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05.09.2022

Is your feline companion a purebred Wegie or a Norwegian Forest cat tabby mix?

Whether your kitty is a purebred or a mixed breed shouldn't be important, but it can be helpful. When adopting a feline friend, knowing their heritage can help you understand their behavioural patterns, dietary needs, and care requirements.

Are you wondering if your tabby is a Wegie or a Norwegian Forest cat tabby mix? It’s a common question because Wegies often have the tabby pattern but so do other breeds and numerous hybrids. Untamed explains how to tell the difference.

How to tell if your tabby is a Norwegian Forest cat mix

The only way to know for sure whether your kitty is a purebred Wegie or a Norwegian Forest cat mix is to have their DNA tested. You can also look for traits specific to these kitties and compare them to your feline companion.

Consider the following:

  1. Physical traits
  2. Personality

Physical traits of a Norwegian Forest tabby

When comparing your tabby to a Wegie tabby, you need to pay attention to their:

  1. Tabby patterns and colours
  2. Coat type
  3. Head shape
  4. Ears
  5. Eyes
  6. Body shape

Tabby patterns and colour combinations

Norwegian Forests come in four tabby patterns.

Source: pklaschka

Wegie tabby has several distinctive features:

  • Dense, clearly defined markings on their body
  • An M-shaped mark on their head
  • Swirls on their cheeks
  • A defined black line down their spine
  • Rings and butterfly markings on the shoulders
  • Symmetrical patterns on the flanks
  • Two rows of button markings on the belly (typically white)

There are also four different tabby patterns, as shown in the table below:

Pattern

Description

Mackerel

  • Narrow markings along the body
  • Leg and tail rings
  • Necklace markings on the chest and neck
  • Defined lines from the eyes to the shoulders

Patched

  • Clear patches of red, cream, or both
  • Silver, brown, blue, or silver-blue colour combination

Spotted

  • Spots all over the body 
  • A stripe along the spine
  • Rings on the legs and tail
  • White button markings on the belly and chest

Ticked

  • Hidden tabby stripes or spots with bands of colour on each hair
  • No striping or spots on the body
  • Faint tabby markings on the face, tail, and legs 

Four tabby patterns combined with many colours equals countless combinations.

Source: JennyJohansson

Wegies in tabby patterns come in many different shades. The table below presents the most common ones:

Colours

Descriptions

Silver

  • Silver ground colour with black tabby markings
  • Red nose and paw pads

Blue 

  • Deep blue markings on blue ground colour
  • Pink noses and paw pads

Red

  • Pale red ground colour with deep red tabby markings
  • Brick-red nose and paw pads 

Brown

  • Copper ground colour with black markings
  • Black back sides of the legs
  • Brown or black nose and paw pads

Cream

  • Cream ground colour with darker cream markings
  • Pink nose and paw pads

Cameo

  • Red markings on a white ground colour
  • Pink nose and paw pads

Since many cat breeds come in tabby patterns, this can't be the only determining factor in whether your kitty is a Wegie or a Wegie mix. You need to look for other clues, such as their fur.

Coat type

I’ll admit it. I do look chubby in the winter.

Source: markbakelaar1

Your feline friend's coat length and fur type are more reliable signs that they might be a Wegie mix.

One of the most distinctive features of a Norwegian Forest is their long, dense fur. These kitties have a double-layered coat that changes with the seasons, so it can get particularly thick during winter. You will also notice increased shedding as the spring approaches.

Wegies also have a distinct mane around their neck and long bushy tails with hair growing in no particular direction. When bathing these felines, you will notice that their fur is water-resistant and challenging to get completely soaked.

If your feline has this coat type, you are one step closer to concluding they are a Norwegian Forest tabby mix.

Head shape

Wegies have a distinctive triangular head shape.

Source: pklaschka

Wegies have a rather distinctive head shape. It is triangular with a straight nose and flat forehead.

If your kitty is a Norwegian Forest mix, their heads may not have this exact shape.

Ears

Go ahead, laugh at my ear hair. Talk to me come winter.

Source: pklaschka

Another distinctive feature that can help you identify a Norwegian Forest tabby is their ears. They are medium-sized with rounded points, but what makes Wegies' ears recognisable are ear tufts (also called Lynx tips) and ear furnishings.

Ear tufts are strands of fur growing from the tips of the ears, while ear furnishings grow inside the ears. Wegies have particularly long furnishings. This fur has several purposes as it:

  • Keeps these kitties' ears warm
  • Prevents dirt from getting into the ear canal
  • Directs sound to the ear, enhancing the hearing

Eyes

You fall in love with the eyes first.

Source: pklaschka

Norwegian Forests have large, almond-shaped eyes. The most common eye colours in these felines are:

  • Green
  • Gold
  • Copper

If your tabby is a Norwegian Forest mix, they may have any colour but should be larger than most feline's eyes.

Body shape

Big, strong, gorgeous. All synonyms for me.

Source: Fritz_the_Cat

Wegies are large felines with strong and muscular bodies. Their fluffy fur makes them appear even more massive.

Fully grown males weigh from 4.5 to 9 kg, while females are smaller and more elegant, weighing from 3.6 to 8 kg. Keep in mind that Norwegian Forests take up to five years to reach maturity and their full size. If your tabby is a Norwegian Forest mix, they may continue to grow until that age. Depending on the other breed, your kitty may not be as big.

Wegies have particularly strong and muscular limbs, and their hind legs are longer than their front legs, which makes them superb jumpers. Their paws may seem oversized and have longer fur between the toes.

Norwegian Forest cat personality traits

It's impossible to predict the personality of a kitty accurately. Even though some character traits are typical for a particular breed, you must remember that every can is unique. When it comes to Norwegian Forests, they are usually:

  1. Independent
  2. Avid hunters
  3. Sociable
  4. Water enthusiasts
  5. Excellent climbers

How independent is your tabby?

Norwegian Forests are affectionate felines, but they are entirely undemanding. They love attention, but instead of cuddling incessantly and sleeping on your lap, they prefer to be active and play with their cat parents.

If you create a stimulating environment, your tabby will easily play on their own. It is crucial to ensure they have interactive toys and food puzzles to entertain themselves when you are not around. These are highly intelligent kitties, and boredom can make them mischievous.

Is your tabby showing hunting tendencies?

Quiet. It’s coming closer. I will jump! Any minute now…

Source: Fritz_the_Cat

Norwegian Forests come from a long line of hunters and have kept some of these instincts. They like to stalk their toys as prey and can get particularly excited when given their favourite plaything. Chasing a laser pointer is one of their obsessions, and if you let these kitties outside, you might get a (not-so-great) gift at your doorstep.

If your tabby is part Norwegian Forest, they'll probably be a bit territorial. They might patrol your home, inspecting the corners and ensuring everything is in order.

How sociable is your feline friend?

Wegies are incredibly friendly. They love the company of their favourite people, but they also enjoy meeting strangers. These felines get along with other cats, dogs, and kids.

In many ways, they resemble dogs (which is probably why they get on well together). A Wegie will run to the door to greet you and follow you around your home. They enjoy games that dogs like, such as fetch or hide and seek and will gladly engage in playtime with practically anyone.

Of course, your kitty's personality doesn't only depend on their genetics but the environment they live in and their upbringing. If they meet many people and animals growing up, they will easily accept new humans and pets later in life.

Does your tabby like water?

I prefer swimming to drinking, but hey… When life gives you tap water, make the best of it.

Source: pklaschka

Not many felines enjoy playing in the water, but Norwegian Forests love it. If your tabby runs to the tap whenever the water is running, or they attempt to jump in the shower with you, they might share some genes with a Wegie.

Does your kitty like to climb and is particularly good at it?

Norwegian Forests have exceptionally strong claws, making them superb climbers. They love spending time in high places, observing what's happening from high above.

If your tabby matches some or all of the physical and temperamental traits mentioned, and they have stronger claws than most domesticated felines, they are likely a Norwegian Forest cousin (perhaps even a purebred).

Health issues to watch for if your tabby is a Wegie mix

If your tabby is a Norwegian Forest cat or a mix, you are lucky because these kitties are generally healthy. There are a few medical issues they are susceptible to, but the list is not long, and most conditions can be prevented or managed with an adequate diet and lifestyle.

Common health niggles Wegies face include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and hip dysplasia. Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are major risk factors for both.

Feeding your feline friend a proper diet and keeping them active will ensure they live well into their old age.

What's the best diet for your Norwegian Forest cat tabby mix?

Your kitty’s hunting days are behind them, so you must fetch some high-quality meat and fish to keep them fit and happy.

Image (c) Untamed

Your kitty needs adequate portions of well-balanced food to stay healthy.

Whether you go for wet or dry food (or a combination of the two), your Wegie’s diet should consist of:

  1. At least 50% animal protein—Meat and fish are crucial ingredients in cat food. They are the best sources of vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids (like taurine, arginine, and lysine) felines need for energy, healthy skin and coat, normal organ function, and strong immune system
  2. Up to 20% animal fat—Fat delivers fatty acids necessary for cell integrity, hydration, and nutrient transportation and utilisation. Animal fat also makes cat food taste fantastic
  3. Less than 3% carbs—As obligate carnivores, cats don't need carbs. Small quantities of cooked vegetables or fruit are acceptable if your kitty needs a bit more fibre in their diet. Too many carbs can cause gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhoea, vomiting, flatulence, and irritable bowel syndrome

The table below shows what ingredients to prioritise and what to avoid in your cat’s diet:

What to look for in cat food

What to avoid

  • Best sources of animal protein:
  • Excellent taste enhancers:

Why is Untamed an excellent option for your Wegie mix?

Will you help me pick the next meal? I can’t decide!

Image (c) Untamed

We know that the best diet for your kitty is the one mimicking their natural eating patterns. In nature, your furry friend would hunt slugs, birds, mice, frogs, and insects. In your home, they can get the same nutrients from human-grade lean meat and fish.

Untamed satisfies your Wegie's dietary needs because our meals are:

Take our online quiz and create a tailor-made meal plan for your furry friend!

How to order Untamed

Ordering healthy cat food online couldn't be easier. It takes only three steps:

  1. Take the Try Now quiz
  2. Share some info about your kitty and pick the products
  3. Place your order

The trial pack will arrive in a day, and your furry companion can start sampling the delicacies straightaway. When they go through all the options, we can start sending you monthly supplies of their favourite Untamed meals. You can postpone, cancel, or modify your order anytime!

According to our numerous regular clients, you can expect the following improvements when your kitty switches to Untamed:

  1. Week 1—Easier digestion, tidier litter tray
  2. Week 8Shinier coat, improved mood
  3. Month 4—Less shedding, fewer hairballs
  4. Long-term—Improved health, effortless weight control