Feline Focus: The Norwegian Forest Cat – An Athletic and Sociable Feline

These athletic cats have thick frames and muscular bodies, meaning they are real athletes and are excellent at climbing trees. They are a heavy breed with dense bones and regularly tip the scales at over 7kg. Their ears are placed high and have thick fur tufts, resembling those of the lynx.

Built for cold and snowy weather, this handsome cat has a thick fur coat and a wooly undercoat. This means that they can tolerate cold British winters well. However, they can be prone to over-heating in the summer or when we have the central heating turned up high. As their fur is also water resistant, they don’t tend to mind being outdoors in the rain.

Norwegian Forest Cat outdoors in the snow - a hardy breed of feline

The Norwegian Forest Cat benefits from regular grooming. Though they are good at keeping their coat in good shape, we should help them out by brushing them every few days. When moulting, this should be done even more often. Those who aren’t brushed can be prone to mats and dry skin.

High-energy, sociable and intuitive, these cats have a personality that many owners find attractive. Most get on well with children and enjoy playing new games and keeping active. Vocal and interactive, you’ll know when your Norwegian Forest is in the room!

Health Conditions in Norwegian Forest Cats

As with other large cat breeds, the Norwegian Forest is not especially long-lived. However, many live into their young teens. Health conditions to monitor for include: 

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). Those with HCM have abnormally enlarged heart walls. These thickened walls are not effective for pumping blood. Cats develop rapid and irregular heartbeats which can be detected when a vet listens to their chest. Sadly, we cannot cure or reverse HCM but we can stay on top of signs with medicine. For those who survive several years after diagnosis, the cost of regular check-ups and medicine can really add up over time. 

Hip Dysplasia. It tends to be the larger pedigree cats that are prone to hip disease. As the bones rub against each other, these cats will go ont o develop arthritis. Early signs will include lameness and localised pain, which can result in grumpiness. X-rays performed under anaesthetic can confirm the diagnosis. Treatment will be lifelong and can include pain relief, anti-inflammatories, joint supplements and acupuncture. 

Polycystic Kidney Disease. This inherited condition creates cysts within the kidney which grow larger with time. Norwegian Forest Cats go on to develop chronic kidney disease, though the rate at which this happens varies depending on the individual. While we cannot treat this condition, we can manage signs just as we do in any cat with chronic kidney disease. 

Glycogen Storage Disease Type IV. Sadly, most affected cats will die at birth, or shortly after. However, a small number of cats will survive. These cats may seem okay initially but become progressively unwell over the next few months. These kittens develop neurological signs and don’t generally survive past a year. It is important that carriers of this disease are not bred from.

Are they the Feline for you?

The Norwegian Forest Cat makes a wonderful family pet as they are highly sociable and confident. They are renowned for their loyalty, though can take a while to warm up to new people. They have a distinctive, thick coat which requires regular grooming.

Looking for Norwegian Forest Cat Insurance?

Cats are full of surprises.

Sadly, life can surprise us with an unexpected financial burden of a veterinary bill if our purrfect pals develop an unexpected illness or have an accident.

Cover your Norwegian Forest Cat throughout all of their adventures with our cat insurance.

Norwegian Forest Kittens can benefit from four weeks free WallkawayCover kitten insurance. Find your nearest participating veterinary practice today. Kitten must be between eight weeks to one year of age and is subject to a CVS vet health check. WalkawayCover covers illness and accidents instantly.

For adult Norwegian Forest Cats, you can get a lifetime insurance quote online in a whisker, or call our friendly UK call centre team on 0808 164 8000.

More pets = more fun!

Get your paws on a
5% multipet discount