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American Shorthair vs Norwegian Forest: Cat Breeds Comparison

Are you thinking about getting a new cat for your family but are torn between the American Shorthair and the Norwegian Forest? Keep reading to learn more about their similarities and differences.

While American Shorthair comes from United States, Norwegian Forest has Norway origin.

But honestly, breeds' origin doesn't reveal a lot about it, so please keep reading to learn more about these interesting breeds.

Although both breeds are very intelligent, it's important to consider their differences as well.

Here is some basic information about these breeds:

American Shorthair vs Norwegian Forest

American Shorthair
Length12 to 15 inches
Weight7 to 12 pounds
Overall Health
OriginUnited States
Life Span15 to 20 years
Norwegian Forest
Length12 to 18 inches
Weight13 to 22 pounds
Overall Health
OriginNorway
Life Span12 to 16 years

American Shorthair vs Norwegian Forest Appearance

Norwegian Forests are longer.

Norwegian Forests have an average length of 12 to 18 inches and a weight of 13 to 22 pounds.

On the other side American Shorthairs, have a typical length of 12 to 15 inches and an average weight of 7 to 12 pounds.

Temperament

No doubt, each cat has its own temperament, but we'll try to make some generalizations and help you choose the breed that will fit

Affectionate with Family

Looking for a perfect family cat?

Well, we'd strongly advise to choose American Shorthair over Norwegian Forest.

American Shorthairs love their people, and being a part of a family is something that helps them thrive.

Norwegian Forests, on the other hand, are more of an independent type, that will prefer to stay silent in the corner, or their spot and monitor closely what is happening around them.

This doesn’t mean that there is no love toward humans but instead means that they prefer moments of solitude. You can still expect Norwegian Forests to come to you for cuddles - at their own pace.

Kid-Friendly

Owning a feline and having a kid can be challenging but also so much rewarding. This is especially true if you get a American Shorthair or a Norwegian Forest because you will enjoy watching your kid growing with them together.

These breeds are major kids lovers, and describing them only as kid-friendly isn't enough.

Both breeds will monitor kids closely whenever you leave the room.

With so kid-friendly breeds around, your kid can easily learn how to behave around cats, and even how to train them. Treats can do wonders, even with cats.

Friendly Toward Strangers

American Shorthairs are more friendly than Norwegian Forests. What does it mean to you?

Generally you should avoid Norwegian Forests in some cases:

  • Your home is always full of people
  • You like to make parties at your home
  • You consider getting a cat for office or working place
  • You travel a lot and plan to leave your cat with your friends
  • You plan traveling or commuting with your cat in the transporter

Otherwise no worries, both breeds should do fine, just Norwegian Forests might be a more reserved in the beginning when meeting new people.

Pet Friendly

Cats being generally friendly is one thing, but being friendly toward other pets is a completely different thing.

This trait must be taken into account if you've got another pet, so let's see do these breeds compare.

Norwegian Forests are generally more pet friendly than American Shorthairs.

Cats usually tolerate dogs because they are not so territorial beings as dogs are, but make sure that their introduction is done safely.

If you notice your feline moving away from pets, do not force them to mingle, or spend time together. As a general rule, cats and birds shouldn't be under the same roof.

Potential for Playfulness

If your future cat's playfulness is an important thing for you, be sure to read this carefully.

Let's get straight to the point:

Norwegian Forests are more playful, and they will require you to invest some time in keeping them entertained, otherwise they might get bored and eventully destructive.

American Shorthairs aren't described by feline lovers as a breed of high playfulness, so if you're looking for a more laid-back breed for your appartment, they might be a great choice.

General Health

A healthy diet, proper grooming, and exercise should keep your feline in top shape.

American Shorthairs are usually considered as a healthy and resilient breed and should reach their senior years without major issues, as long as you deal with responsible breeders and provide regular veterinarian check-ups.

Unfortunately, the same doesn't stand for Norwegian Forests.

Their health is considered as average or below average, so if you decide to get a Norwegian Forest, be sure to choose a reputable breeder, known for breeding cats with good genetics.

Grooming

Cats are natural groomers. They may love to hide, get into small holes, and explore different scents, but they will do their best to clean themself afterward.

Owning a Norwegian Forest will be more demanding than owning a American Shorthair as they require more grooming.

But don't let this fret you. Each breed requires grooming (brushing, trimming nails, hair trimming and combining, shaving mats, etc), it's just a matter of how frequently you should groom them.

Shedding

Nobody enjoys the facts cats shed, but if you hate that, you should probably stick to American Shorthairs, as they shed less than Norwegian Forests.

However, don't forget that all cats need regular brushing, but how often depends on the breed.

Cats are not too fond of being handled, so invest in high-quality (and proper) grooming tools to make the brushing process easier and short.

Tendency to Vocalize

There are two types of cats: talkative, and silent.

But there are also two types of people: people who like talkative cats, and people who don't.

Therefore, you should consider this characteristic when you're choosing the perfect cat breed.

With American Shorthair, you will probably deal with a breed with a medium tendency to be vocal, while Norwegian Forests are often described as a breed with a high tendency to vocalize.

Intelligence

It's a well-known fact that cats are among the most intelligent creatures alive. They are smart to react instinctively, fast to hunt, and smart to hide in a matter of seconds.

If intelligence is an important factor for you, you might prefer a American Shorthair. They are fast to interact, communicate, and demand a lot of your time and playtime to thrive.

Obviously, this doesn't mean that Norwegian Forests are dunderhead, they just don't tend to be smart as American Shorthairs.

The Final Word

We hope our American Shorthairs vs Norwegian Forests comparison helped you to choose the right breed for you.

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