Norwegian Forest Cat – Everything You Need to Know


The Norwegian Forest Cat, which reaches all over the world from the cold climate of Norway, is a cute fluffy cat breed. The Norwegian Forest Cat, whose roots date back thousands of years, stands out with its distinctive body shapes and double-layered fur. Unlike many cat breeds, this slow maturing breed reaches full maturity at about 5 years old. Although it looks wild in appearance, the Norwegian Forest Cat, which has lived with humans for thousands of years, can be described as social, playful and quiet.

HEIGHT9–12 inches
WEIGHT12–16 pounds
LIFE SPAN 14–16 years
GOOD WITHchildren, seniors, dogs, cats, families
TEMPERAMENTsociable affectionate bold
COLORSwhite black / ebony red / orange blue / gray lavender / silver cream / beige / tan
calico / tri-color
OTHER TRAITSeasy to train easy to groom friendly toward other pets friendly toward strangers friendly toward humans tolerates being alone high potential for weight gain good lap cat tolerates being picked up

Personality & Character Traits

The Norwegian Forest Cat, which has an air of mystery with its unusual appearance, is a pure cat breed that has lived for centuries. Although they are called forest cats, they have lived with humans for centuries and easily adapt to their home environment and family members. Although they exhibit some behaviors that are indicative of their primitive origins, they enjoy being with and interacting with people very much. They also exhibit their primitive behaviors for entertainment purposes, not to harm people. They also use their intelligence a lot during their games.

Their liking to be around people may make you think they are an affectionate breed of cat, but the Norwegian Forest Cat is not very good at showing affection. Although it is a calm cat that is not very active, it does not like to be held, stroked or loved. He prefers to withdraw to his corner and sit quietly. However, this does not mean that he does not love his family because he knows how to communicate well when necessary. Although he does not like much contact, he likes to be stroked from time to time. Knowing how to have fun when necessary, but not too active, the Norwegian Forest Cat is ideal for those looking for a quiet companion.

An excellent hardy cat suitable for living in harsh conditions, the Norwegian Forest Cat has strong hunting skills. Although they have been accustomed to living in houses for centuries, it is not possible for them to give up these skills. His skills such as hiding, running, climbing and jumping are quite good in order to survive in the wild jungle. Although it cannot show these features in the forests today, it comes out a lot while playing games. While playing games, he can chase imaginary prey, climb to high places and watch the surroundings. It will be great if you prepare a suitable environment at home so that he can easily use these features in his genetics.

Although he has a passion for wildness and hunting in his genetics, he is extremely affectionate and warm-blooded in the family environment. Since he analyzes people’s feelings very well, he will respond to you the same way you treat him. He gets along very well with people of all ages, big and small, who do not harm him and treat him kindly. In fact, after a short period of getting used to, he approaches not only the household but also the guests who come to the house in a friendly way. The Norwegian Forest Cat, which is a calm cat, does not like to chat much, but does not hesitate to talk. She meows quietly and beautifully when necessary to express her basic feelings, try to express her needs. He skillfully uses his intelligence and social skills to communicate with people.

The thesis that cats do not like water is not true for this cat breed. The ability to fish in lakes and streams, which is their ancestral heritage, is also reflected in today’s Norwegian Forest Cats as a passion for water. Any puddle he sees in the house or a running faucet is a great playground for him. If you can, it would be a great idea to take a lake cruise with him from time to time.

A true explorer, the Norwegian Forest Cat loves to poke around in the house. After discovering the places at home, he begins to take an interest in the outdoors. His curiosity for the outdoors pushes him to look for ways to get out. To prevent him from sneaking out, you should give him leash training and let him go outside from time to time to explore.


Norwegian Forest Cat History

The Norwegian Forest Cat, called the Skogkatt, is a natural cat breed and despite its wild appearance, it is not a descendant of any cat breed. Although there are some unexplained points in their past, it is known for sure that they have lived in Norway for centuries. When the history of the Norwegian Forest Cat is examined; the origins of the Norwegian Forest Cats are not based on Norway; The Siberian Cat, the ancestor of all long-haired cats, is thought to be the true ancestor of this breed. However, it can be said that this cat breed is the national cat of Norway, although its recognition all over the world is based on a recent past.

According to another view, the Norwegian Forest Cat is thought to be the descendant of Persian longhaired domestic cats brought to Northern Europe by the Romans. The oldest findings of these cats are seen in various tales of Scandinavian Mythology. Although it is not known exactly when these cat tales were written, M.S. 800 and AD. It is thought to coincide with a time between 1200 BC. It is still a matter of debate that the cats that are the subject of these legends are the Norwegian Forest Cat.

Although it is not clear which thesis is correct, both views support that this breed was brought to Norway over a thousand years ago. In line with all these views, the idea that Norwegian Forest Cats cannot actually be a real forest cat emerges. The Norwegian Forest Cat does not come from any wild cat breed and is a purebred cat, which also supports this view. It shows that the wild urges that even house cats have today are those that these cats acquire over time to survive. The ancestors of the present-day Norwegian Forest Cat were worker cats that helped humans catch mice on farms, homes, and ships.

Although they have existed on earth for thousands of years, the Norwegian Forest Cat, which is known around the world recently, attracted attention in a cat show in 1938. The Norwegian Forest Cat Club was then formed to help preserve the breed. The rise of this cat breed was interrupted during World War II and almost disappeared as a result of crossbreeding efforts. After World War II ended, work continued to save the breed. These studies yielded positive results and in 1977 the Norwegian Forest Cat was registered with the European Federation Internationale Felin. A pair of cats belonging to the Norwegian Forest Cat breed registered in Europe was registered in the United States in 1980.

Increasing in popularity over time, the Norwegian Forest Cat was accepted by TICA in 1984 and by CFA in 1993, reaching championship status. The Norwegian Forest Cat, which became a legend in the following years, became widespread all over the world and became the closest friend of cat lovers.

Physical Qualities


The Norwegian Forest Cat, one of the medium-sized cat breeds, has a solid, muscular and balanced body structure. They have a strong bone structure as a feature of their ancestral genetic heritage. The reason for his wide chest and protruding abdomen is the result of the fat layer developed to be resistant to cold weather. The hips are straight, while the back line is sloping. The back is slightly humped and the shoulders are deep compared to the back line.


Attached to its large body by a short and heavily muscled neck, its cute head is one of the Norwegian Forest Cat’s most distinguishing features. The forehead is straight, the cheekbones are smooth, the skull is slightly curved. Its protruding chin is in line with the front of the nose when viewed in profile. The slanted almond eyes give the face a characteristic look. It has a unique face with prominent mustaches, medium sized chin and all its features.


Her medium-sized ears look like they’re placed later on her head, giving her a cute look. The ears, which are wide from the base and tapering to the tip, tilt to the sides at a slight angle, giving the ears a natural and alert appearance. The outer part of the ears has an elongated appearance, following the lines from the side of the head to the chin.


The most distinctive feature of the Norwegian Forest Cat’s face are its expressive large, almond eyes. The eyes, which are placed far enough apart from each other, are slanted and angularly angled upwards. The bridge of his nose in the middle of his slanted and open eyes gently stands out in the middle of his expressive eyes. Their typical almond-shaped eyes can be green, gold, green-gold, or copper. The eyes of the White Norwegian Forest Cat are usually blue.

Legs and Feet

Its legs are of medium length compared to its body. Their hind legs are longer than their front legs. This is typical of a good jumper. Long hind legs make the hips higher than the shoulders. The legs are large-boned and strong, and the thighs are very muscular. When viewed from behind, the hind legs are straight. When viewed from the front, the paws give an outward appearance. As a characteristic of the cold climate, their paws are high and wide. There are dense tassels between the fingers.


The tail of the Norwegian Forest Cat, which is shown in the class of long-haired cats, is covered with long and thick hair, just like its body. Its long tail is almost equal to its body length. Its wide tail from the base extends evenly, unlike other cat breeds. Dense and long hair makes the already thick tail even thicker.


Its soft looking long hair is one of the features that make it unique. The fur of the Norwegian Forest Cat, one of the long-haired domestic cat breeds, has a double-layered and water-repellent structure that is resistant to cold and water. Even in the coldest moments of the Norwegian forests, its feathers keep it warm. The short mane on the neck, the back feathers hanging down and the lengths of the chest feathers may differ from each other.


The Norwegian Forest Cat can have coats of any color and pattern. Since chocolate, sable, lavender, lilac, cinnamon, and light brown are the colors formed as a result of crossbreeding, cats carrying these colors may not be Norwegian Forest Cats. Although the Norwegian Forest Cat with clear and distinctive color tones has various colors and patterns, the color of the abdomen and chest area is lighter than other regions.


Norwegian Forest Cat Care and Feeding

The Norwegian Forest Cat, which has a large body, needs a lot of food to provide enough energy for its body. Because they come from the hunting cat breed, they prefer a high protein and meaty diet like their ancestors. Sometimes it can be picky if the food given does not contain enough protein. Meals with carbohydrates should be reduced or not given at all, as it will both negatively affect their health and not prefer to eat them.

Dry and wet foods with high protein content from meat can be preferred. In fact, cat foods produced specifically for Norwegian Forest Cats can also be preferred. You can follow the most appropriate diet program by consulting your veterinarian which food you should choose according to your cat’s age and weight. However, you should avoid making food changes, as the Norwegian Forest Cat does not like sudden changes.

Norwegian Forest Cat Training

The Norwegian Forest Cat, which is a very intelligent cat breed, does not cause much difficulty in training its owners. Although he sometimes causes problems due to some of his wild behaviors in his genetics, he easily adapts to the family and rules he lives with from the childhood. Being curious and wanting to be involved in everything around him also helps him learn some things quickly.

An exploration-oriented cat, the Norwegian Forest Cat will tend to go outside often. To prevent it from sneaking out and getting lost, you can walk it outside like a dog by giving it a short leash training. These cats, who are very meticulous about cleaning, can make their toilets in places you do not want, even if they are trained, if their toilets are not clean.

Norwegian Forest Cat Health

Known as a healthy and robust cat breed, the Norwegian Forest Cat is also extremely resistant to hereditary cat diseases that negatively affect the health of other cat breeds. Cold weather does not affect the Norwegian Forest Cat, which is resistant to the harsh conditions of the north. This breed, which has a long life compared to the average cat with its healthy body, may have a tendency to some health problems, as in every living thing.

The most important thing to do in order to ensure that the Norwegian Forest Cat, which can survive for many years in appropriate nutrition and suitable environmental conditions, has a high quality of life and a long life, is to feed it with quality food and have it vaccinated against parasites. Good care also reduces the incidence of diseases such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, hip dysplasia, glycogenosis type IV, polycystic kidney disease, retinal dysplasia and pyruvate kinase deficiency.

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