are norwegian forest cats big

Much like the Maine coon, the Norwegian forest cat is a large cat, with a brawny, muscular body and long legs, weighing between 10 and 20 pounds. Since the breed had to adapt to Norway’s cold climate, it has a thick, fluffy coat and full tail, with long, water-repellant hair and a woolly undercoat for extra insulation.

The Norwegian Forest cat’s size

The Norwegian Forest cat, also called the skogkatt (forest cat or fairy cat) in Norway, most likely originated hundreds of years ago in frigid Scandinavia. Over centuries, short-haired cats imported from Rome to northern Europe grew accustomed to the colder climate by giving birth to long-haired kittens.

In addition to developing thick, water-resistant coats, Norwegian Forest cats also developed into fierce, fearless hunters. They are believed to have waded into the water and climbed sheer walls to catch fish—quite the feat for your typical domestic cat! Although modern Norwegian Forest cats may lack the same level of bravery, the instincts are still present.

For centuries, the breed’s massive stature has contributed to its hunting prowess and environmental adaptability. They also take up to five years to reach their full size due to their slow rate of development.

It’s hardly surprising that Norwegian Forest cats can get fairly heavy given their robust, muscular bodies. Male Norwegian Forest cats will typically weigh more than females. While females usually weigh 8 to 16 pounds, males can weigh up to 20 pounds.

These cats don’t sound all that big, but they are on the smaller end of the scale. But if you’re thinking about the upper end of 16–20 pounds, you should be extremely impressed. Nowadays, a lot of domestic cats suffer from obesity; however, the reason this breed is large isn’t because they are obese, but rather because they are simply large!

In general, the Norwegian Forest cat can grow taller than other domestic cat breeds, but this isn’t always the case. The shortest Norwegian Forest cat will be about the same height as most other cats, as the breed typically grows to a height of 10 to 12 inches.

Norwegian Forest cats have long legs and long muzzles that give them a certain grace even with their wild fur. This adds to their overall appearance of having a long body. The typical Norwegian Forest cat is between 12 and 18 inches long, but their bushy tail is what really makes them stand out. The breed’s maximum reach with this appendage is an astounding 36 inches!

Generally speaking, domestic house cats are smaller than Norwegian Forest cats. The tiniest Norwegian Forest cats, who are typically female, will resemble typical domestic cats in size.

While other domestic breeds typically weigh between 6 and 12 pounds, Norwegian Forest cats typically weigh between 8 and 20 pounds.

The majority of domestic cat breeds are only 10 inches tall, which is normal for cats from the Norwegian Forest. The breed’s larger cats will reach a height of one foot.

Norwegian Forest cats can be quite long. Their length becomes obvious when compared to other domestic cats. The average length of a domestic cat breed is 15 to 20 inches. However, Norwegian Forest cats can grow to a maximum length of 36 inches, making them twice as large.

Norwegian Forest Cat Appearance

The Norwegian Forest cat is larger than the typical cat, with a robust build, beautiful semi-long coat, and an elegant yet muscular appearance. They have a long, triangular head with high set, tufted ears, long legs, and a magnificent bushy tail. They are strong and substantial. Semi-long coats; in the summer, body fur sheds to a shorter length. The winter coat has fluffy pants around the back legs, a shirtfront, and a full ruff around the neck.

Norwegian Forest Cat Personality

A Norwegian Forest cat, also known as a “Wegie,” is a kind and amiable creature that doesn’t require constant attention. When their humans are home, they are content to curl up next to them. Although they are not particularly lap cats (often because they can be prone to overheating), Norwegian Forest cats can be reserved toward strangers and will welcome affection and physical contact from their humans.

Family-friendly: 2/5
Playfulness: 3/5
Intelligence: 3/5
Tendency to Vocalise: 4/5
Likes Other Pets: 4/5
Grooming needs: 4/5
Shedding: 4/5

The Norwegian Forest Cat is mentioned in Viking legend and mythology. It is thought to have originated in Scandinavia and is known as the Skogkatt in its home country. These cats would have easily adapted to the Scandinavian climate and to life aboard ships based on their wild and rugged appearance, sturdy build, and thick, weatherproof coat. Early in the 20th century, the breed was in danger of going extinct, so breeders worked hard to save it. In the 1970s, they established a unique breeding program to preserve the breed. King Olaf gave them royal recognition and made them the official feline of Norway!

The Norwegian Forest cat is best suited for outdoor living; it enjoys climbing and isn’t afraid to fall headfirst off of fences and tree trunks. If your Norwegian Forest cat has access to any outdoor areas, you should use a sturdy cat-proof fence around it or think about getting an enclosed run. An ideal farm companion, a Norwegian Forest cat would gladly patrol feed rooms and haybarns by day and curl up on the couch at night.

This energetic and gregarious cat will love to climb, so it will require furniture and cat trees to give it a release for this behavior. The Norwegian Forest cat is laid-back and not overly demanding, but it does enjoy a good game. You can easily come up with games to play, and you can use food-dispensing toys to make your cat work for their food by simulating some of the hunting sequence. This also helps with their tendency for weight gain.

Since each cat is different, they all have different food preferences, needs, and dislikes. But because they are carnivores, cats require 41 distinct and distinct nutrients in their diet. It is not unexpected that a growing, active kitten requires a different balance of nutrients in her diet than a less active senior cat because the proportion of these nutrients will vary depending on age, lifestyle, and general health. Other things to keep in mind include following feeding guidelines and feeding an individual’s preference for wet or dry food recipes, as well as feeding an appropriate quantity of food to maintain optimal body condition. The lifespan of a Norwegian Forest cat can reach 15 years with the right diet and care.

While older and kitten cats might need daily grooming to keep their coats neat and free of tangles, adult cats only need a general grooming once a week. Spring is when Norwegian Forest cats shed the most, so brushing your cat well during this time will hasten the process. You can inspect the coat for parasites and small injuries with a weekly groom.

The Norwegian Forest cat can be a great friend for a patient and quiet household. They are a good fit for most homes, but they may not be ideal for a very active family or one with lots of visitors because they can be shy and reserved as they grow older.


Is the Norwegian Forest Cat bigger than the Maine Coon?

The Maine Coon is a bigger breed even if the Norwegian is not a small cat. Maine Coon: males are around 7-12 kg (15-26 lb) and females are 5-8 kg (11-18 lb). Norwegian: males are around 6-9 kg (13-20 lb) and females are 4-6 kg (9-13 lb).

How big will my Norwegian Forest Cat get?

Once they reach full maturity, which can be as late as five years of age, both male and female Norwegian Forest Cats possess significant muscle and bone mass. Males weigh on average between 12 and 16 pounds, with females typically ranging from 9 to 12 pounds.

Are Norwegian Forest Cats lap cats?

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.

Are Norwegian Forest Cats small?

The playful Norwegian Forest Cat is a large, muscular, friendly cat that typically weighs 12–15 pounds, with some caveats: Mature females can be as small as 8 pounds, while some males can get up to 19 pounds or more.