Norwegian forest cats -my favorite breed

Norwegian forest

As it appears from the title, by far my favorite breed is Norwegian forest cats. Fortunately, I have one, actually a half-breed. We had one, but she died. Both of us were in the competition and both got the diploma.

I will present a brief history, temperament, maintenance, standard of these wonderful Norwegian forest cats.

Short history

The oldest references are found in folklore, stories collected and recorded between 1837 and 1852.

The big cat with a long, bushy tail is about 500 years old in Norwegian forests and farms. It is believed that the breed is even older, having 100-200 years.

The origin of these vigorous cats is controversial. Some say they have arrived in Scandinavia brought by the tribes of Central and Asian Europe. Others believe the Vikings took their small Asian ships (Caucasus, Anatolia) to protect their rodents. Others believe that Norwegians are the result of crossbreeding between short-haired cats from England by Vikings and long-haired cats from the Crusader Orient.

Whatever the beginning, these cats have adapted to the harsh climate of the North. They were “dressed” with a warm and waterproof coat in cold and snowy weather.

Norwegian 1

The thick fur is made up of two layers. Can protect the cat from temperature -25C.

Wild cats approached farms, becoming familiar to humans.

Only in 1930 Norwegians began to care about these cats. They set up a conservation and reproduction program.

In 1938, in Oslo, a Norwegian copy of the forest was first exhibited and arbitrated.

World War II caused a long break, Norwegian is almost forgotten.

Some passionate resumed selection in the seventh decade. Their work materialized in the recognition of the breed in 1972.

The first standard dates back to 1975. It was approved by FIFe in 1977, renewed in 1987 to resolve the confusion between Norwegian and Maine Coon.

Approval of the breed was a great success for Norwegians. King Olaf has designated his national cat.

On June 1, 1994, various feline associations had nearly 1,400 copies.

No crossing out of breed is allowed. Those that have preserved the natural traits without human intervention are the Norwegians of today.


Regarding temperament, Norwegian is not a cat like other cats. She had to be intelligent and inventive to survive. When the weather was bad and little food, only the smartest specimens were able to find shelter and food.

Despite the Scandinavian appearance, Norwegian is a sympathetic and balanced, calm, playful cat.

Norwegian 2

She is sociable. She is easily acquainted with other cats, dogs and is a good companion for children. For example, my cat, half-breed of Norwegian, is washing the other cats in the house and doing it with much love. And he turned 17.

The harsh life of the wilderness determined an active, vigilant temper, without being nervous.

Rustic, robust, sporty, Norwegian is a great hunter and climber. She has taught generations that the best defense is the attack. This has caused a strong will and a relentless drive.

Accepts change and adapts easily to new situations.

Although affectionate, the owner has to deal with it because it tends to be independent

She has a strong personality and is “talkative,” without being noisy.

In the natural environment, it spends most of its time climbing in the tallest trees, From there hunting birds in flight.

If it is a cat, we must have a climbing tree in the apartment.

An entire male will adopt harder to live in the house, he will mark the territory.

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Norwegian is an easy-to-maintain cat. Food should be of good quality and balanced.

Weekly her fur is squirted and brushed with care, not to break the long threads that are hard to recover. If the fur has a tendency to scam, we will do it more often. The tail is brushed in the scrub, paying attention to the long wires.

During the summer Norwegian becomes a cat with short fur. The bushy tail and the ears of the ears recall that it is a cat with half-hairs.

Norwegian 4

At the beginning of the fall Norwegian dressed in winter clothes. In the winter full of the proud is the most beautiful.

As a general rule, Norwegian does not get muddy because it destroys the natural layer of fat of the coat. It creates waterproofness and gives the characteristic shade to the coats.

Very popular, Norwegian is a trendy breed despite the Maine Coon race. It brings a corner of paradise to the owners’ home, personifying the fascination of the north.


Waist-high; heavyweight 3-9 kg; females are considerably smaller

Head of triangular shape, with equal sides; of the profile, high; slightly curved forehead, long and straight profile; Barbie farm.

Ears-wide, with a good opening of the base; sharp edges; lynx, with long wires that come out of the ear; high and open placement, so the ear’s caliber follows the headline to the chin.

Eyes large and oval, well open, slightly sloping; alert expression; all colors are prefabricated in harmony with the coat color.

Body-long, strong; strong bone structure

Legs strong, tall, legs higher than previous ones; large, rounded toe-pads.

The long and bushy tail must reach at least the shoulder line, but it is preferable to touch the neck

Fur coat; under the rope hair is covered by a smooth, waterproof cloak, made of long, shiny, shiny threads covering the back and sides. A well-bred cat has collar, favors, and pants.

Colors-all colors are allowed including all colors with white; exceptions are: chocolate, lilac, cinnamon, and fawn; or white ice white surface is allowed: white buttons, white medallion, white chest, white abdomen, white patches on the paws.

Norwegian 3


Norwegian forest is a fascinating, easy-to-maintain cat. She is very sociable and a very good companion for children. It is easy to make friends with other cats and char with dogs, They are extremely intelligent. Great hunters. Accept changes and adjust easily.

She is a trendy breed despite her Maine Coon race. It brings a corner of paradise to the owners’ home, personifying the fascination of the north.

If you decided to take a cat of this breed, you did not cheat. She is generally healthy and her life expectancy is 14-16 years. It will be the joy of the house.


Leave me a comment if you like it. Thank you.

I’m a big cat loving, since the young baby.   My mother was great loving cats, grandmother as well.   My daughter is coming to the end. My daughter loves cats so much that she makes a second faculty: veterinary medicine.   Four generations, what do you think?

You can now learn to communicate directly with your cat

24 Replies to “Norwegian forest cats -my favorite breed”

  1. These Norwegian Forest Cats are so beautiful, and it is no wonder that they are your favorite breed. They seem to check all the boxes, in that they are friendly, get along with the kids, are easy to maintain, they are good hunters, and open to change with not too many problems.

    I also love the looks of them on top of everything else. The long fur is perfect for cooler environments and it is also good that they get along with dogs (we have 2). Right now we have two cats that stray from the Dubai streets, but they have a new home when we leave (we will not take them with us when we head back to the USA).

    This is why I am checking now to see what might be good replacements for the cats once we land and get set up over there. I will be in Northern Florida and in Minnesota most of the time, two very different environments. There will be some road travel also involved getting back and forth between locations.

    Do you think these cats will be able to adapt to travel in an RV? Likely we will get a small one (for the USA but big for us)  and use that for some trips where we can stop and see the sites as we take various routes back and forth. I would like to take them with over having them stay in a kennel or with friends.

  2. Hey

    Great article on the Norwegian Cats. They sure seem impressive. I have never owned a cat myself but my granddad did. Sadly, she died a few years later. Norwegian cats as you said are easy to maintain which is a big plus for owners. I will recommend this article to my granddad, I hope he finds it useful 🙂

  3. Hi Carmen

    Thanks for the great descriptions of the Norwegian Forrest cats, it seems like a great cat to have around families. It’s always advantageous to have a cat that is a little self-reliant and can handle having other pets in the same house. Given that it hails from a very cold environment I am curious as to how it handles hotter climates, does it coat just grow shorter when it’s warmer?

    Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

  4. I was delighted at their history, as far as I know Wegies are normally robust and playful. This cat breed looks so regal that’s why it’s quite expensive to buy a kitty which cost around $800-$1000. This is also the first time I knew about their great coats being water proof and all that. They are also believed to have similarities to a mythical fairy cat creature which is a skogkatt (meaning forest cat). 

    Thank goodness this breed were saved from being extinct. Owners must take care of them because they are prone to heart problems, hip dysplasia and harmful build up of sugar. I enjoyed reading your article and even looked for amazing videos of wegies.  Anyway, how can you tell the difference between Norwegian Forest cats from Maine Coon? 

  5. Hi Carmen, I too am a cat lover.  I have never heard of Norwegian Forest Cats, and I must say they sound like really sociable and loving cats.  Thank you for sharing their history, it was interesting to read. 

    My two cats have lived to 17 years of age, unfortunately I have lost both of them in the last 3 months.  I see the Norwegian cats have a long life span.  Are they generally healthy cats?  They are incredibly pretty and have a very intelligent look to them.  Are you planning on getting a kitten in the near future?

    Thanks for this article, Denise.

  6. hello Dave

    Generally, Norwegian cats adapt easily. But if you are really cat lovers and are going to travel a lot, I do not advise you to take a cat. They do not really like to change their habit, smiles.

    best regards


  7. hello Shashwat 

    Thank you for your comment. Cats generally do not live for many years. If they are healthy and well-groomed, max. 17-19 years.

    besst regards


  8. hello Dominic

    In a warmer climate Norwegians are adapting. For example, when I was in the competition with my semi-Norwegians, one of the referees said it was normal not to have a collar in August (it’s summer in our country), another was supportive and strong that a Norwegian must have a collar,
    Thank you for your comment. Let me tell you honestly, if you are a real cat lover, you will save one, regardless of breed. Treated properly, cats become grateful and loving


  9. The most visible physical difference between these breeds is the shape of the head.

    Norwegian’s double coat has a waterproof silk layer and has a front cloak on the neck.

    The Maine Coon Tail is uneven and shorter around the shoulders and has only a short substrate. The Norwegian tilts to a full-flowing and flowing peak. It is at least as long as his body from shoulder to tail base. The Master of Tomorrow is also as long as his body, but he leans to the end.

    Obviously, all cats, like humans, have predispositions to various diseases. But I prefer to be optimistic, so I did not present the illnesses.

    best regards


  10. Wow these are gorgeous looking cats and they do look a lot like Maine Coon cats! 

    I like the way you described them, playful, affectionate and I really do like a talking cat! 

    I wonder how well they would go in a warmer climate though, I don’t think it’ll get that hot in Norway… 

  11. I am a vivid cat lover and love all type of cats.  I have visited few cat shows and have seen those beautiful Norwegian cats.  You are right,  they are very similar to Maine Coons and I had the pleasure of a Maine Coon Girl who passed away at the age of 17.  Loved her dearly and I believe in character Maine Coons and Norwegians are very similar, robust beautiful creatures.  I highly highly recommend people to have such a beautiful companions.  At present,  I have 4 cats, 3 of them are rescues and non pedigree and probably for the rest of my life that is what I will be doing,  but,  if someone is after a particular look or character,  I highly highly suggest to look for this breed.  Thank you for the thorough description of that magnificent kitty.  

  12. Thanks Milla for the comment. I’m sorry for your loss, but 17 years is a respectable age for cats.

    In other words, true cat lovers save them and adopt them with or without pedigree.

    best regards


  13. Thanks Petra for comment. Norwegian is adapting well in a temperate climate.

    best regards


  14. Good Morning Carmen,

    So nice to come across your website again and read this fascinating story about the Norwegian cat. 

    I find the history of this cat very interesting even if her real origin is still shrouded in mystery.

    Amazing that thanks to its “double” fur coat this animal can survive in a temperature of -25C It must have been tuff in times of little food to survive out there in the cold wilderness. How clever nature is to give this cat a short hair fur coat in the summertime.

    I have an abandoned boy, his name is Sasha and I picked him up when he was only 4 weeks old on the street in 2010. He has grown into a big naughty tomcat with half long fur. Every morning when he comes for breakfast into the kitchen he gets a good brushing session as he always has half the garden hanging in his hair.

    I loved your information on the Norwegian cat, especially as it is good with children and dogs. I looked at the video you included in your post. It is indeed a gorgeous looking cat.

    Regards, Taetske

  15. HelloTaetske

    Thank you for your comment. You really have the humor: you made me laugh when you said your cat at breakfast gets a brush because he has half a garden in his fur. I’m very glad you like cats and you have one.

    best regards Carmen

  16. that is so true, Carmen, thank you. My beautiful Erica was an amazing kitty and I wish I could make it easier for her in the last year, I have learnt so much about the diet that the kitties need, but it took a long time. wishing you all the best , cats are great companions and I am glad there are so many cat lovers and appreciators in the world.

  17. As evident in my profile picture, I freaking love cats!

    At the moment I have my cute little critter here with me as I am typing this comment. He is a bit lonely for a while now and I think it is an opportune moment to take in a new kitty but considering adoption too.

    Norwegian Scottish cats are one of the breeds I have been thinking of if I were to take home a new pet in the family. Although I am worried since they have thick fur coats and I live in a tropical country, I do not want my pets to suffer heat exhaustion, do I?

    It was really nice to hear about the history of the breed too, I think I might just binge read your articles one of these days.

  18. I am glad too that there are many cat lovers in the world; they are good people; I hope that whoever nudges my site and does not love cats, if they have the patience to read, they will know the cats and they will become lovers, maybe they will chase one and they will adopt it Carmen

  19. thanks for the comment Rizza; if you stay in a tropical country I do not advise you to take a Norwegian; in fact, those with pedigree are for those who want to take them to the contest; I would rather save a cat and adopt her:
    if you wear it properly, cats are grateful and loving.

    best regards


  20. Oh so this is the Norwegian cat that my friend always brag about. She lives in Europe and get herself two adorable Norwegian kitties. She plan to bring her cats to my country for upcoming midyear holiday. Is there any specific care needed for traveling with Norwegian cats, especially to tropical country? She is a bit careless, so I should tell her if there’s anything to prepare her kitties before coming.

  21. Hello Alblue
    Thank you for your comment. You can tell your friend not to take cats to a tropical country, he will hurt them; they adapt at most to a Mediterranean climate; can leave them to a foster family during the holiday
    best regards


  22. I love this breed of cat. I hope to have one in the future. I have two now, a brother and sister with a good portion of Main Coon in their genetic makeup.

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