The Norwegian Forest Cat is a large powerful breed, and the perfect companion for pet owners who enjoy running their fingers through a luxurious coat that feels like pure spun silk.
During the winter months, the Norwegian Forest Cat dons a double coat of fur. This waterproof double coat, in conjunction with a bushy tail and tufted paws, makes them suited to the harsh winters of a near Arctic climate.
They have beautiful almond shaped eyes set in a triangular face, and their regal nose forms a ski slope straight down their face, with their ears sport long tufts of hair.
Norwegian Forest Cats are friendly, gentle giants who love being near their people, although they will decide where they will be most comfortable – on the desk, chair, or bed. They also enjoy the company of other pets, although they can be reserved with strangers. This cat is very comfortable as a homebody but needs plenty of toys, and lots of perches by a window where they can sit and watch the outside world go by.
They enjoy long naps with periodic bouts of energetic activity in between. Expect a schmooze on your lap on occasion, but only at a time of their choosing. They are just as happy with a quick scratch behind the ears or under the chin. You will need a scratching post or a tree, or they will find something that may be less preferable to stretch and sharpen their claws, such as your furniture.
When communicating they sound similar to the chirping sounds made by wild raccoons. They rarely meow unless they really want your attention.
Did You Know?
The Norwegian Forest Cat has been around for centuries in Norway, as evidenced by its appearance in many folk tales and mythology – for example, the Norse goddess Freya’s chariot was said to be pulled by six giant cats. Norwegian farmers used the species to protect their barns and crops, and it is extremely probable that the Vikings used this species to keep their ships free of rodents as well.
They are known as the Skogcatt – which, in Norwegian translates to ‘forest cat’. They are also nicknamed ‘Wegie’ for short.
The Norwegian Forest Cat was almost lost as a species due to breeding with domestic short hairs, but a concerted effort was put into saving the breed until World War II intervened and put the breed at risk again. After the war, efforts to save the breed proved successful.
Caring for Your Norwegian Forest Cat
They are a generally healthy breed with a long life span of 14-16 years. Their thick coat necessitates daily grooming, but thankfully Norwegian Forest Cats enjoy this attention, which makes the task relatively easy. You should also consider a hairball remedy during the months of shedding.
Whilst they are built to survive a cold climate, we recommend keeping your Norwegian Forest Cat indoors to protect them from diseases and the other dangers outdoors.
If you have a Norwegian Forest Cat in your life, please share your experiences below.