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The Sweet Natured Norwegian Forest Cat

norwegian forest cat picture

Norwegian Forest cat is a relatively new breed to the USA but not to their native Norway. They are said to date to Viking ships where they worked to keep the ships free of rodents and insure grain storage areas were rodent free. They are sometimes credited with being the ancestor of the Main Coon and long-haired Manx.

This is a beautiful cat developed to survive outside in a harsh environment. A warm undercoat is covered with a protective outer coat often naturally “groomed” by rubbing on doorways to remove hair being shed.

Norwegian Forest cat is a breed that can be slow to mature, with eye colors of green, gold, copper or green-gold. White cats may have blue or odd colored eyes. By the show standard the head counts for 50 points, body for 30, coat is 10 points with balance and color/pattern being 5 points each. A wide variety of approved colors is available. 

They shouldn’t be too fine boned for showing. Once their winter coat isnorwegian forest shed off they can appear quite different. The long guard hairs are smooth and somewhat heavy, and the cat can wave a banner of a long fluffy tail. The eyes are often one of the prettiest features.

As they were originally a ‘working’ cat they are heavier boned than some breeds, with heavy muscles that allow the cat to climb and thick claws to hoist themselves up. They are so sturdy they will often come down a tree head first, rather than backing down hesitantly as other breeds do. 

Despite their long coat they take somewhat less maintenance than other long haired breeds do. They will need thorough grooming when they molt. They are curious and love people, intelligent and eager to meet new people. They are a low-key cat not typically easily stressed. 

They can be a lap cat unless it is hot when they’d rather sit next to you. Climbing areas and places to be up high to survey their domain are strongly recommended. They can have quite long hair covering the ears, owing to their hunt-in-all-conditions heritage of long ago. 

The breed was nearly lost due to crossbreeding but the mid 1900s some breeders preserved the purebred lines and in 1987 they were officially accepted for registration in the CFA.

 all white norwegian forest

Because of their laid back nature and friendly demeanor this is a cat for many households where a high energy cat isn’t needed. Their hunting heritage can mean an active sense of play, eagerly stalking a perceived “victim.” The rear legs are slightly longer than the front, giving more power to climb and athletic abilities needed for hunting.

Another characteristic that makes them stand out are the heavy fur on the feet, allowing a protective layer between the toes and on the cold snowy ground in the days of old. Their shelter then was what they could find, with natural selection bringing a sturdy cat that seems to know his place in the world.

Beauty and function combine to make a Norwegian Forest Cat.

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