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The Norwegian Forest Cat

Norwegian Forest portraitPortrait of a Norwegian Forest Cat

The Norwegian Forest cat is a very old natural breed that has a long, bushy, nearly waterproof coat appropriate to the brisk climate of Norway.

The coat length changes dramatically with the seasons and the cat will go from a glorious, full, stand-off coat in winter to a mid-length on the torso and some fringe just on the tail and neck in warmer months 

The breed is called the Norsk Skogkatt in Northern Europe where it is an extremely popular domestic.companion. 

Norwegian Forest cats are present in the fables and folklore of Norway from as early as 1000 A.D and served as mousers on the ships of the Vikings. 

This cat is a very large and powerfully built animal, with notoriously strong paws and claws, making it one of the finest climbers in the cat kingdom. 

They are tough, somewhat wild-looking, outdoorsy types with excellent hunting skills and survival instincts but their exceedingly long history of domestication makes them people loving and sweet-natured pets. 

This breed is particularly fond of children and is rugged enough to deal with some potentially clumsy handling without getting hurt feelings. 

They are busy-minded and athletic and have been known to enjoy active games with children, like fetch, tag or even hide and seek. 


Norwegian Forest cat descriptive wordsHow Do You Describe a Norwegian Forest Cat?

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Norwegian Forest Cat PairNorwegian Forest Cat Pair


Norwegian Forest

The personality of the Norwegian Forest cat is very people-oriented cat and very interactive  They often learn tricks, enjoy fetching things and take nicely to a harness and leash.

Definitely not a couch-potato, they are playful and dog-like, and can be great cats for the right kids keeping in mind that some individuals prefer to perch close by rather than on their human companions.

Not the best choice for folks who have long work days, they will become bored and sometimes destructive if left alone too long. 

The Forest cat is a nice choice for families and busy households where they will co-mingle joyfully with a variety of two and four-legged friends. 

These cats definitely enjoy some outdoor time, and if exposed to colder climes will develop an absolutely extraordinary coat of fur that sheds out in mounds-full in the spring and summer months. 

The Norwegian Forest cat has been recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), the world’s largest cat organization, since 1993. It is a relatively uncommon pure-bred or “pedigreed” domestic cat breed. 

They come in any color or pattern and the beautiful coat is long and silky with a dense undercoat. This natural breed does not require as much grooming as some other long-haired breeds, do to less matting, but there is heavy shedding of the undercoat, usually in the spring, that regular brushing will help control. 

These are long, large and powerful cats that have few breed-related health issues, other than a tendency to some kidney and heart disorders. Keep these issues in mind when interviewing breeders.

Because it is active and can be demanding of human interaction the Norwegian Forest cat can be a fine family pet that does particularly well with considerate children, forms strong bonds, and likes to be included in everything. -Norwegian Forest Cat Facts

Norwegian Forest Cat covered in SnowNorwegian Forest Cat covered in Snow
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Norwegian Forest Kittens!Norwegian Forest Kittens!

Norwegian forest kittens tend to be just very active, even a little rowdy, particularly when there is more than one. They will run through the house like colts at play and test the boundaries of all furniture. 

Despite their rambunctious nature, they are usually quite trainable with only occasional litter-box difficulties. This is a breed that has been known to like privacy when using the potty, so finding a good place for the box is important.

Kitten-proofing is definitely recommended for anyone considering adopting or purchasing any kitten. 

High furniture should be off limits, caution should be taken when holding these wriggly little youngsters, particularly when carrying them across hard wood or tile floors, and spaces under counters and doors should be blocked off as they have a very strong urge to explore.

In Appearance,  the Norwegian Forest kitten goes through a few different stages They are little fluff-balls in their first weeks, but go through a gangly, colt-like phase as 5 to 18 month old teenagers. 

These extra big cats can take up to 5 years to reach full mature size and appearance! 

Nutrition is important for all cats, but large breed kittens require the best recipes when growing.

This is a relatively rare breed and they are not always readily available so if you are looking for a pure bred Norwegian Forest kitten to buy you may have to search a bit to find a Norwegian Forest cat breeder.

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Calico Norwegian Forest catCalico Norwegian Forest cat

Head Shape: The head is shaped like an equilateral triangle with all sides of equal length as measured from the outside of the base of the ear to the outside base of the other ear and following down the side of the head to the chin and back up to the ear. The neck is short and heavily muscled.  The nose is straight from the brow ridge to the tip without a break in the line. Ears are medium to large, rounded at the tip, broad at the base, set as much on the side of the head as on top of the head – alert, with the cup of the ears pointing a bit sideways. Ears are heavily tufted with lynx tips being very desirable. The eyes should be large, almond shaped, well-opened, expressive; set at a slight angle with the outer corner higher than the inner corner. Eyes are green, gold, or copper in color. White cats may be odd-eyed or blue eyed. 

Body and Tail: Body is large, medium to long with lots of bone, a broad, deep chest and flank and wide, powerful shoulders. Legs are medium in length with good bone. The hind legs are longer than the front. The paws are medium to large with a slight toe-out. There should be heavy tufting between the toes.  Five toes in front, four in back.  The tail is long and bushy, equal to the body in length.

Norwegian Forest Cat in the SnowNorwegian Forest Cat in the Snow

Coat: Full double coat, thick and woolly under and long, flowing and full outer. A neck ruff, toe feathering, ear furnishings and ear tufts are all desirable.

Pattern: Tiger and tabby colors are most common but many colors are acceptable. Points, in particular, are not desirable.

Overall Appearance: This should be a massive, imposing, and muscular cat with a long, powerful torso, and good bone.  A gorgeous, wild looking cat with an athletic, powerful presence and a playful, dog-like personality. 


Norwegian Forest cat seated
  • Norwegian Forest cats are heavily furred to protect them from the northern climate of their origin. They have fuzzy ears and even have fur between the toes- like fluffy snow shoes- called “toe-feathers”

Beautiful Norwegian Forest CatBeautiful Norwegian Forest Cat

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