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Norwegian Forest Cat

Norwegian Forest Cat
Other names: skogkat

The Norwegian Forest cat is still quite rare in our latitudes, but has long been a favorite breed of Europeans. This is a friendly and independent pet that will easily find the "key" to each family member.

Brief information

  • Breed name: Norwegian Forest Cat
  • Country of Origin: Norway
  • Weight: 4-9 kg
  • Lifetime: 15-20 years old


  • Norwegian forest cats are quite large animals. Adult cats can weigh up to 10 kg.
  • They are in good health and do not require troublesome care.
  • Stable mentality and calm character allow stogkatt to adapt to life in a large family.
  • When playing, Norwegian forest cats almost never release their claws and do not show aggression in stressful situations, which is especially appreciated by parents of young children.
  • The main requirements for the content are sufficient physical activity (ideally, if it is free walks) and the presence of its own "fortress", where the pet can retire when he wants privacy.
  • In the behavior of Norwegian forest cats, moments of craving for independence and the need to communicate with a person alternate; excessive manifestations of love never cause delight.

Norwegian Forest cat attracts attention at any exhibition due to its aristocratic appearance and impressive size. Due to the thick wool of medium length, it seems even larger than it actually is, while it is very mobile and playful, but it is not prone to pranks destructive to the home. The Norwegian forest cat does not tolerate forced loneliness, but requires respect for its personal space.

Breed characteristics

Activity ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Affectionate ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Molt ?
High ( Rating 4/5)
Need for care ?
Low ( Rating 2/5)
Health ?
Good ( Rating 4/5)
Sociability ?
High ( Rating 4/5)
Playfulness ?
Playful ( Rating 4/5)
Friendliness ?
Friendly ( Rating 4/5)
Intelligence ?
Smart ( Rating 4/5)
*The characteristics of the Norwegian Forest Cat breed are based on expert assessment and reviews of cat owners.

History of the Norwegian Forest Cat breed

Norwegian Forest cat

As you can guess by name (in various dialects of the Norwegian language, "forest" sounds differently, so there are two options in use - Norsk skogkatt or Norsk skaukatt), these fluffy beauties come from the Scandinavian forests. Scientists do not have accurate data on how long they live next to a person today. The hypothesis is very popular that it has been counting since the XVI century, when Ankara got to Western Europe angora cats . The harsh climate of the peninsula and the need to climb trees a lot led to the emergence of undercoat, strengthening of claws and the formation of an athletic physique.

However, it is impossible to completely dismiss the possibility that under the influence of external factors in the new environment of Felis silvestris grampia, regardless of the Mediterranean relatives, an Angora mutation responsible for the length of the coat occurred and became fixed. And those wild Scottish cats were brought to the territory of modern Norway by the Vikings, who colonized the Shetland, Orkney and Hebrides Islands back in the IX-X centuries. This version is supported by the traditional image of the leader of the valkyries, the goddess of fertility, love and war Freya – ancient sagas depict her in a chariot drawn by two cats, whose lush tails clearly remind us of our heroes today.

In the XIX – first half of the XX century, many Norwegian and Swedish families kept these cats as pets. In the 1930s, after their triumphant appearance at an international exhibition in Germany, serious work began on the phenotype of the breed, the purpose of which was to preserve the best natural qualities and eliminate undesirable traits. But with the beginning of the Second World War, this had to be forgotten, and in the second half of the 40s, the very existence of the Norwegians was threatened due to spontaneous crossing with other cats. The situation was brought under control only by enthusiasts. A special committee was created, which gave permission for breeding only to those owners whose animals met the standard. The efforts of the Norwegian Association of Purebred Cat Lovers were rewarded: King Olaf V recognized the Skogkatts as the official breed of the country, and in 1977 Panz Truls received the coveted registration with the International Cat Federation (FIFe). By the way, he is paired with Pippa Skogpuss is considered the ancestor of the modern breed. Born from their union, Panz Silver became the father of 12 litters at once and today is mentioned in almost every pedigree of a pure-blooded Norwegian.

World recognition gave the right to breeders to draw up international pedigrees. At the same time, the export of Norwegian forest cats abroad began. Now most of these pets live in Sweden, but other European countries are not far behind. In the USA , local maine coons (which, by the way, some tend to consider descendants of the Norwegians) make guests from overseas too serious competition to talk about real popularity. In Russia, among the large breeds, they are still numerically winning siberians , although specialized nurseries have already been opened in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Vladivostok and some other cities.

Video: Norwegian Forest Cat

Appearance of the Norwegian forest cat

Norwegian Forest kitten

The size of the Norwegian forest cat ranges from medium to large. Like other large breeds, they reach final maturity quite late – in 4-5 years. The animals seem to be more massive due to the thick coat. Exact indicators of height and weight are not indicated by WCF breed standards, but experienced breeders say that the norm for an adult is a height of 30-40 cm, the weight depends significantly on gender: cats weigh 5.5 kg on average (although elegant 4-kilogram ladies are often found), and cats reach 6-9 kg.


In the form of an equilateral triangle, the outlines are smooth, the profile is straight, without a "stop", the forehead is high and almost flat. Cheekbones are not pronounced, geometrically straight and long. The nose is of medium length, almost always pink. The jaws are powerful. The chin has a square or rounded shape.


The eyes of the Norwegian forest cat are large and expressive. They have an oval or almond-shaped shape. Set a little askew. The preferred color is green, golden and their shades, although other options are not considered a disadvantage. Heterochromia is allowed in white cats (eyes of different colors).


Medium-sized, with a wide base and slightly rounded tips, on which "tassels" are desirable. Set high and wide on the head, the outer edge continues the line of the head. Inside they are pubescent with long hair.


Medium length, flexible, well-developed musculature.

The muzzle of the Norwegian forest cat


Red Norwegian forest cat

The body of the Norwegian forest cat is large, powerful, relatively long. The backbone is strong, heavy, the musculature is dense and well developed. The chest is rounded and wide. The back of the body is above the shoulder line.


Front medium length, powerful. The hind legs are significantly longer, athletic, the thighs are strong and muscular.


Round or oval, wide. The fingers are well developed, thick tufts of wool are located between them.


Flexible and long – in a bent position it reaches the line of the shoulders or neck. Set high. Wide at the base, somewhat tapering to the tip, necessarily fluffy.


Semi-long, thick, with a fluffy and moderately wavy undercoat. The cover hair is smooth, has a water-repellent effect due to oiliness. Because of this feature, the coat of the Norwegian forest cat may look a little untidy. The length depends on the location: the shortest hairs on the shoulders and back gradually lengthen, turning into a spectacular "collar", "bib" and "pants". The degree of severity of such decorating fragments may be different and the rules are not strictly regulated.


Norwegian forest cat of tortoiseshell color

Can be solid, bicolor, shaded, smoky, tabby. In general, 64 variants of the color of Norwegian forest cats are recognized, but the list depends on the specific organization. Thus, the International Federation does not allow light brown, yellowish-brown and shades that are characteristic of burmese cats , but considers white to be the norm in any variations. And the French Central Society of Cat Lovers (SCFF) puts chocolate, purple stogcuts and color points "outside the law".


The dimensions are too small. Not strong enough backbone. Poorly developed muscles. Square body. The head is square or round in shape. Profile with a "stop", that is, the transition from the forehead to the rest of the muzzle with a pronounced depression. Small or round eyes. Small ears. Short legs. Short tail.

Disqualifying disadvantages

Wool with a silky texture, dry or falling off. Amputated claws, deafness, location of testicles outside the scrotum.

Photos of Norwegian forest cats

Character of Norwegian forest cats

Norwegian forest cat with a man

Speaking about the inner world of the Stogkatts, first of all, it is worth noting that by their temperament they are typical children of Scandinavia. Balanced, outwardly emotions are rarely shown, they prefer not to get involved in conflicts, they treat others kindly, but they do not tolerate violations of the boundaries of personal space – in a word, the character is Nordic.

Since Norwegian forest cats have been left exclusively to the care of nature for a long time, they have quite a strong craving for a "wild" life. Of course, Norwegians can be kept in a city apartment, but they will feel most comfortable in a private house, where they have the opportunity to go out for walks every day and hone their hunting skills. In this case, do not be alarmed if your pet disappears from view for several hours or even a whole day – periods of independence and "vagrancy" are completely normal for representatives of this breed. But at other times, you may well get a severe reprimand for a long absence, because Norwegian forest cats don't like to be alone when the soul demands society. A particularly acute reaction is caused by the absence of the "main person" – that family member whom everyone's favorite singles out with his deep affection and with whom he spends his evening rest more willingly than with others.

In general, Norwegian forest cats are very friendly and are perfect for living in a large family where there are small children and other animals. In response to the intrusive attention from kids or dogs, you will not see aggression, the Norwegians prefer to retreat and wait out an unpleasant situation in a secluded place.

Norwegian forest kitten with dog

If you dream of teaching your cat funny tricks and elementary commands, choose anyone, but not Norwegian cats. Knowing perfectly well what they want to achieve with words and treats, these wayward northerners simply ignore the trainer. They make their own decisions and refuse to obey the whims of others.

High intelligence goes hand in hand with curiosity and excellent memory. Skogcutts like to follow the movements and habits of the household, they know exactly what order of things is typical in their home, and immediately attract the attention of the owner to any deviations from the norm, whether it's water dripping from somewhere or a bag of groceries left in the middle of the room for a long time. The voice of Norwegian forest cats is not loud in comparison with other relatives, and they do not use the "sound alert" too often, so they will not bother their neighbors with their concerts in vain.

Breeders note the playful disposition of this breed, and it does not have a strict binding to age. Even elderly cats (if their health condition allows them) hunt toy mice, balls and a trace of a laser pointer with great pleasure and enthusiasm of a small kitten.

Care and maintenance


As already mentioned, the ideal home for a Norwegian forest cat will be a private household with its own yard. This way you can guarantee sufficient physical activity, in addition, it is the fresh air that contributes to a healthy shine of the coat. If you have only an apartment at your disposal, it is strongly recommended to take your pet out for a walk at least once a month, not forgetting to put on a suitable size harness to stop attempts to go on an independent journey or climb to the very top of a spreading maple tree. By the way, the ability to climb vertical surfaces is very important for Norwegians, as it is part of their natural behavior. As a result of the constant training of many generations of ancestors, the claws on all four paws have become so powerful that this cat (the only one among the domesticated, by the way!) it is able to descend a steep trunk upside down without any problems. For apartment maintenance, it is definitely worth buying a special cat tree with a large platform on top, from where she can observe what is happening in the room.

Experts do not put forward specific requirements for the daily diet of the Norwegian forest cat. The only point that deserves special attention is the volume of the portion. Since Norwegians are larger than many other breeds, they need a little more food. When calculating, it is necessary to take into account the current weight of the pet. For the rest, the tips are standard: premium professional feeds or balanced natural nutrition, which includes animal proteins, cereals and vegetables. It is important not to overfeed an animal at any age, because obesity provokes many serious diseases. It is necessary to ensure constant access to fresh water, especially if you have made a choice in favor of dry food.

Full to the brim

Looking at the gorgeous fur coat of the Norwegian forest cat, many people are sure that with the appearance of such a pet, they will have to devote all their free time to grooming. In fact, the situation is completely different. Nature has made sure that thick and long fur does not cause serious trouble to the animal, because in the northern forests you can hardly count on regular visits to grooming salons. The special structure of the undercoat and the guard hairs prevents dumping, so there are no problems with the formation of tangles (as, for example, in Angora and Persian cats). Of course, in spring and autumn, during the period of active molting, it is recommended to carefully comb the animal every two days, or even daily. This way you will avoid the formation of an additional "carpet" from the fallen wool on all surfaces in the house. The rest of the time it is quite enough to take up a special comb once a week.


The water-repellent fat layer on the coat plays an important role in maintaining the health of Norwegians, so they should be bathed only in extreme cases:

  • if flea treatment is necessary;
  • if the cat got really dirty while walking;
  • before participating in the exhibition.

It is worth considering that the process of washing due to the specifics of wool requires time and patience. The liquid simply drains off the guard hairs, leaving the undercoat dry, so experienced breeders advise first to rub dry a special shampoo for oily hair, and only then turn on the water. It is likely that more than one soaping will be needed, but the air conditioner will definitely be superfluous. If the temperature in the room does not threaten the Norwegian forest cat with hypothermia, it is better to simply wipe it with a towel and wait until the fur coat dries itself.

Animals that do not have free access to the outside world should have their claws trimmed every two to three weeks. With the same frequency, the care of the auricles is carried out with the help of cotton swabs and special tools.

Norwegians also love boxes ...
And packages

Health and diseases of the Norwegian forest cat

Natural selection, which determined the development of the breed for several centuries, led to the formation of a strong and healthy population. Of course, the recent human intervention – breeding work, a limited number of genetic lines – had negative consequences, but in general, Norwegian forest cats remain strong and hardy. They are at risk of only a few serious diseases:

  • restrictive cardiomyopathy – a decrease in the extensibility of the heart muscle and the subsequent development of chronic heart failure;
  • diabetes is a violation of the function of the endocrine system due to insulin deficiency;
  • hip arthrosis is a chronic joint disease;
  • retinal dysplasia – incorrect formation of retinal layers during intrauterine development;
  • chronic renal failure – decreased kidney function;
  • glycogenosis type IV is a genetic disease that provokes a violation of liver metabolism and cirrhosis, such kittens are born dead or die shortly after birth, in rare cases they live up to 4-5 months;
  • purivatkinase deficiency is another genetic ailment that causes a reduction in the number of red blood cells and anemia.

The last two are becoming rarer today, since genetic analysis allows us to identify carriers of recessive genes and exclude the receipt of litter from two carriers.

At the age of 6-8 weeks, the first administration of a polyvalent vaccine is carried out (most often this is the breeder's concern, not yours), repeated vaccination is carried out at 6-8 months. Then it is enough to do the vaccinations recommended by the veterinarian annually.

With due attention to the health of the cat from the owners, proper nutrition, sufficient physical activity and the absence of congenital diseases, Norwegian forest cats live 15-16 years, keeping active and tenacious mind.

Norwegian forest cat in its element

How to choose a kitten

Like any other purebred cat, the Norwegian forest cat should be purchased only in kennels with a good reputation or from trusted breeders. An attempt to save money and buy a pet at the "bird market" or through private ads most often ends up with the fact that you get an ordinary fluffy "nobleman" or, even worse, a baby with a lot of genetic abnormalities. If you plan to participate in exhibitions, you should carefully check the pedigree of the parents and the kitten's compliance with the approved breed standard, because minor shortcomings from the point of view of an amateur can lead to low expert ratings and even disqualification. The quality of wool at a young age is extremely difficult to assess, so here they focus on the external data of parents.

General requirements for a kitten of any class are simple:

  • mobility, playfulness and curiosity, which speak of normal development and health;
  • good appetite;
  • clean eyes and ears without extraneous secretions;
  • pink gums;
  • absence of skin parasites;
  • slightly rapid, but at the same time even breathing after physical exertion (the opposite indicates problems with the cardiovascular system).

Important indicators are also the conditions of keeping mothers and kittens – sufficient space for active games, cleanliness, availability of toys, regime and quality of nutrition. Be sure to make sure that the first necessary vaccination is carried out.

Photos of Norwegian forest kittens

How much does a Norwegian forest cat cost

The price of a Norwegian forest cat kitten varies very widely. We are not talking about the difference between a baby with a pedigree and one bought "by hand" – this issue is clarified above. The fact is that all purebred animals are divided into conditional classes.

The most affordable option is the so–called "home" norveg, that is, a kitten whose exterior has more or less serious deviations from the breed standard. If you are looking for a friendly pet for the whole family, the length of its tail, the smoothness of the profile or the setting of the ears are not crucial, are they? But the purchase will not be a blow to the family budget: depending on the prestige of the nursery and the name of the ancestors, the price of such a fluffy starts from $100.

For the future participant of exhibitions, breeders ask for $300-$400 and above, here the figure additionally depends even on the color and color of the eyes. Only kittens born from a mother who is registered in the cat lovers club have permission to participate in competitions and breeding. In the same place, one-and-a-half-month-old babies undergo an act and receive an official metric. Without the latter, you are later (at the age of 6-7 months) you will not be able to issue an international pedigree. The cost of Norwegian forest kittens from elite parents in the best nurseries can reach $1000.

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