Norwegian forest cat breed information

The Norwegian cat is one of the domestic cat breeds, also known as the Norwegian forest cat, and belongs to the forests of Norway. This cat is known for its long fur and is ideal for families with moderate activity levels. Just give him a cat tree, some space, and love. This big, strong, predatory and kind cat will surely charm you.

In this article, we will explain this Scandinavian cat’s history, personality, behavior, and appearance.

But first of all, let’s see a general overview of this cat.

Height: 9-12 inches

Weight: 12-16 pounds

Lifespan: 14-16 years

Coat: double layer and long

Nick Neem: skogkatt

Energy level: medium

Loneliness tolerance: none

Tolerance of apartment life: Yes

Good with: Children, adult dogs as well as their own kind

Price: between 800 and 1500 dollars

Pregnancy period: 57-63 days

Number of kittens per litter: 3-9 kittens

The origin and history of this cat

The Norwegian cat or “Norwegian forest cat” has a long history, this extensive and robust cat is the national cat of Norway, but no one really knows its origin. It may be a descendant of the Russian Siberian cat or the long-haired Turkish cats that the Scandinavian Vikings brought home.

Of course, it is also possible that a natural crossing has adapted the Norwegian cat to the harsh climate conditions of the Scandinavian countries.

Forest cats, fairies, and trolls have been talked about in the stories and songs of Norse legends for centuries. Legend has it that the Norse goddess Freya owned a team pulled by powerful long-haired cats. It is said that these cats are the Norwegian forest cats of today.

The history of the forest cat or Norsk skogkatt goes back to the time of the Vikings. Vikings used this breed of cat for hunting rats in ships and storehouses.

The first Norwegian cat appeared in exhibitions in 1912, but it was only in 1930 that the breeding of this breed began. This breed was close to extinction during World War II. Only in the late 1960s did a few enthusiasts succeed in breeding them.

Finally, it was in 1977 that the International Cat Federation recognized this breed.

Although this breed is one of the oldest breeds, the Norwegian was able to attract people’s attention and become famous only in the 1960s. In the late 70s and early 80s, this breed was sent to countries such as Germany, the United States, France, and Great Britain.

Appearance and physical characteristics

Norwegian forest cat with medium long hair and large triangular-shaped ears. The Norwegian is a large cat and usually does not reach adult size until five.

This cat has a large size, a solid and sturdy muscular body, a triangular head, big hairy ears, and almond-shaped eyes.

The forest Norwegian cat has a double-layered and even medium coat slightly thicker in the neck area.

Norwegian forest cat size

As we said, this cat is one of the big cats. The height of this cat is between 23 and 30 cm (9 and 12 inches), and their length is between 30 and 46 cm (12 and 18 inches).

He is shorter than the Maine Coon, but still imposing and unique.

Cat weight:

The weight of this cat is relatively high, and their male species usually weigh more.

  • Male cat: 5 to 10 kg
  • Female cat: 3 to 6 kg

Norway cat in snow

The appearance of different body parts of this breed of cat:


The Norwegian forest cat is distinguished by its ears, the tips of which are decorated with small tufts of hair.
The ears of this cat are relatively large, the end of which is slightly sharp and covered with dark-colored hair.

The head of this cat has an equilateral triangular shape. The cat’s forehead is smooth, and its muzzle follows the line of the head. It has a medium nose and a firm and square chin.


Big, almond-shaped, and slightly slanted eyes add to the beauty of this cat. The color of this cat’s eyes is usually blue, green and orange, and golden. Their most popular and best colors are green and gold. Colors such as blue and copper are gorgeous in white cats of this breed.


It has a long and furry tail that probably touches the neck. This cat’s tail is broad at the base and has a conical tip.


It has a large and relatively long neck, and next to it, this cat’s broad and round chest makes its appearance more potent than before.

feet and claws:

Relatively long, muscular, and smooth paws are the signs of this cat. The hind legs of this cat are slightly longer than the front legs, which has given them an excellent ability to jump and hunt.

It has strong and muscular legs and is covered with long hair between its toes.


It has double-layered fur with semi-long, woolly hairs. The outer hair looks smooth, shiny, and greasy. It has an irregular coat that is shorter on the shoulders and gradually becomes longer on the back and sides.

The fur color in the neck and chest area is different than in other parts.

norwegian forest cat colors

What colors does the Norwegian cat have?

The Norwegian coat comes in almost every color and every pattern. The cat’s design can be a solid color or have a pattern of mixed white.
The range of colors and patterns of the Norwegian forest cat is vast, but the most common ones are:

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Red or fawn
  • Cream
  • Black turtle
  • Blue Turtle
  • Orange
  • Smoke
  • Silver
  • White
  • Golden
  • Light amber
  • Amber

Norwegian forest cat personality and character

They have an independent personality and establish a good relationship with their owner. Of course, if its independence is maintained. This Scandinavian cat is very active, alert, and a professional climber.

Note that this breed is not recommended for calm and inactive people.

Can you leave this cat alone?

Although raised in the forest, the skogkatt is surprisingly fond of staying indoors and does not feel the need to stray far from its home.

The Norwegian cat is friendly and gentle, and you can leave this cat alone, but not for long. Norwegian cats are animals that need a lot of attention and caress from their owner.

Read the following article to learn about cats that can be alone:

Related post:

cat breeds that can be left alone

Play and discharge energy

A lot of time to play and drain their energy should be considered. They love physical activities, sports, and climbing. It also makes him feel good to play interactive games stimulating his brain.

He often responds well to training and clicker behaviors. So it is better to train them well at a young age so that you have fewer behavioral problems from this cat breed.

Compatibility with apartment life

Cats of this breed have moderate activity and are excellent climbers. They can be kept in the apartment, but we recommend installing a cat tree indoors if you don’t want to see your cat on top of the shelves.

He climbs all the furniture in the house and sometimes damages them.
This cat is an outdoor cat by nature, so if you have a yard or garden, let it roam freely in the garden and yard.

They have learned how to adapt to apartment living, even though they are outdoor cats.

Related post:

What is the best outdoor cat breed?

Norwegian cat with happy baby

Communication with humans and other animals

This cat likes to play with adults and children. It also has a good relationship with other dog breeds and their kind. This cat is a little shy towards strangers and guests, but over time, it gets to know them and communicates with them.

They do not meow loudly, of course, if you feed them on time. Its very long maturity is reached only at 4 to 5 years old.

Caring and grooming; Hard or easy?

Keeping this breed of cat is not difficult. Its compatibility with the apartment environment makes it easy for children, guests, and other pets to maintain them.

brushing skogkatt
But one of the significant challenges of keeping Norwegian cats is their hair loss. Due to their double-layered and long coat, they shed more hair than other cat breeds and must be cleaned constantly.

This breed starts to shed seasonal hair in early spring; brushing their coat daily during this period is better. Brushing prevents the cat’s fur from getting tangled and stiff.

But in normal conditions (not hair loss season), brush their hair 3-4 times a week.
This breed usually does not need to bathe much. Bathe Norwegians check inside their ears every few months and trim their nails.

Norwegian cat nutrition

Due to the size of the Norwegian wood cat, this breed must have proper and essential nutrients to meet all its daily needs. Norwegian cat food should contain protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. The main foods it needs are meat, fish, and vegetables.

Norwegian forest cat eating

Since Norwegians have relatively strong jaws, it is best to give them dense food to chew on. This forces him to chew more slowly and makes him feel full faster.

The Norwegian kitten has significant nutritional needs. For this reason, giving it a balanced diet during the growth phase is essential. For this, it is better to consult a nutritionist.
Around 8 to 12 months of age, the Norwegian cat can receive adult food.

Skogkatt common diseases

This breed is known for its high resistance to various diseases. However, common hereditary diseases are seen in this breed, which includes:

  • Glycogenosis type IV
  • Eye problems
  • Heart diseases such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)
  • Kidney Diseases
  • Orthopedic problems such as hip dysplasia

skogkatt common diseases

eye problems

The retina part of the eyes of this forest cat may have problems. This disease may occur due to inflammation, trauma, or high blood pressure.

This breed may also suffer from conjunctivitis (inflammation inside the cat’s eyelids).
Suffer Other eye diseases such as glaucoma (caused by increased intraocular pressure); Cataracts (lens cloudiness); Or entropion may also occur in this breed.

Heart disease

Norwegian Forest Cats are prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which can lead to heart failure. Although this condition cannot be cured, it can be treated with lifelong medication.

HCM is the most common form of heart disease in cats.

Kidney and urinary tract disease

Norwegian forest cat kidney disease is a prevalent problem in this breed, usually appearing as a cyst in the kidney. In this disease, numerous cysts are formed in the kidney, which disturbs the function of the kidney.

Norwegian cats can also develop cystitis or feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD).

This disease can be caused by stress, insufficient urination, infection, or kidney and bladder stones. Usually, cats suffering from this disease have difficulty urinating, and sometimes blood is seen in their urine.

Orthopedic problems

One of the things that Norwegian Forest Cats can suffer from is hip dysplasia, where the ball and socket of the hip joint do not develop properly.

Hip dysplasia may not appear until it has progressed to secondary arthritis (inflammation and bony changes in the affected joint that cause pain and lameness).
In the worst case, this disease manifests itself as severe lameness.

Genetic disorder of carbohydrate metabolism

This inherited disease disrupts glucose metabolism and appears mostly in kittens, causing them to become weak and eventually die.

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The bottom line

This cat is brilliant, kind and social and is suitable for families with a high activity level. The Norwegian cat adapts to living in an apartment and can be left alone but not for a long time. Please share your thoughts about this Scandinavian cat breed with us.


Sarah Sullivan

Sarah is a pet lover and eco-friendly. She spends most of his time reading books, surfing the web, and translating and writing what he has learned.

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