Norwegian Forest Cat Owners Guide Australia

The Norwegian Forest Cat is very intelligent, alert, and independent by nature. They like to play and live with an active family that loves them.

If you are looking for a detailed guide on the Norwegian forest cat, read this article to the end. In this Norwegian Forest Cat owner’s guide, we’ll take a look at their history, personality, temperament, health issues, and tips for caring for them.

History 

Also known as the “Norsk Skogkatt,” this breed originated in Norway. The breed has emerged from the Scandinavian forests thousands of years ago, attested to by all of the long-haired cats found in Norse mythology. They put the Norwegian cat on the famous Viking explorer Leif Erikson’s ship to control pests and travel companions.

Norway has an extreme climate where winter nights are very cold and long, and it is a land where the sun spreads its heat from mid-May to August. These tough cats even manage to live and survive in that climate. To withstand climatic difficulties, they have developed a quick wit, dense, long, and water-resistant coats, a sturdy constitution, and well-honed survival instincts.

For this breed to be recognized, the first attempt was made in the 1940s, and after a few years, in 1934, the first Norwegian cat club was established. In Oslo, the Norwegian Forest Cat was exhibited for the first time. 

It’s crossing with the Norwegian shorthair domestic cat. The destruction of World War II threatened to dilute the Norwegian forest cat’s lineages. After the war, Norwegian cat breeders started the breeding program. The late King Olaf named the Norwegian Forest Cat the official cat of Norway.

In 1980, a small group from the Norwegian Forest Cat Breeders Association made it possible to introduce this breed to the US and gain official recognition. This breed was first recognized by the International Cat Association and accepted this cat for championship competition in 1984. This breed achieved championship status 2 times, the first in 1993 for the Cat Fancier Association and the second time in 1995 for the American Cat Association.

Personality

This gentle breed is fond of its owner, but you will notice that it does not demand constant fondling, care, and attention. They can live happily with people and can also entertain themselves. They like human company, but you will see that they are bitterly reserved for strangers. 

They appreciate a nice scratch under the chin and between the ears, but they are not like the lap cat. You see them communicating with classic Scandinavian restraint. They only use their calm voice when they need something, like ignoring them or not offering them food on time.

This athletic breed is also a good climber. You will see them trying to reach the highest point in the house. They are not afraid of heights and descending trees. Although they love being outdoors cats, they can also live happily indoors.

Norwegian forest cat temperament

Norwegian forest cats have somewhat “dog-like” characters. This calm and gentle breed is very intelligent and friendly. Their temperament made them bold, adaptable, and curious. This playful cat tolerates other pets and children, making them a perfect pet for families with children and other pets.

Health Problems

Generally, the Norwegian forest cat is a healthy breed with a lifespan of 14 to 16 years. But both mixed breed cats and pedigree cats can have various health problems that may or may not be genetic in nature. The following health problems have been observed in this breed:

IV glycogen storage disease: This rarely inherited condition affects glucose metabolism in Norwegians. Kittens with this disease die within a few hours of birth, but sometimes they do not show any such signs until the age of 5 months and die after a few months. Now this disease can be identified in an affected or carrier cat by DNA testing.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – This is heart disease. Not in Norwegian Forest Cat, but this problem is inherited in some cat breeds like the Maine Coon.

Polycystic kidney disease: It is a genetic disorder that leads to kidney failure. You cannot get to know this disease through any DNA test, but before 10 months, it can be detected by ultrasound.

Retinal dysplasia – In this condition, spot forms on the retina of your cat’s eye, but it will not affect the cat’s vision.

Care of Norwegian Forest cat

To maintain the Norwegian Forest cat’s coat, comb or brush it once or twice a week with a wire brush, bristle brush, or stainless steel brush. Detangle gently without hurting the cat. 

Maintain dental hygiene to prevent periodontal disease. Clean the corner of the eyes daily, use a separate soft, clean, damp cloth to wipe the eye discharge from each eye. Clean cat ears every week. If they get dirty, moisten the soft cloth or cotton ball with a 50-50 mixture of warm water and cider vinegar and wipe them clean.

Like all other cats, Norwegian cats are also very sensitive to litter tray hygiene, so their litter box must be kept impeccably clean. A clean litter box is also helpful in keeping their fur clean.

Can you get Norwegian Forest Cats in Australia?

In Australia, there are only a handful of Norwegian forest cats. These are being imported. Even only about 1,200 are registered in their home country, Norway.

How much does a Norwegian Forest Cat cost in Australia? (Price of the Norwegian forest cat in Australia)

As the breeds’ price depends on the breeder, this breed from lesser-known breeders with normal bloodlines is expected between $1,200 AUD and $1,600 AUD. If you have this breed of standard body, beautiful colour, and superior bloodlines from a breeder known, then the cost will be between $1,600 AUD and $5,400 AUD.

What is the life expectancy of a Norwegian forest cat?

If you are meeting their nutritional needs with a good, adequate diet and proper care, you can expect them to live 14 to 16 years. They also face some hereditary health problems, but overall, this natural breed is healthy.

Do Norwegian Forest Cats shed?

Yes, they shed, and you can see that the Norwegian Forest cat sheds more in spring. As this breed, it has a semi-long double coat but easier to maintain. Regular maintenance is the requirement of this breed.

Do Norwegian Forest Cats like to cuddle?

Yes, they like hugs, but they don’t demand them. This playful breed has proven to be an independent and affectionate member of the family. The Norwegian Forest Cat is somewhat different from the lap cat, but it will also press its head against your hand and share its loving purr.

Norwegian forest cat vs. Maine coon (which one should you buy?)

In summing up both breeds’ personalities, we find that Norwegian Forest Cats reduce their activity level and become lazy after a while. While Maine Coons look more active and playful like a kitten. If you want a friendly, comfortable, and loving pet, these two breeds can be great contenders for you.

What is the largest Maine Coon or Norwegian Forest cat?

The Norwegian Forest Cat and the Maine Coon, both breeds, are generally described as large breeds. Compared to female cats, males of both breeds are significantly larger in size. Maine Coons are generally heavier than Norwegian Forest Cat.

Conclusion

Norwegian Forest Cat is easy to care for. They are loyal, loving, and independent by nature. The Norwegian Forest Cat is difficult to find, as it is rare in Australia.