Determining if your cat is part Norwegian Forest cat or ‘Wegie’ for short, requires you to know its distinct physical characteristics, personality, and other unique attributes.
What are the traits of a Norwegian Forest Cat?
The Norwegian Forest cat is the official cat of Norway, and in its native country it’s known as Skogkatt, meaning “forest cat.” It’s known for its long coat, almond-shaped eyes, and triangular-shaped head. The Skogkatt is a mild-mannered feline that loves its family, but doesn’t demand a lot of attention.
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Knowing a Norwegian Forest Cats unique traits
From its physical characteristics, personality to unique attributes, this checklist will help you see if your furry friend is 100% or at least part Norwegian Forest cat.
Long, thick coat
A Norwegian Forest cat’s most distinguishing feature is its beautiful, long and thick coat that changes depending on the seasons. For instance, in colder climates, its fur tends to double, making it super dense to keep it warm.
Besides having a long coat and tail, these cats also have noticeable ‘tufts’ of fur around their neck, face, thighs, ears, and toes.
Norwegian Forest cats are considered large cats, particularly males, which weigh an average of 10 to 22 pounds (5 to 10 kilograms). Female Wegies weigh around 9 to 12 pounds (4 to 6 kilograms). This cat breed has heavy bones and thick muscles. When you combine these body traits with its long and thick fur, it makes it appear even larger.
Various coat colors
This feline doesn’t have a single specific coat color, and they can range from white, black, brown, red, cream, silver and gold. However, the most common fur colors you’ll encounter are white- and brown-colored Wegies.
Different coat patterns
Besides different colors, Norwegian Forest cats also come in various patterns. These include tabby, ticking, smoky, bicolor, calico, and solid. The most common coat pattern that Wegies have is the tabby pattern, where they may have stripes across their eyes, cheeks, backs, legs, and tails.
This cat breed has a distinctive head shape, resembling a triangle. Its nose is straight, has a flat forehead, and medium-sized ears with rounded tips.
Large, almond shaped eyes
The Norwegian Forest cat has big eyes that resemble almonds (an oval with narrow corners) and come in various colors with the most common ones being gold, copper and green.
Personality of the Wegie
Affectionate, but independent
A Norwegian Forest cat is a loving feline that likes to spend time with its human family, but remains independent, meaning it chooses when and how to get affection. The Wegie enjoys being near its humans, whether it’s sitting on your lap or following you around your home. It’s a mild-mannered feline that can be great with other pets or kids.
This cat breed comes from a line of wild cats that like to hunt. Even though it’s become domesticated, the Norwegian Forest cat still possesses its primal instinct to hunt. These cats like to chase or stalk toys, seeing these things as prey. Although a Wegie usually is timid, it becomes more excitable when presented with its favorite toys.
Norwegian Forest cats are among the few breeds that like being around water. That’s because its thick coat easily repels water, allowing it to frolic in water sources like streams or lakes without a problem.
Likes being in high places
This feline has moderate activity levels, with most of its routine consisting of naps with small bursts of activity that involve high places. For instance, it likes to climb high on areas like a cat tree or kitchen refrigerator when it feels active and sleep on an elevated platform when it feels tired.
A factor contributing to its love of high places is its natural characteristics of being strong and agile, making this special feline a natural expert climber.
Unique traits of a Norwegian Forest cat
- A Norwegian Forest cat has a prominent, thick and muscular neck and legs.
- An unusual feature of this cat breed is that its paws match the rest of the body, making its paws big and look oversized for its body.
- A Wegie is an intelligent and mild-mannered cat, with experts describing as having ‘dog-like’ tendencies and personalities.
- These felines are territorial and love to make a room their own. It likes running, ambushing, or hiding its toys.
- Norwegian Forest cats take longer to mature than other cat breeds, with some not reaching full maturity until they reach age five.
Common questions about the Norwegian Forest cat
Can Norwegian Forest cats be indoor cats?
Although a Norwegian Forest cat is typically considered an outdoor cat, it’s an intelligent cat breed that adapts well to its environment. You can keep it as an indoor cat because, besides adapting well to its surroundings, it’s usually a friendly and sociable feline.
Adopting or purchasing a Norwegian Forest Cat is a fantastic choice for those who live in an open area that gives the feline a safe place to roam.
Do Norwegian Forest cats shed a lot?
Unfortunately, Wegies shed a lot of fur throughout different seasons because of their natural double coat of long and waterproof fur. It’s common for a Norwegian Forest cat to shed a layer of coat in the spring and winter, where owners need to comb their fur at least 2 to 3 times weekly.
How long do indoor Norwegian Forest cats live?
This cat breed is generally healthy as they’re a natural breed and rarely suffer from genetic issues that many other breeds experience. When properly taken care of, and following a good diet that meets its standard nutritional requirements, you can expect your indoor Norwegian Forest cat to live between 14 to 16 years or longer.
The bottom line
A Norwegian Forest cat isn’t difficult to distinguish from other breeds, but many people often confuse it with the Maine Coon, which is also a large feline with long fur. But you can easily tell these two apart by keeping a lookout for the Wegie’s distinct almond-shaped eyes, triangular facial features, and hunting tendencies. With this in mind, you’ll be able to tell if a cat is a Norwegian Forest cat with ease.