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02.09.2022

Do Norwegian Forest cats like water, or does it mortify them like other kitties?

Norwegian Forest cats are remarkable in many ways. These beautiful, intelligent, and playful kitties adore company and enjoy meeting new people, kids, and animals. In many ways, their behaviour is pretty dog-like.

Wegies enjoy a game of fetch, quickly learn to sit or lie down on command, and love spending time outside, but what about playing in the water?

Do Norwegian Forest cats like water? Untamed answers this question and explains how to let your feline friend enjoy a swim safely.

Norwegian Forests and water—is it going to happen?

To jump, or not to jump? Probably not.

Source: IgorShubin

If you’ve ever tried to bathe a cat, you probably had a nearly traumatic experience, and so did they. Felines usually try to run away all soapy and wet.

But that is not the case with Wegies. They have a particular coat type that repels water and keeps them warm and dry, which is probably why they are not terrified of water like most felines. Norwegian Forests can go for a swim without being cold.

These felines are also excellent hunters who travelled on Viking longboats where they were in charge of hunting rodents. Your Wegie might try to catch a fish if given an opportunity, so be careful if you have a fish tank or a koi pond.

How to ensure your Norwegian Forest cat goes swimming safely

If your Norwegian Forest is drawn to water, they will run to the sink whenever the tap is running or jump in the shower with you. They might even spend a suspiciously long time around the toilet (not great, so keep it closed).

Even though cats can be excellent swimmers, you must ensure they are safe, so pay attention to the following:

  • Don't let them play in and around water too much—Despite your Wegie’s love for swimming and bathing, you should limit their time in and around water. If you let them get soaked too often, it can remove the natural oils from their skin and mess up their skin's PH value, which entails poor coat health, skin irritation, and increased shedding. The same goes for bathing. Brushing your Wegie regularly will keep their coat in optimal condition, so frequent baths are unnecessary
  • Be careful with the water temperature—If your kitty plays in the bathtub, cat pool, or sink, make sure the water is lukewarm. Hot or cold water may hurt your kitty's skin, despite their dense, double-layered coat. Your kitty's ancestors were used to harsh winters, but your feline friend is pretty much a house cat. They are used to a warm home, a comfy bed, and a lot of pampering
  • Never leave them unsupervised—If you let your kitty swim in the bathtub or pool, never let them play alone. Accidents happen even to skilled swimmers, so better to be safe than sorry

How to get your Wegie accustomed to water

I asked for a kitty pool, and you got me a box. Used. D for effort. 

Source: pklaschka

Norwegian Forests may be famous for their love of water, but you must remember that every kitty is unique. Your feline friend may not be so thrilled about swimming. They may have never had the opportunity to experience water before either.

If you have adopted a Wegie kitten and are unsure how they will respond to water, you should introduce them to it slowly and carefully. Throwing them in a pool or tub is a terrible idea and a sure-fire way to lifelong trauma.

The safest method is to fill your bathtub up to a few centimetres. Check if your Wegie shows any interest and gently place them in it. You can gradually make the water deeper if they seem to like it.

Another option is to let them play with a gentle stream from a tap. Observe how they behave, and if you think your Norwegian Forest will enjoy swimming, you can let them try the tub. A cat pool is also a great idea, especially during the summer.

Do Norwegian Forest cats like to drink water?

Most felines don't have a strong thirst drive. As obligate carnivores, cats in nature hunt small animals like mice, frogs, lizards, birds, and moths. They get most of the moisture from freshly caught prey and don't need to drink much water.

Domesticated kitties may not go on hunting sprees, but they have kept their carnivorous nature and haven't developed a habit of drinking water. Unfortunately, if a cat doesn't get enough moisture from food, they may suffer from dehydration. This can lead to serious health issues, including:

The usual signs of dehydration include:

  • Low skin elasticity
  • Drooling
  • Shuddering
  • Strange urination patterns
  • Dry gums
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Weak pulse
  • Wheezing
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite

The good news is that Norwegian Forest cats usually like drinking water. They drink not only when they are thirsty but while playing, too. Since Wegies tend to be active, they might drink more after a particularly vigorous workout session.

What if your Wegie doesn't drink enough water?

If your Norwegian Forest cat doesn't drink enough, you should:

  1. Get a water fountain
  2. Switch to wet food 

Why is a water fountain helpful?

That puddle does look tempting. I wonder how angry mom would be…

Source: Fritz_the_Cat

Water fountains intrigue cats. Cats are drawn to running water, so they might drink more.

More importantly, they'll always have fresh water. In a bowl, water gets stale quickly and becomes a fertile ground for bacteria and fungi. Bacterial infections can be hazardous to your Wegie's health, so even if you don't get them a fountain, change the water in their bowl frequently.

Why should you switch to wet food?

Cats on dry food often struggle with dehydration and related health problems, but switching to wet meals can help significantly.

Canned food has several benefits over kibble. Namely, it’s:

  • More hydrating—Wet meals contain over 70% moisture while dry food only has around 10%
  • Higher in protein—High-quality canned food usually has more meat and fish and fewer carbs and similar filler ingredients
  • Less processed—Kibble is often full of meat derivatives, corn, plant protein, and various additives necessary to maintain consistency and prolong its shelf life. The ingredients list on dry products often includes supplements, which signals that the meat content is low

What's the right food for your Norwegian Forest cat?

The best food for your Wegie should contain:

  1. Large amounts of exclusively animal protein
  2. Moderate amounts of animal fat
  3. Little to no carbs

Animal protein

Meat and fish are the best sources of animal protein for felines.

Image (c) Untamed

Meat and fish are the most important ingredients in cat food and should be listed first. Animal protein is crucial for your Norwegian Forest's health because felines get all the necessary vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fatty acids, and amino acids (taurine and arginine) from meat and fish.

These micronutrients are critical for:

  • Digestion
  • Even energy levels
  • Good immune system
  • Normal vision
  • Strong bones, teeth, and muscles
  • Healthy skin and coat
  • Normal organ function

Check out the best sources of animal protein for your feline friend, as well as some delicious treats to be served in moderation:

The best protein sources

Occasional treats or taste enhancers (due to high fat content)

Meat and fish deliver enough moisture to keep a cat hydrated even if they are not avid water drinkers. Soups and broths are also fantastic for hydrating a cat because they are tasty, healthy, and contain plenty of moisture.

Animal fat

Animal fat is necessary because:

  1. It delivers healthy fatty acids crucial for healing, hydration, cell integrity, and regulating the inflammatory response
  2. The tiniest amounts add an irresistible taste, so your kitty will go mad for the meals

Getting the correct protein-to-fat ratio is critical, so a well-balanced feline diet should consist of:

Nutrient group

Ideal percentage

Animal protein

50% or more

Animal fat

20% or less

Carbohydrates

Under 3%

Why should you avoid carbs?

Felines can't properly digest carbs and plant protein. If your Wegie eats a lot of fruit, grains, and vegetables, they can suffer from gastrointestinal problems, including:

They also can't get the essential nutrients from these ingredients and have to eat much more to quench their hunger. An improper diet inevitably leads to obesity, increasing the risk of:

The table below shows the ingredients you should not feed your Wegie. Some of them are not poisonous to felines and can be given occasionally if your kitty needs more fibre in their diet, while others are downright toxic and should be avoided at all costs:

Acceptable occasionally

Potentially hazardous

Why is Untamed an excellent option for your Wegie?

Pick Untamed because it's the healthiest and tastiest food for your Wegie.

Image (c) Untamed

Untamed is the best choice you can make for your Norwegian Forest.

Our meals are:

If your Norwegian Forest needs some hydration, try Untamed. Our complete and balanced meals deliver the necessary moisture and keep your Wegie happy and healthy. 

How to get Untamed for your Norwegian Forest

Three steps are all it takes to order our yummy meals for your Norwegian Forest online:

  1. Complete our Try Now quiz
  2. Create a tailor-made meal plan for your Wegie
  3. Place your order

When your feline friend chooses their faves, we can start sending fresh supplies of healthy dishes every month.

After your kitty becomes a member of the Untamed clowder, you can expect the following improvements:

  1. After a week—Optimal hydration, tidier litter box, no issues with digestion
  2. After two months—Great mood, shiny and soft fur, leaner physique
  3. Within four months—Normalised eating habits, reduced shedding, fewer annoying hairballs
  4. Life-long—Almost no gastrointestinal problems, effortless weight control, steady health