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19.08.2022

What is the average Norwegian Forest cat life expectancy?

Every cat parent wants their companion to be around as long as possible, and if you have a Norwegian Forest cat or are planning to adopt one, you have a good chance of enjoying their company for a long time. With lots of love and proper care, these charming felines can live to a ripe old age.

Untamed presents all the factors impacting your Norwegian Forest cat's life expectancy to help you keep them healthy and happy well into their golden years. 

How long do Norwegian Forest cats live?

The average lifespan of a Norwegian Forest cat is 14–15 years, but they can surpass it with good care.

These felines are typically healthy and suffer from few genetic ailments, so it's not unusual for them to live up to 20 years and stay in great shape.

What factors may impact your Norwegian Forest cat's life expectancy?

With so many factors affecting my longevity, I’m lucky to be naturally tough.

Source: 5267040

Several factors can affect your Wegie's longevity, including:

  1. Genetics
  2. Sterilisation status
  3. Environment
  4. Grooming and care
  5. Physical activity
  6. Lifestyle
  7. Diet

Genetics

Felines whose parents lived a long life have better chances of surpassing their average life expectancy. Genetic diseases also play a vital role.

Luckily, Norwegian Forest cats tend to suffer from few hereditary health problems. They are a natural breed, which means they developed and adjusted to their environment without human intervention, which granted them excellent health.

There are a few hereditary diseases Wegies’ cat parents should pay attention to:

  • Glycogen storage disease type IV—GSD IV is a condition that prevents felines from metabolising glucose properly. It's a severe enzyme abnormality due to which kittens are usually stillborn or die a few hours after birth. In rare instances, kittens live for a few months before they start showing signs of neuromuscular degeneration
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy—HCM is a prevalent heart condition in felines, primarily affecting older males and obese cats. The heart muscle thickens, hampering the organ function, which leads to blood clot formation, fluid accumulation in the lungs, and heart failure
  • Hip dysplasia—Larger breeds, such as Norwegian Forest cats, Siberians, Maine Coons, and Bengals, often suffer from joint problems like hip dysplasia. Kittens are born with a hip joint malformation, which causes pain, stiffness, and inflammation, as well as osteoarthritis in advanced stages

The good news is that most hereditary diseases can be managed with proper diet and medication, provided they are diagnosed early. The bad news is that symptoms are usually not noticeable before a disease has progressed. It's crucial not to miss vet appointments because they can notice early signs of typical genetic conditions in Norwegian Forests.

Sterilisation status

Spaying and neutering have many benefits for male and female Wegies. Check them out in the table below:

The effects of neutering

The effects of spaying

  • Prevents testicular cancer
  • Reduces the risk of prostate problems
  • Makes males less prone to fighting and roaming
  • Eliminates the risk of uterine infections, ovarian cysts, and cancer
  • Reduces the risk of breast cancer
  • Keeps a cat calmer and quieter

Sterilisation in kittenhood also makes Norwegians grow bigger. The only downside of desexing is that felines, especially males, become prone to weight gain. You can mitigate this risk by controlling how much and how often your kitty eats.

The environment

I don’t need much—your love and a bit of your time is more than enough. 

Source: pklaschka

Kitties are not toys—they require love and attention. When you decide to bring a Norwegian Forest cat to your home, you have to ensure they live in a fun and comfortable environment and that you have time for them.

Check out the table below for a list of everything your Wegie needs:

Basic necessities

Entertainment props

  • Cat bed
  • Food and water bowls
  • Litter tray
  • Scratching post 
  • Cat tree
  • Electric mice
  • Floppy fish
  • Food puzzles
  • Balls
  • Teaser toys
  • Laser pointer

For your Norwegian to be happy, you must provide a stress-free environment and spend at least half an hour playing with them every day.

Grooming and care

Regular grooming will keep your furry friend pretty and support their health. Here is what you should do to keep your kitty in top shape:

  1. Brush them once or twice a week—Regular brushing will remove dead hair, significantly reducing the frequency of hairballs. It is crucial for long-haired breeds like Norwegians, Siberians, and Maine Coons because hairballs can cause blockage in their intestines. Brushing will also allow you to notice potential skin problems, allergic reactions, parasites, or lumps
  2. Clean their teeth often—Dental hygiene is crucial because tartar buildup can lead to painful gum inflammation, which makes cats refuse food. Ignored dental problems can lead to teeth resorption, and bacteria can spread to other organs
  3. Clean your Wegie's ears and eyes—Removing gunk and dirt prevents infections and relaxes felines

Physical activity

Physically active cats are typically in better shape than those who lead a sedentary lifestyle. Norwegian Forest cats are naturally energetic and need exercise to be happy and healthy.

Regular exercise can keep their ligaments, joints, and muscles in excellent condition. It will also keep your kitty's weight in check, preventing many illnesses that can negatively affect their life expectancy.

Obesity is a prevalent problem among domesticated cats. It makes felines depressed and lethargic and increases the risk of heart disease, liver failure, metabolic diseases, and joint problems.

Lifestyle

Please, mom, let’s stay out for five more minutes!

Source: JennyJohansson

Norwegian Forest cats tolerate harsh weather, and they enjoy being outside. Letting them go out is beneficial to some extent because it allows them to be more active. Chasing prey and exploring is highly stimulating for felines.

The downside is that the great outdoors poses numerous threats to felines, such as:

  • Traffic
  • Germs and parasites
  • Catfights
  • Predators
  • Unkind people

While there are many benefits of letting your kitty play outside, it's worth noting that indoor cats live longer because they are safe from various dangers. It's best to create a safe space for your kitty to play in, but if you don't have a fenced garden, supervise your kitty during their outdoor adventures.

Diet

The most important factor in your Norwegian Forest cat's life expectancy is their diet. An unhealthy meal plan can lead to obesity and other serious health problems, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Heart disease

What’s the best diet for your Norwegian Forest cat?

Sometimes, I pondershould I spare that mouse’s life? There’s food waiting for me inside anyway.

Source: Tiluria

Your kitty's diet impacts their health, mood, and longevity, so you must make the right food choices.

The best way to ensure your Norwegian Forest cat gets all the nutrients they need is to understand and respect their natural eating habits. As obligate carnivores, wild cats hunt insects and small animals like birds, mice, frogs, and slugs. Freshly caught prey delivers everything that satisfies a cat's dietary needs:

  1. Protein
  2. Vitamins and minerals
  3. Moisture

For your house-bound Wegie, adequate amounts of lean meat and fish will do the trick.

Well-balanced food for your Norwegian Forest cat should have:

  • Plenty of animal protein to deliver essential amino acids (such as taurine, arginine, and lysine) necessary for:
    • Energy
    • Strong muscles
    • Healthy coat
    • Efficient immune system
    • Normal organ function
    • Good digestion
  • Moderate quantities of animal fat to give food a delicious taste and provide fatty acids required for:
    • Cell integrity
    • Nutrient transportation and utilisation
    • Skin hydration
  • Enough moisture to prevent dehydration and reduce the risk of urinary infections, bladder stones, cystitis, and kidney disease
  • Necessary vitamins and minerals to support all biological functions, including oxygen transportation and enzyme formation

You should avoid carbs, such as grains, fruit, and sugar, as well as vegetable proteins. Ingredients like rice, sweetcorn, broccoli, carrots, beans, etc., are not toxic for felines, but they can cause digestive problems, such as:

It's also wise to eliminate beef, eggs, and dairy (even lactose-free) from your Norwegian Forest cat's diet because they can cause food allergies in some kitties. Prioritise wet food because dry food is heavily processed and typically contains a lot of carbs and additives.

How can Untamed help you prolong your Norwegian Forest cat's lifespan?

Sensitive or tough, young or old, Untamed has got your Norwegian Forest cat covered!

Image (c) Untamed

Untamed can be your best ally in keeping your Norwegian Forest cat healthy and active.

Our recipes are vet-formulated and suitable for felines of all ages—kittensadults, and seniors—regardless of their sterilisation status, weight, and health. Untamed meals can help keep your kitty at a healthy weight and assist in preventing many health conditions, including:

Our jellies and gravies can also support pregnant queens and recuperating kitties.

All Untamed dishes are:

  1. Full of animal protein—With at least 60% of high-quality lean meat and fish, our meals contain twice as much protein as the industry standard
  2. Allergen-free—We don't use any ingredient that could harm your kitty, and we offer two single-source-protein meals (Tuck-In Tuna in Jelly and Chocka Chicken in Jelly) suitable for particularly sensitive Wegies
  3. Fussy cat-approved—Worry not if your feline friend doesn't like wet food. Our meals are gently steamed, so all the goodness and fantastic taste are locked in. Your kitty won't be able to resist Untamed

If you take our quick online quiz, we can help you create a tailor-made meal plan for your Norwegian Forest. Order your first batch of healthy meals online and keep your kitty healthy and fit for many years!

Where do I sign up?

Shopping for healthy cat food has never been easier!

All you need to do to order Untamed is:

  1. Take our Try Now quiz
  2. Choose the right products for your Norwegian Forest cat
  3. Complete the order

The trial pack will arrive in a day. You can immediately serve the first meal to your feline companion, wait for their reaction, and when you confirm they love our delicacies, we can start sending you a fresh batch every month.

Our services include:

  • Next day delivery
  • Free shipping
  • Easy order modification
  • No-fuss cancellation

Based on the feedback we received from our clients whose kitties have already switched to Untamed, you can expect the following improvements:

  1. Week 1—Normal digestion, no mess in the litter tray
  2. Week 8—No mood swings, good muscle tone, great coat
  3. Month 4—Reduced shedding, fewer hairballs
  4. For life—Normal eating habits, effortless weight management, almost no unplanned vet visits