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05.09.2022

Norwegian Forest cat size—how big do they get?

Norwegian Forests are large cats like Maine Coons, Ragdolls, Bengals, and Savannahs. Their double-layered coat makes them look like mountain cats and appear even bigger, especially during winter when they grow a thick woolly undercoat.

How big are these kitties, and what could affect their growth? Untamed explains all about the Norwegian Forest cat size and shares some helpful tips on keeping your Wegie healthy and happy for many years.

How big are Norwegian Forest cats?

Wegies are sturdy and muscular felines with a robust bone structure, long bodies and thick, muscular necks. They have long hind legs and exceptionally strong claws, making them superb jumpers and climbers. Everything about these kitties seems oversized and heavy, but they are incredibly athletic despite their size.

A fully grown Norwegian Forest cat can weigh up to 10 kg. Males typically weigh between 4.5 and 9 kg, while females are usually smaller, weighing 3.6 to 8 kg, and more elegantly built.

The size of a Norwegian Forest only becomes evident when compared to a regular cat.

Source: Peter Lam CH

To better understand how big these felines are, check out the comparison with a regular domestic cat in the following table:

Dimensions 

Normal cat average (male)

Norwegian Forest cat average (male)

Length 

40–46 cm

30.5–45.5 cm

Height 

20–25 cm

23–30.5 cm

Weight 

4.5 kg

4.5–9 kg

How big are Norwegian Forest kittens?

Wegie kittens are usually larger than average. Their weight and size depend on their gender, genetics, and whether they are purebred or mixed breed.

These felines are similar in size to Maine Coons, whose kittens weigh between 80 and 160 grams, so don’t expect a petite Wegie baby.

Regardless of their weight at birth, kittens should gain about 0.5 kg per month between three and seven months. This number is not set in stone, but extreme fluctuations should not be taken lightly.

To ensure your kitten grows strong, you must feed them protein-rich, grain-free food. Deficiencies in their diet, caused by insufficient amounts of meat and fish, can result in underdevelopment and cause joint and bone issues. An improper diet can also strain their delicate digestive system considerably.

Meat-based nutrition will ensure your Wegie kitten gets all the necessary vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids (such as taurine) to grow and develop healthily.

What can affect a Norwegian Forest's size?

No matter how big I get, I will always manage to squeeze myself into impossibly small spaces. 

Source: Petrebels

Wegies' height, length, and weight are typically presented as a range, but how big exactly your kitty will grow depends on several factors, including:

  1. Genetic makeup
  2. Sterilisation status
  3. Diet

How do genetics affect your Wegie's size?

Your Wegie's size depends on their genetic makeup. If studs and queens used in the breeding programme are large, the kittens also tend to grow bigger.

Norwegian Forests mature slowly, and it can take up to five years to reach their full size. You can ensure their growth rate is normal and they develop properly with a well-balanced diet. You can also keep their weight under control by carefully measuring their portions. Other than that, your kitty's size is beyond your control.

How does your Wegie's sterilisation status impact their growth?

Neutered and spayed Wegies tend to grow larger than intact cousins. The earlier a cat is fixed, the larger they are likely to grow. A neutered or spayed Norwegian Forest can grow up to 10% more than they would if they remained intact.

Sterilisation brings many other benefits. It prevents unwanted litter, stops the spread of genetic diseases (if a cat is a carrier), and makes cats calmer. It also prevents or drastically reduces the chances of reproductive system health problems.

Fixing your furry friend can also improve their behaviour. The table below presents the health and behavioural advantages of neutering and spaying:

Health benefits

Behavioural improvements

  • Females:
    • Eliminates the risk of ovarian and uterine cancer
    • Reduces the risk of hormone-related problems
    • Lower risk of breast cancer
  • Males: 
    • No risk of testicular cancer
    • Lower chances of prostate-related problems
  • Helps with territorial behaviour, such as fighting with other cats
  • Inhibits the need for scent marking
  • Prevents kitties from roaming away from home in search of a mate

The only problem with fixing is that it can make your Wegie susceptible to weight gain. Housebound kitties are particularly at risk because of their sedentary lifestyle.

How can you affect your Wegie's size with nutrition?

Did you say lunch?

Source: Miron Cristina

Norwegian Forests had to grow large to survive the harsh winters of their country of origin. The bulkier they are, the better insulated and protected from the cold they become. Since they don’t have to deal with the snow and freezing temperatures anymore, your kitty doesn’t need those extra pounds.

Unnecessary weight can lead to various health issues, including:

  • Heart disease—Norwegian Forests are generally healthy, but they are not immune to specific hereditary ailments. They are particularly susceptible to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It's the thickening of the heart muscle that makes it difficult for the organ to function properly. In severe cases, it can cause blood clot formation and fluid accumulation in the lungs. Ultimately, it can end with heart failure. Obesity is a significant risk factor
  • Joint problems—Many large breeds are predisposed to joint issues, and Wegies tend to struggle with hip dysplasia. Although it's a genetic deformity you can't prevent, the extra weight makes it more difficult to manage the condition and reduces your kitty's quality of life
  • Diabetes—Diabetic cats can't properly produce or regulate insulin, leading to high blood sugar levels. Glucose is the primary energy source, but without insulin, the body cannot utilise it and turns to other sources, such as fat and proteins, to feed the cells. It leads to weight loss (although your kitty's appetite is increased). If your Wegie is overweight, the chances of developing diabetes increase drastically

What, how much, and how often you feed your Norwegian Forest is paramount to help them develop properly, maintain their health, and boost their longevity.

What should your Norwegian Forest cat's diet consist of?

The healthier the food (whether you go for wet or dry meals or combine the two), the smaller portions you must serve. Since your Wegie will probably spend most of their time inside, a healthy diet (and regular exercise) are mandatory.

A healthy diet resembles your kitty’s natural feeding habits. In the wild, felines hunt small birds, mice, lizards, big insects (mostly moths and grasshoppers), snails, slugs, and frogs. Domesticated cats thrive on lean meat and fish.

Whatever type of cat food you go for, it should provide the following nutrients:

Nutrient group

Ideal percentage

Animal protein

More than 50%

Animal fat

Maximum 20%

Carbs 

Less than 3%

What type of ingredients to look for in cat food?

The best food for your Norwegian Forest should contain a lot of meat and a hint of animal fat.

Image (c) Untamed

The best cat food contains large amounts of easily identifiable animal protein sources. Always check whether the ingredient list on the product mentions the protein source by name. Here are some of the best options:

Beef, lamb, pork, ham, or bacon are acceptable ingredients, but they should be present in small quantities due to their high fat content. Beef is also a common allergen, so be careful if you feed it to your Wegie.

If you notice any of the following vegetable protein sources on the list, look for another product:

Cat food containing too many carbs can be harmful to your Norwegian Forest's health in the long run because:

  • Carbohydrates in vegetables and grains can put a strain on your a cat's pancreas, leading to diabetes
  • Carbs deliver fast-release energy, and any unburnt calories get stored as fatty cells
  • Cats need much more vegetable-based food to satisfy their nutritional needs

Be sure your Wegie's dietary needs are met perfectly—try Untamed

If you want to keep your Wegie fit and healthy, Untamed is the right choice.

Image (c) Untamed

Keeping your Wegie at a perfect weight and ensuring their nutritional needs are satisfied is easy with Untamed.

Every Untamed meal, whether in jelly or gravy, is:

  1. Rich in animal protein
  2. Vet-formulated
  3. Ethically produced

Plenty of animal protein

Untamed dishes are free from:

  • Grains
  • Vegetables
  • Sugar
  • Flavour enhancers
  • Artificial colourants
  • Harsh additives
  • Meat derivatives

You will see only the highest-quality lean meat and fish on our ingredient list.

Thanks to the gentle steaming, all the goodness and flavour are locked in. If you are worried that your fussy Wegie might refuse wet meals, rest assured that they won't be able to resist Untamed.

Vet-designed formulas

We collaborate with vets to ensure your kitty gets perfectly balanced meals. Untamed dishes are also designed to help with common health issues, including:

Our products are suitable for kitties at any life stage. Whether your Norwegian Forest is a kitten, adult, or senior, neutered or intact, you can rely on Untamed to keep them healthy, fit, and energetic.

Ethically produced cat food

Untamed cares for cats and the planet equally, so our products are:

  1. Made with ingredients sourced from sustainable, cruelty-free suppliers
  2. Packed in fully recyclable materials
  3. Produced leaving a neutral carbon footprint

If you want your Norwegian Forest to grow big but not become overweight, try Untamed. We will help you keep your furry friend healthy and happy for a long time!

Getting Untamed for your Norwegian Forest

I’m not included in the offer. 

Image (c) Untamed

Ordering healthy cat food online can be as fast and easy as snapping your fingers.

To have Untamed delivered to your door, all you need to do is:

  1. Tell us about your Wegie
  2. Select the products
  3. Order your first trial pack

The goods will arrive in a day, and once your Norwegian Forest picks what they like, we can send you monthly supplies with:

  • Free delivery
  • Easy order modification 
  • No-questions-asked cancellation policy

According to our long-term clients, you can expect the following improvements:

Timeline 

The Untamed effect

Within a week

  • Even energy levels
  • Less mess in the litter box

After 2 months

After 4 months

Life-long 

  • Natural weight control 
  • Fewer health niggles