Is a Norwegian Forest cat hypoallergenic, or is it a myth?
Norwegian Forest cats, aka Wegies, are pretty, quiet, low-maintenance, and sturdy. On top of that, they have a charming personality to match their looks. Wegies are friendly and playful and can quickly get along with anyone. These kitties are fantastic companions, but if you or someone in your household suffers from cat allergies, there are various factors to consider before adopting any cat.
Is a Norwegian Forest cat hypoallergenic? How much do they shed, and does it affect their hypoallergenic status? Untamed answers these questions in detail and provides practical tips on sharing a home with this gorgeous kitty, even if you are allergic to cats.
Are Norwegian Forest cats hypoallergenic?
The bad news—Norwegian Forest cats are not hypoallergenic. Neither is any other breed (not even the hairless ones).
The good news—Wegies don't produce a lot of Fel d 1 glycoprotein, which causes most allergic reactions in humans. There are around ten different allergens found in felines' excrement, saliva, and dander, but Fel d 1 is the most common one.
Another piece of good news—these felines don't drool much and have a low dander production rate.
All felines produce Fel d 1 in their salivary, anal, and sebaceous glands, so hypoallergenic cats do not exist. A few breeds, Norwegian Forest cats included, have a lower concentration of the infamous glycoprotein.
Check out the table below to see what breeds allergy sufferers could share a home with, provided specific precautionary steps are taken, and which breeds to avoid:
Low-allergen cat breeds
Breeds cat allergy sufferers should avoid
Norwegian Forest cats shedding intensity
I have fur, so I shed. What did you expect?
Source: Ludemeula Fernandes
As a long-haired breed, Norwegian Forest cats surprisingly don't shed much. Unfortunately, for people who suffer from cat allergies, this is not any consolation.
Wegies have a dense double coat designed to protect them from harsh winters. They shed all year round, but it is particularly intense in spring. During the peak moulting season, they lose all extra hair that kept them warm during the cold months. You can’t do anything to prevent this, but you can minimise loose hair spreading dander and dried-up saliva around your home.
Cat-allergy sufferers and Norwegian Forest cats
Although Norwegian Forests don't fall under the category of low-shedding breeds, allergy sufferers can do the following to keep their reactions under control:
- Identify what you react to
- Fortify your home
- Train your Wegie
- Groom your cat regularly
- Feed your Norwegian a high-quality diet
Identifying what you are sensitive to
The most common allergic reactions in humans are:
- Skin sensitivities—These reactions happen when you come into physical contact with Fel d 1 through saliva, dander, urine, etc. Given that Wegies don't produce the problematic protein in excess, rashes and itching can be prevented with rigorous hygiene
- Breathing sensitivities—These reactions are triggered by breathing in airborne dander. If you have breathing difficulties around cats, you can mitigate it by regularly grooming your feline companion and cleaning your home often
Note that people with severe allergic reactions shouldn’t live with cats because the risk is too high, even with low-allergenic breeds like Wegies.
Fortifying your home
When you live with a furry friend and suffer from cat allergies, you must improve your cleaning game. Vacuuming and dusting every day are mandatory.
It is also helpful to install some allergy-fighting gadgets, such as HEPA filters and air purifiers. Removing upholstered furniture can make cleaning your home easier and ensure your sofas and chairs don’t harbour cat dander that much.
Training your Norwegian Forest cat
How to train me? You don’t. Just kidding… You can try.
Source: Paul Hanaoka
Norwegian Forest cats are highly intelligent. You can teach them many tricks and fun games, but they are not the easiest felines to train. The fact that they mature slowly and can behave like kittens until they are five has something to do with it. It will take a lot of time and patience to teach them manners.
Proper training can help in lowering the spread of allergens throughout your home considerably, so you should teach your Wegie:
- Not to lick you, especially if your allergies manifest as a skin rash
- To avoid your bedroom
- Not to sleep on the furniture
- To use the litter box from early kittenhood
Grooming your Norwegian Forest cat
Norwegian Forests are surprisingly low-maintenance for long-haired felines, but if you suffer from cat allergies, you must take the grooming sessions seriously.
Here is what you should do:
- Brush your Wegie once or twice a week—Normally, you wouldn't need to brush these felines more than once a week because their fur doesn't mat easily. If you are allergic to cats, you may want to brush them more often because it will remove dead hair and dander. It's best to brush your kitty outside your home and, if possible, delegate the task to someone in the family who has no problems with cat allergies. You can also finish the routine by wiping your kitty's fur with a damp cloth so all the remaining dander sticks to it
- Bathe your Norwegian Forest cat every six to eight weeks—Wegies’ fur is water-resistant, and you wouldn't normally have to bathe them unless they get dirty. If you suffer from allergies, bathing them every two months or more often can help reduce dander. Make sure not to overdo it because frequent bathing can mess up your kitty's skin PH value
Feeding your Wegie
What’s for dinner? I’m starving!
Source: Lina Angelov
The diet is a vital part of caring for your Norwegian Forest cat. A good meal plan can prevent or help manage numerous health issues, including:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Urinary tract infections, bladder stones, and cystitis
- Liver problems
Proper nutrition can also reduce your kitty's shedding intensity. Feeding your furry companion poor-quality food can cause food allergies and skin problems that can lead to hair loss and scratching. That spreads dander everywhere.
- Milk (even lactose-free) and dairy products like cheese, yoghurt, ice cream
- Grains (wheat, corn, sweetcorn, rice)
- Ingredients rich in histamines, such as avocado, chocolate, and bacon
- Artificial colourants, taste enhancers, and chemical preservatives
Your Norwegian Forest cat should eat a high-protein diet with sufficient healthy fats (such as Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids) to maintain a healthy and luscious coat. The best way to ensure they get all the necessary nutrients is to follow their natural eating patterns, so lean meat and fish should be the only ingredients. Meat is the best source of proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals felines need to stay healthy and fit and keep their fur roots strong.
- More than 50% animal protein
- Up to 20% animal fat
- Under 3% carbohydrates
Keep your Wegie's coat in perfect condition with Untamed
Untamed makes life with cat allergies manageable! Our meals maintain felines' overall health and support healthy skin and coat while minimising dander production and shedding.
- Meat derivatives
- Vegetable protein
We help your Norwegian Forest cat keep their luscious coat with:
- Plenty of healthy proteins—Untamed meals contain at least 60% of lean meat, which is about two times more than most other products on the market
- Perfectly balanced nutrition—We cooperate with vets to ensure our recipes contain an ideal protein-to-fat ratio and deliver adequate amounts of all micronutrients, such as vitamin E and vitamin B complex, as well as essential amino acids like taurine and arginine
- Allergen-free formulas—If your kitty suffers from food allergies or stomach sensitivities, give them our single-source-protein meals, such as Chocka Chicken in Jelly and Tuck-in Tuna in Jelly
- Easily digestible meals—We gently steam our meals, so all the ingredients keep their nutritional values while the irresistible aroma and taste are locked in. Gently-steamed food is easier on a kitty's stomach than processed food like kibble, and cats absorb nutrients more easily
Take our TRY NOW quiz to determine which products will suit your Norwegian Forest cat and order a starter pack at a bargain price!
Untamed provides all your Norwegian Forest cat needs and more!
Image (c) Untamed
What to expect with Untamed
- Help kittens thrive (with suitable portion sizes and feeding frequency)
- Assist in weight loss or gain with controlled caloric intake
- Boost appetite and increase weight in senior cats
The Untamed results
How to order
Want to give our tasty meals a try? Order a taster pack online in three easy steps:
- Take our Try Now quiz
- Pick the products
- Place the order
Besides the effortless shopping experience, Untamed offers a few more perks:
- Next-day delivery
- Free shipping
- Monthly subscription
- Easy order modification and cancellation
With Untamed, you choose an ethical, eco-conscious brand that only works with cruelty-free and sustainable suppliers, ensures that all packaging is 100% recyclable, and functions on a carbon-neutral basis.