The Norwegian Forest Cat originates as its name suggests, in Scandinavia. It is an old breed and is mentioned in Norse legend as the fairy cat and in Scandinavian fairy tales as the troll cat. The breed is believed to originate from the shorthair cats brought by the Vikings from Great Britain and longhair cats brought by the Crusaders to Scandinavia, which then mated with local farm and feral cats. The breed’s origin in the cold north of Scandinavia has meant that it is well adapted to the cold winters and is rugged and hardy. The best adaptation to the climate is the double coat, which keeps out the wind and the snow and is quick drying. It is an excellent climber and is able to reach many places that other cats could not get to. The breed was first recognised in Norway in 1930 and first appeared at cat shows in 1938. At first no cats were allowed to be exported but latterly the breed has achieved international recognition.




The Norwegian Forest Cat is a large but elegant breed with a semi longhair coat. The breed is slow developing and may not be mature until four years of age. The head is triangular with a strong chin. The profile is long and straight with no break in the line. The eyes are large and may be any colour regardless of the colour of the coat. The ears are set high on the head and are broad based tapering to the tip. The outside edge of the ear follows the line of the head down to the chin. The ears have tufts and long hair flowing out of the ears. The body is long, muscular and strongly built with solid bone structure. The hind legs are longer than the front legs. There are tufts of hair between the toes. The tail is long and bushy and should reach the shoulders if not the neck when brought along the side of the cat.

Colour The coat is semi long. A smooth glossy coat covers the woolly undercoat, which is water-repellent. A cat in full coat has a ruff, shirtfront and knickerbockers. The coat is significantly shorter in the summer than in winter. The cat may be any colour except Chocolate, Lilac or Siamese pattern and may have any amount of white markings on the paws, chest, belly or face.
Coat Length Medium
Age Expectancy The Norwegian Forest Cat has a life expectancy of about ten to twelve years.
Weight/Height Range The Norwegian Forest Cat normally weigh between 6 - 10kgs.
Ailments The Norwegian Forest Cats have no specific health problems and can live a long healthy active life. They should, like all breeds of cat, have annual health checks from about the age of eight or nine to check their teeth and liver and kidney function.



Norwegian Forest Cats love people and thrive on human company. They do not like to be left alone for any length of time and are very demanding of affection. They are used to an outdoor life and are well adapted to roam outside but they can be very happy as indoor cats provided they have plenty of room to move about. They are very intelligent and can be very rewarding companions as they are extremely friendly and playful.

Energy Medium
Noise Low
Compatibility with Cat High
Other Animal Compatibility High

Feeding & Grooming


Feeding Norwegian Forest Cats are a large breed and will require approximately 80 Kcals per kg of bodyweight per day of food. However their diet should be watched as they should not become obese.
Upkeep The Norwegian Forest Cat does look after its coat very well itself but additional grooming will be required especially if the cat is to be shown. If introduced to a brush and comb as a kitten the cat will come to enjoy regular grooming as part of the relationship between cat and owner.
Shedding Moderate

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