Norwegian Forest Cat
Nowegian Forest Cats are friendly and playful, as well as patient. Although they enjoy being with their family, they are also fine when left alone for short periods of time.
Norwegian Forest Cat Pictures
- 7 - 20 pounds
Ideal Human Companions
- Families with children
- Households with other pets
- First-time cat owners
Norwegian Forest Cats on Catster
1,720 cats | see profile pages
- Thick, fluffy coat
- Bright green eyes
What They Are Like to Live With
Norwegian Forest Cats are known for being tolerant toward children and other pets. They are very intelligent, and enjoy climbing. They are not easily stressed, and adapt better to change than many other breeds of cat.
Even though these cats have a thick, fluffy coat, they do not need frequent grooming like other longhaired breeds. A once a week brushing is enough most times of the year. More frequent brushing in the spring keeps lose hair from ending up all over the house.
Things You Should Know
Norwegian Forest Cats love to be up high, and appreciate a cat tree or somewhere they can roost.
Norwegian Forest Cats are good with children and other pets.
They shed heavily in the spring, and should be groomed more frequently at this time of the year.
Norwegian Forest Cat History
As their name implies, the Norwegian Forest Cat originated in Norway. Known as Skogkatter in their native language, Norwegian Forest Cats accompanied the Vikings in their travels throughout Europe. The breed developed on its own in the cold climate of Northern Europe, which led to its profuse, double coat.
In the late 1930s, some of these cats were shown in Germany at a cat show, and the breed caught on. During World War II, the breed was almost forgotten. In the 1970s, it experienced a resurgence.
The Norwegian Forest Cat was first recognized by The International Cat Association in 1984. Since then, it has been accepted for registration by the Cat Fanciers Association, and the American Cat Fanciers Association.
The Look of a Norwegian Forest Cat
Because they developed in a cold climate, Norwegian Forest Cats have thick, double coats that can keep them warm in just about any weather. The coat is fluffy, especially around the neck. They shed out much of the dense, wooly undercoat in the spring, leaving the coat looking considerably lighter than in the wintertime.
Norwegian Forest Cats have long tails that are covered profusely in fur. The head is triangular in shape, and the facial expression is sweet. Their paws are large and round, and have heavy tufting between the toes.
Norwegian Forest Cats come in a many different colors and patterns, including tabby, patched tabby, solid and tortoiseshell. Their eyes can be green, gold or copper. These cats are on the large size. Males can weigh from 10 to 16 pounds, females from 8 to 12 pounds.
Talk About Norwegian Forest Cats
A cat that loves the outdoors
We have a Norwegian Forest family member he is a wonderful cat. Chester is very intelligent, a quick learner, easygoing and very playful. He is now 12 years old and still a very active cat. Wegies are very loyal to their people and very good with children. They are very active and love to play and explore - we were able to leash train Chester and he loves to go out and explore the yard.
Living with a Wegie is very interesting as they love to play, and love to watch humans particularly from a high spot. Chester has a tower that he loves to climb and watch the world pass by. They are big cats and it is good to exercise them. They have a wonderful deep rumbly purr and are not lap cats. But they will lay next to you and keep you company.
They are also very easy to train and understand many words. They love to learn new things. They also are great travelers and handle changes very easily. Chester is a wonderful character and just a great kitty.
~Laurie, owner of a Norwegian Forest Cat
A large but lovely lap cat
My top cat for today is my Norwegian Forest Cat Blend. He weighs in around 18 pounds and is not overweight. We named him Boxer because 11 years ago when we walked by his cage at Kern County Animal Control, he stretched that long arm out between the bars and grabbed my shirt with his big paw. He is first to embrace younger cats into his home and spends a good deal of time teaching 'newbies' grooming techniques. He is first on your lap when you sit (anywhere) and puts his all energy into attacking feather snakes. These cats are good eaters and not above removing a piece of steak, chicken, or fish right off your plate it you leave it unattended. Life with Boxer is easy. I recommend this breed and especially if you have a dog or any other animal that is cat shy.
~Connie B., owner of a Norwegian Forest Cat
A real big boy
We got our Norwegian mix breed from a local animal shelter. He has all the traits of a True Norwegian: he is jet-black with green eyes and his hair is not real long. He is a big boy weighing 22 pounds.
This was funny when we went to take him home, he was stuffed into the carrier they gave us and we had to let him out on the ride home. He was so good about the drive. When I got home, the litter pan was way too smal,l so I had to use a large storage container and cut a hole to go in/out.
Notorious B.I.G., as we call him, is smart and looks at you like he understands what you are saying. He loves to headbutt you in the morning, and when he wants some attention he gets up close and headbutts. He is a big boy, but manages to jump high on top of my six-foot cabinets.
He is very easy-going and tolerant, since I have introduced him to three other cats and a 7-week-old Chihuahua in the last 6 months.
~Leslie C, owner of a Norwegian Forest Cat
A wonderful, loving cat
He is such a wonderful addition to our family. When my daughter put the word out to her friends that we were looking for a new kitten, I expected a regular, tabby-type cat to come to us. Wow, was I surprised!
He has the biggest paws and the sweetest little face. He's friendly, curious, and patient with our little dog (who took a few days to get used to him).
I leash-trained him as a kitten and now he can enjoy a walk around the backyard every day. He even loves the snow. I highly recommend getting this type of cat!
~Leah D, owner of a Norwegian Forest Cat
Lovable and interactive Felix
My Weegie kitty is the most lovable and interactive cat I've ever owned. He's only 2 years old and already very big. He shows love and greets me when I come home from work. He jumps up on the counter by the door and gives me a little head tap and purrs loudly.
He lightly taps my cheek when I'm lying down and he's hungry. He lets my daughter carry him everywhere with out complaint. I can dress him and bathe him and everything and he is so tolerant. He sleeps with my son because he likes to cuddle. He is very loyal to my family. He talks to us and we respond as if we totally understand each other's language.
I would recommend this breed of cat to anyone, cat lover or not. If you aren't a cat lover, this cat will turn you into one.
~Jennifer F., owner of a Norwegian Forest Cat
Just found out I've got a Wegie!
I've had Leo about two years now, but didn't know what kind of a cat he was. He was a stray my sister convinced me I should have. It didn't take much convincing.
He's very affectionate and smart and quite beautiful -- silver/white with gold eyes. There is a bit of a hair issue with him, but when I'm motivated and diligent about combing, which he loves, it's not too bad.
I don't have children but I bring him over to my mother's occasionally and he really loves to play with her cat (who's not exactly always happy to see him). I'd certainly highly recommend his breed to anyone living alone in need of unconditional companionship.
~Janis L., owner of a Norwegian Forest Cat
Our "Golden Boy"
I received my Norwegian Forest Cat from my husband as a family gift three years ago. He is quite handsome and very loving with his family. He is as big as our Pomeranian and they coexist just fine. Hooks is not a lap cap but sits on the couch beside us for hours. He is very intelligent.
He is quite communicative when he needs something but once his need is met, he's just his purring loving self. He notifies us when he needs fresh water and prefers it if you allow him to drink right from a slow dripping faucet. He also meows when he needs more cat food. As soon as his little bowl is filled, he immediately begins to purr loudly and will rub against our leg as if to say "Thank you!" He is not fond of strangers though. We live in the country and we rarely get visitors. When he sees someone drive into our driveway, he begins to growl.
He loves my children and is quite tolerant and gentle with them. He and my eight year old have this game that they play. She pretends she is boxing with him and he boxes right back. He, of course, is gentle...just keeps up with her and matches her punch for punch. Neither of them ever make physical contact during their matches with each other. They just punch at the air surrounding the other one's hand. My daughter laughs and laughs and he seems to enjoy their boxing game because he seeks her out when she has been too busy with homework.
He loves the outdoors but does not like to go outdoors during the day. He goes out for about an hour or two right after dusk. He comes back smelling like he rolled around on the Oat Hay in our barn. He loves to climb and can frequently be seen climbing our Cotton Wood trees that extend over the roof of our house and he climbs over the house back to the other side and climbs down the tree on the other side. I highly recommend this breed. They are independent of their owners. He enjoys his quite time but also enjoys his family, including the dogs and Barbado sheep. He is quite the clever fellow who is usually ready to sneak in some nose rubs especially with me.
~Bernice H., owner of a Norwegian Forest Cat
An interesting breed
Hobbs is the most interesting cat we have owned. He is a beautiful 18 pound male Norwegian Forest Cat. Loves to lounge on my lap, loves people, likes to play and be outdoors. Is "top cat" to our Russian Blue but tolerates him most of the time.
Would recommend this cat to anyone - needs grooming in the spring and summer and has the perfect balance of independence and needed attention and affection!
~Brent S., owner of a Norwegian Forest Cat
Our dog-like cat
My Norwegian Forest Cat was rescued by our neighbors when they vacationed in Canada. They brought him home on the verge of death - he had worms, a protruding belly from malnutrition, and a horrible eye-infection that made his eyelids swell up and close. He was blind for a while, but after a few medicinal eye-drops, he was good as new. When he was about 4-weeks old we adopted him from our neighbors who couldn't keep him.
Unfortunately we had to declaw his front paws, because he was so active and rough when he was a kitten, he ruptured another cat's eye which ultimately had to be removed. He ignored scratching posts and the like, and nail trimming along with nail-caps proved to be ineffective.
He is very calm but still likes to play and sit on high pieces of furniture. He grew up around our dog, which is why he shows a lot of dog-like qualities. He plays fetch and walks outside on a leash, and always wears a dog harness. He rings bells hanging from our doorknob to go outside, and licks people to show his affection. He greets any stranger and loves to dominate laps. He's 13 pounds but has the voice of a little kitten, and is very talkative.
He's the most interesting behaved cat anyone has ever seen, and very easy to take care of.
~Natalie B, owner of Norwegian Forest Cat
My beautiful boy
Sir Christopher Columbus Kitty came to me on Christmas Eve 2009 from a freecycler in Pittsburgh who could not keep him. His family had found him abandoned at a Christmas tree lot in but had no luck finding his owners. He was an adult, a bit thin, with a wound on his right front paw.
My father and I had a lovely holiday getting to know Christopher and he soon became a part of our family. We sadly lost Dad this past January, but Christopher and I are doing well, albeit sad for our loss.
His lovely fur, good looks, and caring personality I like best. A large cat with soft fur, beautiful gold eyes to match his sandy-golden fur spots, he keeps me company but at a distance. He's nearby but isn't a lap cat. He gets along easily with people new to him and doesn't run away.
I would say Weegies are good first cats (though he's my fourth, preceded by a great collection of tabbies, the first of which was the greatest lap cat of all time) and good for multiple-people and single-person homes.
~Peggy L, owner of a Norwegian Forest Cat
Purrs like an engine
My Smokie came to me after my brother wasn't able to take care of her for the second time. She had been kept in a windowless shed for a year and hadn't been taken care of. When I got her in mid-August she was covered in large mats. I had to cut out each one. She is also missing an ear due to frostbite after the first time my brother couldn't take care of her and left her outside in the Minnesota winter.
Despite all of this, she is a very loving and well-mannered cat. I am a college student, so I live in an apartment -- which Smokie doesn't mind at all. Every time I come home she is waiting for me by the door. She likes to lie on me with her front paws over my shoulder and purr like an engine whilst I pet her. Most of the time she's within arm's length of me as I wander around the apartment. She likes to follow me around and make sure I don't get in trouble.
~Jodie W, owner of a Norwegian Forest Cat
Our Weegie, Gizmo, is just over a year old and follows my wife everywhere. He is very playful and loving. We get so much enjoyment out of watching him at breakfast time. He jumps up and lies in my wife's lap and will cuddle up to her like a baby. She pets and grooms him every day, and when he got fleas from our tuxedo, they got down into the mat of short, dense hair and we finally had to bathe him in flea soap.
He is now back to his usual self except for this terrible heat and humidity. We don't have A/C, so he lies in front of an open window plus we have a fan pointed in his direction.
We like to watch him run. He looks like a rabbit and his front paws are slewfooted, which gives him an unusual walk with those feet pointing out at 45 degrees.
~John S. , owner of a Norwegian Forest Cat
Beauty, wisdom, and loyalty in one cat
I received my Forest Cat at a 7-Eleven gas station from a stranger who handed me the most beautiful kitten I had ever seen. He informed me she was a Forest Cat. I had no idea this was a breed until a year later. I got Lizzy when she was 7 weeks old but weighed only 4 ounces. She was independent from day one, demonstrating to me that she already had litterbox training mastered. Even then her tail was high in the air.
Lizzy is now 7 years old and 20 pounds. She has always been an indoor cat. She is smarter than any animal I have seen. If I tell her to go get her cow, she will go to her toybox and bring me her cow! We developed a language between us so in the middle of the night she feels secure. She cries horribly when I leave her and cuddles a stuffed yellow yarn ducky.
She is always by my side. If someone knocks on the door, she growls like a dog to alert me it's a stranger. Then no matter who it is, she has "hissy fits" for about five minutes!
This breed likes to stick to a kindly owner who is ready to play and run fast! These cats are so fast at running, it's no wonder they are such great hunters. Lizzy is so beautiful. Her fur is mostly 4 to 6 inches long, with up to *8 inches of fur on her back legs. The only thing I had trouble with is her bottom. I have to trim her fur from that entire area so that she keeps clean. :)
~Rochelle T, owner of a Norwegian Forest Cat
The most laid-back and friendly cat
I rescued our Dana in 1999 from an apartment complex after his owner left him behind. He's also polydactyl, with six toes. He's roughly 15 years old and is still very active.
He's super friendly, smart, and loving. Dana is fantastic with children, even toddlers. He gets along very well with our three rescued dogs, one of which is a Rottweiler named Sally. He will cuddle with them and nap just as if he's one of them. He joins in the fun when we have playtime; he likes to sit up high and smack them as they run past.
My husband is allergic to cats, but he isn't allergic to Dana. I wonder if it's a breed thing. I'm just glad because I acquired my husband four years after I rescued Dana; I would have hated giving Dana up!
Dana loves to be brushed, and will follow me all around the house when I pull the brush out. His sisal board loaded with catnip is another favorite, and he knows where his Pounce treats are kept. He has a Garfield food bowl and he's so smart that he knows when he sees Garfield's face, it's time to put in more food.
Once when my husband and I were out of town, my son came to stay and take care of the pets. I warned him by saying, "If Dana sits there and looks at you, check the bowl for Garfield's face. If you see it, fill the bowl or Dana will sneer at you." Well Brady walked by and didn't fill the bowl. When he came back toward Dana, the cat was sneering. Brady filled the bowl.
We chose Dana's name because after saying several names, he answered to it. So it stuck and he comes running when you call him. He gives kitty love to China (our first rescue dog) when "asked." He gets upset when China is gone for an overnight vet stay. They are very close.
I don't know how much longer we will have Dana, as he is beginning to experience some thyroid and kidney issues. But I know that we will miss him greatly when it's time for him to "graduate" to where ever it is that God sends our beloved pets until the New Heaven and the New Earth is established.
Until then, we will enjoy him, and if I'm ever given the opportunity to have another Nowergian Forest, I will definitely get one. They truly are a wonderful breed and the most laid-back and friendly cat I've ever had the pleasure of loving.
~Jaye R., owner of a Norwegian Forest Cat