The Norwegian Forest cat, or Wegie, is also known as ‘Norse Skogkatt’ in its native country, Norway. Many individuals often mistake them with other semi-long haired breeds like the Maine Coon, but they’re very different.
How to know if your black and white cat is a Norwegian Forest cat
White and black Norwegian Forrest cat is a popular breed. You can distinguish these cats from others by looking for their distinct colors, with the most common ones being black and white. Variation in coat color and pattern is genetically diverse in the Norwegian Forest Cat.
Standard coat colors of a Norwegian Forest cat
Wegies have a wide variation of coat colors and patterns from tabby, tortoiseshell, black, white, and any combination of each color. The black and white color of the cat’s coat results from their lineage and genetic mutation. Let’s dive into the diverse colors and color patterns of Norwegian Forest cats.
Tabby is the natural coat color of most domestic felines. A tabby cat features stripes with the combination of light and dark color hairs. Another distinct feature of tabby cats is the “M” mark on their foreheads. They have expressive lines on the face and markings around the eyes.
Red and Tortoiseshell
A tortoiseshell Norwegian Forest cat has a coat with a combination of black and orange colors in random patterns. Some of them have wide patches of orange, while others are mostly black.
Tortoiseshell can also come in a combination of blue and cream by the process of dilution. Dilution refers to making a color lighter. The usual dilution seen in cats is blue dilution, which turns the black coat to blue (grey).
If a Norwegian Forest cat is a solid color, it’s known as self or non-agouti, and is usually the results of a recessive genetic mutation. It suppresses the marking of the tabby pattern that results in consistent pigment density throughout their coat.
The most common solid colored Norwegian Forest cats include black, ranging from deep coal-black, brownish-black, to greyish-black. Another color is blue, including dark slate blue, medium gray, to pale gray that appears to be ‘muddy.’
Black smoke-colored Norwegian Forests cats appear to have an elegant silver coat. This is because of their distinct black fur with white hair roots.
The white coat of cats is a result of the complete absence of pigmentation in the hair. This quality of unique gene is the most dominant among cat colors.
White cats can have different eye colors. This includes blue, copper, green, orange, and odd-eye color (where one is blue while the other is in a different color).
Experts say that Norwegian Forest cats with white coats are more likely to be hearing impaired. So white cats should undergo a particular hearing test called BAER (brainstem auditory evoked response) to assess their hearing status.
Cross-breeding nearly wiped out this type of breed entirely in the middle of the 1900s. Want to be 100% sure your black and white long-haired cats are what you think they are, a DNA test will give you a clear answer to that and many other questions.
You can learn more about how accurate cat DNA testing is here.
Black and White Norwegian Forest Cats
White color can come with all the colors mentioned above, and the most common combination for Norwegian Forest cats is black and white. This type of color pattern is a common color mutation with a lot of variations.
Their coats can also be almost all-white with just a few spots of black. The Wegie’s pattern of black and white has practically endless in variations.
The most common types of black and white coat patterns include white coats appearing on their tummies, feet, chins, toes, and legs. Most black and white Norwegian Forest cats have white bibs and white streaks on their nose or chin.
Variations of black and white Wegies
An unspecified amount of white
There could be any amount of white and no restriction in the coat’s amount of black color. Norwegian Forest cats may have white fur on their chests and paws, along with a white locket marking, white belly, and other parts of their body. Their nose leather and paw pads may have the same spotted pattern or may come in pink color.
The mitted pattern features white mittens on the front legs, and white rear legs that can go up to the middle of the Norwegian Forest cat’s thigh. Mitted Norwegian Forest cats have white stripes from the bridge of their noses that extend to their bib and runs down along their tummies to the tail’s base. Nose leather and paw pads of Mitted black and white Wegies are pink in color.
Bi-color is also known as “tuxedo.” The color patches must be distinctly separated from each other. And the color should be evenly and harmoniously distributed. The black patches range from 50% to 70% of the coat, and the rest is white.
Bi-color black and white Norwegian Forest cats have white on their legs, chests, tummies, and faces. The interesting thing in this kind of color variation is that there is no single white hair in the coat’s solid black parts. Nose leather and paws may be pink or black.
The solid black color of Wegies should range from 25% to 50% of the cat’s coat. This may come in random patches that are surrounded by whites. Black patches shouldn’t have any single white hairs in them. Harlequin black and white Norwegian Forest cats have pink or black nose leather and paw pads.
Van-colored cats are characterized by two black patches on the face that are separated by a white blaze. A solid black patch from the rump (base of the tail) that runs up to the tip of the tail.
Van Wegies have three small distinct spots of solid black distributed randomly on their bodies or their legs. They also have a white chest and white belly. Their nose leather and paw pads can be black or pink.
Cat fact 1: In 1987, these longhaired cats were officially accepted by the Cat Fanciers’ Association.
Cat fact 2: The Norse skogkatt was beloved by the Norse goddess Freya. It was said that she traveled in a cat-drawn chariot. We do not know if it was black and white cats though.
Common questions about black and white Norwegian Forest Cats
Are Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest cats related?
Norwegian Forest cats often get compared to the Maine Coon cat, as they are both semi-longhaired cat breeds with exceptionally long and silky coats. Many experts believe that the Maine Coon is a direct descendant of the Norwegian Forest cat because of their similar characteristics. Besides having thick and long fur, they’re also large breeds of cats.
What is the personality of a black and white cat?
Bi-colors or tuxedo cats are known for their contrasting black and white color. And this says something about their attitude. These cats have a contrast in their personality as well. They are considered friendly cats, but they are independent at the same time. Tuxedos are intelligent, charming, and love human to cat interaction when playing.
Are black and white cats common?
Many cat breeds feature a black and white or bi-color pattern. Black and white cats are very common, particularly in domestic shorthairs and domestic longhair cats as well. This may be the reason why black and white cats are somehow unpopular. Cat breeders desire more of the rare type of bi-colors such as cream and white bi-colors.
Is my black and white cat a mixed breed?
If you want to know how much of a mix your cat is, a great way to find out is by getting a DNA test online. Black and white short haired cats can have many different origins. An official breeding program helped the Norwegian cat not become non-existent, but even if your sure your cat is from a reputable breeder, a DNA test can also help figure out about different diseases.
Learn more about the best places to get a DNA test for your cat.
The black and white color combo is one of the most common coat colors of the Norwegian Forest cat. The black and white quality is featured in the “black smoke” color of a Wegie’s coat, where the topcoat of fur is black, while its roots are white. This color combo also comes in different color patterns, such as bi-color and harlequin.