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Norwegian Forest Cat… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

If you’re a person that loves to own a BIG cat, especially long-haired cats, there’s a really good chance that you’re going to love owning a Norwegian Forest Cat breed!


Since they’re aren’t the only large long-haired cat breed one can own, we wanted to take a moment and discuss what it might be like own a Norwegian Forest Cat so that if you ever get a chance to get your hands on one, you won’t be disappointed with your decision to adopt one six months from now.


It’s important to remember that while it is true that each individual cat is going to have his or her own “unique” personality, there are some assumptions that we can make about a “certain” cat breed that will give us a general idea about “how” your new kitten will behave.

After all…

There’s a reason why some folks absolutely love Maine Coon cats, while others love Persians and while even other won’t consider ever owning anything other than a Norwegian Forest!


There’s even a Norwegian Forest Cat Club out there!


Is a Norwegian Forest Cat going to a good “fit” for you?  Who knows?  Let’s take a look and find out.

Norwegian Forest Cat Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin:  Norway

Size:  Large

Weight:  13 to 22 pounds

Eyes:  Almond-shape eyes

Head shape:  Triangular

Life Span:  14 to 16 years

Nickname:  Wegie

Origin of the Norwegian Forest Cat Breed

It shouldn’t come as a HUGE surprise to learn that the Norwegian Forest Cat breed AKA the Skogkatt originated out of Norway.  That said however, you may be surprised to learn that this breed has been around in its current form for well over 1000 years!

And while…

No one is quite certain how the Norwegian Forest Cat came into existence in Norway, the most “accepted” theory is that it is most likely that they are descendants of longhaired cats from either Turkey or Russia, or they may have even been brought back to Norway as some type of Viking “booty” right around 1000 AD!

Then again…

The longhair gene which is what the Norwegian Forest Cat is so famous for could have simply been the result of some type of spontaneous mutation within the local native cats of that time which proved to be quite useful within the cold and harsh environment in Norway.

One thing for sure is that…

These “early” cats where certainly very popular with the local people, so much so that they even became a part of Norse mythology myths where they are believed to the “cats” responsible for pulling the chariot of the Norse goddess name Freya.

And while…

A few of them may have actually got the “gig” to pull a god’s chariot, the vast majority actually had to go out an “earn” a living, by proving themselves to be an effective hunter and “mouser” for the local folks.  And prove themselves they did.

In fact…

It was probably this cat’s ability to hunt and survive in the harsh Norway’s climate that allowed it to survive during the late 1930’s and early 1940’s when most of Europe was entrenched in WWII.  You see during this time, many domesticated animals suffered greatly, and the Norwegian Forest Cat was no different.


The breed was able to survive.  However, it took several decades before this cat breed was able to “regain” it’s pre-war numbers which is why it wasn’t “really” noticed by many of the organizations that “officially” recognize different cat breeds until the mid-1970’s.  And even then, it wasn’t until 1987 when the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) officially decided to recognize the breed.

Norwegian Forest Cat Characteristics

Now as we’ve already mentioned, the Norwegian Forest Cat or Wegie for short is a really big cat.  A really big cat with a really thick double coat of fur with a water resistant top coat and a woolly undercoat perfect for keeping them warm in even some of the harshest environments out there.

They’re also known…

For their extremely bushy tails and their “triangular” face which if you trace a line from the tip of the chin to each ear, you’ll see that their face makes a perfect equilateral triangle.

And if you…

Find yourself examining a Norwegian Forest cat this closely, you’ll probably also notice that their hind legs tend to be a little be longer than their forelegs which come in quite handy if you like to jump and climb things!  And guess what?  That’s exactly what these guys like to do!

Norwegian Forest Cat temperament

Now we feel a bit obligated to let all of our readers that we here at IndulgeYourPet are a “bit” biased when it comes to cats with long fur.

And while…

We love just about “any” cat, there’s just something about a cat with long and fluffy coat that just screams… HOLD ME!

But we’ve got to tell you…

The Norwegian Forest Cat also has a great personality.  Because while they love people, love being around people and love kids, they aren’t a “needy” cat breed!  Their fine just “hanging out” in a room full of people without demanding to be the center of attention and not “freaking” out if someone new walks into the house.

 They sort of…

Have a “old soul” about them while at the same time being able to handle themselves outdoors and being an accomplished “urban hunter” if need be.

This is why…

It’s difficult not to recommend this cat to just about anyone that is willing and able to overlook the fact that their thick and luxurious coat is going to require quite a bit of “maintenance” in order to keep him or her looking their best.  Now when we say “maintenance” what we’re really suggesting is that you’re likely going to need to give your Norwegian a good brushing once or twice a week and perhaps a bit more if you live in a warm climate that may cause your Norwegian to shed quite a bit.

Norwegian Forest Cat Breed Heath Concerns

Unfortunately, the Norwegian Forest Cat breed has been known to be susceptible to several different hereditary health concerns that you should be aware of if you do decide to purchase a Norwegian Forest kitten or better yet adopt a Norwegian Forest rescue cat.

And while…

Many of these conditions can be avoided provided that you adopt your Norwegian from a reputable breeding program, you should still be aware of these conditions so that you’ll know what to look out for and what questions to ask.

Because Norwegian Forest Cats can suffer from:

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Hip dysplasia
  • And glycogen storage disease (GSD)

Which is why…

If you are seriously considering adopting a Norwegian Forest Cat, we would definitely recommend that you take a moment and consider possibly purchasing a pet insurance policy for your little guy as well.


While your Norwegian kitten will probably grow up to live a long and healthy life, you just never know.  Accidents and sicknesses happen all the time and having a pet insurance policy in place that would help you be able to manage the cost of care is often times a great thing to have in place.

Now will a pet insurance policy be a “good” fit for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you know what they will and won’t cover and what it would cost for you to be able to purchase such a policy, how will you know if getting one isn’t “right” for you?

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet have written our Best Pet Insurance Companies article so that you can get a “basic” understanding of how these policies work and see if it might not make sense to purchase one for your little guy!

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Emily March 27, 2019, 10:58 am

    They are amazing cats

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