Norwegian Forest Cat Breeds, Origin and Facts

Among the characteristics of the Norwegian Forest cat, its great affectionate character stands out since it loves to be caressed and taken in arms. Of its anatomy highlights its hair and its large and muscular body with a strong and wide bone. Although it is a docile cat breed, it knows how to defend its territory with authority. In catsfud we want to explain everything about the Norwegian Forest cat breed their behavior, appearance, health and diseases, origin and history, food and care. Do you want to discover this beautiful pet?

The Norwegian forest cat has a character marked by its past. A magnificent feline of wild aspect that left the forests in favor of the domestic life in the farms in some point of these last 4000 years. Highlighting his behavior that he loves to be picked up and caressed and expressively shows his affection. Although he is an excellent hunter who loves the outdoors the Norwegian Forest Cat also needs companionship (see cat years calculations).

Norwegian Forest Cat

As in other feline breeds if the kitten since childhood receives a good treatment and comes into contact with children, dogs and cats since birth. Then it will be much more adaptable than if it grows more isolated. The temperament of the Norwegian forest makes him be reserved with strangers but confident and calm with the people he meets. It has common features with the Maine coon cat and with the Siberian Forest. Although it is a docile race vigorously defends its territory. It is a superb climber and hunter and the owners who live near streams maintain that their Norwegian Forests know how to fish.

Characteristics of the Cat Norwegian Forest

Known as the Norsk Skaukatt in his native Norway the Norwegian Forest Cat has characteristics very similar to the Maine Coon. It is a unique Scandinavian race whose origins are covered by a veil of mystery and refer to it in Norse mythology and fairy tales of the mid-nineteenth century.

Having evolved naturally in the cold Norwegian climate it has a heavy water-resistant mantle. The outer mantle bright are of medium length, hangs from the spine, keeping out water and snow while the woolly inner mantle keeps the body comfortably warm.

norwegian forest cat size

Of its appearance its strong legs, claws and nails make the Norwegian Forest Cat a very good climber of trees and rocky slopes. He is very intelligent like bombay cat, they are agile and an excellent hunter. Due to their physiognomy Norwegian breeders like to think of this “natural cat” as a small lynx.

Let’s see in more detail what the Norwegian forest cat looks like its description and the breed standard:

  • Weight : between 3 and 9 kg.
  • Size : medium / large
  • Head : the head, triangular, has a broad straight nose without a stop. The skin of the nose should harmonize with the color of the coat.
  • Snout : the chin is firm and gently rounded and seems vertically aligned nose.
  • Ears : the ears of medium to large size and rounded tip are erect and widely separated; follow the outline of the head.
  • Eyes : the large almond-shaped eyes are very expressive they are widely separated and the outer commissure is a little higher than the inner one. They can have any shade of green, hazel or gold and white cats can have them blue or uneven. You can see more information from Blue Eyed Cats.

black norwegian forest cat

  • Body : the body large are of medium length, it is very muscular, broad and heavy. The chest and the flanks are wide.
  • Legs : the legs are of medium length and are very muscular and strong from the foot to the elbow.
  • Feet : Its feet are large and round and have abundant plumes and the pads harmonize with the color of the hair.
  • tail : The tail is long and very hairy.
  • Hair : The hair coat is double and impermeable and does not have a homogeneous length and has a dense and woolly inner layer and guard hairs visible in winter. In the neck the hair forms an abundant ruff that framing the face as if it were a beard. The shorts must be abundant.
  • Color : Norway Forest Cat only exists in the long hair variety. All colors and drawings are accepted except colorpoint and solid lilac and chocolate. Popular colors are brown tabby, silver tabby and one of the two with white. Originally these colors served to camouflage the cat in its natural environment.
  • Place of origin : Norway.
  • Antecessors : farm cats.
  • Date of origin : 1930s.
  • Cross allowed : None.
  • Other names : Skogkatt or Skaukatt.

Origin and History of the Race

The history and origin of the Norwegian Forest cat is one of the most interesting that exist. This magnificent Norway cat is an ancient natural race that once lived in the forests of his homeland. Although the farmers of this country appreciated him very much for his great hunting skills, nobody paid attention until the 1930s.

norwegian house cat

Cats arrived in Norway around 1000 AD are via the Viking trade routes with the Byzantine East. The colors of the coat of the Norwegian cats are frequent in Turkey but rare in all Europe, suggest that they arrived directly from Byzantium. The rigorous Scandinavian winter favored large cats with long hair.

The breed was on the verge of extinction during World War II and owes its survival to Carl-Fredik Nordane the former president of the Feline Association of Norway. In the early 1970s he organized a breeding club to promote and conserve this breed. The Federation International Féline (FIFe) accepted in its exhibitions in 1977 and this race came to the US two years later a country where it was not recognized until 1987 because of its appearance very similar to the Maine coon.


In the section on feeding the Norwegian Forest say that it is a cat breed that can become very gluttonous and eat a lot. This can cause an effect if not controlled that in a short time fatten too much and that are prone to obesity.

norwegian forest cat black

Therefore it is necessary to control the amount of food you eat. It is essential to provide a feed or croquettes of high quality and balanced. The intake of excessively fatty foods should be avoided.


This impressive feline mascot, robust and big and robust enjoys the good health and is very active and likes to go out and walk in the open air. For this reason when spending a lot of time at outdoors it must be protected against external and internal parasites for that you can see how to treat worms in cats.

It is advisable to comb the cat daily when it loses the thick winter coat but if it is not going to be exposed it is not necessary because amazing as it may seem the hair does not become entangled.

The fur structure of the Norwegian Forest is effectively that of a farm cat. In spite of being dense and long and thick they surprise the few cares that it needs and it is hydrophobic so it is rarely necessary to wash it.

Colors of the Norway forest cat

norwegian forest cat kittens

In the Norwegian Forest Cat breed there are a variety of colors allowed:

  • Solid Colors and Tortoiseshell : Black, Red, Blue, Cream, White (with blue, green, different and orange eyes) Hawksbill, Creamy blue.
  • Smoke colors : Colors as in solids and tortoiseshell except white.
  • Shaded and tipped colors: Colors as in solids and tortoiseshell except white.
  • Tabby colors (classic, tabby, mottled): Brown, Red, Blue, Cream, Carey, Blue Carey.
  • Silver tabby colors : Colors and drawings as in the standard tabby.
  • Two- color: All colors and drawings allowed with white.

Varieties Cat Breed Norway forest

Although there is a wide variety of breeds of this cat there are some varieties that are most popular cat breeds. Let’s see more popular:

Norwegian forest cat Smoke black

Developed from the domestic cat, the Norwegian Forest is found in a variety of colors and patterns. There is no relationship between the color of the eyes and the color of the coat as is to be expected in most pedigree rations.

norwegian forest cat breeds

The long hair of this breed is particularly attractive in those colors that have a silver base coat such as the Smoke, Shaded, Carneo and Tipped varieties in any of their shades. In addition to the black Smoke shown in the photo, there are blue and red varieties. Other types of color include the Chinchilla, the Red Shell Carneo and the Red Shaded Carneo.

  • Color : It has a white inner layer with an intense black tipping. The points and mask are black with a narrow white band at the base of the hair near the skin. The collar and the tufts of the ears are light silver, nasal fleshyness and pads are black.
  • Constitution : Large, strong and with a solid bone structure. With triangular and long face and populated tail.
  • Character : Live, friendly and independent need access to the outside

Norwegian Forest Cat Tabby Brown

For the Norwegian Forest Cat any of the four tabby patterns and also a wide range of colors are accepted except chocolate, cinnamon and light brown varieties there are different types of tabby cats that you can see. Likewise any amount of white in the body is allowed.

  • Color : This beautiful brown Tabby is marked with the classic tabby print that is clearly shown in the soft semi-long fur of the cat. It has a mantle with the base Je a brilliant copper brown with dense black markings. The back of the legs is black, white is allowed around the chin and lips.
  • Constitution : Large, strong and with a solid bone structure. With a triangular face.
  • Character : Live, friendly and independent, needs access to the outside.

Red and White Norwegian forest cat

Although its features are very similar to those of the Maine Coon of the eastern United States the Norwegian Forest Cat is a totally different breed. The resemblance is probably more related to the strong lifestyle of the ancestors of both races than with a common consanguinity.

norwegian forest cat lifespan

Although the target amounts for the Norwegian Forest Cat are not specified a cat will be more striking when as here its legs combine neatly.

  • Color : Combination of a uniform color with white. Color predominates with white areas located on the face, chest, stomach, legs and feet. The colors are black, blue, red and cream.
  • Constitution : Large, strong and with a solid bone structure. With triangular and long face and populated tail.
  • Character : Live, friendly and independent; needs access to the outside.

Norwegian tortoiseshell forest cat

Strong and robust the Norwegian Forest Cat can be very playful while maintaining the distinctly independent character of its semi-wild ancestors they simply represents the ragdoll cat personality. He enjoys human company and can be very affectionate but he does not like excessive pampering.

His unproblematic hair needs periodic brushing to keep the base coat in good condition and the fluffy tail and abundant neat collar.

  • Color : Black with spots without mottling in red or light red, clearly defined and well-defined spots on the body and extremities. A red star on the face is desirable.
  • Constitution : Large, strong and with a solid bone structure. With triangular and long face and populated tail.
  • Character : Live, friendly and independent, needs access to the outside.

White Norwegian forest cat

The ideal of the Norwegian Forest Cat differs from the Maine Coon in having the hind legs longer than the front ones and in which the scoring standards demand a double fur allowed but not desired in the North American race.

norwegian forest cat personality

The Norwegian Forest Cat is penalized if it presents a small size or a fine structure if it has a round or square head, small ears and tail or short legs. The ears should be broad-based with tufts like those of the lynx, they should in turn be tall and the outer edges should follow the line of the body towards the chin.

  • Color : The mantle is a shining pure white; and the nasal fleshiness and the claw pads are pink.
  • Constitution : Large, strong and with a solid bone structure. With triangular and long face and populated tail.
  • Character : Live, friendly and independent, needs access to the outside.

Norwegian forest cat Tabby silver

The Norwegian Forest standard requires that its appearance reflects its heritage as a farm cat. The most important features are the type and quality of the coat, the scoring system does not specifically award points to the color of the coat.

Norwegian forest cat Black and white smoke

The Norwegian Forest should always be elegant. Although it is large and robust and it should never look plump and the features should be angular and give the impression of vividness, not rounded or “sweet”.

norwegian forest cat

Norwegian forest cat Tabby silver and white

The coat looks somewhat yellowish or “tarnished” because of the genes for the red color. The effect is more obvious in the silver tabbys. Although it is considered a defect in many breeds it is not a defect in the Norwegian Forests. You can see this article of what type of cat do i have if you want to know its breed.

Black Norwegian forest cat

With the thick fur of winter could go through one of the fierce cats of Nordic legends. The color of the eyes is not related to that of the coat so that the Blacks can have them gold or green. Black coats often look somewhat rusty in the sunlight.

Norwegian forest cat Tabby blue and white

The tabbys and the bicolor are common in the feline populations without pedigree from which the Norwegian Forest comes. The predominance of tabbys and bicolours reflects the population from which this race descended.

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From catsfud we hope that this informative article about the Norwegian Forest cat has been useful. If you want to see other species of cats, we recommend you to visit our category about cat breeds. And if you want to get advice on feeding, behavior, health and education of these felines, go for the category of cats.

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