The Norwegian Forest Cat is an outdoor-loving, active cat with a robust, hardy disposition. An amusing cat, it loves to climb high trees and comes down spirally head first! It has a unique waterproof coat that dries in about 15 minutes after heavy rain. It loves to show off in front of an audience and is affectionate, intelligent and extremely playful. The Norwegian Forest Cat is used to a rough life and makes a good mouser. This cat would be happiest given an outdoor life where it is free to roam confined in an apartment it might soon become bored.
The Norwegian Forest Cat has a double coat an undercoat that is tight and woolly, and a water-resistant silky topcoat. The coat does not mat, but it needs careful daily grooming if the cat is destined for showing. To prevent fur ball, even the non-show cat should be groomed daily with a brush and comb, especially during the early summer months when the undercoat is being shed. After this, less attention is necessary until the full coat is grown again in the autumn.
Origin and history
Despite its name, which suggests a wild origin, the Norwegian Forest Cat has always been more or less domesticated in Norway, and has lived with or near man for several centuries. Even today cats of this type are frequently kept on farms. The breed is believed to have arisen as a result of the harsh Scandinavian climate. It is likely that the cat’s ancestors were both shorthaired cats from Southern Europe and longhaired cats from Asia Minor, brought into Scandinavia with traders and travellers. As domestic cats were usually kept as mousers and not as pets, they led an outdoor life; and the harsh climate may have meant that only cats with heavier coats would survive the winters. In recent years, pedigree breeding lines of Norwegian Forest Cats have been established, and today there are about 500 registered. The breed was dignified with recognition by FIFE Federation Internationale Feline d’Europe in 1977 and is now accepted for competition at all European shows. At present, however, the breed is little known outside Europe and most cats are bred in Norway.
Naturally robust, the queens kitten easily and make attentive mothers.
Norwegian forest kittens are healthy and playful. The first adult coat begins to grow at three to five months of age.