Norwegian Forest cat summer vs winter coat—is it even the same cat?
A Norwegian Forest cat’s fascinating coat may give the impression that a cloud of hair will constantly linger in your home, but is it a realistic assumption?
Untamed explains all about the Norwegian Forest cat's summer vs winter coat to help you get a better idea of how it changes, what kind of care it needs, and how to keep it in perfect condition.
Understanding Norwegian Forest cat coat
I’m more of a lion in the winter and less of a lion in the summer. What’s so hard to understand?
Source: Anton Darius
Norwegian Forests are large cats whose semi-long and incredibly dense fur makes them appear even bigger. These kitties are made to withstand harsh Norwegian winters and snow. Their coat is double-layered with a thick, woolly undercoat to keep them warm and a water-resistant, coarser top layer to keep moisture away from their skin. Being hardy, resilient, and resourceful, Wegies have proven to be highly adaptable. Their coat allows them to adapt to the changing temperatures throughout the year.
Like most other furry creatures, Wegies change their coat with the seasons, but the change can be so drastic that your summer and winter Norwegian may look like two different felines.
Norwegian Forest’s winter coat
Wegies don't wait to hear the famous phrase "the winter is coming" to start preparing for the chilly months. Well before the first frost, they start growing a thick, plushy underlayer designed to preserve their body temperature. Their coat is puffed to trap warm air between the outer layer and a Wegie's body. It works as insulation.
These kitties have a fluffy mane around their necks that becomes more prominent during the winter. They also have ear and paw tufts and long tails with fur growing in all directions. A Wegie's coat is not the same length everywhere on the body. During cold months, when they are fully coated, the difference in length in specific areas is more apparent. The shape of the mane is clearly defined by the shorter fur on the feline's shoulders.
Norwegian Forest cat’s summer coat
A few more days, and my summer body will be ready! Beach, here I come!
Source: Wild Spirit
Come spring, your Norwegian Forest starts shedding their winter coat. The entire undercoat will disappear within a few weeks. They lose a significant amount of fur, so they appear much smaller and leaner in the summer. The hair becomes somewhat sleeker, lying flat against their body.
Wegies keep their bushy tails and mane throughout the year together with their famous paw pads and ear furnishings.
How much do Norwegian Forests shed?
Despite being semi-long-haired felines, Wegies are moderate shedders. They shed significantly less than most other long-haired breeds but still more than short-haired kitties.
There are two distinctive moulting seasons:
- Spring—After winter, Norwegian Forests go through an intense shedding season. During this time, your home will be full of hair piling together and resembling dandelion seeds. Thankfully, these are much easier to clean than fine moulted hair of short-coat cats
- Autumn—In autumn, Wegies shed their summer coat to make room for the thick winter undercoat. This shedding period is nowhere near as heavy as the spring one
Keep in mind that Wegies shed all year long but to a lesser extent, which is important for people allergic to cats.
What factors can impact your Norwegian Forest's shedding intensity?
If your Wegie sheds too much, and it’s not that time of year, something must be wrong.
Source: Krystal Ng
Several factors can influence your Wegie's shedding intensity, most notably:
- The temperature (outside and in your home)
- Your Wegie’s health
- The grooming frequency
- Their diet
The primary function of your Wegie's coat is to keep them warm. If the temperature rises, causing your feline friend to overheat, they will instinctively shed more. Norwegian Forests living in warmer climates shed more throughout the year.
In the summer, it is necessary to restrict the time your Wegie spends outside to prevent them from overheating.
I don’t feel like getting up today.
Source: Linh Nguyen
Underlying health problems could be the reason for abnormal shedding in Norwegian Forests. If you notice your kitty suddenly losing more hair, especially in clumps, have them checked.
The leading causes of excessive shedding in felines include:
- Stress—Stress and anxiety are the most common causes of abnormal hair loss in cats. If their routine changes abruptly and frequently (new pets or family members, moving homes, etc.), your kitty may have difficulty adjusting. Even something as benign as furniture rearrangement can freak them out
- Hyperthyroidism—This condition entails the hyperproduction of the hormones by the thyroid gland. In this case, shedding is accompanied by weight loss and muscle mass depletion. If left untreated, hyperthyroidism can lead to severe health problems
- Parasites—Fleas can cause overall poor coat quality, hair loss, and skin inflammation
- Allergies—Your Wegie may be allergic to something in the environment (e.g. pollen, household chemicals, certain plants) or an ingredient in the food. Common allergens include eggs, grains, beef, and dairy (milk, cheese, yoghurt, ice cream, and even lactose-free dairy products). If your kitty gets an allergic reaction, their skin may become irritated and itchy. This condition is called atopic dermatitis, and it often results in excessive licking, scratching, biting, and hair loss
Adequate grooming can reduce your Wegies shedding intensity, while neglecting it can exacerbate the problem.
Norwegian Forests are relatively easy to groom despite their long and thick coat. Their fur doesn't tangle or mat much, and these kitties spend a lot of time grooming themselves, making your job even simpler.
It doesn't mean you are entirely off the hook. Grooming your Wegie entails:
- Regular brushing—Combing your kitty's fur once a week is enough to remove loose hair and minor dirt. During the shedding season, you may need to increase the brushing frequency to two or three times a week
- Occasional bathing—Norwegian Forests love water, so getting them in won't be a problem. Making them get out might be. No matter how much they enjoy it, don't bathe your kitty more often than every two months. Natural oils on their upper coat are essential for their fur quality, and frequent bathing and swimming can lead to dry skin and poor-looking fur
You can’t keep feeding me that lame excuse for food and expect me to be my glorious self.
Source: Paul Hanaoka
Low-quality cat food lacks the essential nutrients necessary to maintain a healthy coat, which can cause increased shedding.
These products are usually filled with grains and similar filler ingredients, lowering the cost of the product but negatively affecting your Wegie’s coat quality. Since felines are obligate carnivores, meat is the most important ingredient in their diet. It delivers all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential amino acids (like taurine, arginine, lysine, histidine, and leucine) cats need to stay healthy. Fish is a superb source of protein and healthy fatty acids that improve your kitty's coat quality.
Grains, vegetables, fruit, and sugar are not toxic to felines, but they are harmful to their health in the long run. Besides not providing the necessary nutrients, they are also hard on your Wegie's tummy, causing numerous gastrointestinal problems, such as:
- Irritable bowel movement
Carb-rich food leads to obesity, even if you are careful with portions, which is a significant risk factor for other serious diseases, including:
- Heart disease
- Joint problems
How to recognise high-quality cat food for your Wegie?
Want to know if a product is high-quality? Look for the source and percentage of animal protein.
Image (c) Untamed
A glance at the ingredient list will give you a good idea of the product's quality.
High-quality cat food—dry or wet—should have the following nutrient ratio:
50% or more
Up to 20%
Less than 3%
The ingredients list should be short, and you must be able to identify the meat source easily.
The table below presents the best animal protein sources as well as subpar ingredients to avoid:
The best animal protein sources
Ingredients to avoid entirely
Ingredients acceptable in small quantities
It would be better to opt for wet food because kitty biscuits don’t provide enough moisture (under 10%) even if their composition is good. Cats are not keen on drinking water, so the best way to keep them hydrated is through their meals.
Choose quality for your Norwegian Forest—try Untamed
Untamed turns every day into a good hair day.
Image (c) Untamed
Don't let low-quality food be the reason for your Wegie's poor coat. Get nutritious and delicious whole-meat meals for your feline companion, and ensure their coat is always luscious and strong.
Untamed jellies and gravies contain 60%–63% human-grade whole meat and fish—that's two times more than the industry standard. We also add a dash of animal fat to make even fussy kitties known to refuse wet meals lick their food bowls clean.
Our dishes are:
- Developed by vets—Untamed meals contain ideal amounts of animal protein, animal fat, and other nutrients
- Free from allergens—You won't find unpronounceable additives, harsh preservatives, taste enhancers, colourants, and known allergens on our ingredients list. If your kitty is especially sensitive or they are recuperating from an illness, you can try our single-source-protein meals:
- Tuck-in Tuna in Jelly with tuna bits cooked in fish broth
- Chocka Chicken in Jelly with pulled chicken breast and liver
- Gently steamed—We don't destroy the nutrients and kill the taste by overcooking our meals. We simmer all the ingredients, so the result is a soft, hydrating, and easily digestible cat food that tastes heavenly
Take our TRY NOW quiz, tell us about your Wegie, and create a tailor-made meal plan for your feline friend!
Have Untamed delivered to your doorstep in no time
Your Norwegian Forest can start their Untamed journey in a single day!
Order our fantastic trial pack online at an affordable price in three easy steps:
- Take our TRY NOW quiz
- Select the products
- Place the order
Your Wegie can sample our delish, ready-to-serve meals immediately because the goods will arrive in a day. Once they give you a nod of approval, you can opt for our cat food subscription. We will send monthly supplies of your kitty's favourite meals with no shipping fees. You can change, postpone, or cancel your order anytime!
Once your Norwegian Forest switches to Untamed, you can expect the following improvements:
After a week
Two to four months