by Barbara George, Tellington Ttouch Behaviourist
The Norwegian Forest Cat, along with the Siberian Forest Cat, is the second largest breed of domestic cat, after the Maine Coon. They are the official cat of Norway, and still closely resemble their forest-dwelling ancestors.
Wegies are gentle cats, affectionate, patient cats who enjoy the company of people, other cats and pets. They are slow to mature, usually around 3 to 4 years of age. They are great hunters and need an outlet for this activity. They have a large vocabulary, and in a gentle and non-invasive way will converse with you.
He is playful but not over-energetic. As a forest cat should, he is strong, agile, and a good climber, and enjoys viewing the world from a high perch. He can retract his hind claws, and climb down trees head-first. He is intelligent, and enjoys the opportunity to show off his learning skills.
His beautiful medium-long coat, which will be evident as he matures after the second year, has an effective waterproof outer layer. These cats enjoy water; a good shake and they are almost dry. Their thick undercoat keeps them warm in winter and cool on summer. In winter they will grow a ruff, the size and thickness dependent on the coldness of the weather. The thick tail retains its size throughout the year.
Regular weekly grooming is needed to keep him in good shape, and more often when he is shedding in spring or in warmer weather. Wegies as breed are prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, hip dysplasia and issues with teeth and gums.
In Norse legend, these are the cats that pulled Goddess Freya’s carriage across the skies. He is known as a great mouser and the farmer’s friend. He sailed with the Vikings, keeping rats from the food supplies.
Wegies are suitable for homes where he will be loved, groomed, entertained, and allowed to hunt toys. They make good companions without being demanding. He is good with children and other pets, if introduced correctly.
To contact Barbara, please email email@example.com