About the Norwegian Forest Cat
Striking looks and a warm personality help the Norwegian Forest Cat stand out from the crowd. This exquisite long-haired cat breed is an ancient one, with ample intelligence, fantastic social skills, and an appreciation for all of life’s comforts.
Even though the Norwegian Forest Cat comes from a cold climate, these kitties love to keep warm. They appreciate an indoor lifestyle with plenty of soft, comfortable surfaces to accommodate frequent naps. They also have an appreciation for their families, but affection takes place on their terms rather than yours.
The Norwegian Forest Cat may very well decide to cuddle up in your lap or sleep on your pillow, but doesn’t typically appreciate being picked up or held when it’s not the cat’s idea.
Despite the breed’s reputation for having quite an independent streak, Norwegian Forest Cats are loyal to their favorite people and are perfectly capable of making friends with other pets including well behaved dogs and other friendly felines.
If you see similarities between the Norwegian Forest Cat and the Maine Coon, you’re not imagining things!
The two breeds do have quite a bit in common including large stature, ultra-thick fur, and exceptional hunting prowess. It’s entirely possible that some of the cats that contributed to the Maine Coon (which, by the way is a natural breed) might have been Norwegian Forest Cats.
As a relatively large breed, the Norwegian Forest Cat often requires more calories per day then the average kitty. These cats need a high-quality diet and will thrive on high-protein food with real meat or fish as the primary ingredient.
If you are able to offer fresh food, your Norwegian Forest Cat will certainly appreciate it. At any rate, consider choosing food that contains extra Omega fatty acids to support your pet’s skin and keep their coat looking and feeling its best.
Because the Norwegian Forest Cat has a very thick double coat, frequent grooming is a necessity. You may need to brush and comb this cat daily to prevent mats and keep their luxurious coat looking its very best.
Additional grooming routines to consider include regular nail trimming and toothbrushing. Both should be introduced from a young age.
The Norwegian Forest Cat may be very fond of lounging, but this doesn’t mean that it’s a complete couch potato. These big, fluffy cats are athletes at heart, with a fondness for running, jumping, and climbing.
They have the unique ability to descend from their cat tree headfirst, and their size allows them to clear several feet in a single leap. Appropriate enrichment items are essential including tall cat trees, big scratching posts, and an abundance of toys.
Although these don’t occur often, it’s important to be aware of their existence. Potential problems include glycogen storage disease IV, which can be detected in parents via a DNA test. Glycogen storage disease IV often causes kittens to be stillborn or survive for under six months.
Norwegian Forest Cats may also suffer from polycystic kidney disease and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
The Norwegian Forest Cat is a natural breed, meaning that it developed over time without intentional intervention or human manipulation. These cats – also called Skogkatt in Norwegian – were brought to Norway hundreds or perhaps even thousands of years ago. No one knows for certain whether they accompanied Turkish traders or if they were brought back by Viking raiders. What we do know is that Norwegian Forest Cats have an intriguing place in Norse mythology. For example, the giant cats that pulled the goddess Freya’s chariot were said to be Skogkatts.
These incredible felines simply enjoyed life in Nordic countries until 1938, when a Norwegian Forest Cat was presented at a cat show. Shortly afterward, enthusiasts came together to form the Norwegian Forest Cat Club.
Like many other breeds, the Norwegian Forest Cat was nearly made extinct during the second world war. After the war however, members of the club came together to revive the breed and propel it back toward popularity. Federation Internationale Feline (FIFe) granted official recognition in 1977. It took another ten years for the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) to recognize the breed. CFA granted Norwegian Forest Cats full championship status in 1993. Today, major registries worldwide have accepted the breed with open arms.
Did You Know?
Norwegian Forest Cats are slow to mature, taking up to five years to reach their full potential.
While many cats dislike water, the Norwegian Forest Cat isn’t afraid to get wet; in fact, this cat will happily attempt to fish in a pond or cleanout all the fish in its family’s aquarium.
Norwegian Forest Cats are nicknamed “Wegies.” During the 1950s, the breed was declared the official cat of Norway by King Olav V.
The Breed Standard
LEGS & PAWS
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a Norwegian Forest cat cost?
Norwegian Forest cats cost between $900-$1,500.
How big do Norwegian Forest cats get?
Norwegian Forest cats tend to be large in size. A fully grown Norwegian Forest cat might weigh between 12-16 pounds or more and range in height anywhere from about 9″- 12″ inches tall.
How long do Norwegian Forest cats live?
The Average lifespan for Norwegian Forest is 14-16 years.
Do Norwegian Forest cats shed?
Norwegian Forest are long-haired cats, so you do have to expect a certain amount of shedding from this breed, but they don’t shed as much as other cat breeds.