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Norwegian Forest

Mythical legends descended from warrior cats, the Norwegian Forest cat or “Wegie” as they’re affectionately called, is breathtakingly beautiful with a personality to match. They’re loving, calm, and very adaptable to family life, being excellent cuddlers who are always eager to make new friends. 

12 - 15 years
5.8 - 10kg
Comes in any colour except chocolate, lilac or Siamese patterns and can have any number of white markings to the paws, chest, belly or face. Eyes can be any colour.
The need-to-know
  • Great for first-time cat owners
  • Needs high-level of enrichment including simulated hunting games and interactive play
  • Highly active and inquisitive cat
  • Sociable and dependent cat
  • Slightly talkative cat
  • Larger stockier cat breed
  • Requires grooming every day
  • Needs extensive outdoor space
  • Not ideal for family homes
  • Can be left alone all day
  • Great for a relaxed home
Generally healthy breed

The Norwegian Forest cat breed can be prone to:
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy¹ which is a disease were the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick which means the heart cannot beat effectively.
- Pyruvate kinase deficiency which is a disease that causes anaemia (death of red blood cells).  
- Glycogen storage deficiency which is a serious storage disease that affects the heart, nerves and muscles.
Testing available:
- DNA testing for pyruvate kinase deficiency and glycogen storage deficiency which tests whether or not a cat has the potential to be affected by these conditions.

¹K. M. Meurs et al, 'Analysis of 8 Sarcomeric Candidate Genes for Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Mutations in Cats with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy', 2009, Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine   

Norwegian Forest Cat Appearance 

Larger than the average cat, the Norwegian Forest is both elegant and muscular, with a robust build and a glorious semi-long coat. Strongly and solid, they have a long, triangular head with high set, tufted ears, long legs, and a majestic bushy tail. Coats are semi-long, with the body fur shedding out to a shorter length in summer. The winter coat sports a full ruff around the neck, shirtfront, and fluffy trousers around the hind legs. 

Norwegian Forest Cat Personality 

Gentle and friendly, but not constantly demanding of attention, a Norwegian Forest cat or ‘Wegie’ is happy to entertain themselves if no one is home, and equally satisfied with curling up beside their people when they are there. The Norwegian Forest cat temperament can be somewhat reserved, when it comes to visitors, and are not particularly lap-cats (often because they can be prone to overheating) but will enjoy affection and physical contact from their people.  

Vet Rating

History and Origins

Outdoors or Indoors

Enrichment and Specific Needs

Nutrition and Feeding

Grooming Norwegian Forest Cats

Suitability for Family Life

Norwegian Forest Cat Fun Facts 

  • Norwegian Forest cats are basically waterproof. Their double coats are so thick that they essentially repel water.  
  • In Norse mythology, Norwegian Forest cats are known as favourites of the Norse goddess, Freyja. In fact, some depictions show her chariot being pulled by two such cats. 
  • As expected, the Norwegian Forest cat is the official cat of Norway, as designated by King Olav V in the 1950s. 
  • They’re known to be mythical creatures with many folk tales describing them as mountain-dwelling fairy cats named ‘skogkatt’ and possessing extraordinary abilities. 


Can you have a Norwegian Forest cat as a pet? 

Yes, they can be excellent pets as they usually get along great with children and other pets so they should have no problems integrating in a new family. 

What is the personality of a Norwegian Forest cat? 

The Norwegian Forest cat personality is sweet, easy going, and sociable, but they also really enjoy their alone time, so they don’t require too much attention and entertainment. 

Are Norwegian Forest cats indoor cats? 

The Norwegian Forest cat size is quite large, so they do appreciate big spaces and adore roaming around in the great outdoors. But this is not a mandatory requirement as they’re also highly adaptable and can adjust rapidly to any environment.  

Is a Maine Coon bigger than a Norwegian Forest cat? 

In terms of size, the Norwegian Forest cat size is between 30 and 46 cm while the Main Coon cat measures between 48 and 100 cm so yes, the Main Coon cat is definitely bigger than the Norwegian Forest.