Norwegian Forest Cat Breed Profile

The Norwegian Forest cat breed is a domesticated cat from Northern Europe. This breed adapts well to cold climates.
The most distinctive characteristic is her long, thick coat and large size. This feline is similar to the Maine Coon breed but with long legs and a sturdy body.

norwegian forest cat breed profile

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  • Country of Origin: Norway
  • Weight: Male: 10-20 pounds Female: 8-18 pounds
  • Size: Big 
  • Coat: Long, dense, and smooth 
  • Color: White, black, red, cream, and silver, and various patterns and shadings
  • Tendency to shed: Shed heavily a couple of times per year. 
  • Lifespan: 14-16 years 
  • Attention Needs: High
  • Grooming needs: A Norwegian cat needs regular brushing to remove loose hair.
norwegian forest cat breed profile


  • Friendly to other pets
  • Friendly to children
  • Docile
  • Intelligent
  • Affectionate toward its owners


The Norwegian Forest Cat is a large, muscular cat with thick fur and heavy bones.

Its head is triangular, and its neck is thick and muscular. It has medium-sized ears and a strong but slightly rounded chin.

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The legs of the Norwegian cat are very muscular and a little large. The hind legs are slightly higher than the front legs.

The thick coat makes the Norwegian cat appear larger than it is. 

The coat is silky and varies in length depending on the season.


 They are friendly, intelligent, and have a lot of energy. 

Norwegian Forest Cats enjoy being part of the family. They don’t demand constant attention and will happily entertain themselves while alone. 

They get along with other dogs, cats, and mild-mannered 


The origin of the Norwegian Forest Cat is Scandinavia. These felines were brought to Norway by the Vikings and lived in barns as domestic cats and mousers.
As the Vikings traveled, they brought the cats with them, and they soon became established throughout Northern Europe. They were prized for hunting and moussing skills but also as pets.
In the 20th century, the breed nearly became extinct due to interbreeding with domestic cats. Fortunately, the breeders who recognized the importance of the breed started to work to preserve it.
In 1938, appeared the Norwegian Forest Cat Club and recognized the breed.
Today, the Norwegian cat is a popular breed prized for its striking coat, sweet demeanor, and intelligence.
Norwegian cat is an active and playful breed that makes excellent companions.


There are some conditions you should be aware of:

  • Kidney and heart diseases
  • Retinal dysplasia
  • Patella luxation
  • Hip dysplasia
norwegian forest cat breed profile


This breed sheds heavily a couple of times per year. During this time, they need regular brushing to remove the loose hair.

During non-shedding periods, they need one or two brushes weekly to prevent tangles. The Norwegian forest cat has a waterproof coat, so baths are rarely necessary.



Norwegian Forest Cats don’t mature until they reach five years of age. 

The kittens will transition to adult food before they reach this age. Kittens need nutrients for proper growth. 

Curious Facts about American Norwegian Forest Cat 

  • The ancestors of the Norwegian Forest cat served as mousers on Viking ships.
  • Skogkatts is the nickname of the Norwegian Forest cat in Norway, which translates to forest cat.
  • Another nickname for this cat is Wegie.
  • King Olaf V designated the breed the official cat of Norway.
  • A Norway fairy tale tells that six giant Norwegian Forest cats pull the Norse goddess Freya’s chariot. 

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Image credit: Pixabay. Unsplash Pexels

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