Few felines in the world have a history as rich and mysterious as the Norwegian Forest Cat’s. This long-haired breed was believed to have been brought to Norway from Great Britain by Vikings more than a thousand years ago.
The Norwegian Forest Cat even has its place in Norse mythology; being known as a giant mountain-dwelling fairy cat that had the ability to climb a sheer rock face and even pulled the chariot of the goddess Freya into battle.
Referred to in the local language as “Norsk skogkatt”, it is currently the fifth most popular cat in France.
Buying Your Own Legendary Forest Kitty
Norwegian Forest Cat breeders in North America aren’t terribly common. But there are a few reputed ones registered with the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA).
Cat breeding season usually begins around February and March. The gestation period is 9 weeks and kitties can only be taken home after at least 10 weeks.
Forestdolls is a registered cattery running out of Central Wisconsin that currently offers Norwegian Forest Cat or “Wegie” kittens for $700 to $900 each. The price of a kitten depends on the age, sex, color, and the anticipated adult size.
The Norwegian Forest cat price includes a health guarantee, one-year replacement guarantee if the kitten contracts any diseases, copy of the parents’ pedigree, health records, and care instructions.
A $100 deposit will need to be made for reservations. Purchased kittens can be picked up directly at the breeder’s cattery or at the airport.
The Fanciers Breeder Referral List provides information about several other registered Wegie breeders in various US states. Feel free to contact it to find out if a breeder near you has any available litters and how much its asking prices are.
In case you become unlucky and can’t find a good breeder or it simply isn’t the right season, you can try adopting a Norwegian Forest Cat if your heart is set on it. Adopt-a-Pet is a good place to check shelters and rescue centers, and their adoption fee averages from $25 to $125.
Shelters often include vet exams, spaying or neutering, vaccinations, chipping, and other services which could range in value from $425 to $880, so it is indeed cost-effective to adopt versus purchasing a newborn kitten.
Other Related Costs
As Norwegian Forest cats are very popular in Scandinavian countries such as Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Norway, you may be able to more easily procure one from an international seller. Keep in mind, however, that kittens can’t travel until they reach a certain age and you can also expect to pay more for shipping charges.
International pet shipping can easily cost between $300 and $2,000 and even higher in some cases.
Although this breed is strong and hardy, it isn’t impervious to all health problems. A certain genetic defect known as GSD IV can affect a small number of Norwegian Forest Cats, specifically.
GSD IV is an inherited disorder that causes a cat to store abnormal quantities of glycogen in its body; quickly leading to organ failure and eventual death. The Veterinary Genetics Laboratory offers GSD IV tests for $40 per animal.
Recurring Costs for Norwegian Forest Cats
Owning a pet isn’t cheap and all the more so for these big cats. A lot of costs lie on the road ahead of you, with some of the more notable ones being vet expenses and travel expenses, as well as food, medicine, and accessories.
While you won’t have to spend money on a shelter for your cat as you would for a dog, a good carrier will come in handy when traveling by plane.
A good product should be durable and well-made, have sufficient ventilation and privacy. It also should be large enough for your cat to fit comfortably but small enough to bring in an airplane cabin, and shouldn’t weigh too much.
The Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier meets these requirements and only costs about $73. It’s definitely a superb investment for your Wegie.
Depending on the airline that you’ve chosen to fly with, a health certificate valid within a certain period of time will need to be presented. All shots should be up-to-date as well.
A USDA-approved health certificate will cost between $121 and $173, while vaccinations and additional services at a clinic like the Hayden Meadows Pet Clinic in Oregon are as follows:
- Dental (average) – $585.00
- Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) test – $32.00
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) test – $32.00
- FeLV test/ FIV test – $65.00
- Full exam – $38.00
- Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, & Panleukopenia (FVRCP) – $32.00
- Home Again chip – $76.00
- Neuter – $250.00
- Pre-Op bloodwork – $59.00
- Rabies – $29.00
- Spay – $265.00
- Stool/Fecal exam – $40.00
- Toe Nail trim – $27.00
In order for your city to properly track your Norwegian Forest Cat, it’ll need to be tagged, registered, and licensed. According to Pierce County in Washington, the license fee for a neutered cat is $12, while an unneutered cat is $55.
As your kitten continues to grow larger and explore the world around it, health issues will inevitably occur. Heart murmur is common among all types of cats, along with hip dysplasia – a type of rare hip joint disease.
Getting an annual or twice a year wellness exam is beneficial in enabling you to always be aware of the state of your Wegie’s health. The cost of such a wellness or health exam at the Heartland Veterinary Clinic in Virginia will range from about $36 to $52.
To keep your new pet healthy and growing strong, you’ll need an ample supply of kibble. The exact amount of food that a Norwegian Forest cat will eat depends on its age, size, and how much energy it expends during the day.
Wegies in particular love to climb and explore so you may want to stock up on extra food if your particular cat has a tendency to be hyperactive during the day.
According to the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, kittens may require up to three meals a day up until they’re 6 months old. From that point onwards, two meals a day will usually work fine.
Dry cat food, coupled with plenty of fresh water, is recommended in most cases. Purina Pro Plan Savorand Purina Pro Plan True Nature are excellent starting choices and go for around $36 per 16-lb. bag and $12 per 6-lb. bag, respectively.
Buyer’s Guide & General Care Tips
Purchasing and owning a legendary kitty like the Norwegian Forest Cat definitely entails more than what you’d typically do when browsing online or window shopping for pets. Here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you’re amply prepared in choosing the right kitty for you:
- Take your time finding a registered and reputable breeder.
- Be wary if a kitty is being offered at a price that is way below the expected amount.
- Learn more about the kitten’s parents and history before making a decision.
- If possible, check the living conditions in the cattery to ensure cleanliness.
- Be on the lookout for possible temperament issues.
- Make sure that you have all the right equipment before you bring a new cat home.
- Research local vets in the area so that you know where to bring your kitty during emergencies.
- Get yourself mentally prepared to handle the energy of a Norwegian Forest cat.
- Buy a good stainless-steel comb or brush to help with daily grooming.
- Wegies are very particular about their hygiene, so make sure the litter box is clean at all times.
- They also have a tendency to roam outdoors, so keep a sturdy boundary in place.