Norwegian Forest Cat – Cat Breeds

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The Norwegian Forest Cat is a robust cat with a distinctive double coat and a distinct body form. This breed matures slowly, reaching full size at around five years of age.



Norwegian Forest Cats are natural athletes who enjoy investigating counters, bookcases, and the highest summits of their cat trees. Wegies are lively and playful, and they retain their playful personality long into adulthood, despite their remarkable muscles and all-weather shell. They are amiable, sweet, and family oriented, and they adore their human partners.


Despite, or perhaps because of, their wild years in Norway’s forests, they would rather cuddle than prowl. Perhaps it’s because they’ve spent so many years in Norway’s harsh environment that nothing bothers them. They are not afraid of new people or situations; Forest Cats are the sturdy, silent types of cats. They, on the other hand, are excellent purrers, especially when seated next to their favorite humans. They are outgoing and sociable, and instead of bonding with one person, they love everyone unreservedly and joyfully.


The Norwegian Forest Cat, also known as the skogkatt (forest cat) in Norway, is a true natural breed that, despite its feral appearance, is neither a descendant or hybrid of any wild cat species. Forest cats are most likely descendants of domestic cats introduced to northern Europe by the Romans.

The Norwegian Forest Cat is said to have existed for a long time, as there are multiple allusions of huge, longhaired cats in Norse mythology. The dates these cat stories were written vary substantially. Most Norse tales were passed down orally until they were finally recorded in what became known as the Edda poems, which were written between 800 and 1200 CE. According to these stories, domestic cats have been present in Norway for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. It is debatable whether the cats depicted in the mythology are Forest Cats.

The breed’s progenitors were most likely shorthaired when they arrived in the northern regions, most likely with human settlers, traders, or crusaders, because the cats transported by the Romans originated from Egypt (usually) and were shorthaired types. The cats survived and eventually adapted to the harsh conditions. Northern Norway, where the sun never sets from May 12 to August 1, and winter winters are similarly long and dark, put these cats to the test. They acquired long, dense, water-resistant coats, tough constitutions, quick minds, and well-honed survival instincts while stalking the Norwegian forests for generations.


The first attempts to identify the Forest Cat as a unique breed began in the 1930s. However, following WWII, the breed was on the verge of extinction. It wasn’t until the 1970s that cat enthusiasts in Norway started fighting to save the Norwegian Forest Cat.

Wegies (or Norwegian Forest Cats) first came in the United States in 1980. TICA was the first to adopt the Norwegian Forest Cat for championship competition in 1984. In 1993, the breed was awarded CFA championship status.

Physical Attributes


Solidly muscled and well-balanced, medium in length, substantial bone structure, and powerful appearance with a broad chest and significant girth without being obese. The flank is rather deep. Males may be huge and imposing, whilst females may be more refined and petite.


All sides of an equilateral triangle are equal in length, measured from the outside of the base of the ear to the point of the chin. The neck is short and muscular. The nose is straight from the brow ridge to the tip, with no breaks in the line. The flat forehead is followed by a gently curving skull and neck. The chin is strong and should be parallel to the bridge of the nose. It will have a slightly rounded profile. The muzzle is part of a straight line that extends toward the foundation of the ear, with no obvious whisker pads or pinch.


Medium to large, rounded at the tip, broad at the base, set as much on the side of the head as on top, alert, with the ear cup pointed slightly laterally. The lines from the side of the head down to the chin are followed by the outsides of the ears. The ears are lavishly decorated.



Large, almond-shaped, expressive, and set at a little angle with the outer corner higher than the inner corner. Green, gold, green-gold, or copper are common eye colors. White cats and white cats with white fur may have blue or unusual eyes.


Medium, having longer hind legs than front legs, raising the rump above the shoulders. Thighs are well muscled, and lower legs are usually large. Back legs are straight when viewed from behind. The paws appear to “toe out” when viewed from the front. Large, round, solid paws with extensive tufting between the toes.


Long and bushy hair. The base is wider. The length is usually equal to the length of the body from the base of the tail to the base of the neck. Guard hairs are possible.



A distinctive double coat with a deep undercoat and long, glossy, and smooth water-resistant guard hairs hanging down the flanks. The bib is divided into three sections: a short collar at the neck, side mutton chops, and a frontal ruff. The rear legs have complete britches. The coat may be fuller in the winter than in the summer because the rich undercoat develops fully in the winter. Shaded, solid, and bi-color cats may have softer fur.


Except for those with hybridization resulting in the colors chocolate, sable, lavender, lilac, cinnamon, fawn, point-restricted (Himalayan type markings), or these colors with white, every hue and pattern is feasible. Color and pattern are frequently clear and distinct. The pattern on classic, mackerel, and spotted tabbies should be well-defined and even.


While the qualities listed below are common for this breed, cats are individuals with unique personalities and appearances. For more information about a specific pet, please contact the adoption group.

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