Norwegian Forest Cat

Norwegian Forest Cat

The Norwegian Forest Cat is an ancient breed. Nordic mythology makes reference to the animal frequently, a theme that was picked up by writers of fables in the mid-1800s. They gave the cat enchanted qualities and often assigned it a dominant role in their plots. Recognized as a distinct breed in 1930, the cat was shown in Oslo, Norway, well before World War II.

While its features are marked similar to the Maine Coon Cat of the northeastern United States, the two are separate breeds. The likeness is probably more a function of the rugged lifestyles of the ancestors of the two breeds rather than a common bloodline.

Comfortable around humans, the Norwegian Forest Cat must have space to roam and explore. It is happiest when involved in some activity, especially mousing, at which it is quite proficient.

The fur of the cat is thick and full, with a woolly undercoat for warmth and longer hairs for protection against inclement weather. The cat has a thick ruff. All color variations are permitted.

As would be expected of a hardy cat from the North that is accustomed to outdoor life hunting its own food, the Norwegian Forest Cat’s body is heavy and well-muscled. Its legs are thick and strong. The paws are equipped with such able claws that the cat can climb rock walls. The tails are of medium length but thickly furred. The head is rounded with extremely large, round eyes; it has noticeably heavy whiskers, a short nose, and pointed, heavily tufted ears that are held erect.

Combing of the coat should be done only occasionally. The cat will shed once each year, retaining long-haired qualities only on its tail.

Meat and fish should be provided alternately as staples of the diet, but a Norwegian Forest Cat, given the roaming time that it needs, will often supply much of its own food.


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