he favors.
Before your kitten comes home, prepare your home for him. Choose an area for his food and water that’s easy to clean and away from his litterbox. Everyday household items may pose a hazard to your curious companion, so safely store cleaning products and make sure he can’t access power cords he may try to chew. Providing appropriate cat toys and climbing areas protects your belongings and furniture from damage and keeps your kitten safe.
All breeds need exercise that reflects their instincts, like stalking their prey and stretching as they scratch their claws. Behaviors like this are natural, even though modern felines are far removed from the wild. Cats need outlets for these instinctive behaviors to keep their bodies in motion and their minds active. Obesity causes many health problems, and Norwegian Forest Cats and Maine Coons aren’t always the most active. Find toys your blend can “hunt” and chase to keep them healthy and entertained.
Your Maine Coon Norwegian Forest Cat blend is happy to be a homebody but requires daily exercise. If your kitten is a climber in true NFC style, he’ll appreciate the tallest, sturdiest cat tree you can locate. Offer a variety of toys, and remember, toys can include items like tunnels and exercise wheels. Both of these breeds can learn to fetch, so give it a try with your blend. Not only will he get some exercise, but the two of you will have some fun.
Maine Coons are very people-oriented, and Norwegian Forest Cats enjoy human interaction, too, but the Wegie is a bit more reserved. This mix of personality types means you’ll have to get to know your blended kitten to see how he chooses to interact with you. Maine Coon Wegie mixes will likely be trainable cats and may enjoy playing fetch with you. Positive reinforcement with a judicious use of treats is best for this gentle blend.
The first thing to teach your kitten is where to find the litter box. Use your cat’s instincts to guide positive behavior in your home. Kittens and adult cats should be introduced to other family pets calmly to encourage calm curiosity between them and the old pets and people. Your Maine Coon NFC mix could inherit the Forest Cat climbing ability, so provide a scratching tower or other toy to channel his climbing in a non-destructive way.
Common Training For Cats
- Use the scratching post or cat tree only.
- Keep claws retracted when playing with people.
- Eliminate only in the litter box.
- Biting is for toys only.
- Games and tricks
- Standard commands like sit, stay, roll over, jump, high-five, play a game, time to eat, come here, etc.
- Familiarity with the grooming process.
- Familiarity with being bathed.
- Riding calmly in the car.
Your Maine Coon Norwegian Forest Cat mix should be fairly healthy, although you’ll need to watch for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and hip dysplasia because both breeds are predisposed. NFCs are also prone to glycogen storage disease type IV. Maine Coons are predisposed to spinal muscular atrophy. Understanding the breed history, personality types, and potential health concerns specific to each parent breed helps you know what to expect and be aware of possible symptoms. If you notice anything out of the ordinary with your blend, call for professional advice from your veterinarian.
Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) causes the heart’s walls to thicken, decreasing the heart’s efficiency. There may be a genetic component to HCM, although the exact cause remains inconclusive. Both Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cats have been identified with this disease. While the prognosis for this disease varies, proper diagnosis and treatment can help.
Some cats with HCM exhibit labored breathing and lethargy from congestive heart failure. Your vet may use an echocardiogram or genetic testing to see if your cat suffers from this condition. Your vet will likely prescribe medication to help your cat live more comfortably. Asymptomatic cats may live for many years, but the disease will continue to progress.
Hip and Joint Dysplasia
Although we are used to hearing about joint dysplasia in canines, it occurs in cats, too. This condition is rare in felines. If a cat inherits a malformed ball and socket joint connecting his femur to his hip, the bones will rub against each other and, over time, cause wear and tear that makes the socket loose and eventually impedes motion and causes severe pain. Some breeds, including the Maine Coon, have a higher incidence of hip dysplasia than others. Symptomatic individuals should not be bred, but other factors can help reduce the incidence and severity of symptoms.
Encourage your cat to be active and be sure to keep him from becoming too heavy. Obesity contributes to excessive wear and tear on the joints. If he becomes symptomatic, your veterinarian may recommend glucosamine and chondroitin supplements or anti-inflammatories to alleviate pain. Surgical options may be the best route in severe cases.
Glycogen Storage Disease Type IV
This simple recessive inherited abnormality of Norwegian Forest Cats manifests in two possible ways. Glycogen Storage Disease Type IV may cause stillbirth or neonatal death, but the more devastating form doesn’t appear until the affected kitten is about five months old. Thankfully, this form is rare. A kitten will deteriorate so far he can’t use his limbs within three months or die suddenly of heart failure. A genetic test is available to diagnose affected kittens and detect carrier cats.
Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Although Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is neither painful nor fatal, it disables the affected cat. This genetic disorder causes muscle weakness in the spine. Affected cats lose their ability to jump properly generally by the time they are six months old. Because it is a painless disorder, cats can live with it, but they must receive special care. For safety’s sake, they need to stay indoors and have all of their food, water, litterbox, and bedding on one level.
Because your blend may be more prone to obesity, it’s best not to feed free-choice dry kibble. Wet cat food contains more moisture than kibble and can even reduce the frequency of urinary tract infections as it helps you monitor their caloric intake. The moisture in canned food makes him feel fuller on fewer calories if you are trying to keep him from gaining excess weight.
Your cat food should meet AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) standards as a complete and balanced diet for your feline. The feline diet in the wild consists primarily of animal meat. Their diet should reflect what they evolved to eat. Read the label on the formula you choose and look for meat, meat by-products, or seafood among the first few ingredients. This suggests the food probably contains enough animal-source ingredients to supply essential amino acids and fatty acids without additional supplements.
Breeders & Kitten Costs
Because your blend is not purebred, you can expect the price to be much less than the cost of either purebred parent. As a kitten, this Maine Coon Norwegian Forest Cat blend may bring from $100 to $400. Purebreds command a premium, so this blend may be from an accidental litter or a backyard breeder. Be wary of anyone selling kittens who won’t answer your questions or seems to produce many litters each year.
Be sure you’ve prepared before bringing your kitten home. Have a litter box and the food you plan to feed waiting. You may wish to have a bed, a crate for transport, some toys, and grooming tools. If you haven’t established a relationship with a local veterinarian, locate one for your kitten’s first vaccinations and a general wellness check. Expect to spend up to $500 for your kitten and supplies from the pet store.
There may not be many breeders advertising these mixed kittens, but you can check with local online resources. If you have Maine Coon or Norwegian Forest Cat breeders in your area, they may be able to help you find a kitten. You may also check with your local veterinarian and local rescue and shelter pages regularly.
Rescues & Shelters
You’ll probably find several available kittens with long hair when you visit a shelter. Finding one known to be a Maine Coon Wegie mix may be a challenge. Both parent breeds are expensive to purchase, so breeders will try to limit accidental litters. Depending on your needs, you may find a kitten with the look and temperament to make you happy at the shelter. The Humane Society of the United States, your local shelter, and your veterinarian are reliable resources for finding reputable shelters and rescue groups.
Check your local shelters and rescue groups in late Spring and early Summer if you’re in the market for a kitten. They’ll likely have a vast array. If you are willing to adopt an older cat, you’ll be able to see the adult and interact with them one on one. There are many advantages to adopting a mature cat. Most kittens are playful but settle as they approach adulthood. When you meet an adult cat, what you see is what you get. You’ll have a much more unambiguous indication of the personality you’ll be living with for the rest of their life.
Purebred or mixed breed, your kitten will bring you years of love. The best way to love her back is with regular veterinary care, proper nutrition, and a healthy, attentive environment. Depending on which side he takes after, your Maine Coon Norwegian Forest Cat mix may spend just as much time on the couch next to you as climbing to the top of the refrigerator. Be sure to provide your kitten with proper places to climb. You’ll need to monitor his weight to keep him trim and healthy.
Play with your cat to provide exercise and strengthen your bond. This slow-maturing longhaired mix will hopefully live to his mid-teens. Your kitten being a mixed breed adds to the mystery of how he will grow and what his adult personality will be. Your blend won’t be fully mature until he’s three or four years old, so feed him carefully and consult your veterinarian about his diet at each life stage. If you’re looking for a gentle giant to grace the space by your side on the sofa, a Maine Coon Norwegian Forest Cat blend is the perfect fit.