The Norwegian Forest cat, being a large, semi long-haired feline, strikingly looks like the Maine coon. This is no surprise as the Maine coon is said to be a descendant of Norway’s prized feline. However, they have considerable differences. The dominant one is the shape of their heads. The Maine coon’s head is wedge-shaped, whilst that of the Wegie is triangular, which is unlike other long-haired cat breeds. Its big almond eyes are set at an oblique angle, whilst its ears and paws are tufted, perfect for harsh Scandinavian winters.
The Wegie’s dense, glossy coat that envelopes a strong, durable body comes in various colours and patterns. However, the chocolate, fawn, lilac, Siamese, and cinnamon variety are not recognised by cat breed authorities though. Its double-layered coat serves as its built-in ‘winter attire,’ easily repelling water. Although its coat is so thick that it lends the breed an almost lion-like look, it does not require as much care as other breeds. A twice or thrice weekly combing will be enough. Its bushy tail has a distinct white tip. Its claws are remarkably strong, which gives the Norwegian Forest cat a superior climbing ability due to the excellent grip. It can even scale rocks, just as the legend said.
The Norwegian Forest cat’s size can be compared to that of small dogs, like pugs and Boston terriers. It can weigh from 7 to 16 pounds (even up to 22 pounds for males), and has an expectancy of about 12–16 years. Due to its massive size, it will take about 5 years for the Wegie to mature fully.