Animals / Cats

Norwegian Forest cat

Классификация по федерациям

Federation Internationale Feline World Cat Federation

История возникновения

The Norwegian Forest Cat is native to Norway, with a history going back hundreds and maybe thousands of years. He figures in fairy tales and legends, one being that the Norse goddess Freya’s chariot is pulled by six giant cats. Where or how the cats originated remains a mystery. They may be the descendants of longhaired cats from Turkey, brought back from Byzantium by Scandinavian warriors who served the Byzantine Empire, or they may be related to the Siberian cat from Russia. They could have been Viking booty, or they could simply have been the result of natural selection: shorthaired cats whose adaptations to the harsh, near-Arctic climate produced descendants with woolly undercoats and long topcoats that shed water with ease.

For centuries, the skogcatt—a Norwegian word that translates as “forest cat”—survived by his wits or offered his services as a mouser to farmers and housewives in exchange for shelter in barns, stables or homes. In 1938, the cats were exhibited at a show in Oslo, but World War II interrupted any plans for developing them as a breed. Fortunately, they survived the war, just barely, but there were still some hard decades ahead and little was done with them until the 1970s. In 1977, they were finally registered as a breed with Europe’s Federation Internationale Feline. Two years later, a pair of NFCs was exported to the United States for the first time. The breed has since become popular in Europe and the U.S.

Общий вид

The Norwegian Forest Cat is a sturdy cat with a distinguishing double coat and easily recognizable body shape. It is a slow maturing breed, attaining full growth at approximately five years of age.


Head: equilateral triangle, where all sides are of equal length as measured from the outside of the base of the ear to the point of the chin. The neck is short and heavily muscled.

Nose profile: straight from the brow ridge to the tip of the nose without a break in the line. The flat forehead continues into a gentle curved skull and neck.

Chin: the chin is firm and should be in line with the front of the nose. It is gently rounded in profile.

Muzzle: part of the straight line extending toward the base of ear without pronounced whisker pads and without pinch.

Ears: medium to large, rounded at the tip, broad at base, set as much on the side of the head as on top of the head, alert, with the cup of the ear pointing a bit sideways. The outsides of the ears follow the lines from the side of the head down to the chin. The ears are heavily furnished. Lynx tips are desirable but not required.

Eyes: large, almond shaped, well-opened and expressive, set at a slight angle with the outer corner higher than the inner corner.


Body: solidly muscled and well-balanced, moderate in length, substantial bone structure, with powerful appearance showing a broad chest and considerable girth without being fat. Flank has great depth. Males should be large and imposing; females may be more refined and may be smaller


Legs: medium with hind legs longer than front legs, making the rump higher than the shoulders. Thighs are heavily muscled; lower legs are substantial. When viewed from the rear, back legs are straight. When viewed from the front the paws appear to be “toe out.” Large round, firm paws with heavy tufting between toes


Tail: long and bushy. Broader at the base. Desirable length is equal to the body from the base of tail to the base of neck. Guard hairs desirable.


Coat: distinguishing double coat, consisting of a dense undercoat, covered by long, glossy and smooth water-resistant guard hairs hanging down the sides. The bib consists of three separate sections: short collar at neck, side mutton chops, and frontal ruff. Britches are full on the hind legs. The coat may be fuller in the winter than the summer because the dense undercoat has its full development in the winter. Softer coats are permitted in shaded, solid and bicolor cats. Type and quality of coat is of primary importance; color and pattern are secondary

Patterns: every color and pattern is allowable with the exception of those showing hybridization resulting in the colors chocolate, sable, lavender, lilac, cinnamon, fawn, point-restricted (Himalayan type markings), or these colors with white.

Colours and pattern: the color and pattern should be clear and distinct. In the case of the classic, mackerel and spotted tabbies the pattern should be well-marked and even


Powerful and graceful.


Weight —  up to 8 kg.


The gentle and friendly Norwegian Forest Cat—Wegie, for short—is fond of family members but does not demand constant attention and petting. He is satisfied to be in the same room with people and will entertain himself if no one is home. Although he appreciates human company, he can be a bit reserved with visitors. Even with family, he’s not much of a lap cat, but a nice scritch between the ears or beneath the chin is always welcome, and he’ll usually reciprocate with a nice head butt or cheek rub. He communicates with classic Scandinavian restraint. His quiet voice is employed only when he needs something—dinner on time, perhaps—and rises only if he is ignored.

Not surprisingly, this large and athletic cat is a climber. You will often find him at the highest point he can reach in the home, and unlike some cats, he doesn’t have any qualms about descending trees or other heights headfirst. Thanks to his heritage as a wilderness and farm cat, not to mention his waterproof coat, the Wegie thinks nothing of fishing in a body of water for a nice meal. Aquarium and koi pond denizens, beware! While he loves the outdoors, he is content to live quietly in a home.

This is a smart, independent cat who learns quickly and has an alert nature. He likes to play and thrives with a busy family that loves him.

Содержание и уход

Brush or comb the Norwegian Forest Cat’s long coat once or twice a week, using a bristle brush, wire slicker brush or stainless steel comb. If you run across tangles, work them out gently so you don’t hurt the cat. A bath is rarely necessary, which is a good thing. With the Wegie’s practically waterproof coat, it can be very difficult to get him wet enough for a bath.

Brush the teeth to prevent periodontal disease. Daily dental hygiene is best, but weekly brushing is better than nothing. Wipe the corners of the eyes daily with a soft, damp cloth to remove any discharge. Use a separate area of the cloth for each eye so you don’t run the risk of spreading any infection. Check the ears weekly. If they look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball or soft damp cloth moistened with a 50-50 mixture of cider vinegar and warm water. Avoid using cotton swabs, which can damage the interior of the ear.

Keep the litter box spotlessly clean. Like all cats, Wegies are very particular about bathroom hygiene. A clean litter box will also help to keep their fur clean.

He is certainly built to survive a cold climate, but it’s a good idea to keep a Norwegian Forest Cat as an indoor-only cat to protect him from diseases spread by other cats, attacks by dogs or coyotes, and the other dangers that face cats who go outdoors, such as being hit by a car. Wegies who go outdoors also run the risk of being stolen by someone who would like to have such an unusual cat without paying for it. If possible, build your Wegie a large outdoor enclosure where he can enjoy the elements safely.

Lifespan — 12-16 years.


This is a smart, independent cat who learns quickly and has an alert nature. He likes to play and thrives with a busy family that loves him.

Сложность содержания

Brush or comb the Norwegian Forest Cat’s long coat once or twice a week.


Both pedigreed cats and mixed-breed cats have varying incidences of health problems that may be genetic in nature. Norwegian Forest Cats are generally healthy. The following diseases have been seen in the breed:

Glycogen Storage Disease IV, a rare heritable condition that affects metabolism of glucose.  Most kittens with the disease are stillborn or die within a few hours of birth, but occasionally a kitten will not show signs until about 5 months of age and usually die within a few months. A DNA test is available that can identify affected and carrier cats.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a form of heart disease that is inherited in some cat breeds such as the Maine Coon. Heritability has not been proven in the Norwegian Forest Cat.

Polycystic kidney disease, a genetic condition that progressively destroys the kidneys. No DNA test for the disease is available for Norwegian Forest Cats, but the disease can be detected through ultrasound as early ass 10 months of age.

Retinal dysplasia, an eye defect that causes spots on the retina but does not worsen the cat’s vision.

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