Norwegian Forest cats are large, affectionate cats lovingly nicknamed "Wegies" by fans and cat breed lovers. Wegies are famous worldwide and especially loved in their native land of Norway, where these cats go by the name skogkatt.
The Norwegian Forest Cat may look like other semi-longhaired cat breeds such as the Maine Coon or other longhaired cat breeds to those who are unfamiliar and have an inexperienced eye. In fact, there is a significant difference between the Wegies and other longhaired cats. Without a doubt, the Norwegian Forest Cat is stunning and distinctive among pedigreed cats. They are large, have almond-shaped eyes on their oblique set and symmetrical triangle-shaped head. This contributes to the exceptional appearance of this cat breed. If they are viewed from their side, the Norwegian Forest Cat has a straight profile, boasting straight from their brow ridge to the tip of their nose. They have heavily furnished ears that fit into the triangle finish appearance. Norwegian forest cas are thought to be the cats of the Vikings. Its history can be outlined back to Norse lore. It is recognized to bear a striking similarity to a Maine Coon cat.
These cats can make excellent feline companions and are amazingly gentle and calm, considering their huge size. Norwegian Forest cats are loving, laidback and undemanding feline companions. If you can give lots of love and attention to your Norwegian Forest cat, it will make a wonderful family pet.
Despite their huge size, the Norwegian Forest cat is a very calm and affectionate breed with a strong instinct. Their luxurious and lush coat makes them look bigger, and it also served as natural protection when they used to live in the forest.
Remarkably devoted, they love to follow their human companion around the house and hang out with everyone. Norwegian Forest Cats are not too loud or vocal but tend to "talk" to in meows and chirps.
This cat breed is both loving and an independent member of the family who loves attention but does not demand it. This cat breed is best suited to be a playful, indoor cat. Expect your Norwegian Forest cat to share an affectionate purr and presses its head against your hand.
However, if you are looking for a "lap cat", this majestic cat might not be the best choice. This breed prefers to stay close to their human companion, such as on the back of the couch. It's not that the friendly cat won't sit with you, but as a smart, independent cat, they are the ones who decide for how long and how close. Notably, it is common for a Norwegian Forest Cat to select their favourite person in their home.
- Grooming: Twice a Week 6/10
- Shedding: High 2/10
- Hypoallergenic: Low 2/10
- Activity Level: High 10/10
- Playfulness: Medium 6/10
- Friendliness to other pets: High 10/10
- Friendliness to children: High 10/10
- Affection towards it’s owners: Medium 6/10
- Vocality: Low 2/10
- Intelligence: High 10/10
- Independence: High 10/10
In a legend, a cat paves its way in and out of the trees in the forest, appearing and disappearing like magic. Occasionally, all that can be seen is their long, dense furry tail of this magical cat. This magical cat knows what is happening while men do not. She can even identify what is in the heart of a man. This beautiful and majestic cat with its lovely, unusual tail is the Norwegian Forest Cat.
With a legend as lovely as the cat breed itself, the cat breeders in Norway started to develop their magical forest cat into a cat breed that would be recognized for the show bench. The Norwegian Forest Cat was first shown at a cat show in Norway before World War II.
It took some time for the Norwegian Forest Cat to pave its way to the United States, where the Maine Coon, its native forest cat, already held the country spellbound. With a group of cat breeders dedicated to keeping and maintaining the Norwegian Forest Cat in the show hall, this cat breed became well-known in the United States, where it has a dedicated following.
In 1984, The International Cat Association was the first North American registry to grant Championship status to the Norwegian Forest Cat.
Norwegian Forest Cats are large to medium-large size boasting a solid built. They have a medium-long and rectangular body, and their back legs are higher than their forelegs. They are a well-muscled and heavily boned cat breed.
Their hypnotic eyes are expressive, big, wide almond-shaped, and set on a slanted tilt. Their large ears are open and set in line with the triangular shape of their head. They may be well-tufted and have lynx tips. Their long tail is flowing and carried high.
The Norwegian Forest Cat is known for its thick, rich, water-repellent fur with a woolly undercoat covered by its long hairs. A fully coated cat has full ruff and britches. Their coat feels thick, especially on tabbies. Solid, bicolour and tri-colour cats frequently have a softer coat. The length of their coat is semi-long and should not be as long as a Persian coat. It comes in all colours with the exception of the following under the GCCF breed standard: Chocolate, Lilac, Fawn, Siamese and Cinnamon.
Norwegian Forest Cats are known to be gentle and friendly. They are fond of family members but do not demand persistent petting and attention. They are pleased to be in the same room with their human companion and entertain themselves if no one is home. While they appreciate the human company, they can be a bit reserved with guests. Even with family, they are not much of a lap cat. But a good scritch between their ears or under their chin is always welcome. With that, you will be rewarded with a nice head butt or cheek rub. Norwegian Forest cats communicate with typical Scandinavian restraint. Their quiet voice is used only when they need something.
Unexpectedly, this large and agile cat breed is a climber. You will frequently find them at the highest point they can reach in a home, and unlike some cats, they don't have any fears about descending trees or other heights. Thanks to their heritage as a farm and wilderness cat. And because of their waterproof coat, the Wegie like fishing in water for an enjoyable meal.
This cat breed is smart, independent and learns quickly. They love to play and thrives with a loving family that adores them.
It is recommended that you provide your cat with a fitting scratching post. Norwegian Forest Cats prefer scratching post wrapped in sisal rope. They also enjoy climbing, so a scratching post with seats is ideal so they can jump up to it and climb. Their long, muscular hind legs permit them to leap to high places with ease, so do not be surprised to discover them on top of furniture, doors, or other high places in your house. Norwegian Forest Cats enjoy playing with cat toys. They also love catnip and chasing a laser light.
These lively cats enjoy being involved in everything that happens in their environment. Being natural hunters, Norwegian Forest Cats love being permitted to discover and explore the great outdoors. Thus, they are an excellent choice for people who live in a country where it is safe for them to roam outside. They also enjoy climbing up high, and for such large cats, they are amazingly agile and able to leap great heights.
When a Norwegian Forest Cat is adequately socialized and trained during kittenhood, they will grow up to be a well-mannered and well-rounded cat. They are very social, affectionate and get strongly devoted to members of their family.
Wegies are clever and enjoy the love and attention that comes with being clicker-trained and taught tricks. Challenge their brain and keep them interested by teaching them games and tricks. Provide them with puzzle toys and reward them with treats or kibbles when they learn how to manipulate them.
Brush or comb your Norwegian Forest Cat's long coat twice a week. You can use a bristle brush, stainless-steel comb or wire slicker brush. If you encounter any tangles, work it out softly so you do not hurt your cat. A bath is hardly necessary unless they get all muddy and dirty. With your Norwegian Forest's virtually waterproof coat, it can be very tough to get them wet enough for a bath.
Cats must get used to combs and brushes from an early age to avoid matted fur. There's a wide variety of cat combs and brushes available on the market, depending on what works for you and your cat. You can start with a very soft brush that does not pull at fine kitten fur or damage their skin. Each time you have finished brushing, give a small treat. If regular coat care does not cause any issues or problems for you or your cat, you can try more effective combs and brushes when they reach adult age.
Daily dental hygiene is still best, but weekly brushing is considered okay. Brush their teeth to prevent periodontal disease. Trim their nails twice a month or when needed. For their eyes, wipe their corners with a soft, damp cloth to eliminate any eye discharge. Make sure to use a separate part of the damp cloth for each eye to avoid the risk of spreading any eye infection.
Check the ears weekly. If their ears look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball or soft damp cloth moistened with a vet-approved ear cleaner. If the ear has a foul odour, it is best to contact your vet for treatment.
Their litter boxes should always be clean as they are precise about bathroom hygiene. If it is left unclean, they tend to use other places in the house.
Norwegian Forest Cats are a generally healthy cat breed. Their life expectancy is between fourteen to sixteen years with proper care, exercise, and a high-quality diet. The following health conditions have been seen in the cat breed:
- Glycogen Storage Disease IV – is a rare genetic condition that affects the metabolism of their glucose. A DNA or genetic test is available and can be done to identify the affected and carrier cats.
- Retinal dysplasia – is an eye defect that causes spots on their retina but does not affect the cat's vision.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – is a form of heart disease that causes their heart muscle to enlarge.
The welcoming, easy-going Norwegian Forest Cat is an ideal choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs. They enjoy the attention they receive from children, who treat them gently and respectfully. Unexpectedly, this cat breed does not mind playing dress-up or riding in a baby buggy. Still, always supervise younger kids to avoid accidents and won't hurt the cat by pulling their fur or twisting their tail.
They are happy to live with other cats and cat-friendly dogs, too, thanks to their sociable character. However, it is still best to introduce pets gradually and in a controlled environment to guarantee that they learn to get along well together.