The large-boned and densely furred Norwegian Forest cat is sometimes confused with the similarly built Maine Coon, but it has its own distinct personality. These cats get along with just about everyone, but they’re also territorial guardians and insatiably curious.
Norwegian Forest Scientific Classification
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Carnivora
- Family: Felidae
- Genus: Felis
- Scientific Name: Felis catus
- Conservation Status: Not Listed
- Locations: Europe
Norwegian Forest Facts
- Fun Fact: Has a long, thick double coat of fur!
- Other Name(s): skogkatt
- Temperament: Intelligent, loving and affectionate
- Diet: Omnivore
- Average Litter Size: 4
- Common Name: Wegie
- Slogan: Has a long, thick double coat of fur!
- Group: Longhair
Norwegian Forest Physical Characteristics
- Colour: Brown, Red, Blue, White, Gold, Cream, Silver
- Skin Type: Hair
- Lifespan: 14 – 16 years
- Weight: 12 – 20 pounds (adult male), 8 – 18 pounds (adult female)
Norwegian Forest Cat Traits: What to Know Before You Buy
If you’re thinking of getting a Norwegian Forest Cat, keep these things in mind before making a final decision.
- Weggies are big, energetic cats with a lot of energy. Pet owners should either be prepared to play or ensure that their new pet has lots of space to go about.
- Wegies like getting groomed because of their thick coats, which necessitate frequent maintenance. Their thick fur can become tangled and knotted if not properly cared for.
- The Norwegian Forest Cat is particularly vulnerable to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a disease that causes the heart to expand and can be fatal.
Norwegian Forest Cat Personality
The Norwegian Forest has been developed to withstand certain difficult circumstances, yet it hasn’t become hardened. Wegies are among the most social felines, and their proclivity for forming deep bonds with the humans in their lives makes them a perfect family companion.
The heart of a hunter still lives in the breast of the Wegie, and these felines take their playing very seriously. When it comes to chasing toys or laser pointers, a Wegie puts his whole heart and soul into it. Those same innate impulses, however, make them territorial.
Most families shouldn’t have an issue with this because territorial sensitivities are usually shown as frequent patrols. Wegies get along well with other domesticated animals, and their energetic nature makes them ideal for puppies and dogs.
Norwegian Forest Cat Size and Weight
A male wegie weighs between 12 and 20 pounds, while females are slightly smaller, weighing between 8 and 18 pounds. This means that the larger members of this breed are nearly twice as big as the typical cat! A fully developed adult should measure between 12 and 18 inches in length and up to a foot in height.
That’s a lot of cats, yet it’s not the largest domesticated cat breed. A male Maine Coon cat will typically weigh between 15 to 26 pounds, while Ragdoll cats are also known to fall within that weight range. Stewart Gilligan, the world’s biggest Maine Coon, is 48.5 inches long from tail to snout.
But just because your wegie isn’t as big as it appears today doesn’t imply it won’t grow. While most cats reach adulthood around their first birthday, a Norwegian Forest Cat might take up to five years to achieve full size.
Norwegian Forest Cat Price
In Scandinavia, Norwegian Forest Cats are numerous, but in the United States and other areas of the world, they are still uncommon. Because of its scarcity, a Norwegian forest cat with papers commands a rather high price. A typical adult wegie will cost between $900 and $1,500, depending on the conditions.
That doesn’t take into consideration wegies with famous pedigrees. Because the breed is somewhat uncommon, a good lineage is quite valuable. Individual breeders tend to have more power than they do with more popular breeds, so you may expect to pay up to $4,000 for a purebred of high stock.
Shelters and rescues, on the other hand, can provide considerably more realistic choices if your main reason for having a wegie is their personality rather than their papers. Norwegian forest cats mated with Maine Coon cats and other long-hair breeds are widespread, and they retain their playful yet affectionate personalities. Adoption processing expenses generally range from $150 to $200.
Keep in mind that there may be additional costs associated with travel. Due of the scarcity of wegies, you may have trouble finding breeders in your area. Most breeders won’t post pricing online, and some may have a waiting list, so do your research when you’re ready to bring a wegie into your home.
Norwegian Forest Cat Kitten
Wegie kittens are similar to wegie adults in that they are big, lively, and devoted to their owners. Their coats mature quickly, and at three months, a wegie kitten’s hair alone will make it appear fairly enormous. Grooming habits should be formed early in childhood because they will be required throughout one’s life.
Norwegian Forest Cats are inquisitive kittens that prefer to climb as high as they can and push their heads inside cupboards and drawers even more than the average cat. Surprisingly, kids don’t mellow down as adults and retain their sense of wonder and fun throughout their lives. They can adapt to children and other pets at any age, but while they’re kittens, they develop exceptionally strong relationships.
The wegie, like other cats, will reach puberty around the age of a year, however some early bloomers may reach it as early as six months. However, just because they’ve reached puberty doesn’t imply they’ve reached the end of their growth cycle. A Norwegian Forest Cat might take up to five years to attain full size.
Norwegian Forest Cats don’t have very large litters compared to other cats. On average, four kittens will be born in a litter. The kittens are bigger than their normal feline cousins, despite the fact that the litter size is the same.
Norwegian Forest Cat Lifespan
The Norwegian Forest Cat has a lifetime that is similar to that of a conventional domesticated cat, albeit it is a little slimmer and longer. While an indoor cat may expect to live for 10 to 15 years, wegies can expect to live for 14 to 16 years.
Their hereditary susceptibility to heart and renal problems are two causes that shorten this breed’s lifetime. Glycogen storage disease type IV is more prevalent in this breed than in the ordinary cat, but it’s essential to note that, while it can be fatal, it’s still extremely rare.
Norwegian Forest Cat Breed vs. Mixed
The CFA specifies the number of requirements for a purebred Norwegian Forest cat, including its large size and length, well-muscled physique, and distinctive double coat meant to keep water out. The difficulty is that their appearance and demeanor are extremely similar to that of a Maine Coon, and they may be mistaken for a regular human.
However, you shouldn’t rule out the possibility of breeding a Norwegian Forest cat just because it lacks the black and white markings that this breed is known for. Wegies come in a broad range of colours and patterns, including tortoiseshell, tabby, and smoke. While black and black with white are the most frequent designs, tortoiseshell, tabby, and smoke wegies are also available.
Norwegian Forest Cat vs. Maine Coon
The fact that these two cats are frequently confused with one another does not imply you can’t tell them differently. The muzzles of Norwegian Forest cats are thinner and fit into a triangular snout, but the muzzles of Maine Coons are wider and more leonine. Wegies also have pointed, rather than fluffy, tails. However, personality may be the greatest method to distinguish between the two. Norwegian Forest cats aren’t completely deafeningly silent, but they’re significantly quieter than the boisterous Maine Coon.
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