Lovers of the Norwegian Forest cat, would you like to find out if this cat breed can affect allergy sufferers?
Well, Norwegian Forest Cats, also known as “Wegies” or Norsk Skaukatt, are known worldwide as a sturdy cat breed with a sweet personality. An interesting fact we discovered about this breed is that it almost became extinct during the Second World War, due to cross-breeding. Currently, they are quite popular in France, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.
We have committed ourselves to allergy sufferers to find out if Norwegian cats can be an excellent option for your homes. And true to our style, we have done thorough research on whether this cat breed is hypoallergenic.
So, let’s dive right in…
Are Norwegian Forest Cat Hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately, Norwegian Forest Cats are not considered to be hypoallergenic. Wegies sport a luscious double coat that can easily trigger allergic reactions. They also have a high shedding level despite their lower Fel d1 levels (the protein that triggers cat allergies).
Overall Hypoallergenic Score: 6/10
All cats, including non-shedding and hairless breeds, produce Fel d1 protein in their skin and saliva. This protein is the top allergen that triggers cat allergies. Since all cats produce it to some extent, no cat can ever be considered 100% hypoallergenic.
While it is purely anecdotal, some allergy sufferers find that Norwegian cats don’t trigger their allergies despite their longer coats because they produce less of this protein. It all comes down to the unique sensitivities of the allergy sufferer.
How to Decide If a Norwegian Forest Cat Is Hypoallergenic to You
Cats can trigger a wide range of allergies, with the most common allergies being either skin and breathing sensitivities. And we have rated the Norwegian Forest Cats for both:
Probability of Causing Breathing Allergies: 7/10
Probability of Causing Skin Allergies: 4/10
Breathing allergies are triggered by breathing in airborne particles like dander and fur. With high shedding levels, the Norwegian cat is not quite off the hook.
On the other hand, skin allergies are usually a result of coming into contact with substances that include the Fel d1 protein, like dander, saliva, urine and so on. With lower Fel d1 production rates, this is why some allergy sufferers report not being affected by Norwegian Forest Cats.
If deciding whether a Norwegian Forest Cat is the right one for your household, it really depends on your sensitivities too.
Do Norwegian Forest Cats Shed a Lot?
Yes, Wegies are high shedding cats. Not only do they shed all year long, but Norwegian Forest Cats also have a seasonal blowout. They are double-coated cats that shed one of their coats in winter and the other in spring. Therefore, their coats should be brushed at least three times per week during the heavy shedding season.
Shedding Levels: 9/10
Hair Length: 8/10
Norwegian cats have medium to long fur length, so you will notice their hair all over your home when they start shedding. As they shed all the dander and outdoor allergens that are trapped on their coat are also released into the atmosphere and can trigger severe breathing allergies in highly allergic people.
Norwegian Forest Cat Saliva & Dander Exposure
For individuals with skin allergies, the Fel d1 protein found on their cat’s skin and saliva is a big concern. However, allergic reactions depend on your sensitivities, so you might be on the clear if you are not affected by the Norwegian Cat’s lower Fel d1 levels!
Saliva Exposure: 5/10
Dander Levels: 6/10
Norwegian Forest Cats have a low dander production rate, which can be easily managed by proper grooming. When they start shedding their coats, a huge amount of the dander is released into your house and this is what tends to trigger reactions in allergy sufferers.
When it comes to saliva exposure, cats are not big droolers and the Norwegian Forest Cats are no exception! However, some breeds tend to lick themselves clean like there’s no tomorrow. These sweet babies are on the less-drooly and self-grooming like crazy side of the scale though!
Fortunately, Norwegian Cat saliva also has different antibodies, so a huge percentage of the people who are allergic to cat saliva are not affected by Wegies’ saliva. Again, it comes down to your sensitivities whether you’ll react to it or not.
Grooming and Coat Maintenance
Cats are generally clean creatures that love taking care of their coats. Wegies have long, water-resistant fur, thanks to their ancestors battling cold, harsh Norwegian winters. Therefore, the Norwegian Forest cat should only be washed when they are exposed to filthy conditions.
Ease of Grooming: 8/10
Risk of Allergen Exposure: 8/10
Even though Norwegian Cats are self-grooming creatures, their coats should be brushed twice every week to prevent their undercoats from matting. Brushing also helps to reduce the spread of allergens throughout your home as they shed.
Just make sure you brush their coats using the right brush!
In Love With the Norwegian Forest Cat and Need One Anyway? Tips for Reducing Allergies
Norwegian Forest Cats are very beautiful cats, so we get it!
Here are some tips to help you reduce allergies while living with your beloved Wegie. These tips are a significant step forward, although living under the same roof with this breed is still risky.
Wegies aren’t the most trainable cats on the planet; in fact, on a scale of 1 to 10, we would say they’re a 5. Therefore, you have to be very patient with them. They take over five years to mature, so if kitten antics are an issue, you should consider this before getting one.
That being said, proper training can help reduce the spread of allergens all over your home. We recommend that you teach them the following:
- Not to lick you, especially if you are allergic to cat saliva
- Teach them to avoid your bedroom, furniture and other textiles areas in the house
- Potty train them early to avoid urine all over your house too
Fortify Your House
Another method of combating allergies is installing allergy-fighting devices all over your home. So we recommend that you start with the following:
- HEPA filters
- A high-quality vacuum cleaner
- A high-quality air purifier
- Reduce the number of textile surfaces in the apartment
- Always have your allergy medication in the house
Above all, remember to keep tabs on your sensitivities. If you can’ spend time around this breed to see if a Norwegian Forest Cat is hypoallergenic to you before you bring it home!