Norwegian Forest Cat Breed Guide

Large | Cuddly | Playful. Norwegian Forest Cats or “Wegies” are ancient snow kitties. Originating from you guessed it, Norway, their thick double coat of fur keeps them toasty warm and also makes them great for cuddling.

Today we’re going to deep dive into the Norwegian Forest Cat, their origins, what they look like and why they would make a great addition to your fur fam.

Norwegian Forest Cat Basics

Average Lifespan: 14-15 years

Average Weight: Male: 5.4kg – 9kg  Female: 3.6kg – 8.2kg

Colours: White, Chocolate, Black, Red, Cream, Silver, Golden, Blue

Trainability: Easy

Shedding: High

History of the Norwegian Forest Cat

Norsk Skogkatt (Norwegian Forest Cats) hail from Norway. We don’t quite know the exact origin of these ancient kitties, but references can be found in Norwegian folklore of the Vikings bringing their fur friends with them on their conquests to kill mice and rats on the ships. This would make Norwegian Forest Cats one of the oldest cat breeds in history, dating back to around 1000AD.

What Do Norwegian Forest Cats Look Like?

Norwegian Forest Cats can take around 5 years to fully mature, but when they do, they sure are big boys. Adult Wegies can weigh between 3.6kg and 9kg and be as long as 46cm. This makes them nearly twice as large as common domestic cats!

However, they’re not the biggest cat breed, that trophy goes to the Maine Coon with Stewie the Main Coon breaking the Guinness World Record for the longest cat in the world, with a staggering 123cm length!

Wegies look similar to Maine Coons with their thick floof, however, their faces are more triangular in shape vs the rounder appearance of the Maine Coon.

As Norwegian Forest Cats are a Scandinavian cat breed they’ve had to adapt to the arctic conditions. Boasting a double coat of thick fur, they keep toasty warm with this natural insulation.

Anatomy of a Norwegian forest cat

Wegie Temperament and Personality

Tracing back to their days hunting ancient mice on Viking ships, Norwegian Forest Cats are agile and playful kitties. They love the great outdoors, so are perfect for people who live out of major cities where these kitties can roam safely. With that being said, they also make great indoor cats.

Wegies are very versatile and easily adapt to their surroundings, just make sure you stimulate them enough with playtime! The best time to do this is in the morning before you go to work or at dusk as these are their instinctual hunting periods.

As the name suggests Norwegian Forest Cats are natural forest hunters. They love to climb trees and enjoy fishing, so make sure you cover your fish tank to protect Nemo. Feeding them a high-protein natural cat food like our Grain Free Salmon Wet Cat Food is a great way to satisfy their bellies and fuel all that hunting prowess.

Do Norwegian Forest Cats Shed Fur?

Norwegian Forest Cats have a double coat of luscious and waterproof fur. Their fur gets extra thick and cuddly in the winter to insulate it from the cold Norwegian snow.

norwegian cat in snow

They then shed this fur heavily twice a year in Spring and Autumn to help prevent them overheating. This is when your Wegie will need the most grooming, however their coat will need some regular upkeep throughout the year to keep it looking fresh.  

Make sure you set aside some time each week to give your Norwegian Forest Cat a good brush. Start doing this from a young age so they get used to their grooming time, this will make it much more enjoyable for you and your fur baby.

Wedgie Grooming Tips

  • Start young and be consistent to keep their coats silky smooth
  • Metal brushes are great for double-coated kitties, but don’t push too hard, simply glide it through your Wegie’s long fur
  • Check your Wegie’s ears are clean as their long fur can trap dirt and debris
  • Wegies usually tend to their own claws by scratching forest trees. Therefor if your Wegie is an indoor cat you may need to clip their nails. Just make sure you avoid the quick (the blood vessel in the base of your cat’s claw), so you don’t hurt their fingies.
  • Norwegian Forest Cats don’t normally need a bath, they bathe themselves by licking their fur – their waterproof coats make it almost impossible to fully bathe them anyway! 

Feeding a Norwegian Forest Cat

Norwegian Forest Cats don’t have any specific nutritional needs. However, as they are a large cat breed they may eat more than your normal kitty. Make sure to feed them a diet with high quality animal protein to keep their bellies full and provide them with all the essential nutrients they need for a long and happy life. Whether this is through a complete dry cat food, complete wet cat food or a mix of the two it's up to you. Or as typically is the case, up to your kitty!

All of our high protein cat food is 100% grain free and contains up to 77% proper meat or fish. We also add special pre or probiotics to help keep your cat’s tummy happy, making an easy clean-up of their number twos from the kitty litter. Don't forget to check out our equally pretty cat poop bags

Norwegian Forest Cats Are Great Family Cats

With loving personalities, Norwegian Forest Cats make great family pets. They’re tolerant of young children pulling their long fluff, and make great dog besties. Wegies love cuddling but at the same time aren’t demanding of attention, often opting to snooze in a hidden corner when your friends are over.

They love climbing and play time so make sure to stimulate them with toys and get them a sturdy cat frame.

If you have a Norwegian Forest Cat at home be sure to tag us @scrumbles with all of your cute kitty pics!


You might be interested in reading: 

  1. Ragdoll Cat Breed Guide
  2. British Longhair Breed Guide
  3. Devon Rex Breed Guide

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