The Norwegian Forest Cat

This page tells you the key facts about the Norwegian Forest cat.

Before we get into details, here's a quick overview of the breed:

Personality: Friendly, intelligent, good with other animals and children

Suits: Families, first time cat owners, homes with other pets

Other: Love climbing, grow quite large

picture of a grey norwegian forest cat

Breed Information

1) What are they like as pets?

These cats are very laid back and adapt to change better than most other breeds. They are known for being very good with other pets including dogs, and with children. They enjoy company, but are also OK being left by themselves, as long as it's not for lengthy periods of time. They're gentle and playful.

They have thick, long fur, but like the Maine Coon cat, they don't need a lot of grooming from you to keep their coat in good condition. Once a week is usually enough; the exception to this is in the spring, when they shed their winter coat. At this time of year you may find you need to groom them most days, to stop a layer of hair building up all over the house!

They are a hardy breed, but are more at risk of polycystic kidney disease, which can cause chronic cat kidney failure, than some other breeds.

2) Looks, build, colors and markings

Norwegian Forest cats aren't too dissimilar in looks to the Maine Coon cat. They are a bit smaller than the Maine Coon, though in cat size terms they are still quite big. Adult males usually weigh between 10 and 16 pounds, and females between 8 and 12 pounds.

They've got a long, very thick, fluffy coat. It's especially thick around the neck. Their tails also have very long fur. They've got a triangular-shaped head and fluffy, large, tufty paws. They come in many different color and pattern varieties including solid colors and tabby / partial tabby markings. Their eyes are often green but can also be amber.

3) History

The breed, not surprisingly, originally came from Norway. It developed the thick, fluffy coat to enable survival in the cold winters. These cats traveled with the Vikings, keeping rats and mice at bay on the ships. The breed was nearly forgotten about after World War II, but became popular again in the 1970s.

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