Norwegian Forest Cats are a natural breed that evolved in the cold and wet climate of Norway. Everything about them is designed by Mother Nature to help them survive in that environment.
their exact history is unknown, they
may be descendants of shorthaired cats brought in from England by the Vikings
and longhaired cats brought in by the Crusaders. Norse mythology speaks of a cat
so huge that even the god Thor could not lift it from the ground. The goddess of
Love and Fertility, Freya, had a carriage pulled by two large cats. National
fairy tales by Asbjomsen and Moe mention Troll Cats who were huge and furry;
later translations changed Troll into Forest Cat.
many years, the Forest Cat was just a domestic barn cat like any other cat in Norway.
People who knew about its existence called this lynx-like cat the Skaukatt.
No one really cared about this longhaired stray cat except the farmer, who
appreciated this big, beautiful cat for it's hunting abilities. Forest Cats can still be found on
farms in Norway.
In the mid-'30 s a few Norwegian cat fanciers got together to promote the Skogkatt,
and a Wegie was exhibited at a show in Oslo in 1938, but World War II delayed
the breed's progress in the cat fancy.
the war, continued breeding between Forest Cat and the domestic shorthaired
huskatt, the equivalent of our domestic feline, almost stopped the
Wegie's progress cold. Fortunately, in the early '70s Carl-Fredrik Nordane, past
president of the Norwegian Cat Association, began lobbying on the Wegie's
behalf. He organized a meeting at which the first Norwegian Forest Cat breeding
program was designed, and helped to charter the Norsk Skogkattring, a Wegie
breed club that held its first meeting in February 1975.
The breeders followed strict rules. Only genuine Forest Cats were allowed in the breeding program. In order to control this, meetings were arranged and cat owners were invited to come and show their cat before the Breed Committee. Only cats recognized by the Committee could be registered as such.
and a half years later Nordane traveled to Paris, where he made a presentation
about Forest Cats to the general assembly of Feline International Federation (FIFe)
on November 25,1977. Norway's quarantine laws made it inconvenient for Nordane
to bring live cats with him, but he showed the FIFe assembly slides of two
Wegies with winning names: Truls and Pippi Skogpus. The cats must have had
winning conformation, too, because FIFe voted to confer championship status on
the breed. When Nordane returned to Oslo the following night, he was greeted
with flags, music, and 40 cars' worth of NORAK (Norwegian Cat Fancy Council)
members in a joyous parade.
first breeding pair of Norwegian Forest Cats arrived in the United States on
November 1, 1979. The first Norwegian litter born in this country arrived on
March 21, 1981. (Talia is a descendent of that first litter.) In August 1984 The International Cat Association
the first North American registry to grant championship status to the Norwegian
Forest Cat, which is currently accepted for registration in
six associations: ACA, ACFA, CFA, CFF, CROWN, and TICA.
Norwegian Forest Cat is a big and strongly built cat with a medium length body
and hind legs higher than the front legs. It is muscular and heavy boned. The
males are large and imposing (averaging 12 to 16 lbs.) while the females are
smaller. It should be noted that this breed is not fully mature until three to
five years of age.
head is triangular shaped with all three sides equal. The profile is long and
straight with no break, stop, or bump, and the cat has a strong chin. The eyes
are extremely expressive, large and almond shaped set at a slight angle with the
outer corner slightly higher than the inner corner. All eye colors are accepted,
including blue and odd-eyed whites. The ears are medium large, set on the head
so that they follow the line of the triangle from the outer base of the ears
down to the chin. The ears are well tufted and many of the cats have lynx-like
tips. The tail is long and flowing and carried high. The Forest Cat is accepted
in all colors and patterns except color-points.
of body heat was essential to survival. Wegies adapted to their environment by
developing a double coat. They have an undercoat that insulates them in sub zero
temperatures. It is dense and woolly but soft to the touch. The outer guard
hairs, or raincoat, keep the cat dry in rain and snow. In the spring as the
weather gets warmer they shed much of their undercoat to accommodate the change
Their ears have long tufts of fur for insulation. Their feet also have tufts of fur (we call them "toe feathers") sticking out between their toes for stability when walking on snow or climbing rocky hillsides -- little snow shoes provided by Mother Nature! Their back legs are longer than the front making them great at climbing and running through tall grass and snow.
Forest Cat is a social and adaptable cat.
They love their people and want to be with them all the time --not on your lap,
usually, but nearby so as to supervise your every act
Beautiful, sturdy, friendly... who could resist? Once you meet your first Norwegian Forest Cat you'll fall in love just like I did!
(Please note that you will see a number of photos of our cats and kittens that I've taken outside in a natural setting. The LostWoods cats do NOT go outside unsupervised! When we do go outside for pictures and occasional adventures, there is always one person and usually two watching them closely. We do have an outside, fully enclosed run to which the older cats are allowed access, but even then we check on them often.)
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