Norwegian Forest Cat: The Natural Cat Breed from Norway

Norwegian Forest cat

Table of Contents

Introduction to Norwegian Forest Cat

As per the name the Norwegian Forest cat has its origins in Norway. In the native language these cats are called Skogkatter. The Norwegian cats developed on their own to suit the cold weather conditions of Northern Europe. The double coat of these cats protected them from the extreme weather prevalent in these regions. The thick double coat protected these cats and kept their bodies warm. These fluffy and long tailed cat breeds is a natural breed originating from Norway.

The name of these cats can be found in a lot of Norwegian folklore where there is a mention of these cats accompanying the Vikings in their travel adventures throughout the Europe. Similar to forest cats of today, these cats also have a liking for water and are able to catch fish from ponds and streams. In some folk tales these cats are referred as fairy cat because of their physical appearance and strong and bushy tails. Though they have a huge body, these cats are gentle and very friendly.

History of Norwegian Forest Cats

Norwegian forest cats are also known as Skogkatt in Norway. It is a natural breed of Norway and is not a hybrid of any wild cat species. These cats arrived in Norway from other European nations and were descendants of the domestic cats introduced in these countries by the Romans. Norwegian cats are mentioned in many folklores and mythological stories of Norway. These stories were passed on from one generation to another and suggest the existence of Norwegian cats thousands of years ago in Norway.

Initially these domestic cats had shorthair and were brought to Europe by the Romans. These cats adapted to the harsh and extreme weather conditions. Over the years this cat breed developed dense, long and water-resistant coat that helped them survive the cold conditions. The first Norwegian forest cat was exhibited in a show in the year 1938 in Oslo, Norway. The very existence of these cats was threatened during the world war ll as all cat breeding programs died a natural death leading to near extinction of this particular breed.

Interbreeding with Norway’s domestic shorthaired cats threatened the whole existence of the Norwegian Forest Cat as a pure breed. It was only after the 1970s the breeders in Norway started serious breeding of this particular cat breed.

The first cat registry to recognize the Norwegian forest cat is The International Cat Association (TICA) in the year 1984. This breed attained the championship status in 1993 and won the last association, American Cat Association (ACA) in the year 1995. The breed is very popular in the US and in Europe.

Norwegian Forest Cat Traits

A Norwegian Forest Cat or Wegie has long, beautiful, thick and large sized coat that is suitable for the harsh winters. The head has a triangle shape; the ears are medium to large and heavily tufted. The eyes are large and almond shaped with green, copper and gold color. White colored cats have odd eye, meaning one eye is blue and the other having an altogether different color or blue eyes. They have moderate long body with broad and powerful chest and heavy muscled thighs. The paws are large and have tufts of fur on their toes and ears. These cats have long and bushy tails that suits their body frame.

The coat is waterproof and varies in length. The long flowing coat changes according to the season. The coat comes in many color options and patterns.

Norwegian Cat Personality

The Wegie cats are friendly and gentle cats. They love their family and require less attention from them. These cats can entertain themselves on their own, but loves human company too. They can be reserved if you have visitors at home. The Wegie is not an ideal lap cat and has a nice quiet voice that they emit only when they are hungry or is ignored for a longtime. These large cats are not worried about climbing trees and can reach the highest point with ease. Beware of these cats if you have a pond with fish as these cats love water and fishing. These alert nature cats like outdoors and can learn tricks quickly.

Norwegian Cat HealthCare

Norwegian cats are usually healthy with a good lifespan. Polycystic kidney disease and retinal dysplasia are some of the health issues seen in these cat breeds. Since this cat has a long coat you may need to brush their coat twice a week and a bath is rarely required as they have waterproof coat.

Norwegian Forest Cat Behavior

Forest cats are smart, intelligent, alert and independent in nature. They love the company of their family members, but are averse to visitors. These cats don’t need constant attention and affection, but they are not loners. The Wegie cats can retain their playful and fun-loving nature through their adulthood. They love the company of humans and are a bit curious by nature.

Forest Cat with Children and Pets

The forest cats are friendly and playful making them ideal for families with children and dogs. They enjoy all the attention they receive from children.

Weight and Height Range

The forest cats are large and tall. Males weigh from 12 to16 pounds while females will weigh from 9 to 12 pounds.

Age Expectancy

The Norwegian cats have a good lifespan and can survive for 12 to 16 years.

Price Range

The Forest cat kittens can be purchased for $500-$800.


Female cats need at least 70grams of dry food daily. The food should provide her with 300 calories each day. Male cats on the other hand need 70-120 grams of dry food each day and should provide anywhere between 300-500 calories each day. The food type will depend a lot on the lifestyle of the cat.

Cats need a balanced diet that is rich in minerals, proteins, vitamins and fiber in correct quantities for maintaining a healthy body. A diet that is suitable or designed for Maine Coons can be given to the Norwegian forest cats as these two cat breeds have common features. You must take every care to ensure good, fresh and quality food is provided to these cats to ensure a balanced growth.


The Norwegian Forest Cat is a beautiful, strong and hardy breed of cat that is native to Norway. This cat breed has been around for centuries and is one of the oldest natural breeds of cat. It is a very hardy breed that has adapted to the cold climate of Norway and is well suited to living outdoors in cold weather. The Norwegian Forest Cat is an intelligent, friendly and loyal breed of cat that loves attention. They are also very active and enjoy playing and exploring their environment.

The Norwegian Forest Cat breed is known for its thick coat which is particularly dense during its winter months. This coat helps the cat to stay warm in cold climates and the colors of the coat can range from black, grey, white and cream to tabby and tortoiseshell. The Norwegian Forest Cat also has a unique facial structure with their almond shaped eyes, long ears, broad cheekbones and a strong, muscular jaw.

In conclusion, the Norwegian Forest Cat is an amazing breed of cat with a long and interesting history in Norway. This breed is beloved by many due to its loving and loyal nature and its hardy body which is well suited to living in cold climates. This breed is a wonderful companion and is sure to bring joy and companionship to any cat lover. The Norwegian Forest Cat breed is truly a special and unique breed that will be cherished for many years to come.

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Written by alex-9

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