Huge Norwegian Forest Cat the size of a large Maine Coon

On average, the Norwegian Forest Cat (NFC) is smaller than the Maine Coon but there are exceptions and this is one of them. Not all MCs are larger than NFCs. This TikTok video illustrates the point. This NFC is very classic in terms of 'type' meaning desired appearance as per the breed standard. Super appearance. Huge Norwegian Forest Cat the size of a large Maine Coon. Image: MikeB from screenshots. Here is the video. For me it is a bit irritating because of the soundtrack. Horrible for me. But the point is made about size. This is a great NFC. A classic in terms of coat: a grey tabby-and-white. It is his size which is untypical for this breed although they are one of the largest domestic cat breeds challenging the supremacy of the Maine Coon sometimes .

Norwegian Forest Cat Health

NFC - Photo in the public domain.

A cat's health is the most important aspect of the cat but something that is not readily visible. The cat fancy tends to give priority to appearance sometimes.

The question that concerns "buyers" is this. Does this cat breed have any inherent disorders or is she a sound cat?

As a semi-wild cat she was pretty robust; she had to be. I would have expected this breed to the same as any other mixed breed cat before she became a show cat. But in the show world appearance counts and in order to achieve the finest appearance cat breeders run the risk of fixing not only good characteristics but the bad too which can sometimes be attached to recessive genes that are normally hidden away. This is because of line breeding or even inbreeding.

Both HCM (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy) and PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease) are diseases that are present in a number (perhaps all) of cat breeds to varying degrees. The question is to what degree? In some breeds such as the Persian the incidence of PKD is higher. Similarly for the Maine Coon, HCM is an issue as it occurs more frequently than normal. There is a growing awareness at the time of this post that HCM in Bengal cats is becoming an issue.

Both the above disorders can affect Norwegian Forest Cat Health but as far as I am aware not to an unusually high level. Note: In a research paper entitled: Prevalence of polycystic kidney disease in Persian and Persian related cats in France (on this page) Norwegian Forest cats were included and therefore considered as Persian related cats but no PKD was detected. High levels (41.8% of cats) of PKD was detected in Persian cats however.

One disorder however seems to be particular to this cat breed, namely Type IV glycogen storage disease (type IV GSD). This is a disease found in humans too. It is called Andersen disease or amylopectinosis. It is a rare disorder linked to an autosomal-recessive gene. It results in the deficiency of an enzyme. The enzyme is required to produce glucose. It is an inherited disease in this cat breed. [See this scientific research article if you are interested in learning more]

As the disorder is due to a recessive gene (autosomal - sex related) both parents have to carry the gene for the disorder to be present in the offspring which are sometimes still born and if not die at about 4-5 months due to "neuromuscular degeneration".

Clearly questions need to ask to the breeder about the above before proceeding. The latter disorder being the main focus I would have thought. There is one last health issue. Retinal Dysplasia may be present more frequently than normal in this breed of cat. It results in the malformation of the retina. The symptoms can be more or less severe, causing a small blind spot (relatively minor) or blindness. This disease can be inherited. There is no treatment currently.

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Norwegian Forest Cat Health to Maine Coon Cats


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