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Norwegian forest cat: character, care and predisposition to diseases

Norwegian Forest Cat

Norsk skogkatt, because that is what he is called in his homeland Norwegian Forest Cat, comes from Scandinavian areas and is one of the largest breeds of domestic cats.

There are many myths about its origin.

The most famous ones say that the ancestors of Norwegian cats swam on Viking ships, where they bravely fought mice and, after reaching Norway, they crossed with Scandinavian cats, which in turn came here thanks to the Crusaders.

Considerable resistance to difficult winter conditions and highly developed climbing skills allowed the breed to develop naturally in inaccessible Norwegian forests.

  • Norwegian Forest Cat in nature
  • Norwegian Forest Cat breed description
  • Norwegian Forest Cat Grooming
  • Norwegian Forest Cat feeding
  • Norwegian Forest Cat Disease
    • Trichobezoary
    • Type IV glycogenosis
    • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)
    • Neonatal isoerythrolysis
  • Is it worth choosing a Norwegian forest cat??

Norwegian Forest Cat in nature

  • Cats of this breed are calm and composed by nature.
  • Rather, they do not look for a special contact with a human being, do not sit on their master's lap and do not demand caresses, but mainly follow their own paths.
  • Due to their natural predisposition to climbing, they like this type of activity very much.
  • They like being outdoors, climbing trees, hunting and even fishing.
  • They keep their distance from strangers, but get along well with other pets.
  • Popular "norwegians " are also very intelligent, they eagerly learn simple tricks and can walk on a leash.
Norwegian forest cat in nature

Norwegian Forest Cat breed description

  • It is a large cat, of a strong build, weighing up to 10 kg.
  • Females are clearly smaller than males, and the growth stage does not end until around the age of three.
  • Its head is angular, its ears are wide, rounded at the tip, and often ending with a hairbrush, as in a lynx.
  • Almond-shaped, slightly slanting eyes, the irises of which may have different colors in the same individual (the so-called. heterochromia) bring to mind the threatening gaze of the Viking.
  • The feet are large and strong, hairy between the pads.
  • Long tail, profusely covered with hair.
  • The coat is thick, semi-long, double-layered, frost-resistant and water-resistant. In the area of ​​the neck, the hair forms a ruff, and on the hind limbs, the so-called. trousers.
  • The most common colors are brown brindle and white.
Norwegian Forest Cat breed description

You can also see what the Norwegian Forest Cat looks like in the video below

Cute Norwegian Forest Cats Cleaning Each Other
Watch this video on YouTube

Norwegian Forest Cat Grooming

At first glance, the maintenance of the coat of Norwegian cats will require the most work from us.

Fortunately, his hair is naturally slightly greasy and does not tend to be tangled and fall out excessively.

It is best to brush your cat once a week (they are recommended rotating combs), and during the shedding period, it can be done every day to remove excessively shedding dead hair on a regular basis.

We periodically check the cleanliness of the ears and the length of the claws.

Norwegian Forest Cat feeding

Cats of this breed do not have special nutritional requirements.

Due to the predisposition to create hair balls in the digestive tract, it is worth giving them in the form of a food supplement debuffing pastes or apply hair type.

For the sake of coat quality, Norwegian cats can also be supplemented with:

  • omega acids,
  • zinc,
  • biotin.

It is also worth taking care of the joints of older and active cats by supplementing them glucosamine and chondroitin.

Norwegian Forest Cat Disease

Norwegian Forest Cat Disease


As a semi-longhair breed, Norwegian cats are prone to the formation of hair balls in the digestive tract, most often as a result of swallowing them during their own care.

Such hair, if it enters the stomach or intestines in excessive amounts, clumps into hard formations that can lead to obstruction in the digestive tract.

That is why it is important to brush your cat regularly and to give food or special pastes that contain ingredients dissolving keratin and facilitating the passage of contents through the intestines.

You should also pay attention to itchy skin diseases, which will also provoke the animal to lick its hair excessively.

Type IV glycogenosis

Known as Andersen's disease in humans, it is a storage disease that has been reported only in cats of this breed.

It consists in a disorder of glucose metabolism related to a deficiency of the glycogen branching enzyme, which in turn leads to the accumulation of glycogen deposits in various organs and the loss of muscle and nervous tissue.

Kittens may be born dead or die shortly after birth due to circulatory and respiratory failure.

There is also a juvenile form, where systemic changes appear around 5-7 months of age.

The visible symptoms include:

  • tremors,
  • weakness,
  • muscle atrophy,
  • paralysis.

The prognosis is poor and treatment is lacking. The condition is inherited autosomal recessive.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a disease affecting the heart muscle where the walls of the heart thicken, which leads to reduced ventricular lumen and therefore heart failure.

The difference between HCM in dogs and cats is that in dogs, the overgrowth is symmetrical and affects all walls and septum, and in cats, this overgrowth may concern, for example,. only the tip, or only the papillary muscles.

The disease is asymptomatic for a long time and may end in sudden death, e.g. during anesthesia or excessive agitation.

The diagnostic test for the diagnosis of HCM is the test echo of the heart.

In Norwegian foresters, no inheritance of this condition has been found, but they are susceptible to it.

Neonatal isoerythrolysis

It occurs when there is a blood group mismatch between mother and offspring and it comes to the so-called serological conflict.

The overwhelming percentage of Norwegian cats has blood type A (93%).

When mating a female with blood type B with a male with group A, we must take into account the possibility of occurrence isoerythrolysis, that is hemolytic anemia.

Since most of the antibodies found in colostrum it comes from the mother's blood, therefore in the colostrum of a female cat with group B, there will be a significant amount of anti-A antibodies.

A kittens, suckling milk, take up antibodies against their own blood cells.

Haemolytic disease may affect some kittens only and has a different course of action.

In the acute course, sudden deaths occur, and in the acute course, the development of kittens is inhibited.

As a result myoglobinuria urine turns brown and develops as well anemia and jaundice.

In kittens that have survived the acute form, it appears tail necrosis and the edges of the auricles.

Is it worth choosing a Norwegian forest cat??

Is it worth choosing a Norwegian forest cat??

Norwegian breed cats are balanced and lovable family companions.

They get along with other animals, and are suitable for children, as they do not exhibit aggressive behavior by nature.

They can live in an apartment, but you have to remember that the cat likes to climb up, so you should have a tall scratching post, unless you want it to climb over the furniture and knock everything off ?

If we do not have a garden or an aviary, where the Norwegian Forest Cat likes to stay, we can also take it for walks on a leash.

In this case, it is worth microchipping the cat so that, in the event of an escape, it can be safely returned home.

So if you are looking for a calm, gentle cat that likes petting, although it will not be a typical 'cuddly' cat, this is the cat for you ?

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