Norwegian Forest cats come in a vast array of coat colors, from their usual brown tabby, white, and orange, to grey or black coat colors.
Yes, you can find Wedgies with solid black or black smoke colored fur. The color of their coats depends on their genetics. Norwegian Forest cats can be black when one or both of their parent’s fur is black.
Read more about how to get the best cat DNA testing set, so you can figure out more about the mix of breeds your cat is.
A brief history of Norwegian Forest cats
The Norwegian Forest cats adapted to survive from the freezing-cold weather of Norway, but there is no concrete documentation where these cats originated.
Norse mythology says that these cats are magical and have been wandering into the Norse forest. They also believe that these cats are so huge that not even Thor can lift one. And according to the Norse myths, these cats are so strong that they were used by Freya (the Norse Goddess of love) to pull her carriage.
But cat fanciers say that the Norwegian Forest cats’ possible origin can be traced back to 1000 A.D., where sailors from Great Britain brought ship cats or mousers with them, which may mostly include black cats. The sailors believed that black cats brought good luck and safety on their voyage.
These cats could have escaped from the ships and served farmers by catching farm mice. They may have reproduced with farm or wild cats, and later evolved into the Norwegian Forest cat breed.
How do the Norwegian Forest cats get their black coat color?
Based on History
Experts believe that the Norwegian Forest cat’s ancestors may have come from some breed of cats brought by the Vikings to Norway. The Vikings may have brought the black and white shorthairs and long-haired cats, like the Siberian and Turkish Angora Cats’ ancestors. The Norwegian Forest cats have inherited the black color of their ancestor-cats.
Based on Science
When determining a cat’s coat color, two genes are always involved—one from the mother cat and one from the father. If the parents’ genes share the same characteristics, then the kitten will also have the same qualities. For example, if both of the parents are black, then their kitten will also be black.
And if the parents have different attributes of genes, mixed qualities may be displayed. But some genes are dominant. In this case, the dominant genes are always expressed while the others are recessive. Let’s take a more in-depth look at how some Wegies got black coats.
Black coats as a result of genetic mutation
The black color of some Norwegian Forest cats is a result of genetic mutation. The solid black color is known as self or non-agouti. On the other hand, “agouti” is the alternate combination of cats’ black and yellow fur colors.
The non-agouti effect is responsible for the black colored coats of cats. It acts to suppress the ticking or banding of tabby patterns, resulting in a consistent color density of the coat, except to the fur’s roots, which displays fading.
But there are instances that the tabby pattern isn’t entirely suppressed, and faded markings of the pattern may show up when the coat is under certain light conditions.
Variations of Norwegian Forest cat black coats
The solid black coat can come in variations of greyish-black, brownish-black, and coal-black.
Norwegian Forest cats may also be black smoke colored. A black smoke Wegie is covered in black fur with distinct white roots. This gives them a silvery coat color, that looks straightforward, yet elegant. And the color of their coat changes with the season. During winter, their coat is somehow longer and displays more silver color. While in summer, they feature a more solid coat color.
Facts about Black Norwegian Forest cats
Black Norwegian cats can rust.
Black cats are prone to “rusting,” where their fur can begin to turn a dark reddish-brown color. This can happen if your cat spends too much time under the sun. But this is not permanent. Once the eumelanin (the black pigment in the black cat’s coat) returns to normal, their color will get back to normal too.
They have high resistance against diseases
The experts from the NIH (National Institute of Health) have found that the genetic mutations that caused cats to have black coats can also give them protection from diseases such as feline HIV.
They bring good luck
Regardless of the usual connotation of a black cat bringing bad luck, these cats will bring you good luck. Historically, sailors brought black cats on-board not only to hunt mice, but also to bring them good luck and give them the security that they will return home safely.
Common questions about black Norwegian Forest Cats
Do Norwegian Forest cats meow?
Norwegian Forest cats can meow, but they’re usually not very local. There’s no specific reason for this. However, many believe that their lack of meowing is due to their mild-mannered persona. Another reason is that they can become stressed very easily, making this feline the perfect companion for those looking for a cat that doesn’t meow too much.
Are Norwegian Forest cats loyal?
Because Norwegian Forest cats don’t seek much attention and are generally mild-mannered, many owners may wonder if they’re loyal. Although they don’t ask for much attention, these cats are fiercely loyal and can easily become the side-kick of their humans. They’re the perfect cat to have if you have children or other pets.
Are black cats more aggressive?
One of the widely-believed superstitions is that black cats are more aggressive than other colored cats. But the research of the experts from the University of California, Davis, has found that black cats are not aggressive. These black cats actually had a calmer and more approachable attitude than the different-colored cats.
Norwegian Forests cats can definitely be black, from their history to scientific proofs. Wegies can look a lot more elegant and dramatic with their long and thick black coat. Black Norwegian Forest cats don’t bring any bad luck. Just like the other Wegies, they are gentle and affectionate feline friends who love to play and be in high places.