Do Norwegian Forest Cats Hunt Mice? (Hunting Answers)


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They might be intimidating due to their sheer size, but Norwegian Forest cats make great pets and don’t require much attention. This cat breed is larger than most domesticated cats, which has made many people curious about whether they show any interest or are capable of hunting mice. So, do Norwegian Forest cats hunt mice?

Norwegian Forest cats are prolific mice hunters because of their strong paws and quick reflexes. While in the wild, their diet consists of small animals and birds, and a considerable portion of that includes mice.  In a home you can expect Norwegian Forest cats to be excellent mousers.

While mice might be among the top of their diet priority, these gentle giants can hunt other small animals, which you will learn if you read on!

If you wonder what the best products are for your cat, check out this article that will break down all my recommendations for you: Things To Buy For A Cat Right Now!

Are Norwegian Forest Cats Good Mousers?

Under normal circumstances, any cat can kill a mouse. However, while some cat breeds wait for the opportunity to arise, the Norwegian Forest cats live for the hunt. Right from an early age, these cats show curiosity about small items and toys. So when you see them pouncing and biting on small toys, it’s their way of harnessing their hunting skills. Here are signs that your kitten is training to hunt:

  • Scratching the furniture, which they do to remove worn-out claws and sharpen new ones
  • Biting with ferocity and playing around with their toys
  • Walking stealthily towards you or their toys
  • Hiding behind the furniture and pouncing on their toys

As they grow older, you’ll notice them taking this behavior to the next level. To avoid causing damage to your furniture, try allowing them to play most of the time outdoors.

To learn more about if cats like to hunt, check out my article:  Click Here to Learn if Cats Like to Hunt!

What do Norwegian Forest Cats Eat?

Norwegian Forest Cat

Like every other cat, the Norwegian Forest cat’s diet consists of a lot of animal protein, and mice make a pretty good protein source. So it doesn’t matter how much cat food you feed them; these cats rely on their instincts to hunt and feed on mice and other small animals.

Compared to cats, mice are very slow to react and are usually not very attentive to their environment, making them an easy target for the cats. As a result, mice are often the only source of raw protein for domesticated cats isolated within a home.  

Norwegian Forest Cats Physical Traits

Don’t let their huge size fool you, but these gentle giants can be as stealthy as any cat. Their ability to camouflage and adapt to their surroundings makes it hard for mice to detect them.

Norwegian Forest cats have perfected the art of stealth over the years, which made the Vikings prefer them to control the mice and rodent problems they experienced on their longships.

However, there is a concern that they might not squeeze into small and crawl spaces due to their sheer size. Nevertheless, they make up for this shortcoming with their sharp hunting instincts and proactive actions, which enable them to catch the mice before they hide into crawl spaces.

Strong Paws

Their strong paws are not only effective for climbing trees and other places, but they also help them to pounce on their prey from a distance. Norwegian Forest cats can jump up to 6 feet in the air with extreme accuracy and 10 feet horizontally, which means they don’t need to get too close to their prey to catch them.

Climbers

They’re also expert climbers and like to spend most of their time in high places. This ability will come in handy in areas such as a barn where rodents seek shelter, and normal cats might not be interested in climbing.

Acute Senses

Cats also have very heightened senses, particularly a sense of smell that can detect mice or other rodents within your property. In addition, their whiskers can detect the slightest air movements, making sure that nothing gets past them without noticing.

Can Norwegian Forest Cats Survive on Mice Alone?

It’s an undisputed fact that Norwegian Forest cats are superior mice hunters, but these ferocious hunters cannot live on mice alone.They prefer wet food, and it’s best to feed them raw meat. However, it’s advisable to consult your veterinarian about a healthy and balanced diet before feeding them anything.

Even though Norwegian Forest cats are domesticated, they’re mostly viewed as outdoor cats due to their dynamic nature. However, by being active, they also require many calories to compensate for what they burn, especially when hunting. That’s why feeding on mice alone will not sustain them for long.

What do Norwegian Forest Cats Hunt?

Besides hunting mice, Norwegian Forest cats hunt for other small animals such as bunnies and birds. Although it’s rare for most cats to go after a full-sized bunny, Norwegian Forest cats, especially those in the wild, have been known to hunt them.

To learn more about if cats will hunt rabbits, check out this article:  Click Here to Learn More About if Cats Hunt Rabbits.

A domesticated Norwegian Forest cat may not consume a rabbit or consume small parts such as the head. The hunting instincts are the driving force behind these cats hunting a rabbit. Rabbits can be defensive once they’re cornered and can bite or scratch back, which makes hunting them dangerous unless your cat is fully grown.

Note: Prevent your cat from eating rabbits because your cat may contract Tularemia, mostly called “rabbit fever.” This illness is transmitted once a cat feeds on an infected rodent or rabbit. If you think your cat has eaten a rabbit, take it to your vet for a checkup.  

These cats usually hunt doves as their preferred birds of choice. The ability to jump an incredible 6 feet vertically makes them adequately equipped to catch these birds mid-air. However, Norwegian Forest cats will hunt any bird that comes within their territory, and they’re not limited to doves only.

Are Norwegian Forest Cats Good at Hunting?

Yes, Norwegian Forest Cats are excellent hunters. But, like many cats, your Norwegian Forest cat will start hunting mice and other small animals when they’re 18 weeks old.

However, they might fail several times during their first attempts, and they will only get better as they grow older. So you shouldn’t count on your Norwegian Forest cat to get rid of the rodent problems at this early age.

By the time they’re 22 weeks old, Norwegian Forest cats are capable of hunting effectively without many failures, and you’ll notice a significant reduction in mice within your compound.

Since they haven’t grown much in size at this age, they’re able to squeeze into crawl spaces easily to where their prey might be hiding.

Do Norwegian Forest Cats Like Other Cats?

Norwegian Forest cats are friendly and tolerant to other cats and people. They get along with other animals, such as cats and dogs, as long as they behave well towards them. Despite their colossal size, they are gentle towards children, although it’s best to be observant.

These cats are very independent and like spending most of their time outdoors. They don’t demand much attention from their owners, and they like other felines. However, since they enjoy climbing, it’s best to have a cat tree in your home if your living situation doesn’t permit them to run outside.

Despite their accommodative nature, these cats are known to frown upon intruding animals, such as stray dogs and red foxes. Their huge size intimidates many animals, and they have been known to get aggressive towards these unwanted guests.

What Cat is Best for Killing Mice?

I recommend the Maine Coon for killing mice.  The Maine Coon is quite large (generally larger than a Norwegian Forest Cat) and should be able to tackle not just mice but also rats. In addition, the Maine Coon is a loyal and friendly cat that will help keep your home free of rodents.

To learn more about the Maine Coon check out this article:  Click Here for Maine Coon Info!

Conclusion

Video: Norwegian Forest Cat 101

Norwegian Forest cats are prolific mice hunters that have harnessed these skills for many years. They like spending most of their time outdoors and are exceptional climbers. They thrive well on wet foods and raw meat. Other than hunting mice, Norwegian Forest cats can hunt and kill bunnies and birds such as doves. They’re accommodative of other animals and get along with children.

If you enjoyed this article, please check out a few more:

  • Can Norwegian Forest Cats Go Outside? (Practical Reasons):  Click Here.
  • 14 Cats You Can Take On Walks (Best Cat Breeds):  Click Here.
  • Why Are Tabbies So Common? Detailed Answers:  Click Here.

Here are some of my favorite cat products

In addition to checking out some other More Meows articles, I hope you’ll check out some of my favorite cat products as well.  These are affiliate links, so if you end up using them, I’ll get a commission at no extra cost to you.  These are the products I really do find most helpful.

Litter Box:  I started out with normal, traditional litter boxes for my cat.  Then, I tried this automatic litter box on Amazon (affiliate link), which helped reduce the litter upkeep.  Finally, I am now a believer in the Litter-Robot 3 Connect on Amazon (affiliate link).  This robotic litter box is not for everyone based on the price tag, but for me the benefits (very little upkeep, works efficiently, clean, mobile app) far outweighed the cost. 

My Cat’s Litter-Robot 3 Connect (with night light on) – See the link above the photo!

Cat Tree:  I have purchased a couple of this Amazon Basics Cat Tree on Amazon (affiliate link).  My cat spends a lot of time on and around this cat tree, which I position near my sofa.  She uses the scratching posts on this cat tree multiple times a day, which means she is not scratching the sofa instead.

Cat Water Fountain:  I love this cat water fountain on Amazon (affiliate link).  There are three main benefits to having a water fountain like this for your cat.  The first benefit is that it keeps water running so that my cat doesn’t need to drink still water.  The second benefit is that it filters the water.  The third benefit is that my cat uses it – keeping my cat hydrated is important.

Christopher Carlson

I have an Domestic Shorthair Tabby named Charlotte. She is full of energy when she isn't sleeping most of the day. I share what I learn about cats on this site.

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