|Grand Premier Vieuxtemps Maja Gradnos prepared for a cat show|
(Photo by Alan Robinson)
Friday, 2 September 2011
Grooming the Norwegian Forest Cat
Norwegian Forest Cats have coats that are specially adapted for the harsh weather conditions of Scandinavia. The coat consists of a glossy waterproof topcoat with long guard hairs over a woolly undercoat that acts a bit like a duvet. There is a lot of oil in the coat, which helps with weatherproofing and also stops knots from forming.
Each spring their undercoat is moulted within just a couple of weeks, so that the guard hairs lie close to the body. At that time of year it is helpful to comb the cat daily to get rid of the excess hair, which comes out in cotton-wool-like lumps, but at other times a comb-through just once a week should keep a good quality coat healthy and well groomed.
Pet owners do not need to spend much time grooming their Norwegian Forest Cat. Apart from the occasional combing, Wegies are prone to stud tail (greasiness half way down the tail) and it’s wise to wash the tail separately using washing up liquid and plenty of warm running water to wash away the suds, but there should be no need to wash the remainder of the coat regularly.
Having said that I always get kittens used to bathing as a “fun” experience for whatever role they are destined. This is because you never know if at some point in the future a bath might be a real lifesaver - for instance if the cat got something poisonous on its coat. At that time you’d be so glad if the cat didn’t panic and struggle but allowed you to get rid of the offending substance! So when the kitten is a few months old, as part of a game play splashing around in a bath with toys and get them used to getting wet and then dried with a towel. Some people use hairdryers to finish off their cats’ fur before a show but I find keeping them in a really warm room, perhaps with a blow heater and a feline friend to help, is most effective and least worrying for them.