The Norwegian Forest cat is a breed of domestic cat.
It is known as “Wegie” in the United States.
The Norwegian Forest cat, is native to Northern Europe.
The Norwegian Forest cat is a very old natural breed.
The breed has survived the natural selection for many centuries, making it Norway’s most durable breed of withstanding the winter season.
Its ancestors may include black and white shorthair cats brought to Norway from Great Britain some time after 1000 AD by the Vikings, and longhaired cats brought to Norway by Crusaders.
Most likely the ancestors of the Norwegian Forest cat served as ships’ cats (mousers) on Viking ships.
The original landrace lived in the Norwegian forests for many centuries, but were later prized for their hunting skills and were used on Norwegian farms.
These cats could have reproduced with farm and feral stock and may have eventually evolved into the modern-day Norwegian Forest breed.
The Siberian and the Turkish Angora, longhaired cats from Russia and Turkey, respectively, are also possible ancestors of the breed.
During World War II, the breed became nearly extinct until efforts by the Norwegian Forest Cat Club helped the breed by creating an official breeding program.
In the 1950s, King Olav V declared them the official cat of Norway.
It was registered as a breed with the European Fédération Internationale Féline in the 1970s, when a local cat fancier, Carl-Fredrik Nordane, took notice of the breed and made efforts to register it.
The breed was registered in the American Cat Fanciers Association in 1994.
Currently, the Norwegian Forest breed is very popular in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and France.
The Norwegian Forest cat has a typical lifespan of 14 to 16 years.
It is strongly built and larger than an average cat.
Adult males tend to weigh 4.5 to 9 kg (10 – 20 lbs), while females of this breed will typically weigh 3.6 – 8 kg (8 – 18 lbs).
The breed has a long, sturdy body, long legs and a bushy tail. The eyes are almond shaped and oblique, and may be of any colour.
Norwegian Forest cats come in any color or pattern and the beautiful coat is long and silky with a dense undercoat. Their water-resistant coat with a dense undercoat developed to help the cat survive in the harsh Scandinavian climate.
These lovely cats are really two for the price of one, they can differ so greatly in looks from summer to winter. Some time in the spring they take off their “winter underwear,” the downy undercoat that provides warmth, and the long non-tangling outer guardhairs that act as protection from rain and snow.
Since the cats have very strong claws, they are very good climbers, and can even climb rocks.
Despite the hardy facade, this breed is very much a homebody that enjoys the company of other pets andparticularly their human companions.
Norwegian Forest cats are very patient animals and are not stressed easily. They are fairly intelligent and have a natural curiosity.
These are moderatley active cats – there will be bursts of energy followed by long naps.
Norwegian Forest cats with normal bloodlines, from the lesser-known breeding farm will cost between $900 and $1,200. Norwegian Forest cats with premium bloodlines, from well-known breeders, with beautiful coat colors and standard body are priced very expensive, from $1200 – $4000.
Breeders are often asked if these cats need to be outside. As with all cats, inside the home is quite suitable and is certainly the safest environment.
The Norwegian Forest cat features prominently in Norse mythology as the skogkatt, a mystical cat with the power to climb sheer rock faces.