Cat Breeds

Norwegian forest cat

Norwegian forest cat – a mountaineer from Scandinavia, adapted to temperatures of -30 degrees. Mysterious and inspirational, born of legends and magic. It delights with its wild and primeval nature as well as friendly and sociable character.


Norwegian Forest Cat has a great temperament – he is active, spontaneous, inquisitive, lively and agile. In nature, he not only moved perfectly on the branches, but was also able to stay on the rock wall. He loves climbing – caregivers often find him sitting on the kitchen cabinet under the ceiling or on the door leaf. It has a perfectly adapted limb and claw structure that allows it to evolve highly. If he can find the opportunity to climb something, he will definitely do it. Therefore, it is worth organizing a vertical space for it – otherwise, it will use our furniture for aerial exploration.

The Norwegian Forest Cat is gentle and non-conflicting, therefore it will be a good friend for children. His cheerful nature is almost contagious. Although he doesn’t like too many caresses, he doesn’t show aggression. When he has had enough caresses, he will simply leave. He likes to be around people, is attached to his guardian, but does not require constant attention and is not obtrusive. Rather, he will not sit on our knees, but it results from individuality and independence, and not from a lack of sympathy.

Although he is brave and confident, he is also cautious by nature. Therefore, he is distrustful of strangers and usually needs time to accept them. This is a remnant of the wild lifestyle that Norwegian cats led in the wild. Despite the initial distance, with time he becomes a loyal friend who loves the company. He is tolerant – he will easily make friends with another cat or dog. It is even advisable for the Norwegian Forest Cat to have a companion.

Norwegian forest cat

He is a very clever cat who likes learning tricks. It is worth organizing intellectual challenges. He loves to play. However, due to the highly developed hunting instinct, he often treats the game as hunting. Therefore, if he likes playing with dogs, he can treat any smaller animals as dinner. The best solution for Norwegian Forest cats will be the option of going out to the garden or access to the balcony with high scratchers, on which it will be able to demonstrate its efficiency.

He manifests an unusual ability to adapt to new, even difficult conditions. He will get used to staying permanently in the apartment, but will also be happy to use the catwalk, a special aviary, or walk on a leash – he loves to explore new spaces. He also bravely endures travel. They will not cause him stress, but rather interesting entertainment.

Norwegian forest cat. Advantages and disadvantages


  • possible congenital genetic defects (Andersen’s disease)
  • he loves climbing – a tall cat tree is recommended
  • he is distrustful of strangers and needs time to accept a new household member
  • is not a typical “sticky” – he likes petting, but in reasonable doses
  • because of innate curiosity, he thoroughly explores the surrounding space


  • adapts quickly to various conditions, will find itself in both the outgoing and outgoing home
  • they attach mainly to people, not to places
  • intelligent, learns quickly and willingly
  • mild, stable in nature
  • great as a companion for children – it does not show aggression, although it does not like too much tenderness
  • sociable, easily accept other cats and dogs
Norwegian forest cat

Norwegian forest cat. Health

Harsh weather conditions and the daily struggle for survival made the Norwegian Forest Cat extremely strong and persistent. He is also a very healthy breed. Difficult conditions made him strong immunity.

Despite this, in cats from European and American cultures, cases of type IV glycogen storage disease (GSD IV, Andersen’s disease) have been confirmed. It is inherited in an autosomal recessive way – symptoms of the disease occur in cats who inherited the faulty mutation from both parents. GSD IV is a congenital hereditary disorder of the glucose metabolism pathway. Pathological glycogen accumulates in nerve cells, muscles and the liver, causing their progressive impairment. In accordance with the relevant FIFe resolution, Norwegian forest cat breeders from January 1, 2012 must carry out genetic testing for GBE-1 (GSD IV) on their cats – unless each of the cat’s parents is certified that they are not a carrier of GSD IV. Without tests, kittens from litters cannot be registered and cannot receive pedigrees.

Due to the size, care should be taken about his joints and bones.

Norwegian forest cat


The Norwegian diet should be varied – monotonous food bored him. You can give him both ready and natural food. Due to the long hair, natural fiber contained in the green parts of plants and vegetables should be added to the food prophylactically or appropriate products should be given to prevent the formation of hair balls in the digestive system. The diet should be based mainly on meat and fish.


The coat of the Norwegian forest cat does not require labor-intensive care. Practically no tangles at all and outside of the molting periods it is enough to comb it once a week to make it look effective. Do not comb the tail or do it very gently from below, where the undercoat grows. The ground hair pulled from the tail grows back very slowly.

You can bathe it, because it generally likes water, but the Norwegian hair is so thick that it is unlikely to have any effect.

Norwegian forest cat

Norwegian forest cat. History

The Norwegian Forest Cat formed as a breed naturally in the dense and inaccessible forests of Norway. The harsh climate has created a strong cat, able to survive in difficult conditions.

The first mentions of it appear in writings from the 13th century and in Norse mythology. It was valued for its extraordinary hunting ability and resistance to harsh climatic conditions.

The exact origin of the Norwegian Forest Cat is unknown. It is not known how he found himself in Norway and the entire Scandinavian Peninsula. One of the best-known theories is the creation of a Norwegian cat as a result of crossbreeds of short-haired cats imported by the Vikings from Great Britain with long-haired cats that came to Scandinavia during the Crusades. Perhaps it was Turkish Angora. However, as genetic studies show, Norwegian cats are not related to any currently known breed. This confirms the thesis that it is a natural breed of cats.

According to legends, Norwegian forest cats accompanied the Vikings on their sea expeditions, during which they guarded the stocks against rodent attacks. And reaching the shores of today’s North America, they initiated the Maine Coon race .

At the end of the 19th century, the population of the Norwegian forest cat began to decline due to crosses with short-haired cats. The intensive programs of restoring the natural race implemented in the 1930s allowed the Norwegian return to European salons in a truly royal style – but only after many years.

In 1972, the Norwegian Felinological Association initially recognized Norwegian forest cats as a separate breed. The first skogkatt club (“skogkatt” is literally “forest cat”) was founded in 1975, of course in Norway. FIFe recognized him as the first feline organization in 1977. In 1979, the first Norwegian Forest Cat came to the United States. 

His resemblance to the American

meant that in 1987, in order to avoid mistakes, breeders changed the breed pattern, placing emphasis on features typical only for Norwegian. The eyes should be large, oval, slightly oblique and have appropriate expression to give the cat a vigilant, alert readiness. However, the head from the chin to the ends of the ears should form an equilateral triangle.

Norwegian Forest Cat


Norwegian Forest Cat – Norwegian – Half-haired cats – II cat. By FIFe

EMS code: NFO

  • Origin: Norway
  • Character:  inquisitive, independent, gentle, friendly, intelligent, brave.
  • Activity:  active, likes fun and climbing, has a strong hunting instinct.
  • Size: large
  • Weight: males 6-10 kg, females 5-8 kg
  • Torso: strong, the cat must not look too slender.
  • Head shape  an equilateral triangle shape with a characteristic “Norwegian profile” – a straight line (without a kink) running from the forehead to the tip of the nose at an appropriate angle to the occiput (the profile must not be too flat).
  • Ears:  large, broad at the base and fairly wide apart, with characteristic scratched brushes at the ends and hair inside.
  • Eyes:  they must have a specific “Norwegian” expression – they should be large, oval, slightly oblique, or amygdala with appropriate expression giving the cat a dangerous look; they can appear in many colors, and their color is independent of the color of the fur.
  • Nose:  no breakthrough
  • Tail: long and unusually fluffy; the cat carries it proudly erect, sometimes falls on the back.
  • Limbs:  long and strong, hindlegs long, paw pads protected against cold, tufts of hair grow even between the fingers; hook-shaped claws that allow trees to descend head down.
  • Coat : semi-long, waterproof, frost-resistant, double-layer with a woolly undercoat. Hair is rough and some very long – up to 30 cm. There is a generous orifice on the neck to protect the sensitive neck and rich thigh trousers.
  • Ointment:  almost all color variations are allowed except Siamese (with colorpoint markings), lilac, cinnamon, chocolate and fawn; the most common color is tabby with white markings; may darken and brighten seasonally; we can also have a unique coat not seen in any other breed of cats, called amber and light amber.
  • Resistance/susceptibility to diseases: very resistant.
  • Lifespan: 14-16 years

Interesting facts

The Norwegian Forest Cat has an amazing ability to climb even on steep rocks. As one of the few cats, he can get down from the tree head down. It maintains grace and elegance. Strong hooked claws help him. Long paws allow very long and high jumps. These qualities make the Norwegian a very efficient hunter.

Males have clearly larger heads than females. Premature castration can make the head smaller. They grow long, up to 3 years old.

Norwegian hair does not appear until around 6 months of age. Previously, they only have a dense undercoat. The Norwegian cat’s fur is waterproof and hardy. Molting in spring and before winter, except for the tail – this one is just as impressive throughout the year.

Norwegian Forest Cat

The Norwegian forest cat has become the hero of many legends and fairy tales – for this reason the “magic cat” began to be called. Apparently, the team of the Norse goddess of fertility and love Freia was being led by two Norwegian forest cats, and the god of storm Thor could not tear them away from the ground. The Norwegian Forest Cat has become a favorite hero of Norwegian children’s literature. In 1912, Gabriel Scott published a book about the adventures of a forest cat named Solvfaks.

In the Viking community, the Norwegian Forest Cat was a symbol of happiness. He was a gift to the bride on her wedding day for her new way of life.

In the 1970s, Olaf, king of Norway, honored the Norwegian forest cat with the title of Norway’s national cat. It is popular not only in Scandinavia – it is gaining fame all over the world.

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