The fluffy Norwegian Forest cat resembles other large longhaired breeds like the Maine Coon or the Ragdoll, but his centuries-long history sets him apart. When we cross the Ragdoll with this ancient breed, each parent brings a set of heritable traits to the mix. Some of the characteristics these breeds share are similar enough that you can make predictions about their kittens. These two affectionate breeds create a sensitive, loving mix that will be perfect for a family with gentle children and predictable routines.
The kittens born from the Ragdoll and Norwegian Forest cat, or “Wegie,” as fanciers call them, could be primarily like either parent or exhibit traits from both. Because this cross produces a hybrid and not a purebred cat, individuals from the same litter will resemble each parent in varying degrees. The two parent breeds serve as a basis for what you can expect from a hypothetical litter, but each kitten will be a unique individual. The Norwegian Forest Cat Ragdoll mix is an elegant, delightful kitty you will want to get to know more about.
Ragdoll cats were established as a breed in the 1960s by a California woman with a cat named Josephine. Josephine’s owner felt her white, long-haired cat with a Himalayan coat pattern had traits she’d like to reproduce. She bred her to longhaired males of two particularly affectionate breeds.
Baker used males that were Birman and Persian in type to create her first-generation kittens. She then continued selecting the physical and temperament traits she had found in Josephine. Thus, the Ragdoll breed came into being. She produced large, affectionate cats with standard pointed colors and blue eyes whose coat was much easier to care for than that of other long-haired breeds.
Norwegian Forest Cat
The Norwegian Forest Cat is an ancient breed from Norway, featured in folk tales and mythology throughout the centuries. This breed likely accompanied Viking explorers around the time of Leif Erickson to the New World and acted as rodent exterminators on the ship. Some believe these Viking cats may have been ancestors of another rugged longhaired breed, the Maine Coon.
In Norway, before World War II, Norwegian farmers had begun to realize that the breed was in danger of being lost. Hybridization with free-roaming domestic shorthairs nearly eliminated the centuries-old breed. World War II put efforts to save the breed on hold, but soon after the war ended, the efforts to save the skogkatt, as it was called in Norway, started anew. Efforts were successful, and the late King Olaf declared them the official breed of Norway. Fanciers brought the breed back to the United States in 1979.
Norwegian Forest Cat Ragdoll Mix
Although there are some differences between the NFC and the Ragdoll, both are very slow-maturing breeds. Their kittens will undoubtedly take at least four years to fully mature. The NFC Ragdoll mix will be a heavy-boned cat, wide-bodied with large, tufted paws. Although their body types are similar and longhaired, their coats are very different. The Norwegian Forest Cat’s coat evolved to protect him from the harsh Norwegian climate. He has a double coat with a dense undercoat covered by smooth, glossy, water-resistant guard hairs. The Ragdoll, by contrast, has only a single coat.
Wegie Ragdoll mix cats will be sweetly affectionate. The Ragdoll’s name came from the breed’s habit of collapsing into his handler’s arms like a ragdoll. Norwegian Forest Cats like their relationship with you to be on their terms but act motherly towards their fellows. Whether or not they’re in your lap will be up to them, but they will almost certainly want to be in your proximity.
Size & Appearance
Ragdolls and Norwegian Forest Cats are larger than average, so a blend may be a giant cat. The only thing extreme about this lovely blend is its size. They should be smoothly built, athletic cats. The NFC Ragdoll blend’s almond-shaped eyes give them a sweet expression, and their slightly curved profile ends in a dignified nose. Their strongly built necks carry a heavy ruff. They are heavy-boned, and strong legs support their body. Blended kittens’ hind legs sport fluffy britches, and their large paws are tufted. Their tail will form a full plume.
Coat & Colors
Because the Norwegian Forest Cat has a wide range of potential colors and patterns, your blended kitten’s hue will depend on that side of the family for his color. Ragdolls have a pattern called Himalayan. They resemble the Siamese with light bodies and darker extremities, or “point.” This mutation is recessive, so it will only be expressed if both parent cats are colorpoint. A purebred NFC should not carry this gene, so they cannot pass it to their offspring. They cannot be chocolate, lilac, sable, lavender, cinnamon, or fawn.
Norwegian Forest Cats come in a rainbow of colors. The breed standard states they may be white, black, blue, red, cream, chinchilla silver, shaded silver, chinchilla golden, shaded golden, shell cameo, shaded cameo, shell tortoiseshell, shaded tortoiseshell, black smoke, blue smoke, cream smoke, cameo smoke, smoke tortoiseshell, blue-cream smoke. Patterns include classic tabby pattern, mackerel tabby pattern, patched, spotted, ticked, and brown patched, blue patched, silver patched, silver, blue silver, blue silver patched, red, brown, blue, cream, cream silver, and cameo.
There are also tortoiseshell, calico, dilute calico, blue-cream, bi-color, van bi-color, van calico, van dilute calico, tabby and white, smoke/shaded/shell and white, tortoiseshell and white, blue-cream and white. The amber colors include amber, amber smoke, light amber, light amber smoke, amber tabby, light amber tabby, amber tortoiseshell, amber tortoiseshell smoke, amber patched tabby, light amber patched tabby, amber silver tabby, and light amber silver tabby.
The Norwegian Forest Cat and the Ragdoll both have long, beautiful coats, but the nature of their coats is different. Consequently, your blended kitten’s coat may have an undercoat or not. Either way, it will probably be easy to care for, even though he’s a long-haired cat. How much time you’ll dedicate to coat care depends on whether the NFC Ragdoll blend kitten has the Wegie undercoat or not, but either way, combing him out a couple of times per week should keep mats away.
If your Wegie Ragdoll mix kitten has a Wegie-style coat, he may “molt” his coat once a year. Norwegian Forest Cats lose their winter coats as if they were removing an overcoat. Although their coat is lighter in the summer than in winter, it comes back thicker each year. Their coat will mat if neglected, but they require less grooming than most other longhaired cats.
Ragdoll-style coats are easy to care for, and you’ll usually only need to brush them twice a week. Grooming with a slicker brush should do the trick to keep their coat healthy and mat-free. You may have to experiment as your kitten grows to adulthood, but with a wide-toothed comb for mats and this basic slicker, you should be able to address their grooming needs.
If the Norwegian Forest Cat side of your blended kitten is dominant, provide a safe space for your kitten to climb. NFCs love being up high and watching the world from this point of view. Be sure your cat trees are sturdy enough to accommodate their potential size and weight. Ragdolls generally don’t climb as much as other cats, so get to know your kitten’s unique personality to see which side he favors.
Before your kitten comes home, prepare your home for him. Choose an area for his food and water that’s easy to clean and away from his litterbox. Everyday household items may pose a hazard to your curious companion, so safely store cleaning products and ensure he can’t access power cords he may try to chew. Providing appropriate cat toys and climbing areas protects your belongings and furniture from damage and keeps your kitten safe, too.
All breeds need exercise that reflects their instincts, like stalking their prey and stretching as they scratch their claws. Behaviors like this are natural, even though modern felines are far removed from the wild. Cats need outlets for these instinctive behaviors to keep their bodies in motion and their minds active. Obesity causes many health problems, and Norwegian Forest Cats and Ragdolls aren’t always the most active. Find toys your blend can “hunt” and chase to keep them healthy and entertained.
Your Norwegian Forest Cat Ragdoll blend is happy to be a homebody but requires daily exercise. If your kitten is a climber in true NFC style, he’ll appreciate the tallest, sturdiest cat tree you can locate. Offer a variety of toys, and remember, toys can include items like tunnels and exercise wheels. Ragdolls are one of the breeds that can learn to fetch, so give it a try with your NFC Ragdoll blend. He’ll have fun and get his exercise too.
Both parent breeds enjoy human interaction, but the Norwegian Forest Cat prefers it on his terms. This mix of personality types means you’ll have to get to know your blended kitten to see how he chooses to interact with you. Wegie Ragdoll mixes may be difficult to train to anything but the basics of the litter box, or they may also be happy to learn tricks for treats. Gentle positive reinforcement is best for this mix because both parent breeds enjoy the company of people.
The first thing your kitten learns when they come home with you is where to find the litter box. Use your cat’s instincts to guide positive behavior in your home. Cats should be handled gently and introduced to other family pets calmly to encourage positive interaction between pets and people. Your NFC Ragdoll mix could be a climber, so provide a scratching tower or other toy to exercise this instinct in a non-destructive way.
Common Training For Cats
- Use the scratching post or cat tree only.
- Keep claws retracted when playing with people.
- Eliminate only in the litter box.
- Biting is for toys only.
- Games and tricks
- Standard commands like sit, stay, roll over, jump, high-five, play a game, time to eat, come here, etc.
- Familiarity with the grooming process.
- Familiarity with being bathed.
- Riding calmly in the car.
Your Norwegian Forest Cat Ragdoll mix should be a healthy cross. Ragdolls and NFCs have a few health issues, but you’ll need to watch for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy because both breeds are predisposed. NFCs are prone to hip dysplasia and glycogen storage disease type IV. Ragdolls tend to become obese, get hairballs from their long hair coat, and are likely to have urinary tract issues. Understanding the breed history, personality types, and potential health concerns specific to each parent breed helps you know what to expect. Still, it is not a substitute for professional advice from your veterinarian.
Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) causes the heart’s walls to thicken, decreasing the heart’s efficiency. Although the cause of HCM remains inconclusive, there may be a genetic component. Both Ragdolls and Norwegian Forest Cats have been identified with this disease. While the prognosis for this disease varies, proper diagnosis and treatment can help.
Some cats with HCM are asymptomatic, but others exhibit labored breathing and lethargy from congestive heart failure. Your vet may use an echocardiogram or genetic testing to see if your cat suffers from this condition. Your vet will likely prescribe medication to help your cat live more comfortably. Asymptomatic cats may live for many years, but the disease will progress.
Urinary Tract Disorders
You’ll need to monitor your blend for symptoms of urinary disorders. Lower Urinary Tract Disease (LUTD) is the number one problem that sends cats to veterinary practices. This term covers a range of conditions of varying severity that often have more than one cause. LUTDs can be triggered by infection, inflammation, diet, and stress. LUTD most frequently affects middle-aged, overweight cats that don’t get enough exercise, use an indoor litter box, stay indoors only, and don’t drink enough water. Changes in routine or adding a new pet may also cause stress and increase the risk.
Glycogen Storage Disease Type IV
This simple recessive inherited abnormality of Norwegian Forest Cats manifests in two possible ways: The first is a stillbirth or neonatal death, but the more devastating form doesn’t appear until the affected kitten is about five months old. This form is rare, but no one wants to have a kitten you love deteriorate to the point he can’t use his limbs within three months or die suddenly of heart failure. A genetic test is available to diagnose affected kittens and detect carrier cats.
Because your blend may be more prone to urinary issues, ensure he has adequate water intake. Wet cat food contains more moisture than kibble and can help reduce the frequency of his infections. If your cat is overweight, it’s best not to feed free-choice dry kibble. Providing canned food makes monitoring his intake easier, and he’ll take in more moisture as he eats. Not only will this help you limit his caloric intake, but it may reduce the incidence of Lower Urinary Tract Disorders.
Your cat food should meet AAFCO standards as a complete and balanced diet for your feline. In the wild, animal meat comprises the most significant part of the feline diet. Their diet should reflect what they evolved to eat. Regardless of which type of food you choose, read the label. Look for meat, meat by-products, or seafood among the first few ingredients. This suggests the food probably contains enough animal-source ingredients to supply essential amino acids and fatty acids without additional supplements. For cats prone to urinary tract issues, a low-magnesium wet food may be worth the extra expense.
Breeders & Kitten Costs
Because this kitty is a mixed breed, the price of a kitten will often be much less than the cost of their purebred parent breeds. You can expect to pay a kitten from $100 to $400. Purebreds command a premium, so this blend may be from an accidental litter or a backyard breeder. Be wary of anyone selling kittens who won’t answer your questions or seems to produce many litters yearly.
Before bringing your kitten home, get the supplies you’ll need. Have a litter box and the food you plan to feed waiting. You may wish to have a bed, a crate for transport, some toys, and grooming tools. If you don’t already have an established relationship with a local veterinarian, be ready to locate one for your kitten’s first vaccinations and a general wellness check. Expect to spend about $500 to $1,000 for your kitten and supplies if you start from scratch.
There may not be many breeders advertising these mixed kittens, but you can check with local online resources. If you have Norwegian Forest Cat or Ragdoll breeders in your area, they may be able to steer you in the right direction. Your veterinarian may know of available kittens, and you should check local rescue and shelter pages regularly.
Rescues & Shelters
You’ll probably find several available kittens with long hair when you visit a shelter. Finding one known to be a Wegie Ragdoll mix may be a challenge. Both parent breeds are expensive to purchase, so breeders will try to limit accidental litters. Depending on your needs, you may find a kitten with the look and temperament to make you happy at the shelter. The Humane Society of the United States, your local shelter, and your veterinarian are reliable resources for finding reputable shelters and rescue groups.
Check your local shelters and rescue groups in late spring and early summer if you’re in the market for a kitten. They’ll likely have a vast array. If you are willing to adopt an older cat, you’ll be able to see the adult and interact with them one on one. There are many advantages to adopting a mature cat. Most kittens are playful but settle as they approach adulthood. When you meet an adult cat, what you see is what you get. You’ll have a much more unambiguous indication of the personality you’ll be living with for the rest of their life.
Purebred or mixed breed, your kitten will bring you years of love. The best way to love her back is with regular veterinary care, proper nutrition, and a healthy, attentive environment. Depending on which side he takes after, your Wegie Ragdoll mix may spend just as much time on the couch next to you as climbing to the top of the refrigerator. Be sure to provide your kitten with proper places to climb. You’ll need to monitor his weight and monitor for signs of urinary trouble. Call your vet immediately if your cat shows pain while urinating, as this could be an emergency.
Play with your cat to provide exercise and strengthen your bond. This slow-maturing long-haired mix will hopefully live to his mid-teens. Your kitten being a mixed breed adds to the mystery of how he will grow and what his adult personality will be. Your NFC Ragdoll mix won’t fully mature until he’s around four years old. If you’re looking for a fluffy feline friend who doesn’t demand much attention but enjoys proximity to you, this delightful blend of breeds will make an excellent addition to your household.