Active: The Norwegian Forest Cat is an active cat that enjoys physical activity as well as games that challenge the mind. While they will rest and cuddle, they primarily enjoy being active, playful and showing off their physical abilities.
Size: The Norwegian Forest Cat is large in size ranging in size from 8 to 16 pounds.
Characteristics: The Norwegian Forest Cat has a large, strong, incredibly muscular body with significant boning. Their well-muscled, medium length body and broad chest makes them an incredibly athletic cat. They have inverted triangle shaped heads with a flat forehead and large, almond shaped eyes that are sweet and endearing. They also have a cute, long and bushy tail that waves back and forth like they are waving hello.
Temperament: Norwegian Forest Cats are very active cats that love to play and show off their natural athletic ability. Because of their immense strength they love to climb to great heights and play games. They make wonderful family pets because they are very friendly and love children. While they do tend to be active and want to play, they are incredibly sweet and affectionate as well. They are incredibly intelligent and independent and, while not necessarily lap cats, make a great addition to any family.
Care: The Wegie's long coat does not require as much maintenance as other longhaired cats but it still does require some maintenance to keep it looking beautiful. Your cat will look its best if you comb or brush its coat 1 to 3 times per week. When left unattended to, his cat will mat and tangle so it is important to regularly comb and brush and to also be sure to regularly brush their tail as well. More brushing will be required in the Spring, when they are molting. Additionally, trim their nails and clean their ears as needed. Lastly, brush their teeth often to help prevent periodontal disease and keep their breath smelling fresh!
Coat: Norwegian Forest Cats have thick double coats that come in a variety of colors and patterns. They have a thick undercoat that helps protect them from the cold and harsh environment of varied climates. Atop their undercoat is a long, water-resistant, flowing and silky-soft coat of hair that is luxurious to the touch. Their coat goes through a period of molting when they shed their winter coat and prepare for warmer temperatures.
Origin: The Norwegian Forest Cat comes from Norway and has a very long history. They are native to the land and do not appear to be a hybrid of any kind. Their history goes back hundreds and possibly thousands of years and were said to be companions of the Vikings and developed their thick, double coat as a result of the harsh Norwegian climate. Their modern day history starts in 1934 when admirers of the beautiful cat began a Norwegian Forest Cat club and the first Norwegian Forest Cat was shown in a cat show in 1938 in Oslo, Norway.
As was the story with many cat breeds of the time, World War II greatly impacted breeding and showing of cats. The Norwegian Forest Cat breed suffered greatly as a result of the war and almost because extinct. In the 1970s the breed began to resurface when Norwegians put together a special breeding program and the breed even received special recognition by King Olaf as the Official Cat of Norway. With a newfound popularity and respect, the Norwegian Forest Cat breed earned the affectionate nickname Wegie, a term of endearment from fanciers.
In 1979, breeding of the Norwegian Forest Cat began in the United States and in 1980 the Norwegian Forest Cat Fanciers Association was founded. The group of fanciers immediately began working to promote the breed in the United States and help expand the breed as well. Norwegian Forest Cats are an easy to love and admire breed and the associations agreed. TICA accepted the breed for championship status in 1984 and the CFA accepted the breed as well in 1993 and are now accepted by all major associations.