Native Country Norway Other Names Norwegian Forest Cat, Skogkatt, Forest Cat, Norsk
Skogkatt, Norsk Skaukatt, Weegie, Fairy Cat Life Expectancy Approximately 14-16 Years Litter Size No Information Available
Breed Appearance The Norwegian Forest Cat is strongly built and
larger than an average cat. The breed has a long, sturdy body, long
legs and a bushy tail. The coat consists of a long, glossy, thick
and water-repellent top layer and a woolly undercoat and is thickest
at the legs, chest and head. The profile of the breed is generally
straight. Since the cats have very strong claws, they are very good
climbers, and can even climb rocks.
Breed Description Head: Triangular shape with equal length
and width. Flat forehead. Straight nose. The muzzle follows the line
of the head; no whisker pinch. Nose of medium length. Strong, square
rather than rounded chin; never pointed. Early Forest Cats had
longer heads and their profile was not as straight as it is today. Eyes: Large, almond shaped, and set at a slight angle. Any
color is acceptable, but preferred colors are green or gold. White
cats may be copper, blue, or odd-eyed. Neck: Of medium length, muscular. Body: Massive, robust, with a powerful appearance. Moderately
long with a broad, rounded chest. Heavily boned and muscled. Paw: Medium in length, muscular, and straight, with hind legs
longer than the front legs, making the rump higher than the
shoulders. Heavily muscled with substantial bone. Large, round paws
with long tufts between each toe. Tail: Of medium length, muscular. Coat: Double coat. Medium long, with a very thick, wooly
undercoat. The smooth, shiny, oily guard hairs are waterproof. The
coat is uneven; shorter on the shoulders and becoming progressively
longer on the back and flanks. The full ruff is comprised of the
back-of the neck ruff, side mutton chops, and a full front bib. All
colors permissible, except colorpoint, chocolate, and lilac,
cinnamon, fawn, and Burmese patterns. Any amount of white is
allowed. Fault: Undersized, frail cat. Cobby or extremely long body.
Round or square head. Nose break. Small ears. Small or round eyes.
Delicate bone structure. Dry coat.
History A peaceable wildcat with a long, thick coat The
Norwegian Forest Cat has wandered Scandinavia for centuries. Many
legends depict a large cat with a long, thick tail. According to
Norse mythology, Thor, the most powerful god, was unable to lift
this cat, and Freya's (the goddess of love and fertility) chariot
was pulled by these cats. Though Norway is considered the country of
origin of the "Fairy Cat", it is possible that the Vikings of the
13th century brought specimens back from Asia Minor (Caucus,
Anatoly, etc.) to hunt the rats that infested their drakkars. Or
perhaps Central European or Asian tribes traveling to Scandinavia
before the Middle Ages introduced the cats. Cats brought in from
other regions would have had to adapt to the extremely harsh climate
of Scandinavia, and therefore, develop a thick, double, insulating,
weather-proof coat. Their weight and size would have increased.
Norwegian Forest Cats slowly moved from the wild to farms. Around
1930, Norwegian breeders began a selection program to preserve the
breed and to combine hardiness and the beauty of its coat. Several
specimens were shown in Oslo. The breed was recognized in 1972, and
the first breed club and standard appeared in 1975. The F.I.Fe
recognized the Norwegian Forest Cat in 1977. An official standard
was written, then modified to avoid confusion with the Maine Coon
Cat, for example the Nrcoon, a cross between a Norwegian Forest Cat
and a Maine Coon. The first Forest Cats arrived in Germany and the
United States in 1979, in Great Britain in 1980, and in France in
1982. Sweden is thought to maintain the highest population of Forest
Cats. This breed meets great success in cat shows. Its wild, robust
appearance and natural beauty are greatly admired.
Behavior This extremely self-assured cat has a
well-balanced temperament. A friendly, easygoing animal, the
Norwegian Forest Cat is calm, though playful. He readily accepts
other cats, dogs, and children, and his voice is soft. This hardy,
robust, athletic cat is remarkably supple. Forest Cats mature
slowly, not reaching full maturity until four or five years of age.
Regular brushing and combing will maintain the beautiful coat and
avoid snarls. During shedding season (the Forest Cat sheds heavily),
daily brushing is required.
Health Hip Dysplasia, Kidney and Heart diseases have
been reported in the breed.