Cat Breeds

Norwegian Forest Cat Advantages and Challenges

Advantages

  • Norwegian Forest cats have beautiful face with large, expressive eyes
  • Norwegian Forest cats are easygoing and patient – good with other pets, and with kids 5 years and up
  • Gentle and loving
  • Norwegian Forest Cats are known to be very affectionate and intelligent

Challenges

  • Whether you like it or not, the Norwegian Forest cat is a prolific hunter
  • Norwegian Forest cats love to climb to high places
  • Norwegian Forest cats Crave companionship and must not be left alone for long periods

Norwegian Forest Cat Physical Characteristics

Size

  • Large

Coat

  • Longhair

Colors

  • From pure white to jet black, with every possible color and pattern in between (except Siamese points)
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Norwegian Forest Cat Personality

The Norwegian Forest Cat, or "Wegie" (pronounced “Wee-Gee”, as in “short-for-Norwegian”) loves being with people and even other pets, making it an excellent choice for households with kids and multiple animals. A naturally arising breed that really does come from the frozen forests of Norway, this beautiful cat firmly believes that everybody is its friend. Sweet and family-oriented, the Norwegian Forest Cat wants constant attention and affection from its chosen humans. This breed is most ideal for families where there is always somebody around, but if your schedule keeps you away from home for more than a few hours each day, then your pet would enjoy having a pet of its own – another active cat will be fine company for your Norwegian Forest Cat, and they can entertain each other while you’re away.

Be aware that the Norweigan Forest Cat is a superb hunter, and might well prefer to gather some of its own food. It has an un-kitty-like affinity for water, and has even been known to catch fish in lakes and streams. Well designed by nature for an outdoor life, the Norweigan Forest Cat can also be happy as an indoor cat, provided it has lots of room to play, and plenty of things to climb on. This kitty likes to survey its kingdom from on high - a stimulating environment with plenty of toys and especially things to climb on will be much appreciated.

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Norwegian Forest Cat History and General Information

History and Origin

Although the Norwegian Forest Cat is a comparatively new breed in the US, it’s a very old breed in Norway. Featured for centuries in Norse folk tales, the beloved ‘Enchanted Forest Cat’ was said to possess mystical powers. Supernatural abilities aside, the Norwegian Forest Cat was very likely a companion to the Vikings, traveling the world with Leif Erickson to keep his ships free of rodents. Some people believe that this well-traveled kitty may have been the early ancestor of the Maine Coon, among other breeds. The modern breed of Forest Cat was not exported from Norwayuntil the late 1970s, with the first pair arriving in the United Statesin 1979. Officially accepted for registration in CFA in 1987 and for championship competition in 1993, today the Norwegian Forest Cat is the fourth most popular longhair in the US.

Grooming requirements

Virtually waterproof, the Norwegian Forest Cat shouldn't’t ever need bathing under regular circumstances or regular grooming. The coat’s naturally oily, water-resistant guard hairs are designed to protect the insulating undercoat, a must for surviving those frosty Norwegian winters.

The coat length varies from season to season. In spring, the Norwegian Forest Cat sheds its longer, heavier winter coat – so much so that a summer Norwegian Forest Cat almost looks like a completely different cat, with only the fluffy tail plume and ear and toe tufts to remind you of its winter splendor. In fall the Norwegian Forest cat sheds its lighter, shorter summer outfit, which is then replaced once again by the luxurious winter coat. During the shedding seasons, thorough daily combing with a good quality steel comb is a good idea to prevent matting and limit the piles of cat hair covering every household surface. The rest of the time, however, the Norwegian Forest Cat requires minimal grooming. A once a week combing is usually plenty to prevent mats and keep a healthy coat.

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Norwegian Forest Cat Health

Health Ailments

Due to its sturdy natural breeding stock, the Norwegian Forest Cat has no specific health problems and should live a long and healthy, active life. Maintaining your cat’s proper weight and grooming requirements will also help insure its good health, along with regular checkups at the vet.

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Norwegian Forest Cat Community

Your Norwegian Forest Cat

Send us pictures and stories about your Norwegian Forest Cat.

Norwegian Forest Cat Discussion Group

Get tips from other Norwegian Forest Cat lovers – and submit a few ideas of your own.

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