The Norwegian Forest Cat is a large and majestic feline with a beautifully thick coat and magnificent eyes. But what else do you know about this breed? Let's discover the Norwegian here.

Origins of the The Norwegian Forest Cat

Not surprisingly, the Norwegian Forest Cat hails from Norway. In the Norwegian language, a 'skogkatt' literally means 'forest cat'. It has a long history spanning hundreds, if not thousands of years.

Knowledge of the breed has been passed down over time through folk tales and mythology. It has been said the breed arrived in Norway when Vikings brought them from the coast of the Caspian Sea during the eighth century. They were used extensively to eradicate rats living on Viking explorer ships.

Over time, the breed adapted to its environment, with only the strongest surviving against the harsh winters and wild, forest existence. As such, the Norwegian became a strong feline with excellent survival skills, and developed the thick, robust coat as we know it today.

In 1938, the first club was established dedicated to preserving the breed. However, the breed only became official in the 1970s when it was introduced to the West.

Today, the Norwegian is one of the most popular cat breeds in the world.

Physical characteristics

One of the largest cat breeds, the Norwegian has an impressively robust and muscular physique, enhanced by its thick coat. It is often likened to the Maine Coon in its appearance.

The feline is a heavy-boned animal designed for survival in its traditionally harsh environment. The longer back legs are designed for agile hunting and climbing, and the strong feet are heavily tufted to protect from the cold and snow.

The Norwegian's head is shaped much like a triangle, with relatively large ears set low against the head to protect from excessive heat loss. Fur is longer around the neck while the entire body sports a thick, two-layer coat designed to keep water off and the warmth in. The tail is also long and fluffy.

Eyes are magnificent and soft that appear to glow. Colours usually range from gold to green with emerald green the most sought after - and also the rarest.


Despite its wild origins, Norwegian Forest Cats can be very homely creatures. While they like to maintain some independence, they will also adapt well to the home environment, particularly with children and other pets.

They are a peaceful breed that won't stress easily, although they do like to call the shots and will let you know if they are interested in cuddling or playing - and when they are not.

To ensure their hunting needs are met, they should be provided with ample stimulation to keep them occupied. You might often find them sitting high in tall places.

What do you know about the Norwegian Forest Cat?

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