Norwegian Forest Cat


45 cm
4-6 kg
8-15 years
Suitable as:
FCI groups:
!-fci groups-!
Susceptibility to diseases

Origin And Breed History

The Norwegian Forest Cat, in its homeland also called Norsk Skogkatt, is a large domestic cat from Norway with medium length hair. In the old Norse mythology forest cats are already mentioned. They are two cats that pull the chariot of Freya, the goddess of fertility and love.

When the Norwegian Forest Cat mated more and more often with short-haired domestic cats, some Norwegian breeders started to save their genes in the 1930s. in 1938, the Norwegian Forest Cat was presented for the first time at a show in Oslo. In September 1972, the Norwegian Forest Cat received its first standard. In Norway, the Norsk Skogkatt is much respected, so that some speak of it as the Norwegian national cat. in 1977 it was officially recognized by the Fédération Internationale Féline.

Even today, the Norwegian Forest Cat resembles the wild cats that roamed the forests of Scandinavia. On farms, the Norwegian Forest Cat has long been popular in Scandinavia, but as a pest controller rather than a cuddly cat. For a long time, breeders still emphasized the originality of the Norwegian Forest Cat, although it has been purposefully bred for decades and is now a real breed 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 designed for the hard life there and it is still counted among the “rugged cats”, even though today, due to breeding, it rather belongs to the “noble cats”. Their hind legs are slightly longer than the front legs. This gives the cat great jumping power, making them excellent hunters.

A striking feature of the Norwegian Forest Cat is its ears, with small tufts of hair sticking out from the tips. The elegant beauty from the far north also wears shirt chest, ruff and knickerbockers. These terms refer to the lush hangings that adorn the Norwegian Forest Cat’s neck, chest and hind legs in winter coat

The Norwegian Forest Cat belongs to the semi-longhair cats. Their two-layered coat consists of a water-repellent outer coat with longer awn hairs and a dense undercoat. The undercoat provides optimal protection against cold temperatures of up to -30°C. Tufts of hair between the paw pads, the so-called “snow shoes”, prevent the cat from sinking into the snow.

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

A striking feature of the Norwegian Forest Cat are its ears.

Character Of The Norwegian Forest Cat

Despite its wildcat appearance, the Norwegian Forest Cat is known for its gentle and cuddly character. It is a real cuddly animal that demands a lot of attention and petting from its humans.

The “Norsk Skogkatt”, as its native name, feels most comfortable as a family cat. It is very socially oriented and dislikes being alone for long periods of time, as it is very human oriented. The Norwegian Forest Cat likes children and other pets and loves the hustle and bustle around it.

The Forest Cat is alert, intelligent, and very interested in what is happening in its environment. In addition, the Forest Cat is playful and appreciates plenty of romping and climbing opportunities. It needs a lot of exercise, but this does not mean that it must always be an outdoor cat. Indoor games can also satisfy her urge to move. Of course, a house with a larger garden is better.

She is considered to be very sociable, so keeping her alone is generally not recommended.


The Norwegian Forest Cat climbs, jumps and has a high urge to move. Due to their size, keeping them purely indoors is only conditionally recommended for these powerhouses. Unless you can provide the cats with plenty of space at home.

However, since it is very intelligent, good at observing its people and is extremely dexterous, it will quickly learn to open doors. You have to keep that in mind. Otherwise she is undemanding and frugal regarding her keeping conditions.

However, she needs the intimate relationship with her two-legged friends and loves the shared experience with her humans or the animal partners in her family.

The forest cat does not have to be an outdoor cat to feel completely at home. A garden for observing nature from a sheltered perch and occasional hunting trips is, of course, still an environment she won’t say “no” to.


You don’t need to pay any special attention to the feeding and should only be careful to offer a protein-rich, healthy food without sugar and preservatives. The Norwegian Forest Cat is a problem-free eater by cat standards. Due to strong inbreeding, it can be prone to allergies that require a diet.


The Norwegian Forest Cat can be trained very well. It is very intelligent and human oriented. If she comes from a reputable breeder who has well cared for and socialized parents and puppies, she will fit into the rules and habits of her family with ease and almost by herself.

With a little guidance, she will be housebroken quickly and easily. Otherwise Norwegian Forest Cats are very late developers, often they are not fully grown until they are three years old.


Special demands are made on the coat care during the time of the coat change in spring. In this time the cat loses the complete undercoat. So you have to brush your cat regularly. This can be with some feeling and skill to a ritual of social bonding, which is very good for cat and humans emotionally.

Health And Typical Diseases

The population of the Norwegian Forest Cat sometimes suffers from inbreeding. This has also favored the spread of several diseases. Such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart disease, problems with the joints, as well as a metabolic disease observed only in them, glycogen storage disease GSD IV, which is fatal at a young age. However, these diseases do not have to occur in all cats of this breed.

Life Expectancy Of The Norwegian Forest Cat

A Norwegian Forest Cat, healthily bred, can live 12 to 15 years.

Buying A Norwegian Forest Cat

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

At the breeder you should make sure that parents and puppies grow up in good conditions, especially with a close social connection to the human family. You should look at the pedigree. Here no ancestor should appear twice, in order to exclude too extreme inbreeding. Both parents should be tested negative for the hereditary diseases described above.

Serious breeders indicate this in their advertisements. Of course the kittens should be vaccinated, dewormed and chipped several times. A serious bred Norwegian Forest Cat puppy should cost around 700 Euro.

Decision Support

With a Norwegian Forest Cat you get a very sociable animal in your life. Norwegian Forest Cat are very people-oriented and adapt to your lifestyle and therefore often seem more like dogs in character.

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

FAQ About The Norwegian Forest Cat

How much does a Norwegian Forest Cat cost?

The price of Norwegian Forest cat 750 to 1,000 euros.

How old does a Norwegian Forest Cat get?

A Norwegian Forest Cat lives 8 to 15 years.

How big does a Norwegian Forest Cat get?

A Norwegian Forest Cat grows around 45 cm.

How long does a Norwegian Forest Cat get?

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

How expensive is a Norwegian Forest Cat?

A Norwegian Forest Cat costs between 750 to 1,000 euros.

Which is bigger a Maine Coon or a Norwegian Forest Cat?

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

Norwegian Forest Cat: When fully grown?

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 optimal nutrition for cats. The meat content should be relatively high. Adequate water intake is also important because most cats are poor drinkers.

How much does Norwegian Forest Cat weigh?

A Norwegian Forest Cat weighs 4 to 5 kg.


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