Introducing Norwegian Forest Cat
The Norwegian Forest Cat is a large breed that is affectionately named the Wegie/Wedgie by those who love them! This gentle giant would not look out of place in the wild, but makes a wonderful household pet. They are excellent hunters and especially adept at climbing so are best suited to homes with access to the outdoors. With their well-balanced, confident natures Norwegian Forest Cats make great family pets.
History of the Norwegian Forest Cat
The Norwegian Forest Cat originated in Norway, Scandinavia and has been around for centuries. They feature in many legends and fairy tales and these cats are said to have pulled the chariot of the goddess of love and fertility. Legends even tell that this giant of a cat was too heavy for even the most powerful god Thor to lift!
The Norwegian Forest Cat’s large size and double, insulating, water-proof coat developed as they had to adapt to the harsh, freezing environment they lived in. Breeders in the 1970s worked hard to preserve this naturally beautiful and wild looking cat. They first arrived in Britain in 1980 and have continued to grow in popularity as show cats as well as pets.
Norwegian Forest Cat Description
Norwegian Forest Cats are a very large breed of cat and a fully mature male can weigh as much as 9kg! Female cats of this breed are normally a lot smaller than the males. They have a long solid body, with muscular, medium length legs and a long shaggy tail. They have a triangular shaped head with a straight nose and a strong square chin. Their ears are quite large and are furnished with lots of fur. They have large almond shaped eyes which can be of any colour.
One of the most highly prized features of a Norwegian Forest Cat is its double coat. The coat is medium to long in length and is very, very thick with plenty of undercoat. The coat is smooth and shiny, as well as waterproof. They have a magnificent ruff around their neck, giving them the appearance of having a mane.
Norwegian Forest Cats come in Black, Blue, Red and Cream. They also come in tortie, bicolour, smoke, spotted tabby, mackerel tabby and classic tabby.
Health of Norwegian Forest Cats
Like many pedigree breeds of cat, some Norwegian Forest Cats have developed a hereditary heart problem Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). This breed of cat has also been known to develop hip dysplasia, which can eventually result in lameness. Responsible breeders will have their breeding cats x-rayed and their hips graded so that the risk of hip dysplasia developing in their kittens is lowered dramatically.
Personality of Norwegian Forest Cat & Kittens
Norwegian Forest Cats are a calm and gentle breed of cat that just loves to be around their people. Although friendly and affectionate, they will not pester you for your attention and are quite happy to just be in the same room as their people. They are a great choice as a family pet and get on well with other cats, dogs and children.
Norwegian Forest Cats are not a noisy breed but they will ‘chat’ with their people with their soft meow and chirrups. They are also a good breed of cat to clicker train as they are intelligent and enjoy being taught new things.
Although this breed is not wildly energetic, they are not content to sit around all day either. They were built for climbing and exploring so Norwegian Forest Cats appreciate having plenty of high-up places to explore as well as access to the outdoors.
Norwegian Forest Cats are one of the slowest breeds of cat to mature, only being considered fully grown at 4 or 5 years of age.
Grooming & General Care
A Norwegian Forest Cat will need regular combing; at least once a week is necessary otherwise their coats will become matted. Unfortunately this breed does shed a lot when they are moulting and will need brushing on a daily basis to remove dead hairs.
As with any cat, it is important to keep your Norwegian Forest Cat’s claws trimmed and to keep a regular check on their teeth.
Norwegian Forest Cat & Kitten Gallery
Below are some Norwegian Forest Cat pictures, please feel free to contact us if you would like to contribute any photos of your own Norwegian Forest Cats and kittens, we would love to include them!