Cats - Norwegian_forest_catThe Norwegian Forest Cat is a breed of domestic cat native to Northern Europe. This natural breed is adapted to a very cold climate, with top coat of glossy, long, water-shedding hairs, and a woolly undercoat for insulation. Although this is uncertain, the breed’s ancestors may have been a landrace of short-haired cats brought to Norway by the Vikings around 1000 AD, who may also have brought with them long-haired cats, like those ancestral to the modern Siberian and Turkish Angora breeds. During World War II, the breed became nearly extinct until efforts by the Norwegian Forest Cat Club helped the breed by creating an official breeding program. It was not registered as a breed with the European Fédération Internationale Féline until the 1970s, when a local cat fancier, Carl-Fredrik Nordane, took notice of the breed and made efforts to register it. Currently, the Norwegian Forest Cat is very popular in Norway, SwedenIceland and France.

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.

The head is long, with an over-all shape similar to an equilateral triangle, a strong chin, and a muzzle of medium length; a square or round-shaped head is considered to be a defect. The eyes are almond shaped and oblique, and may be of any color. All coat colors are accepted except chocolate and lilac and the dilutions fawn and cinnamon. Since the cats have very strong claws, they are very good climbers, and can even climb rocks.

Norwegian Forest cats have a quiet voice but can develop a loud voice if kept in a house with a dog. They are friendly and intelligent and are good with people. The Norwegian Forest cat has a lot of energy and can be very demanding of attention. Those cats that live primarily outdoors become swift and effective hunters, but the breed can also adapt to indoor life. The cats usually live to be 14 to 16 years old. As they are heavy-boned and tall they require more food than most other domestic breeds. Males are considerably heavier and larger-boned than females.