NORWEGIAN FOREST CAT – SOME BREED SPECIFIC FEATURES ILLUSTRATED

NORWEGIAN FOREST CAT, MAINE COON, SIBERIAN OR A DOMESTIC LONGHAIR?

There is still some confusion about the difference and breed specific features between the Norwegian Forest Cat, a Siberian, a Maine Coon and a Domestic Longhair. Though we love all of our cats the same, and all of the cats, for that matter,  – the same, we would like to contribute a little to clearing this confusion. Mostly because it is important to see the signs of breed, even in mixes, as it could greatly help with understanding your cat’s behavior.

We will use the latest pictures of our handsome boy Nine to illustrate some Norwegian Forest Cat breed specific features to help you with defining the differences between Domestic Longhair, Norwegian Forest Cat, Maine Coon and Siberian breeds of cats.

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In defining Nine’s breed, we could only rely on our research and extensive experience of raising all of the breeds, our vet’s expertise and also the unfortunate sighting of his Dad and little sister killed on the Highway, within the short distance of our village. (You can read the full story about how we got Nine (Ni Lille Mann Monark Undre Stovier) here: Three Catooges). Where Nine is a very good model for exploring the Norwegian Forest Cat breed specific features, he is still not pedigreed, and there is a possibility of a mix. However, he does posses enough of the characteristics for us to make our little contribution to the topic and, if all else fails, to showcase the most adorable Canadian miracle stray kitten. Enjoy! Please, remember to share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

EARS



Here is Nine lazying out the extreme cold spell we had at the end of December. Even though it did not really prevent him from having some fun outside (see the video Canadian Kittens Are Tough!), he was more true to the cat’s natural drive to seek comfort, warmth and quiet environment for the mandatory naps. In this picture he generously allows us to admire his heavily furnished ears, one of the most definitive features of a Norwegian Forest Cat (also can be found in MC and Siberians, but not in Domestic Long Haired cats).

The Norwegian Forest Cats have pointy ears, which are situated more to the side of the head. Their ears can also have lynx-like tuffs (more commonly seen in Maine Coons, and not in DLH or Siberians)

Norwegian Forest Cat Kitten Nine 6 Months heavy ears furnishings. Cute Canadian Stray Kitten.
Nine 6 Months. Note the heavy hair furnishings in his ears.

Norwegian Forest Cat Kitten Nine 6 months demonstrating the pointy ears with lynx-like tuffs situated more to the side of the head than to the topNine 6 months. Pointy ears with lynx-like tuffs are more to the side of the head than to the top. Compare with the DLH/MC mix (DLH prevails) Sky below:

Domestic Longhair Mix with Maine Coon does not have the same ears as Norwegian Forest Cat They are rounded and set further apart without heavy furnishings

Norwegian Forest Cat kitten Nine six months demonstrating the side position of ears The ears are pointed forward and inwards
Nine’s paws

Also, the ears on a Norwegian Forest Cat are slightly tilted forward and pointing inwards, almost like he is listening to something all the time.

COAT AND TAIL



Another incredibly outstanding feature of the Norwegian Forest Cat breed is their coat. Nine is too young yet and found us before his first winter. So, we can only have a slight idea of what his coat will be like when he matures. But he possesses the maximum representation of the breed’s coat expectations:

The coarse and very shiny top coat (guard hairs) that carry the water-repellant qualities. Very thick, dense undercoat (literally impossible to get through to his skin!) The tail looks like it is growing from his bum, it is so wide and fluffy at the base. We are not looking forward to spring, when all this will end up on the carpets and furniture… Oh, well, just have to get the brushes and lint rollers ready:)

Norwegian Forest Cat kitten Nine six months showing off the beautiful shaggy coat and the base of the most luxurious tail any cat can have.
Nine showing off the beautiful shaggy coat and the base of the most luxurious tail any cat can have.
Norwegian Forest Cat kitten Nine six months has the breed specific dense guard fur which makes the coat very glossy
Note the mirror-like reflection on Nine’s back coat. The hairs (outer guard hairs) make this gloss effect because they are very dense, positioned very close to each other.

EYES AND FACE



Oh, the eyes of a Norwegian Forest Cat! It is that type of cat that when you look at her, will make you wait for the cat to start talking human. Beautifully shaped almonds, changing the color in the nice spectrum of bright green and golden hazel. The outer corners are higher than the lower. They are the most expressive eyes you would ever see on a cat.

The head is a perfect triangle, or to be precise – one equilateral triangle (chin to bases of ears on each side) inside another (chin to tops of ears on each side). Found in Norwegian Forest Cats only, this is, arguably, the MOST definitive characteristic of the NFC breed.

Norwegian Forest Cat Kitten Nine six months demonstrating the incredibly beautiful eyes

Norwegian Forest Cat Kitten Nine Distinctive shape of the eyes with perfect straight nose decorating the triangular shape of his head

PAWS

The Norwegian Forest Cats have a very distinctive and very captivating feature: their paws are very heavily tufted, pretty much leaving no open skin.
Norwegian Forest Cat Kitten heavily tufted paws

Norwegian Forest Cats have heavily tufted paws to help them stay warm in the snow
Nine’s paw

We hope you enjoyed our little illustration tour, and we would love to hear back from you!

SOME DECEMBER IMAGES OF SKY, THE KING

It was a nice and lazy Sunday afternoon. Sky was resting on his favorite cat tree, making sure the neighborhood was under good watch. He was so handsome, I had to take some pictures.

I read somewhere that black cats get that red shade to the fur if they spend too much time in the Sun. I have to disagree with that. Sky hates the Sun, and heat, for that matter. Every time we let him out in the enclosure, he makes sure to head for the shade.His favorite spot happens to be by the East side window, which is shaded by the trees most of the time. So, that theory kind of does not work here.

Sky maintains his luxurious coat well, and I partially credit

for such shiny coat.

Sky is Domestic Long Hair cat, and that means that his fur can not be classified as “smoke”, which is the trait of pedigreed Maine Coons. As much as I would like to call this “chocolate smoke”, it is not. And I have no idea where he got this luxurious red tone to his beautiful coat.

Once again, I attribute it to the food I give him, for the fact he hardly ever has hairball problems. Not that they do not exist at all, but way less than you would expect from such long hair kitty. I also do not support bathing cats. So, I brush him regularly.

Here is our King Sky:




PICTURES OF BABY NINE

Pictures from the first couple of days when Nine found us.

This is the first ever picture I took of Nine. The only way I could see him was with the camera flash. He was completely dehydrated, hungry and on his last breath.
After I fed him and he drank plenty of water, I was able to pick him up and cuddle in the warm towel.
A kitten is a kitten! Once the food and water and cuddles did their magic, Nine started to do what all kittens do – destroy things! On the other hand, he might have been showing his resume… 🙂
I will forever keep this image in my memory. Tiny sweet furball, so wanting to have a home!
Day 2. Must have coffee!
Day 2. Still very shaky, very tired, he never left my side.
First night he became a house cat. Later on he would sleep on my drum set a lot.
After helping us plant trees the whole day, he was exhausted and cuddled up with his panda. Day 4
Day 5. He would not leave my side. I was making some videos, and he supervised me in my office.
Day 7. After the first vet visit. He got a clean bill of health, but was exhausted at the end of the day.
Day 7. After the first vet visit. He got a clean bill of health but was exhausted at the end of the day.
Day 7. After the first vet visit. He got a clean bill of health but was exhausted at the end of the day.
This the apartment number 9 we built for him when we thought we would keep him outdoors.
Day 12. For at least next two weeks this is how he drank out of the fountain. My little dinosaur.
2 weeks in. He is getting fluffier by the minute. He slept a lot at the beginning.
Is this a kitten or a fox?
He discovered TV very soon and was binge watching it. He also likes to chew on the remote.

NINE DISCOVERS LASER PEN!

In this episode Nine, our wonder travelling miracle discovers that lasers are fun!

It is very important to interact with your kittens and cats every day. The play not only helps their development, but also provides them with much needed exercise , prevents obesity and extends their life span! Nine is a Norwegian Forest Cat kitten, who was a miracle stray suddenly appearing at our remote location. He is a very playful and strong cat. In this video he is not even 6 months old, yet he is showing the signs of becoming quite a big kitty.

 

NINE PLAYING SKY DRUMS IN HIS SLEEP

In the early stages of life kittens twitch or make other funny motions simply because they are growing! They grow fast, and their muscles need to be constantly engaged in motion. This happens even when they sleep!

Nine is a very fast growing kitten and is already a big boy at the sweet age of 5 ½ months. He is a Norwegian Forest Cat, and he will take about 3 years to fully grow. He is very active when he is awake. So, he does exercise his muscles a lot, promoting their growth while he sleeps as well.

Most of the time Nine (Ni Lille Mann Monark Undre Stovier) sleeps on his back. Naturally, he stretches his paws into the air. In this video he amused us with a drumming session on his invisible sky drums.



It is hard to say for sure if kittens dream at the early age. Since the cat sleeps about 16 hours a day, then majority of growth happens during the sleep. Some kittens would rotate their paws more often than stretch them. Some kittens would “suckle” on air. As long as the kitten is not suddenly twitches and “freezes” – which could be a sign of a seizure, or does not move at all (some say this could be a sign of a kitten being unhealthy), enjoy while you can! When they grow older, they usually just snore really loud.

What Kittens Do At 4 AM

What do kittens do at 4 am? What do kittens do at night?

At 4 am in the morning the kittens like to destroy your slippers, knock the clock, steal beef jerky and hide it in your closet. They also love fighting with the heavy drawer door to get their catnip out! And let’s not forget the famous kitten flea tap! The kittens would do anything but sleep at night!



Cats are nocturnal animals and keep busy at night, hunting and playing.. And kittens are even worse as their energy levels are far off.

Nine, or Ni Lille Mann Monark Undre Stovier is a very busy kitten at night.  Anything on his way is immediately turned into a toy! We had to literally “child proof” our entire house! Can’t have any strings on curtains, any shoes left out, no cords left unattended and no beef jerky left on the table.

NINE BOWLING TECHNIQUE 10 PINS

Kittens are perfect students because they can be taught just about anything! Kittens can be taught bowling 10 pins! You do not have to trick your kitten with a laser! Just show them how it is done and let them practice!

Nine (Ni Lille Mann Monark Undre Stovier) is a very playful stray kitten who found our home in the middle of nowhere. He is also very observant and very smart. He copies a lot of what humans and his older cat brothers do.

At first, he was doing really well after being shown a few times what the ball does to pins. But being a small kitten, he just did not have enough strength to knock the pins down by rolling the ball at them. So, the frustration took over. Obviously, attracted to the sound of falling pins, he figured his own way how to get strikes! At the end, the sound of the dropped ball is his clue to deal with the pins in his own way!



I will not take him with me to the bowling alley, as he will embarrass me with his cheating! By the way, he reminded me of a few people I know who would love to use Nine’s strike technique at the bowling alley!

It is very important to spend time with your kitties, no matter what age and interact with them through play. Playing and human attention makes them feel happy and will extend their life span!

Kitten Sports In A Box

Exercise is very important for the indoor cats. Especially it is important for kittens, as they burst with abundance of energy. What can be easier than finding a couple of boxes. Leave them on the floor and watch your kitten turning them into the kitty gym!

Kittens have passion for boxes, we all know that! Boxes provide comfort and security, so important to felines. Boxes can be an endless source of amusement for all cats alike – from a kitten to a big lion.



Our Nine (Ni Lille Mann Monark Undre Stovier) is of course, no exception to this rule. One day he came up with his own set of kitty exercise in the box gym! High Jump, Hurdles, even the Catormula One (kitty version of car racing). I had to finally put the boxes away, as the Nine’s older brothers, Sky and Junior were fighting him for a chance to exercise! While Junior does need a lot of activity to keep his weight down, still – it is not fair to fight a kitten for the bench at the gym!

Is This A Kitten Or A Squirrel?

What would a kitten do with a bag full of bottle caps? Well, he could… turn them into the ultimate kitten treasure! Find out how!

I have been collecting the caps off my favorite wine for a couple of years now. I have a project in mind involving those caps. I store them in the bag under my desk in my home office. Sometimes, I would bump into that bag with my foot and the caps would make a loud noise.




One night I came home from a day business trip and rushed to the computer to file some reports. I noticed that the bag was laying in the middle of the office and was… pretty empty!

I had to investigate! As I walked into the living room, I noticed Nine with a cap in his mouth, moving towards the bedroom. What I saw next made me laugh!