If you are thinking about sharing your home with a cat that boasts having a longish coat, but are undecided which breed would best suit your lifestyle, two breeds worth considering that stand out from the norm are the Siberian Forest Cat and the Norwegian Forest Cat. This article compares both breeds and although very similar, there are subtle differences between a Siberian Forest Cat and Norwegian Forest Cat that are worth knowing about.
The Siberian is one of the oldest breeds known with evidence of very similar looking cats existing in 1000 AD. With this said, there are written records of the breed that date back to the 13th century, but Siberians were only exhibited in 1870 which is when they started to become popular family pets and companions.
The Norwegian Forest Cat is also one of the oldest breeds and they are thought to date back to the time of the Vikings who took them with them on their sea voyages and their job was to keep rats numbers down on their boats. With this said, the exact origins of this lovely breed remain a bit of a mystery, but there is some evidence and legends of cats that looked very much like the Norwegian that date back to the 16th century.
The Siberian Cat has dense, semi-long coats that need to be brushed quite frequently to prevent matts and tangles from forming. They shed steadily throughout the year, but more so during the spring and then again in the autumn. In short, they are quite heavy shedders.
The Norwegian too has thick, semi-long coats with close lying undercoats. With this said, they are lower maintenance than the Siberian although their coats do benefit from being brushed twice a week. Like their Siberian counterparts, the Norwegian sheds throughout the year, but more so during the spring and the autumn. As such they are also thought to be heavy shedders.
Adaptable, intelligent, energetic, inquisitive, affectionate and fun-loving, the Siberian Forest Cat thrives in a home environment and loves to be involved in everything that goes on around them. They mature slowly which can take up to four or five years which in short, means they retain their kitten-like traits for a long time remaining very playful throughout.
Unlike many other breeds, the Siberian enjoys being and playing in water, they gave been known to paddle in ponds and play with dripping taps. Because they are so smart, Siberians need to be kept busy for them to be truly happy characters and they love exploring their environment, but cats should only be allowed outside if it safe for them.
With this said, the Siberian is a highly adaptable character and they accept well to living as indoor pets providing they are given lots of things to do. They are quite dog-like in many of their traits which includes the fact that Siberians love to dig and play interactive games like “fetch” with their owners whenever they can. They like to be active, but they are also known to be very tolerant and patient which is why they make such wonderful family pets.
They are not overly talkative having a sweet voice, but they do have a very impressive purr. Siberians are confident and outgoing and patient which in short means they are very good around children. They also get on well with dogs they have grown up with in the same household, but care needs to be taken when they are around smaller pets and animals to be on the safe side.
The Norwegian Forest Cat is renowned for a having gentle, sweet and kind natures which is why they have remained so popular over the years. They too, mature slowly which again can take up to five years. As such, Wedgies remain very kitten-like for that much longer. Intelligent and playful, they form strong ties with their owners and don't like to be left on their own for too long. As such Wedgies are better suited to households where one person stays at home when everyone else is out so they are never on their own for too long.
Although extremely affectionate towards their families, Norwegian Forest Cats are wary around strangers and although they are not known to be talkative, they have lovely quiet voices. They adore being involved in everything that goes on around them and love exploring the great outdoors. However, cats should only be allowed outside when it is safe for them to do so.
Wedgies also love to climb up high so they can look down on the world below and they adore playing interactive games with their owners which includes things like fetch"" and chase the ball. They are gentle cats by nature which means they are good around children and being quick on their feet, a Wedgie knows when to get out of the reach of toddlers. They also get on with dogs they have grown up with and have even been known to be good around larger pet birds, but care should be taken when a Norwegian Forest Cat is around smaller pets and animals to be on the safe side.
The Siberian suffers from certain hereditary health issues which are as follows:
The Norwegian Forest Cat is a healthy and robust breed, but there is one condition that seems to affect them which is as follows:
The average life span of a Siberian is between 12 and 15 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate, good quality diet to suit their ages.
The average life span of a Norwegian Forest Cat is between 14 and 16 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate, good quality diet to suit their ages.