Norwegian Forest Cat general features, temperament, health

Norwegian Forest Cat breed photo

Weight: up to 16 lb Origin: Norway

Grooming&Shedding: Medium Coat: long double coat.

Color: any color except for Himalayan, lilac, fawn and cinnamon.

Span of life: 14-16 years

Breed: There are various theories on the origin of the Norwegian Forest Cat, one of them is the following: long-haired cats were brought by Vikings, perhaps from Turkey, or maybe from some more distant shores. Then, these cats have intermarried with the European Shorthair cats and as a result, which is proven, there was finally born a cat, whose body structure and coat was fully adapted to the local environmental conditions and climate.

Over time, these animals have evolved and adapted to the harsh and cold climate of the Northern Scandinavia. All of the above has led to the fact that the biggest in size, the most muscular, strong and healthy cats survived.

Residents of Norway say that this breed originated due to the snow, cold, rain, the Norwegian forests, sparsely populated areas, hunger and fear.
In general, it is possible - for a long time and certainly fruitful - to keep exploring the genealogy of all Norwegian cats, but let's "leave to Caesar what is Caesar's" and the ancient history - to the fans of antiquity or historians (or possibly to both at once) and lets move to the recent history, when the native Scandinavian cat got it's present name.
As the first written mention of a Norwegian Forest Cat can be considered the reference in the children's book, published in 1912, and later in the autobiography of the artist Olaf Galbransson, where he used a picture of the representative of this breed, which was made in 1910.

From approximately the same time, Norwegian Forest Cats, were recognized  wild, but useful animals and they received the official protection. In Norway, the foresters of the reserves were responsible for the local fauna and had to track and stop the poachers who were catching these cats and taking them away from the country.
Norwegian Forest Cats started to disappear as a species because of their mating with the European Shorthairs. In order to avoid their complete disappearance, many people engaged in a purposeful cultivation of this breed in the 30s of the last century.

In 1938, at the exhibition in Oslo for the first time participated the representative of the breed Norwegian Forest Cat, where he was evaluated by an expert from Denmark - Knud Hansen, who named this animal "A National Cat of Norway". Then the World War II broke out... Only in 1963 there was founded the Norwegian National Association of Pedigreed Cats (or Norske Rasekattklubbers Riksforbund (NRR)), and a program to preserve the national breed was "restarted" only in 1972.

Breeders, who in 1938 first introduced the breed and have received a lot of positive feedback about it, gathered like-minded people around themselves and continued breeding Norwegian Forest Cats. A year later, in Norway the breed was officially recognized and there was written a single standard for the breed. Cats were given experimental pedigrees, and in 1976 in Norway, there were already registered about 100 animals. In the same year in Wiesbaden (Germany) was held the annual meeting of FIFe, where the breed "Norwegian Forest Cat" was recognized as experimental, and thus the successful journey of this beautiful cats throughout the world began. The first pair was sold to Sweden, and in November 29, 1979 the first Norwegian Forest Cats arrived in the United States. It was a male cat Pans Tigris (brown tabby, breeder Else Nylund) and female cat Mjavo's Sala Palmer (black and white, breeder Solveig Stenersroad), bought by Sheila Geer - the owner of the Maine Coon cattery from Michigan, USA. These cats have been reported in Norway, at the Department of Trading as an export commodity. All this time the Norwegian felinologists never stopped working with this breed. And in Paris in 1977, at the regular meeting of FIFe, Frederick Nordan (President of NRR) and other Norwegian felinologists showed the audience a lot of photographs and pedigrees, indicating the presence of three generations of cats of this breed. At this time they achieved the desired result, and the breed "Norwegian Forest Cat" was officially recognized.

Today, this breed is one of the most popular in Scandinavia and is distributed worldwide. At the cat shows these cats are always admired and they attract a lot of attention. It was predicted that the Norwegian Forest Cat will have a great future in Europe, which has already happened, and at the European shows this breed today is at the top list by the number of exposed animals. As for the distribution of this species in the rest of the world, now the population of Norwegian Forest Cats is not numerous, but the interest in this beautiful breed is definitely growing, and hopefully soon it will be possible to observe a significant amount of representatives of this fascinating breed at the cat shows all over the world.

Norwegian Forest cat breeds

General Features: Because of their "double layer" waterproof coat the Norwegian forest Cats seem to be very large, giving some people a reason to think that these cats should weigh seriously a lot. However, a normal male cat of this breed weighs about 8-9 kilograms, the female cat - a little less. In addition to a great coat, the breed's status of the giant is given by the elongated strong, but elegant body and - characteristic more to the lynx, rather than for cats - the certain proportions of the front and rear legs. This combination allows Norwegian Forest Cat to be virtually the only domestic cats, that is able to come down from the trees upside down in a spiral, like a squirrel.

Because of the low prevalence of the breed all over the world, Norwegian Forest Cat is often confused with the Maine Coons and Siberian Cats. However, each breed has it's own characteristic differences that are visible at once, if you put in some good representatives of each breed. First of all, it's head shape, and profile. Norwegian Forest Cat  has a perfect "Roman" profile, unlike the "soft" transition from head to the nose in the Siberian Cat and strikingly different from the ledge, forming a typical Maine Coon's face. The head of Norwegian Forest Cat is triangular in shape, where the ears are standing strictly in the jaw line, forming an equilateral triangle. Unlike Norwegian Cat, the Maine Coon's head is shaped like pentahedron and the Siberian Cats have more smooth, rounded forms of their faces. Also, the Norwegian Forest Cat differs from the other representatives of semi-longhair breeds by his slightly slanted, almond-shaped eyes, which give to this cat's face a unique sternly unapproachable expression and aristocratic looks, precluding any familiarity. In general, it is perfectly built, very elegant animal.

Norwegian Forest Cat breed photo

Temperament: These cats definitely remind you of the character from the old Scandinavian sagas, where Freya (the goddess of love, beauty, motherhood and fertility) was given a sled of big fluffy cats. Other stories tell us about Loki - the god of mischief and fun (who was sometimes not at all funny), this god had an assistant-cat in his banter over the other gods : 

"... Then said Uthgardt-Loki: "Young lads have fun here with something, that seems a trifling thing: they pick up from the ground my cat. I would not mention it to Asa-Thor if I had not seen that you are not so powerful, as I thought." And at the same moment a gray cat sprang to the floor - and it was not a small one. Thor came to her, picked her up in the middle of the belly and began to raise. But the higher he raised the cat, the more she arched into a bow. And when he picked it up as high as he could, she took off only one of her legs. And it was all, that Thor could do.  
Then Uthgardt-Loki said: "The game turned out as I expected: after all, the cat is big, and Thor is quite small comparing to the giants that live here!" ... " 

It is quite possible, that these cats really are the progenitors of Maine Coons, according to one of the hypotheses. It is clear that cats indeed were present at the ships of Vikings, which (now there is no doubt about it) discovered America long before Columbus. 
Or maybe it is the common semi-wild cats that lived in Scandinavia all the time. And their name they got only because the Norwegians had the idea to create an officially recognized breed of cats that live in contrasting climate of the Scandinavian peninsula, and to preserve it's pristine wild beauty and the unique Nordic temperament. Now, this breed is the pride of the whole Scandinavia. 
Whatever it was, at the moment we have a large, but elegant, freedom-loving, but tending to communicate with people, full of dignity, but inquisitive and sociable cat. The cat that will not bother you with her presence, but at the same time will not hesitate to give you a whole tirade, if she considers that you have taken too long time to come home. And here in this tirade will be everything: the greeting, and a story about what happened during your absence, and the question of where, after all, you wandered so long, when there is so much to do in the house. 

Norwegin Forest Cat is beautiful not only physically but also spiritually. This cat makes a great companion, that is always there, but not annoying you with his presence. Though the Norwegian Forest Cat will happily keep you a company in the implementation of any business affairs or at walk in the fresh air, of course, if he lives out of town and this is his usual habitat, unlike a city apartment. This magnificent cat is getting along very well with other pets and children. If the Norwegian Forest Cat does not like something, he will most likely, just leave, rather than insist, get angry, show any kind of misbehavior or seek for a revenge. These cats are truly dignified - a real aristocrats of the feline family.

Do You Want to Get This Cat Breed for Free ?