Important Facts about the Norwegian Forest Cat 

Important Facts about the Norwegian Forest Cat 
Written by Ragini Salampure

The Norwegian Forest, also known as Weegee, is structured to survive the harsh winters in Scandinavia. Little wonder they do some things that may even terrify their owners. Kitted with thick, fluffy coats, the breed is adventurous and fearless. If you are considering buying a Weegee, we will expose some important facts about the breed in this article, so you can know what you are signing up for. 

Quick Facts about the Norwegian Forest

Here are some things you may not have known about the cat:

  • It is a natural adventurer. Its fluffy coat has a double layer. It also has tufted feet, long legs, big bones, and a wide chest, which makes it an amazing hunter. It fits perfectly in the forest because it is weatherproof. You can read this article to know how to care for a Norwegian Forest.
  • It is a mouse hunter; known for its usefulness in chasing mice since the first century.
  • They enjoy swimming in waters where there are tasty fish. So if you own a pond, ensure you cat-proof it.
  • It almost became extinct. People were breeding the cat indiscriminately and producing undesirable breeds. After the Second World War, an intensive special breeding program was organized to salvage the original traits. The cat is officially recognized as the national cat of Norway.
  • It is legend’s stuff. The Norse beauty and love goddess, Freya, rode in a cart that was driven by Norwegian Forest cats. Even Jormungandr, the serpent of the sea, disguised himself as the cat.

Temperament and Behavior

This cat must always choose a favorite person in the family where it belongs. It will also follow that person around more of the time than any other family member. But the cat is not usually clingy because it won’t hesitate to zoom off and explore if there is a more interesting activity happening around the house.

Additionally, the cat is not comfortable with strangers, but when introduced, it becomes friendly. It likes to stay active because it is smart and athletic. It loves climbing to high points just to have an arch view of what is happening around it, and it isn’t afraid to jump. It often dives down, headfirst, so you can consider buying a post for climbing if you want to keep this breed at home.

The breed loves playing games and you can get a lot of toys, but it is not a 24/7 attention seeker. When there are enough toys, the cat can cope well while you are at work. If you want to go on holiday without the cat, its level of independence will work to your advantage. You can get your neighbor to pop in during feed time and that settles it.

Furthermore, you can allow the cat to go outside at night since it has a thick coat that can withstand winter. However, traffic will pose a risk to it, even to a cat that is streetwise, particularly if you reside in an area that is very busy. Therefore, the safest thing to do is let the cat out within the yard or just keep it indoors. You can check out holistapet to learn more about the characteristics of this breed.

Health Issues to Consider Before Getting a Norwegian Forest

Although the breed is agile, it has some health issues that you need to look out for.

Pyruvate Kinase

This is a deficiency of the enzyme, and it causes damage to the red blood cells. Of all other cat breeds, Norwegian Forest is more susceptible to it. The early signs are lethargy, muscle wastage, high heart rate, and anemia. The only way to treat this condition is via transplanting of bone marrow.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

This disease is common in cats. It is related to the heart and the symptoms include lethargy and rapid or labored breathing. There is currently no cure, but you can help the cat by getting treatment for lung congestion and controlling its heart rate.

Polycystic Kidney Problem

Cysts containing fluid can form in the cat’s kidney, resulting in kidney failure. Most times, there are no symptoms until the cat is older or at middle age. There is no cure for the condition, but supportive treatment may reduce the disease impact.

Retinal Dysplasia

The cat develops small blind spots on the retina, but you do not need to treat them. If the blind spots start covering a large portion of the retina, then there is a high chance of more problems like retinal detachment or cataracts, which will require surgery.

Hip Dysplasia

This condition is usually inherited. You can treat it based on the severity of the case. Serious cases require hip surgery and orthopedic referral. You can click on to find out more about the condition.

Who Should Own a Norwegian Forest?

Because the breed loves roaming outdoors, it is ideal for people who live in areas where it can roam about safely. It is also good for people who need an outdoorsy breed. On the contrary, the cat can adapt to any environment. So you can keep it indoors too.

Additionally, the breed is friendly and sociable. It is always ready to have fun, play games, and get occasional cuddles. It prefers playing and checking out new things than sitting to watch the TV. 

The breed is not easily scared and gets on its feet swiftly, making it an excellent playmate for kids. It also gets along with dogs, particularly if they grew up together. However, you need to be careful if you keep smaller pets because this breed is ready to prey on them.


In this article, we highlighted some quick facts about the Norwegian Forest, its temperament and behavior, and health issues. The information is expected to guide you when choosing this breed. We also made sure to explain the categories of persons that should own the breed.

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Ragini Salampure

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