Norwegian Forest Cats are distinctive long-haired cats originating from northern Europe. It turns out that they are actually really amazing felines with some truly unique features that set them apart from the cat crowd.
#1 The Norwegian Forest Cat is such an old breed that its actual origins are unknown
In the past, people didn’t keep exact records on cats’ lineages. Even if they did, the records probably wouldn’t make it to the present day. Due to this, no one knows exactly where they started from.
#2 They might have descended from short-haired cats
There is speculation that they might be descendants of British cats brought to Northern Europe when Scandinavians raided the European coastline. It seems like they may have been charming enough to end up among the pillaged loot. If you have ever seen one of their kittens, you might agree!
#3 Or maybe they descended from long-haired cats
There is also speculation that they could be descendants of cats brought by the Crusaders. Maybe their thick coats made them battle-worthy!
#4 Norwegian forest cats might have inspired folklore
It is believed that they could be the inspiration behind the skogkatt, a cat in Norse mythology and folktales. When translated, skogkatt means forest cat, so maybe there is something to the theory.
#5 Their more modern ancestors were barn cats
They have been known to assist Scandinavian farmers and their crops by capturing and scaring away rats and other pests.
#6 They were also pirates
Or they at least helped pirates. They were furry companions to many Scandinavian pirates who may have been missing home. They also worked as feline crew on the ships by keeping rats at bay.
#7 They have only recently been recognized as a breed
Although Norwegian Forest Cats have existed for centuries, they were first recognized as a separate breed in 1938 after a club was formed around them.
#8 Their fame soon spread
Enthusiasts of the breed set up programs making it so that the Norwegian forests cats were recognized in Europe in the 1970s. They were recognized in the United Kingdom as well as the United States shortly after in the 1980s.
#9 They are very athletic cats compared to other breeds
Norwegian Forest Cats are very big and strong, which you can see from their stature. They are notoriously known for having powerful claws that they use to help them climb rocks and other rough terrain.
#10 They are meant to be outdoor cats
Norwegian forest cats have a very long top coat and an amazing undercoat with a resemblance to wool, meaning that they are very suited to cold climates and can easily survive in the outdoors.
#11 They can still spend time indoors
While they are famously known for being great outdoor cats, they can also be happy and healthy as inside cats. They just need humans or other cats to play with them enough to keep up with their energy levels so that they can stay happy and healthy.
#12 They have a massive appetite
Because they are bigger, they need more food than your standard house cat. This means that a lot of people who are used to having smaller breeds end up underfeeding them. If you get a Norwegian Forest Cat and you’re unsure about their diet, seek advice from a vet or official Norwegian Forest Cat club.
#13 They are extremely friendly
While they are very independent, they are also very friendly cats. Although, their being friendly means that you might find a few mice on your doorstep as a sign of their love!
#14 They are skilled at aquarium fishing
Norwegian Forest Cats can be very friendly with other cats and dogs, but they are known for fishing in aquariums to play or hunt. Keep all fishbowls well-guarded around this breed.
#15 They are highly intelligent
Due to their intelligence, they are easier to train than your standard house cat. They also hunt much better than other breeds.
#16 They absolutely love climbing
In the wild, Norwegian Forest Cats often use climbing for hunting and running away from dangerous predators. This instinct doesn’t go away when they are indoors, so they are likely to appreciate having a cat tree to scale.
#17 They shed a lot
Due to being equipped for winter weather in northern Europe, they need to be brushed once or twice a week to avoid excessive shedding.
#18 They are at risk for obesity
Because of their bigger diets, sometimes owners overcompensate and overfeed them. This leads to obesity. if yours is gaining weight, you may need to put them on a scheduled meal plan as well as an exercise plan for cats.
#19 They are at risk for hip dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that is commonly found in Norwegian Forest Cats. It causes a small amount of pain but can lead to significant problems if gone unnoticed or untreated. It can usually be managed with a mix of medication, surgery, and weight loss.
#20 They are honorary citizens of Norway
King Olav V of Norway made them the national cats of Norway. We wonder if their passport comes with a paw print.
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Source: Nat Berman via KittenToob