The Norwegian Forest Cat, A Little-known Animal
Despite its remarkable beauty, the Norwegian Forest Cat remains a little-known feline breed outside the Scandinavian region.
In addition to its somewhat wild appearance and its docile temperament, this cat reveals a very interesting story that can make him even more attractive.
Origin and history of the Norwegian Forest Cat
The Norwegian Forest Cat is a common figure in traditional Scandinavian mythology, and is present in many typical legends of the region.
One of the best known mystical stories claims that these cats were the only ones able to pull the chariot of the goddess Freya, a job that not even the god Thor could do.
Myths aside, there is evidence that the Norwegian Forest Cat would be one of the oldest feline breeds in the world.
One of the first reports of its existence was recorded in 1599 by Peter Friis. The Danish friar produced a detailed description of the three types of lynx present in the forests of Norway.
Because it is such an ancient race, little is known about its origins. However, it is more likely that their ancestors were Nordic wild cats that used to accompany the Vikings on their sea voyages, with the main function of controlling and preventing the proliferation of rodents on boats.
Despite being so old, the breed gained its first recognition only in the 1930s. Its official standard was published by the International Federation of Felines only in the 1970s.
Despite its apparent anonymity, the Norwegian Forest Cat remains a little-known breed outside Europe. Some theories suggest that it could have influenced the creation of the maine coon, one of the most popular cats in the world.
Norwegian Forest Cat Characteristics
The Norwegian Forest Cat is a robust, large cat that can weigh up to nine kilos in adulthood.
Its body is distinguished by a privileged musculature combined with long bones and strong claws. This allows for great flexibility and precision in your movements, as well as a remarkable ability to scale.
Its most outstanding physical characteristics are its triangular head, high hindquarters and a large tail. The also triangular ears give it a very lynx-like appearance.
The coat of the Norwegian Forest Cat is large and abundant and consists of a double layer of fur. The inner layer is woolly, dense and is very close to the body, which protects the feline from cold and weather conditions.
The outer layer is smoother, larger and silkier, and may show solid colors or patterns.
Colors recognized by the official coat pattern include blue, black, red, silver, gold, cream, light blue and brown. Striped, bicolored and tricolored examples are also considered.
personality and temperament
Despite its rather wild appearance, the Norwegian Forest Cat demonstrates an attentive, sociable and intelligent temperament.
In his core family, he is usually playful, patient, and caring. Furthermore, it is a guardian in relation to its owners and their home. It’s also an active feline that loves to run free, climb, and hike outdoors.
Thanks to their natural protective instinct, these cats can behave in a territorial way. They may be suspicious of the presence of strangers. Therefore, they must be socialized from puppies to learn to relate to other individuals and stimuli around them.
Norwegian Forest Cat Care
Norwegian forest cats undergo only one coat change per year. This facilitates the maintenance and hygiene of the environment. In any case, it is advisable to brush it at least twice a week to prevent the accumulation of dirt and dead hair, as well as the formation of knots in its fur.
Oral hygiene is also important to prevent tartar and other dental problems such as gingivitis. It is best to brush your cat’s teeth two to three times a week to prevent the build-up of food residue between its teeth and gums.
As we mentioned, socialization will be a key aspect in raising the Norwegian Forest Cat. That’s because it will avoid behavioral problems and accidents associated with your territorial instincts.
health and life expectancy
The Norwegian forest cat is usually a strong and resilient animal. He will hardly get sick if he receives proper care. However, you can suffer from some hereditary diseases or common cat problems, such as:
- Hairballs in the gastrointestinal system
- hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Hip dysplasia
- urinary infections
- Type IV glycogenosis
- Retinal changes
The incredible life expectancy of the Norwegian forest cat is estimated to be between 14 and 18 years. It can be prolonged if the cat receives adequate preventive medication throughout its life.