The Norwegian Forest cat is adapted to survive Norway's cold weather. Most likely the ancestors of the Norwegian Forest cat served as ships' cats or 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, until they were discovered in the early twentieth century by cat enthusiasts.
In 1938 the first organisation devoted to the breed, the Norwegian Forest Cat Club, was formed in Oslo, Norway. The club's movement to preserve the breed was interrupted by World War II. Owing to cross-breeding with free-ranging domestic cats during the war, the Norwegian Forest cat became endangered and nearly extinct until the Norwegian Forest Cat Club helped the breed make a comeback by developing an official breeding program.
The Norwegian Forest breed is very popular in Norway and Sweden. Since 2003, it has been the fifth most popular cat breed in France, where there are about 400 to 500 births per year.
14 - 16 years or more
Medium to large size cat weighing 5.5 to 7.5 kilo
Norwegian Forest cats have a quiet voice but can develop a loud voice if kept in a house with a dog. They are friendly, intelligent, and generally good with people. The Norwegian Forest cat has a lot of energy and can be very demanding of attention. Those cats that live primarily outdoors become swift and effective hunters, but the breed can also adapt to indoor life.
All coat colours are accepted except chocolate and lilac and the dilutions fawn and cinnamon.