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Norwegian Forest Cat

Photo from Norskwood Norwegian Forest Cats

Norwegian Forest Cat History

Norwegian Forest Cats (Skogkatt in Norway) are well known for their bright emerald green eyes, long fluffy coats and adoring nature but where did the cats originate from and how did they develop their long wild coats? The answer is... nobody knows for sure but there are many myths and folk tales that explore the journey of this unique cat breed. The most likely story is that the Forest Cats descended from domestic cats and arrived in Norway from Europe with the Romans, it is also thought they travelled with the Vikings to help the rodent problem on board the ships. Their long coats developed over the centuries to withstand the cold nights and harsh weather conditions in Norway where they evolved into cats with fantastic survival instincts with water-resistant fur.

Despite the feral appearance of Norwegian Forest Cats, they did not descend directly from any wild ancestors, they are descendants of the domestic cat and are one of the most people-oriented cat breeds around. The first attempts to get the breed recognised began in the early 1930's but it wasn't until 1938 that the first Norwegian Forest Cat attended a show in Oslo. The Norwegian Forest Cat Club (NFCC) was founded in the United Kingdom in 1987 and the breed is recognised by the GCCF (The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy) - the largest cat registration body in the UK. The first US registry to award the Forest Cat with championship status was TICA in 1984, followed by CFA in 1993 then ACA in 1995.

Norwegian Forest Cat Appearance

The most noticeable aspect of the Norwegian Forest Cats double coat is its change in length from warmer to colder months. During the spring the cats shed their winter coats as the warmth is not needed. They then shed their summer coat in autumn. During these shedding stages the cats will require more grooming, otherwise the coat will end up all over your sofa and beds � not a great look! The coat itself consists of a warm under-layer covered in a long, soft coat. Forest Cats can be found in all sorts of colours and markings from pure white to tabby brown to jet black.

Forest Cats have strong muscular bodies, large rounded tipped ears and appear powerful yet elegant. They have large almond shaped eyes in a shade of emerald green or gold, it is common for white Forest Cats to have blue or odd colour eyes. Their tails are long and bushy and wider at the base.

Norwegian Forest Cat Character and Temperament

Norwegian forest cats love to explore, if you have any bookcases or shelves they will be up on top of them seeing if anything is going on that they should know about! They also love to play not just as kittens but as adults as well, they will look to their human companions for games and love it when you chase them around the garden or up the stairs. Their firm muscular bodies often make them appear strong and independent but they are also sweet affectionate cats that love humans and interacting with them. Most Norwegian Forest Cats will happily sit on your lap and cuddle you until you move, they are very family orientated and great with children and other domestic animals.

Forest Cats do not require as much grooming as other long haired breeds and they tend to be happy and healthy most of the time. Affectionate, intelligent and playful are the best words to describe Norwegian Forest Cats � a joy to be around.

  • Playfulness
  • High
  • Intelligence
  • Very High
  • Independence
  • Medium
  • Attention Seeking
  • Medium
  • Affectionate
  • Very High
  • Activeness
  • High
  • Friendliness to Children
  • High
  • Friendliness to other Pets
  • High

    Norwegian Forest Cat Lifespan

    9 - 15 years

    Average Litter Size

    4 kittens

    Common Ailments

    Norwegian Forest Cats have no particular health deficiencies and often live to a good age. However like all cat breeds, they should be taken to the vet to have their teeth checked and have yearly liver and kidney checks from about 8 years on.

    Norwegian Forest Cat Recognition

  • This breed has been given Championship Status by all respected Assosiations.
  • The Norwegian Forest Cat Club was established in 1987 and is now affiliated with the GCCF.
  • In 1996 the Norwegian Forest Cat was ranked 21st out of 36 breeds by the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA).
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