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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Top photograph: GlobalP | Thinkstock.