Cat Lovers guide to the Norwegian Forest Cat

Norwegian Forest Cat, a very old cat breed

This is one of the oldest cat breeds in Europe that impresses cat lovers with their fur that gives them an attractive and wild look and makes them look like a small lynx, but it also wins the affection of even the most skeptical with their authentic and affectionate personality.

It is a big, beautiful cat that is also good with children and pets? Maybe this is the ideal cat for you.

Stay to learn more about the Norwegian Forest Cat.


Origin of the Norwegian Forest Cat

As their name indicates, the breed comes from Norway, and they had to adapt quickly to the cold of their region making them a very strong breed.

Since their origin is uncertain, this breed has been related to Scandinavian fables and myths that link it to their ancestral gods, and they are stars in tales of Norse mythology, It is said that they were the cats that pulled the chariot of the goddess Freya.

It is also said that their expansion began thanks to the Vikings, who traveled with them on their routes and conquests, and put Near Eastern cats on their ships to prevent mice from eating their food.

And that they are the result of crossing the short-haired cats that the Vikings brought from Britain and the long-haired cats that the Crusaders introduced in Scandinavia.

In this way, they managed to reach the north of Europe where, due to the extreme conditions, they naturally developed the coat that characterizes them so much.

Their long coat is transmitted in a recessive way, so even if they cross with other cats, their offspring will always have this elegant coat.

They were first publicly exhibited before the second world war.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Norwegian cat was in serious danger of disappearing due to the deforestation of their ecosystem.

In 1975 they were officially recognized by the International Cat Federation which included them in category II, with the group of cats with semi-long fur and won the place that corresponds to them today.

In 1979 these cats were imported to the United States and in 1984 they were recognized as an authentic breed.


Physical characteristics of the Norwegian Forest Cat

Size: they measure up to 35 cm in height and have a body length between 30 - 46 cm. They do not measure their growth until 3-4 years of age.

Weight: females weigh up to 5 kg and males between 7- 8 kg.

Eyes: they are large and very expressive, with the outer corner of the eye higher than the inner corner, they can be blue, green, golden, or uneven eyes.

Ears: high and erect, medium size, separated, with rounded tips, and they have a similar physiognomy to that of the lynx due to the tufts that protrude from its ears.

Coat: smooth, semi-long, dense double layer, the outer layer is smooth and oily which makes it resistant and waterproof and an undercoat of woolly and thick texture. With patterns such as solid and tabby.

Their mane surrounds their body in the shape of a heart, which gives them an attractive and elegant appearance.

Body: has a muscular build, yet elongated and slender.

Their head is triangular, and their nose, usually short, is accompanied by a large number of whiskers. and their profile is straight, their tail is long and bushy and their legs are long and very strong.

Life Span: between 8 and 14 years,


The character of the Norwegian Forest Cat

In spite of their wild origin, they are not wild cats, on the contrary, they are very loving and affectionate domestic cats with their humans.

They are very intelligent, playful, and active but can also be quite calm and docile, and quite attached to their owners.

They adapt very well to their environment, are playful and patient with children, and get along well with other pets, and it is also good for them to have company.

They are excellent climbers and hunters, they love to walk and explore new places, they also love to be outdoors, and are not afraid of water, and they enjoy swimming and are very agile and experienced fishermen.


Norwegian Forest Cat Care

When it comes to caring for a Norwegian Forest Cat, the main thing is their coat.

  • It is necessary to brush their coat regularly to avoid knots as well as excessive hair ingestion.
  • In shedding seasons, which occur once a year, and usually coincide with the spring months, will be necessary to brush them daily if possible, to better remove dead hair.
  • They need physical activity to avoid overweight and sedentary lifestyles.
  • They need vertical scratching posts, shelves, and toys, and we need to dedicate some time every day to play with them.



It is important to take care of the weight of the Norwegian Forest cat. They tend to gain a lot of weight and generate health problems such as hip dysplasia.

These cats require a balanced diet rich in protein with fiber and good hydration. However, it will depend on each cat and the type of daily activity they perform.

A high-quality food that combines dry and wet food will always be the best option for their health.

This is a breed that does not have the same needs throughout the year. As winter approaches, their appetite increases, and they will need more food. While their coat becomes thicker and the fur becomes denser.

Also, due to their abundant fur, it is necessary to offer them malt.


Norwegian Forest Cat Health

These cats are generally in very good health.

However, like other cats, they are more prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is a thickening of the heart muscle or hip dysplasia, due to their large size.

It can also suffer from retinal alterations, as well as glycogenosis type IV, but this occurs in very few cases.

Even so, keep up to date with the visits to the veterinarian to prevent and detect possible pathologies in time.


The Norwegian Forest is an ideal cat

The Norwegian Forest cat's qualities are quite remarkable, from their coat to their solid constitution, through their hunting skills, great adaptability and sweet character, which makes them the ideal pet for all types of families.