How Big Is a Norwegian Forest Cat? (Let’s Find Out!)

The Norwegian Forest Cat is ideally large with a muscular and robust body once he reaches maturity, regardless of gender. The height may range from 9-12 inches and the weight may be anywhere between 12 and 16 pounds. His fluffy coat adds up more to his appearance which makes him appear bigger!

There is a possibility, however, that your cat will be smaller. With several factors that could come into play such as genetics, poor diet, and lack of exercise, things might turn the wrong way for him. 

This article will explore anything and everything that concerns the Norwegian Forest Cat’s size. Keep reading to get informed on how to aid your fluffy feline into achieving his maximum growth!

What’s the Ideal Height and Weight of a Norwegian Forest Cat?

The popularity of the Wegie in various places such as in Europe, America, and Canada has probably made you see numerous felines of such breed. It is undeniable that their sizes contrast with each other and you might have ended up wondering what exactly is the size of the Norwegian Cat.

This fluffy kitty should be 9 to 12 pounds for females and 12 to 16 pounds for their male counterparts. Understandably, males are typically larger due to sexual selection that highly favors them. Regarding their height, they all can be at least 9 to 11 inches when measured at withers or from foot to their shoulders. 

The statistics mentioned are just set as ideal measurements for the said cat breed. Since each kitten you bring home is different, his growth remains open to be affected by several elements which can either spurt his development or slow it down.

How Long Does It Take for a Norwegian Cat to Reach Its Full Size?

One perk of going for the Norwegian Forest feline is that you will get to enjoy his kittenhood far longer than the other cat breeds out there. It has been estimated that this kitty will take about 5 years to reach his full physical maturity!

This would mean that he would continue retaining his playful personality and kitten-ish nature. He’ll exhibit great levels of energy and thirst to explore his surroundings. However, his little playtime will eventually turn into a sort of hunting training that the breed is well-known for. 

On another note, it is most vital to get to know the cat breed that you are aiming to have. Kittenhood is a vital stage for all cats requiring all owners to provide them with complete & balanced meals to prevent growth stunts. If a Norwegian cat owner who isn’t knowledgeable about the length of her cat’s kitty stage switches to an adult cat food after just a year, this might cause growth complications to her pet.

5 Factors That Can Affect Your Norwegian Cat’s Growth

It is not entirely impossible to see a Norwegian Forest Cat who doesn’t meet the ideal measurements both in height and weight. Oftentimes, this boils down to how an owner takes care of his pet as well as some psychological and physiological factors. 

Take note, however, that if the Norwegian Cat hasn’t reached full maturity yet and appears to be small, there’s not much to worry about. He is still in the process of development.

Concerns may only arise if he surpassed the 5-year mark and his size seems odd and worrying. This outcome can be related to any of the following:

Poor Diet & Nutrition

What you feed your cat goes a long way in establishing a healthy future for him. Poor diet and nutrition will impede his growth development due to the lack of certain nutrients responsible for aiding growth. Owners would resort to giving their feline pets food that is not age-appropriate, therefore, not fully providing the right amount of vitamins, minerals, and DHA. 

The mindset that the cat will do just fine as long as his stomach is full should be put to an end. Avoid giving him free access to food as this can pave the way for him into becoming an overweight cat. 

Lack of Exercise

The Norwegian Forest Cat needs to be physically and mentally stimulated daily. Kittens are not excluded from this. They all have to be allowed to inspect the yard or climb up and down their cat towers from time to time. 

Why is this important? Well, exercise proves to enhance bones, joint functions, and promote muscle build-up. When all these remain dormant, your pet will be vulnerable to obesity. According to studies, the excessive weight will make your pet appear taller and not just heavier compared to those who are in the healthy range.

Genetic Defects

Although the circumstance is rare, still, the Norwegian Cat could be affected by dwarfism. This is when he’s born to be shorter in stature. So far, this genetic condition is found to be of no cure nor can it be reversed. Your cat can still live normally only that he’s in a more unusual package.

The most common indicator that your feline has been affected by this genetic mutation is the appearance of short legs. 

Stress & Anxiety

Norwegian Forest Cats are naturally social. That means they shouldn’t be left alone. If ever this happens, your pet will end up developing separation anxiety. When this gets worse, symptoms may show such as lack of appetite. 

The feline who refuses to eat is a factor that can cause a delay in his growth. Moreover, he will become demotivated to move or go out. He’d rather lay on his cat bed rather than exert some energy. Weight gain will find its way to your cat’s health and if this goes on, prolonged inactivity will eventually create a huge difference in his development process.


The moment a Norwegian Forest cat approaches old age, it is expected that he will reduce a huge amount of his muscle mass. Bone health will also start decreasing. When all these happen, his overall height and weight will shrink, but know that this is just a normal occurrence. 

There is not much you can do to reverse this, but the best way to enjoy your companion is by making him stick to the right diet as well as encouraging him to do short exercises.

3 Ways to Help Your Norwegian Cat Achieve His Full Growth

Photo from: lofotkattene (IG)

Adopting a kitten or closing a deal with your reputable Norwegian Cat breeder entails commitment and responsibility to look after this fluffy four-legged cat. 

If your cat’s growth goes on normally and without any complications, you’ll eventually witness the magnificence of such a breed. Your home will be filled with joy and entertainment instead of frequently spending most of your time taking your companion to the vet!

To make sure that you are doing the right thing, I have listed down 3 salient ways that could elevate your cat’s way of life.

Provide a Complete & Balanced Nutrition

The 3 nutrients that your cat’s food should never lack are protein, calcium and fat. Considerably, all these components must be provided adequately. There are two types of growth: optimal and maximal growth.

Optimal growth is when the cat matures slowly and steadily, therefore, making him achieve his ideal height and weight.

Meanwhile, maximal growth often results in a faster rate of development which is caused by free-feeding. This also ends up putting your pet in a vulnerable state of becoming overweight.

So, this tells us that choosing the right nutritional product as well as having the knowledge regarding how much should be given will play a big role in your cat’s maturation process. Always aim for the right meals!

Consult With Your Veterinarian

Working with your vet in terms of your Wegie’s growth will help you determine what are the best ways to deal with it. This is especially true if you have noticed your cat’s growth to be unusual. There could be underlying health issues that would need to be addressed or there might be a necessity to check if your cat gets all the nutrients his body would need.

The vet would be able to tailor a diet plan or prescribe supplements or medications should some conditions require treatment.

Incorporate Training and Exercises

Cats love to lie around and sleep throughout the day. Observing that, we’d end up assuming that it is alright to let them laze and continue with their daydreams. But no! They still need to stimulate their muscles and joints so try to encourage them to move or take a stroll with you outside. Spark their prey instinct and encourage them to run around or play hunting games in the yard using their toys.

Not only do you give them a great time, but you’re also giving them the favor of preventing their bodies from accumulating too much fat!

Is It Possible That My Norwegian Cat Is the Runt of the Litter?

There is a chance that you ended up having a runt Norwegian Forest kitty. Such a kind is the smallest out of all his siblings and he’d need more care and proper nourishment to survive. 

Even if he surpasses kittenhood, the runt is generally not as strong as the others and is prone to deformities. With enough attention and treatment from the owner, the runt Wegie will have the possibility of turning into a healthy kitten, strong and capable of transcending his littermates.

My Final Thoughts

Healthy Norwegian Forest Cats are highly likely to achieve the ideal growth measurements as long as their high-quality lifestyle is maintained throughout their lifespan. Always aim that they receive the right cat food, experience an active lifestyle, and are free from stress or any growth-related genetic conditions!

Nevertheless, even if you end up with a Wegie who has growth problems, the best thing to do is to seek medical advice from the experts and ensure that he’ll get the most of what his body would need. Consequently, you and your little Norwegian feline will have a healthier and happier relationship.