“How to groom a Norwegian Forest cat? Where do I even start?!” We hear you – when you look at her coat, it seems like mission impossible.
But it’s much easier than you may think. These unique cats are rather friendly and because of their big coat, they actually enjoy the water.
Especially, if you live in warmer parts of the world, she’ll be quite happy once she gets into the water. And because they’re so amiable and calm, the rest of the grooming process should go by without any issues.
If you decide to stop grooming your Wegie, her fur will get matted, leading to a lot of pain and discomfort. There are so many different health issues that your cat can face if you don’t take proper care of her coat.
I know that they’re descended from cats that once lived in the wild, but those days are long over. You’re her owner now and should take care of her.
If you’re not ready for this commitment, then let your cat find an owner who will love to groom her properly. But since you’re here reading this, it seems you’re ready, so let’s give you all the tips and tricks that you need!
How to groom a Norwegian Forest cat
1. Start while she’s just a kitten
It’s too late to be wondering how to groom a Norwegian Forest cat once they’re older. At that stage, she’s never been introduced to proper grooming, so she can become quite feisty.
The best thing you can do for yourself and your cat is to start when she’s still a kitten. That’s when you’ll be able to control her movements much better and show her from a young age she has nothing to be scared of.
When introducing her to the process as a young kitty, don’t soak her in water. In the beginning, you can start with cat-safe wet wipes, then afterward you can introduce water to the game.
Either way, it’s best to go through this entire process of grooming while she’s small. She’ll get used to it, so when she is older and becomes a furry giant, you’ll have more control.
2. Introduce daily grooming
Take a moment to consider how long your cat’s coat will get. We know some of you are looking for the quickest, most effective tips on how to groom a Norwegian Forest cat, but with her fur, quick and easy is not part of the equation.
Wegies have a long coat and an undercoat. Their fur exists to keep them warm in the harsh conditions of Norwegian winters.
We recommend that you introduce daily grooming to her. Take the time each day to comb through her fur, so when you want to do more detailed work, your cat will be much more patient.
Besides, if you clean her paws and coat every single day, you won’t have too much work to do all at once.
3. Take special care of her during “that time of year”
As stated before, Norwegian Forest cats have two coats. They become much thicker during the winter, and she’ll start shedding once the warmer months come around. That’s when her fur will start to weigh her down, to the point where she can even experience heat stroke.
When the middle of spring comes around, start paying special attention to her fur. Comb her coat and undercoat to get rid of all the shedding. However, during summer, you can up your regime to combing her twice a day – trust us, she’s going to need it.
During these months, you can also give her coat a trim, but we wouldn’t recommend doing it yourself. Rather take her to a professional groomer for this.
4. Use the right brushes
How to groom a Norwegian Forest cat when you don’t have the proper equipment? Unfortunately, you can’t. You’re going to need a set of brushes – a steel comb or a dematter tool is the best option for cats who have a double coat.
Steel combs are sturdy, as you can imagine, so you shouldn’t just push them deep into the coat of your cat. Be gentle with her fur, making sure that she’s comfortable and you’re not hurting her.
Other than that, we’d recommend a soft bristle brush for your daily grooming, because a steel brush could be too harsh on her if used too often.
A brush with soft bristles is usually used for short-haired cats. However, it can be quite helpful for those days when you just want to spread some oils in her fur to make it more shiny.
5. Detangle any matted fur
This one’s a crucial point. Matted fur can be extremely uncomfortable and painful for your cat. It’ll tug on her skin, which can make her skin bleed and cause actual scabbing.
We get it, she’s an adventurous spirit who loves to explore the world. Those adventures can lead to a lot of tangles, especially if her coat is shedding and some dirt gets in there. Sure, cats are self-groomers, but she isn’t able to groom it all out herself. She needs some help.
Tease out any knots with your fingers. You can also use a damp cloth in extremely stubborn places. If you’re still struggling, you can use your brushes to try to detangle everything.
If none of these actions work, get your clippers and simply cut off the knots. The fur will grow back before you know it.
However, be very careful while doing this and definitely avoid using scissors. If your kitto gets startled or scared, she’ll jump or move abruptly, and you don’t want to unintentionally injure her.
6. Clean her claws and ears
You’re wondering how to groom your Norwegian Forest cat? Well, her fur isn’t the only part of her body that needs to be taken care of. You should also make sure that her claws and ears are okay.
During your grooming sessions with your cat, make sure to always check her claws by gently pushing in her paws. Your cat spends her entire day clawing at things, which wouldn’t be a problem, but there could be splinters that become stuck in her paws or claw beds.
There’s no need to clip your cat’s claws as often as you would a dog’s nails, but you can clip them if you feel that it’s necessary. While doing so, please use actual clippers for animals, and be careful not to catch any blood vessels in the process.
When it comes to their ears, they need to be checked regularly. However, when you’re cleaning them, please never use cue tips. Use wet wipes that are made for cleaning animals, and with one finger gently clean out any gunk that’s there.
7. Clean her teeth
Another thing when it comes to grooming a Norwegian Forest cat, that people usually forget to do, is clean their teeth. Don’t be one of those people, because your cat can develop serious dental issues if you don’t take good care of her teeth.
Use feline-appropriate toothpaste with a small brush that you can put around your finger for better control. Clean her teeth as often as you can, especially when she’s younger, to get her accustomed to the feeling.
Certain cat treats and kibble can help your Wegie’s dental health. But it’s not a great idea to rely on these things alone to keep your cat’s teeth clean.
8. Do a sanitary trim every once in a while
This is a step that people usually skip, but if you want to understand how to groom a Norwegian Forest cat properly, then take note of it.
A sanitary trim means that you trim the fur on your cat’s backside. It’s pretty self-explanatory. We know that cats groom and clean themselves regularly, but this is something that can make the entire process much easier.
The last thing you want is for your Wegie to walk around with dirt on her fluffy behind. This also isn’t the easiest part for her to reach, so you really should help her out a little bit. She – and your environment – will be much cleaner!
If you’re too scared to do a sanitary trim by yourself, as it does include lifting your cat’s tail and keeping her very still, you can also take her to a groomer. They’ll do this professionally, and you’ll get your peace of mind.
If you do choose to DIY it, please be aware that cats aren’t the smartest creatures. She doesn’t understand that she could get hurt, so she may start to wiggle out of your grip. It goes without saying that you’ll need to be very careful.