Are you thinking about adopting a Norwegian Forest cat kitten? You want to bring one into your family and show her how much love and affection a kitten can get. The only issue that you have is that you don’t necessarily know much about them, nor do you know the respective milestones that a kitten should go through.
So, you’re just staring at pictures of this breed, hoping that you’ll bundle up the courage to get one.
Well, you shouldn’t doubt this decision any longer. I’ll provide all the needed information for the first couple of steps you need to take to make sure that your cat is happy in her forever home. It’s very important to have an overview of everything so that you know what to do once you bring her home.
What’s a Norwegian Forest cat?
I thought that we should start with the basics. What’s a Norwegian Forest cat, and why are they so special?
Well, for starters, they’re the official feline of Norway. Their history dates back to the time when Vikings were roaming the seas because they kept these cats on the ships to catch rodents. It’s also believed that the Norwegian Forest cats actually brought luck to the Vikings.
In Nordic mythology, it’s even said that the goddess Freyja was being led by two of these cats in her chariot. So, their history goes way back.
The Norwegian Forest cat is one of the largest domestic cats that you can get your hands on. Together with the Maine Coon, they’re a giant sight for sore eyes. However, their size can also be quite intimidating.
These cats are high-maintenance because of their long coat, but they’re also the kindest and sweetest cats that you’ll come across. She’ll be the perfect little companion for your family and other pets.
If you’re able to find out the genetic profile from your breeder, you may also see that these cats rarely get sick, unless they have a hereditary disease. This means that your Norwegian Forest kitten will lead a happy and healthy life.
These cats grow fast, but they mature very slowly. So, there’s a long learning curve when we’re talking about Norwegian Forest kittens.
3 things to pay attention to when you’re bringing a Norwegian Forest kitten home
1. Her weight
These large cats need a long time before they reach their full weight and mature completely. Most of the time, your Norwegian Forest kitten won’t fully mature until the age of 5.
In the beginning, kittens usually weigh around 2-3% of their mother’s body weight, and afterward, they gain around 10% of their weight daily.
This means that your Wegie kitten will gain between 500 and 750 grams each month.
If you’re someone who never owned this breed before, you shouldn’t be worried if your cat doesn’t grow this fast. Sometimes, they simply need more time to develop fully. You don’t have to panic as long as she eats well and has high energy levels.
Norwegian Forest cats are large domestic cats that need to eat much more than your average feline. That’s because they grow quickly and love to be active. You have to make sure that you’re not underfeeding this giant, or she could face some serious health complications.
2. Muscle development
Another thing that you need to pay attention to is whether the muscle development of your Norwegian Forest kitten is okay.
Before you bring her home, you need to know that this breed is very active and energetic from a young age. These kittens will find something to play around with during the entire day, so you should also make sure that you’re giving her a safe space to do so.
They’re quite muscular, considering their robust build. A Norwegian Forest kitten has to have strong muscles because it’s in her nature to jump around and run from one place to the next. She won’t tolerate being in one place, as it can also be very dangerous for her muscle development.
However, the best way to ensure that her muscles are developing correctly is to take good care of her diet and to always look out for any changes in her demeanor.
What will help her develop those muscles even more are many different activities throughout the day. That’s why it’s so important to get your Wegie kitten a lot of toys that she can play with.
3. Skeletal growth
We know that we’ve probably mentioned this too many times, but you need to be aware that this is a large cat! Even when they’re babies, they’re much bigger than your average kittens.
That’s why her muscles have to be strong while they’re growing – and they’re growing fast!
For her muscles to develop properly, you’ll have to make sure that your Norwegian Forest kitten has enough of the essential vitamins and minerals. Those are calcium, magnesium, potassium, fluoride, vitamin A, vitamin D, and phosphorus.
If her diet lacks any of these vitamins and minerals, her bones won’t develop as well as they should, they’ll be brittle, and she’ll develop some serious health issues down the line. We know that you don’t want your cat to experience such issues.
Incorporating these mentioned nutrients into her diet will make sure that she grows up into a healthy and agile kitten.
Specific milestones your Norwegian Forest kitten has to hit
Now we’re talking about the moment when you bring your kitten home. That’s when you’re left to your own devices. You can always visit the veterinarian, but it’s extremely important that you know and understand the milestones that your Norwegian Forest kitten has to hit.
From birth to two weeks – she’ll gain her eyesight and the basic functions of her organs. All the other senses will start to kick in during this same period. So, she’ll start to develop her sense of smell and hearing.
From 2 to 4 weeks – this is the moment when you’ll become a proud cat mom because she’ll start taking her first steps. It’s also the period when she’ll start to purr, and she’ll develop her sense of smell completely. She’ll become much more social, as she’ll start to interact with other kittens in the litter, and she’ll interact with you.
From 4 to 6 weeks – this is a very important milestone, as this is the period when your kitten will fully develop an independent immune system. Your Norwegian Forest kitten will also develop her hearing completely, and have a fully developed digestive system, and deciduous (a.k.a. milk) teeth.
From 6 to 8 weeks – her immune system will become completely responsive. She’ll start to play around more, she’ll want to explore the world around her, and she’ll play with other kittens and toys. The strong and lean muscles will start to come in around this time.
From 2 to 4 months – this is the period when kittens are at their most active. They’ll try to jump around on things and be even more curious, so your little princess could fall into this category as well. However, this is the time when she’ll also establish a sturdy sleeping pattern.
After 4 months – during this time her reproductive system will be fully developed, and she’ll already have certain habits.
How to take care of your Norwegian forest cat kitten
And lastly, it’s important to talk about the best way to take care of your Norwegian Forest kitten. She won’t have any odd requirements, but it’s important that you know what to do once you bring her home.
For starters, I’d recommend that you introduce her to grooming as soon as possible. If you bring grooming into her life when she’s already grown, it’ll be hard for her to adjust. On the other hand, a kitten is much easier to control, so once she grows older she won’t be scared of brushes.
Talking of brushes, you’ll need two of those. One brush with soft bristles that you will use for the fluffy coat, and a metal comb for her undercoat. It’s also quite important that you have feline-safe toothpaste and toothbrush. After a while, your Wegie kitten can develop serious dental issues if you’re not careful enough.
We’d recommend that you brush her at least once a week when she’s still a kitten. As she grows older, you can start brushing her more often. However, for a grown cat, it’s best if you brush her two times a week.
When it comes to her diet, you should definitely talk to a veterinarian. The recommended amount for an adult feline would be twice a day, using high-quality cat food. What you need to remember is that cats are obligate carnivores! You should never expect your cat to follow your vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, as that’s animal cruelty.
Playtime and exercise are crucial for your Norwegian Forest kitten. She’ll have loads of energy that has to be released for her to be able to fall asleep without any issues. Also, her muscles will start to deteriorate if you don’t play with her often enough. Get the toys out, and have a play date with your new feline friend.