Norwegian Forest Cat

The Norwegian Forest Cat, also called Norsk Skogkatt in their homeland, is a large house cat from Norway with medium-length hair. Forest cats are already mentioned in Old Norse mythology. There are two cats pulling Freya’s carriage, the goddess of fertility and love.

As the Norwegian Forest Cat mated with short-haired domestic cats more and more often, some Norwegian breeders began to save their genes in the 1930s. In 1938 the Norwegian Forest Cat was presented for the first time at an exhibition in Oslo. In September 1972 the Norwegian Forest Cat received its first standard. In Norway the Norsk Skogkatt is very well known, so that some people speak of it as the Norwegian national cat. In 1977 she was officially recognized by the Fédération Internationale Féline.

Even today, the Norwegian Forest Cat resembles the wild cats that roamed the forests of Scandinavia. The Norwegian Forest Cat has long been popular on farms in Scandinavia, but as a pest controller and less as a cuddly cat. Breeders continued to emphasize the originality of the Norwegian Forest Cat for a long time, although it has been specifically bred for decades and is now a real pedigree cat.

Appearance of the Norwegian Forest Cat

The Norwegian Forest Cat has a large, elongated, strong and muscular body. Since this breed, as the name suggests, originally comes from the Norwegian forests, its body is geared towards the hard life there and it is still counted among the “robust cats”, even if today they are more of the “noble cats” due to the breed. belongs. Their back legs are slightly longer than the front legs. This gives the cat great jumping power and makes them excellent hunters.

A striking feature of the Norwegian Forest Cat are its ears, with small tufts of hair sticking out from the tips. The elegant beauty from the far north also wears a shirt front, ruff and knickerbockers. These terms describe the lush hangings that adorn the Norwegian Forest Cat in winter fur on the neck, chest and hind legs.

The Norwegian Forest Cat belongs to the group of semi-longhair cats. Their two-layer fur consists of a water-repellent top coat with longer guard hairs and a thick undercoat. The undercoat provides optimal protection against the cold of -30 ° C. Between the pads of the paws, tufts of hair, the so-called “snowshoes”, prevent them from sinking into the snow.

The Norwegian Forest Cat is bred in almost all colors with and without white, with only Lilac and Chocolate as well as Cinnamon and Fawn being excluded from the standard. As a specialty of the breed there are the colors Amber and Lightamber.

A distinctive feature of the Norwegian Forest Cat is its ears.

Norwegian Forest Cat character

Despite their wild cat-like appearance, the Norwegian Forest Cat is known for its gentle and cuddly character. She is a real cuddly animal who demands a lot of attention and petting from her people.

The “Norsk Skogkatt”, as her homeland name is, feels most at home as a family cat. She is very socially oriented and does not like being alone for long periods of time because she is very people-oriented. The Norwegian Forest Cat likes children and other pets and loves the hustle and bustle around them.

The forest cat is attentive, intelligent and very interested in what is happening in its environment. In addition, the forest cat is playful and appreciates sufficient romping and climbing opportunities. She needs a lot of exercise, but that doesn’t mean she always has to be outdoors. Games in the apartment can also satisfy their urge to move. Of course, a house with a larger garden is better.

It is considered to be very sociable, which is why it is generally not recommended to keep it alone.


The Norwegian Forest Cat climbs, jumps and has a high urge to move. Due to its size, keeping as a pure indoor cat for the powerhouses is only partially recommended. Unless you can provide plenty of space for the cats at home.

Since she is very intelligent, observes her people well and is extremely skilled, she also quickly learns to open doors. You have to keep that in mind. Otherwise it is undemanding and frugal with regard to its keeping conditions.

But she needs an intimate relationship with her two-legged friends and loves to experience things together with her humans or the animal partners in her family.

The forest cat does not have to be outdoors in order to feel completely comfortable. A garden for observing nature from a protected residence and occasional hunting trips is of course an environment that she doesn’t say “no” to.


When it comes to feeding, you do not need to pay attention to any special features and should only be careful to offer a protein-rich, healthy food without sugar and preservatives. The Norwegian Forest Cat is a problem-free boarder for a cat. Due to severe inbreeding, she may be prone to allergies that require dietary nutrition.


The Norwegian Forest Cat is very easy to train. She is very intelligent and people oriented. If it comes from a reputable breeder who has looked after and socialized parent animals and puppies well, it will fit into the rules and habits of their family with ease and almost by itself.

With a little guidance, she can be house-trained quickly and easily. Otherwise, the Norwegian Forest Cats are very late developing, often not fully grown until they are three years old.


Grooming during the period when the coat changes in spring is particularly demanding. During this time, the cat loses its entire undercoat. So you have to brush your cat regularly . With a little feeling and skill, this can turn into a ritual of social bonding, which both cats and humans do very well emotionally.

Health and Typical Diseases

The Norwegian Forest Cat population sometimes suffers from inbreeding. This has also favored the spread of a number of diseases. Such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart disease, problems with the joints, as well as a metabolic disease only observed in her, the glycogenic storage disease GSD IV, which ends fatally at a young age. These diseases do not necessarily have to occur in all cats of this breed.

Life expectancy of the Norwegian Forest Cat

A Norwegian Forest Cat, bred healthy, can live to be 12 to 15 years old.

Buy Norwegian Forest Cat

If you want to buy a Norwegian Forest Cat, you can first look around in animal shelters. There you will find cats, albeit rarely, of the type and character of the forest cat.

At the breeder you should make sure that parent animals and puppies grow up in good circumstances, especially with a close social connection to the human family. You should look at the family tree. No ancestor should appear twice here in order to rule out overly extreme inbreeding. Both parents should absolutely test negative for the hereditary diseases described above.

Reputable breeders indicate this on their own in their advertisements. Of course, the kittens should be vaccinated, dewormed and chipped several times. A seriously bred Norwegian Forest Cat puppy should cost around 700 euros.

Decision Support

With a Norwegian Forest Cat you bring a very sociable animal into your life. The Norwegian tigers are very people-oriented and adapt to your lifestyle and therefore often look more like dogs in character.

In addition, with her adaptability, her playfulness and the frugal nature, she is always friendly to children as well as animal roommates. Aggressive behavior is alien to her. Therefore, the Norwegian Forest Cat can confidently be called an ideal family cat for today.

Norwegian Forest Cat FAQ

How old does a Norwegian Forest Cat get?

A Norwegian Forest Cat is 8 to 15 years old.

How big does a Norwegian Forest Cat get?

A Norwegian Forest Cat grows to around 45 cm.

How long does a Norwegian Forest Cat grow?

A Norwegian Forest Cat is fully grown at the age of 3 to 4 years.

Who is taller, a Maine Coon or a Norwegian Forest Cat?

On average, the Norwegian Forest Cat is larger than the Maine Coon.

Norwegian forest cat: when fully grown?

A Norwegian Forest Cat is fully grown at the age of 3 to 4 years.

What does a Norwegian Forest Cat eat?

Good wet food is an optimal diet for cats. The meat content should be relatively high. Getting enough water is also important because most cats are bad drinkers.

What does a Norwegian Forest Cat weigh?

A Norwegian Forest Cat weighs 4 to 6 kg.

Divyesh Patel