Wild-looking, the Norwegian forest is a cat that has conquered the hearts and homes of all corners of the world. If you want to know more about the breed of cat forest of Norway, and its features in this article you will find everything you need.
This breed is named precisely from its place of origin. The first specimens appeared in The Scandinavian forests. The theory of their appearance is not proven, although it is believed to have been the result of the crossing of prehistoric cats from southern Europe with long-haired cats that arrived in Norway from the Middle East.
Its development in a cold climate area conditioned its features. That is why he has very long and dense fur so that he can survive in such cold conditions.
Despite appearing in Norse legends and myths, the Norwegian forest offered features that were not interesting for people who wanted have a cat.
Long before it began to be used as part of breeding programmes, these cats were listed as non-domestic animals, even appearing like a type of Norwegian lynx in documents from 1559. For this reason, it is recognized as one of the oldest breeds that exist.
Probably, the Vikings led to the expansion of The Forest Cat from Norway to other territories. Since they used to be part of the ship’s crews thanks to their capabilities to hunt mice. Thus, they would reach other places, although long before they started to be regular pets.
Its popularity began to increase when King Olaf V called them a Norwegian national pet breed. From then on, some people would start to be interested in her. In 1930 was recognized as a race of its own, and in the 1970s its standard was established by the FiFe.
Currently, the Norway Forest is highly valued both for her physical appearance and for her temperament, and it is very easy to find specimens of this breed anywhere in the world.
Norway Forest Features
It is one of the largest breeds, even larger than other similar breeds, such as the Maine Coon, both in size and corpulence. Also, she can weigh up to 20 lbs (9 kilos).
Beyond the aforementioned features, the beautiful shape of its head is rounded, wide, and prominently snouted. Their ears, triangular and large, always erect on the head and with a long fur similar to that of a lynx. Their eyes are large and deep, which can appear in very different colors.
Its legs are long and sturdy. No wonder that this animal is very active and agile. It also helps a long, hair-filled tail that helps you maintain agility and balance.
Its fur is long, highly dense, and woolly to the touch. It appears in two layers, being the inner layer much denser, so that its body gets away from moisture and cold. The outer layer is much longer and smoother, although it can vary in length depending on the time of year.
In terms of colors and shades, the fur of this cat is very variable. The valid colors recognized of the breed are black, blue, red, gold, brown, silver, or cream. And they can also appear following a variety of patterns, from a single uniform color to tabby or striped cats, even three colors. In any case, when the fur of this cat has more than one color, at least one must be white.
Norwegian Forest Behaviour
Another thing that makes people fall in love with this breed is its temperament. It has an exceptional character to be a family pet. It gets along well with both children and adults and is very affectionate and attentive.
However, it is quite territorial, which means that it will not please the unknowns or other animals in its territory.
On the other hand, it is a quiet and patient animal, although it needs its doses of activity and exercise every day. Otherwise, it will be a balanced animal as long as he receives the care he needs.
In addition, it is very intelligent, so you can teach him orders and small tricks with little effort.
Main diseases of the Norwegian Forest
The Forest Cat of Norway is usually a strong and healthy breed, although it may develop certain diseases and health problems more frequently than other breeds. These include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, hip dysplasia, some retinal abnormalities, and type IV glycogenosis. Although there is no way around them, they can be controlled if diagnosed early. That’s why it’s so important to follow a frequent program of visits to the veterinarian, where you will also receive the vaccines and deworming that you require.
Norwegian Forest Basic Care
The fur of this breed has very specific features, therefore, it will also need a greater effort in its care than other cat breeds.
Brushes should be more than common to avoid knots and tangles, as well as dead hair that won’t let its skin breathe. Offer them malt to prevent dangerous hairballs from forming in its stomach or intestine.
Apart from the care of its fur, a healthy life, through food, education, and exercise is very important. Also, provide him with a high-quality diet that matches dry and wet food will be the most suitable for its health.
Despite being a calm cat, it has moments of great activity and energy. When that happens, the first thing that goes through the head of the Norwegian forest cat is to climb wherever he can. If you don’t want your furniture to be shattered by the force and energy of a giant Norwegian forest, you’ll need to offer him suitable places to climb. But never try to eliminate that behavior, because then it could develop frustration and some behavioral problems.
Things to know of the Norwegian Forest
These cats are one of the few who are not afraid of water. They enjoy swimming and are very agile and experienced “fishermen”.
On the other hand, it is a breed that does not have the same needs throughout the year. Specifically, when winter approaches, it has a much more appetite. By eating more food, he gets thicker and the fur becomes denser. Which will protect him from the cold as it happened in its place of origin.