How to Tell a Norwegian Forest Cat From a Tabby?

The easygoing, mild-mannered Norwegian forest cat loves to play.
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Ludvik the Mighty stretches majestically across the back of your sofa, as your family pops in for a visit. "Wow, that's a big cat," your mother-in-law exclaims, "What kind of tabby is he?" Bristling slightly, you may reply, "He's not a tabby, he's a Norwegian forest cat."

Step 1

Compare Ludvik's color to that of other cat breeds. Tabby is not a breed or a color, it's a pattern. A tabby cat may be an Abyssinian, an American shorthair, a Maine coon, a Manx or a Norwegian forest cat. While Ludvik may have a tabby-patterned coat, Norwegian forest cats are available in nearly every color and pattern except the color points found in Siamese and Himalayan cats.

Step 2

Weigh Ludvik. Male Norwegian forest cats are a large, sturdy cats that weigh 12 to 15 or more pounds. Female cats are smaller, weighing in at 8 to 13 pounds.

Step 3

Run your fingers through Ludvik's fur. A Norwegian forest cat's fur is fairly long, but not as long as a Persian's, and dense. Ludvik has a double coat, with a heavy, woolly underlayer and a longer, waterproof layer of guard hairs on top. In addition to his double layer of fur, Ludvik also has a full ruff around his neck and britches on his legs.

Step 4

Look at Ludvik's tail. He has a large, bushy tail that he carries high over his body. His tail is full even in summer, when he sheds much of his heavy winter coat.

Step 5

Look closely a Ludvik's ears. Many Norwegian forest cats' ears have lynx tips and extremely long tufts of hair extending out of the ears.

Step 6

Examine Ludvik's toes. He has large feet, with tufts of hair between the toes that provide extra protection from cold, wet weather.

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