Norwegian forest cat

A large cat breed that appeared naturally. A calm cat with an independent personality. It can adapt to any environment.

Energy level
Level of affection
Level of friendliness
female: 4β€”7 kg
male: 7β€”10 kg
female: 40 cm
male: 30 cm
requires little time
Gives birth to
Gives birth to:
3β€”7 kittens
in 1977
Life span
Life span:
15β€”17 years


Norwegian Forest cats are calm and good-tempered pets. They get on well with other animals and small children. Showing aggression is not about this breed. If your pet is not in a mood for playing β€” it will simply go away.

Norwegian Forest cats are independent pets. They will not allow being held on hands for a long time, nor will they stick to their owner. Meanwhile, it is very important for them to have somebody close by. These cats do not get easily through being lonely for a long time. They show their affection if they are in a mood. This breed is perfect for people looking for a calm and unobtrusive cat.

Although Norwegian Forest cats are big, they are pretty active. This activity remains until these cats become old. Norwegian Forest cats are innate hunters. These big pets can hunt mice and insects. Norwegian Forest cats are smart. However, they cannot be trained. Because of having an independent personality, these pets know themselves what they need to do.


Norwegian Forest cats are of big size. Their body is strong and muscular. Males can weight up to 10 kg. Cats of this breed grow and develop until they turn 5 years old.
Long and tough, the undercoat is thick. It repels the cat from water and protects it from coldness. Hair is longer on the chest and legs than on other parts of the body.
64 colors and all coat patterns are acceptable. Each association has its own standard. Forbidden colors are: brown, chocolate, lilac.
Big, triangular-shaped. The side face looks straight. The chin is muscular, with rounded contours.
Big, almond-shaped. Color depends on the one of coat. The most popular are: green and all tints of green.
Big, set high on the head. They are wide at the base and get thinner at the tip. Tufts grow on tips. Thick hair grows inside ears.
Short and muscular.
Long and muscular. Hind legs are longer than front ones.
Long and bushy. It is always raised up. The tail s wide at the base and gets thinner down to the tip.

Basic Care

Norwegian Forest cats do not need much time to be groomed. Even though their hair is long, it does not get matted. They should be brushed once a week. During the moulting period β€” in fall and spring β€” three times a week. Use a special brush for long-haired pets. 

Norwegian Forest cats should not be given a bath very often. Water takes away a layer of grease that protects these pets from bacteria. And these cats are neat themselves. They need to be washed only if they got dirty with something that cannot be licked away during the walk. Use a shampoo for greasy hair during washing your cat. Then, dry it with a towel. Because of originating from forest, claws of these cats grow long. They should be trimmed every two weeks. Eyes and ears need to be cleaned with cotton pads soaked in boiled water. The frequency of how often eyes and ears should be wiped depends on how quickly they get dirty. Cat`s teeth should be brushed every two weeks with special brush and paste. 

Norwegian Forest cats are not picky in what they eat. They can be given premium quality feed or natural food. An important thing is the size of a portion. These cats are big, and that is why they eat a lot. A natural diet should mainly consist of animal proteins. That is why Norwegian Forest cats should be fed with: not greasy meat β€” chicken, beef, turkey; boiled vegetables, fat free dairy products β€” cottage cheese, baked milk, yogurt. Fish can be given once in two weeks.

For comfortable living, a Norwegian Forest cat needs regular walks. This breed is perfect for those who live in a private house. This breed easily gets through coldness and adapts to any conditions. Originating from forest gave them an ability to survive.

Health and Illnesses

Norwegian forest cats can live up to 17 years if treated well. They have a strong immune system. Initially, the breed did not have any hereditary health issues, but because of some unsuccessful breeding, they appeared. The most dangerous are: restrictive cardiomyopathy, glycogen storage disease type IV and renal failure.

Restrictive cardiomyopathy is a hereditary health issue of heart. Walls of ventricles become thick and prevent blood from coming into heart. The pet starts developing heart failure. It is hard to diagnose the disease at an early stage, that is why cat`s heart should be regularly checked with ultrasound diagnostics. 

Glycogenosis is described as having too much glycogen in the liver. Glycogen is a storage of glucose in the body. It functions as a carbohydrate that forms granules in muscles and liver. Large amount of glycogen leads to cirrhosis. Kittens, born with this health issue, live only half a year. If your cat walks outside often, it should be vaccinated on time from helminths and rabies. 

History of the Breed

There are few versions about origin of the Norwegian Forest cat. Some people assume that the breed originated from Turkish Angora cats that appeared in Europe from Ancyra in the 16th century. To survive in wild conditions, these cats grew long hair and strong claws. Other people think that the breed originated from wild cats of Scotland. They were brought by Norwegian Vikings in the 10th century. To survive, they were forced to mutate. 

The breed became popular in 1938. Cats of this breed lived with Norwegian and Swedish families. After participating in a show in Oslo, the breed started being called Β«national cats of NorwayΒ» by Danish felinologists. However, the WWI changed everything. Norwegian Forest cats, just like other cat breeds, were on the edge of extinction. To restore the population, Norwegian Forest cats were mated with other breeds. That is why their appearance and behavior have changed. 

The standard started being restored in 1963. Norwegian felinologists established the National association of thoroughbred cats. The breed could be developed only by those felinologists whose Norwegian Forest cats were matching the standard. The work of the association was recognized by King Olaf V of Norway who officially declared the breed the national cat of Norway. Founders of the association, Pans Truls and Pippa Skogpuss, are also regarded as founders of modern Norwegian Forest cats. Thanks to their work, international associations officially recognized the breed in 1977.