All about the Norwegian Forest Cat

All about the Norwegian Forest Cat

orange norwegian on petrebels cat tree

Large, athletic and gentle. Just three characteristics of this beautiful, calm and sweet cat breed: the Norwegian Forest Cat. But did you know that ‘Norwegians’ like to swim? That and much more fun and useful information can be found here.

The origin of the Norwegian Forest Cat

The ancestors of this cute cat breed most likely come from southern Europe. They were short-haired back then. But their emigration to Norway – courtesy of Scandinavian Vikings – changed the coat into a thick semi-longhair. This is only natural, as the cats had to survive the harsh and freezing winters of Norway.

In 1977, this beautiful breed was officially recognised as an international cat breed. And this breed is also very popular since then. Not surprising, because this breed is not only beautiful, but also super sweet!

The appearance of a Norwegian Forest Cat

A Norwegian Forest Cat is large, tall and athletically built. And clearly bigger than the average household cat. An adult female weighs an average of 4 kg and a male can weigh from 6.5 to 10 kg.

Fun: there are always cute tufts on and in the ears of these cats. And tufts of hair grow between their toes.

The coat of a Norwegian Forest Cat

This breed has a semi-longhaired coat with a fluffy and water-repellent undercoat. In winter, this breed is at its best thanks to its coat – that is when the tail and the collar are extra full and thick. The fur of Norwegian Forest Cats comes in many different colours and patterns. There are striped Norwegians, but also marbled and spotted ones. For the breed standard, only the colours Cinnamon, Lilac and Fawn are not allowed.

The character of the Norwegian Forest Cat

Norwegian Forest Cats are brave and not afraid of anything. They’re very tough animals. And because they have such a relaxed, friendly and calm nature, they make ideal pets. They get along well with other pets, with their owners and also with children.

It is a really fun pet, as Norwegian Forest Cats are active, playful and curious until late in life. They do not find new people scary, but rather very interesting. They will always come to meet visitors.

Fun fact: Norwegian Forest Cats are very comfortable in water, so you could teach them to swim. Please be sure to seek advice from your vet first!

The care of a Norwegian Forest Cat

The semi-long coat of Norwegian Forest Cats is easy to maintain. A thorough brushing once a week is greatly appreciated and prevents annoying tangles. When the cat is moulting, it is good to brush its coat daily. This is the best way to remove the loose hairs from the undercoat.

Because Norwegian Forest Cats are so playful and curious, it is good to play every day. This will prevent boredom and will keep your cat healthy and happy. Preferably play with balls, mice and feathers several times a day. Well, it doesn’t really matter what you play with, because Norwegian Forest Cats love everything!

A scratching post is also a must, because it is in the nature of cats to climb and scratch. And they love to sit in a high place. But make sure you get a scratching post that is specially designed for Norwegian Forest Cats. Norwegians are bigger and heavier than other cat breeds and need a cat tree that is stable and made of strong and robust materials.

Furthermore, you take care of a Norwegian like any other cat:

  • Provide sufficient drinking bowls with fresh water
  • Provide food that suits the breed
  • Always provide several clean litter boxes
  • Deflead and deworm your cat regularly
  • Chip your cat!
  • Check their teeth regularly
  • And (especially if your cat is unwell or ill) go to the vet

Diseases and disorders in Norwegian Forest Cats

A Norwegian Forest Cat – like any other cat or breed – can get sick. But only Norwegian Forest Cats can be affected by the rare disease GSD IV. Kittens with this disease are immediately stillborn. If not, the first signs of this disease appear around the 5th monthof life.

GSD IV disease can be recognised by vomiting, diarrhoea, jaundice, growth retardation, muscle weakness, poor eating, lethargy, emaciation and excessive drinking, urination and sleeping. Unfortunately, this disease is incurable and euthanasia is often the most humane solution. Do you suspect this disease? Then take your cat to the vet immediately.

How old does a Norwegian Forest Cat become?

Norwegian Forest Cats can live to be quite old – the average life expectancy is between 14 and 16 years. And that, of course, is very nice. But it is something to bear in mind, because such a cute kitten will eventually become a big cat that needs love, attention and good care.

Buying a Norwegian Forest Cat

Would you like to buy a Norwegian Forest Cat? You should first ask the Dutch Breed Association for information about good and recognised breeders. Then you can be sure that you will enjoy a happy and healthy cat for a long time. Because of course you never buy a cat from a bread breeder or from Ebay.

Disclaimer: Petrebels is not a veterinarian or behavioural expert: all content, information and tips on this blog are intended to inspire you and are informative in nature. Does your cat have complaints or problems and do you have doubts about its health? If so, always go the vet or behaviorist.

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DE LUIE REBEL

Katten slapen gemiddeld 16 uur per dag en doen dat vol overgave: er wordt gerekt, gestrekt en schaamteloos gegaapt. Heerlijk. De Luie Rebel is er wel héél goed in. Die laat rennen en spelen liever aan een ander over en ploft met gemak overal neer voor een overheerlijk dutje. Maar het liefst ligt deze Rebel in een lekker zacht mandje of hangmatje.


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DE KRABBEL REBEL

Katten hebben van nature de behoefte om hun nagels te scherpen. Ze markeren daarmee hun territorium en worden er ontspannen en blij van. De Krabbel Rebel weet van geen ophouden als het om krabbelen gaat. Maak van je huis daarom een feestje voor deze Rebel en zet één (of meer) goede krabpalen neer.


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DE OUTDOOR REBEL

Buitenkatten houden van hun vrijheid en van avontuur. Ze verstoppen zich vaak in struiken en houden de hele buurt in de gaten. Ze kunnen zich uren vermaken met rondvliegende insecten en nemen – als het even meezit – een echte muis voor je mee naar huis. De Outdoor Rebel komt thuis om gezellig met de baasjes te kroelen en rustig te eten. En stelt het op prijs als er een fijn plekje is om uit te rusten voor het volgende avontuur.


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DE INDOOR REBEL

Sommige katten blijven liever binnen. Of het baasje wil dit graag. Indoor Rebels vinden het heerlijk om naar buiten te kijken – naar al het spannends wat zich daar afspeelt. Je maakt deze katten blij door het binnen net zo spannend te maken als buiten. Prikkel hun instincten met speeltjes en krabmeubels waar ze lekker in kunnen klimmen, want dan blijven ze gelukkig en gezond.


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THE LAZY REBEL

Cats sleep up to 16 hours a day with full commitment: lots of stretching and shameless yawning… Mhmm, delicious. The lazy Rebel masters this trait like no other and prefers to leave the running and playing to someone else. This lazy napper is able to lie down anywhere to take a well-deserved rest, but they prefer a nice and soft hammock or basket.


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THE SCRATCHING REBEL

Cats naturally have the need to sharpen their nails. This way they mark their territory. It also makes them relaxed and happy. The scratching Rebel will never stop when it comes to this. Transform your house into a “scratching paradise” for this Rebel and supply it with one or several good cat trees.


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THE OUTDOOR REBEL

Outdoor cats love adventure and freedom. They often hide in bushes to keep an eye on their surroundings. They can entertain themselves for hours with bugs flying around and they might even take home a real mouse for you! The outdoor Rebel will come home to cuddle with its owner and to eat peacefully. This adventurer would appreciate it if there is a nice spot in your house to rest before the next adventure.


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THE INDOOR REBEL

Some cats prefer to stay inside, this can also be a decision made by the owner. Indoor Rebels enjoy watching the outside world – and everything exciting that happens there. You can make these cats happy by making the indoor world just as exciting as the outdoor world. Stimulate their senses with toys and cat furniture in which they can climb. This way they remain healthy and happy.


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DER FAULE REBELL

Katzen schlafen durchschnittlich 16 Stunden pro Tag und tun dies voller Hingabe. Sie strecken sich, dehnen sich und gähnen unverhohlen. Herrlich! Der faule Rebell ist sehr gut darin. Er überlässt das Toben und Spielen am liebsten jemand anderem und macht stattdessen lieber ein kleines Nickerchen. Am liebsten bevorzugt dieser Schläfer ein weiches Sofa oder ein gepolsterte Liegefläche.


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DER KRATZENDE REBELL

Katzen haben von Natur aus das Bedürfnis, ihre Nägel zu schärfen. Damit markieren sie zum einen ihr Territorium und verhindern zum anderen, dass die Nägel zu lang werden und einwachsen. Kratzen, wetzen und schärfen macht sie entspannt und glücklich. Der Kratz-Rebell kennt dann auch kein Halten mehr, wenn es ums Wetzen und Kratzen geht. Mach dein Zuhause also zu einer Partyzone für diesen Rebellen und stelle einen (oder mehrere) gute Kratzbäume mit viel Wetzmöglichkeiten auf.


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DER OUTDOOR-REBELL

Freigängerkatzen lieben die Freiheit und das Abenteuer. Oft verstecken sie sich im Gebüsch und behalten die ganze Nachbarschaft im Auge. Sie können sich stundenlang mit fliegenden Insekten vergnügen, streunen herum und bringen im schlimmsten Fall eine Maus als Geschenk mit nach Hause. Der Outdoor-Rebell kommt nur nach Hause, um mit den Besitzern eventuell zu kuscheln und sich sein Fressen servieren zu lassen. Und er schätzt es über alle Maßen, wenn er einen schönen, gemütlichen Platz am liebsten auf einem Kratzbaum zum Ausruhen für das nächste Abenteuer angeboten bekommt.


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DER INDOOR-REBELL

Einige Katzen sind reine Indoor-Rebellen. Entweder, weil sie es vorziehen in einem warmen und gefahrlosen Zuhause zu leben oder weil der Besitzer dies so möchte. Indoor-Rebellen lieben es nach draußen zu schauen – und das aufregende Leben draußen aus sicherer Entfernung zu beobachten. Diese Katzen sind glücklich, wenn man drinnen die gleichen Abenteuer simuliert, die sie draußen beobachten können. Stimuliere deren Instinkte mit Spielzeug und Kratzmöbeln, in denen sie herumklettern und toben können, damit sie gesund, agil und glücklich bleiben.


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