The Norwegian forest cat is a domestic cat breed with a distinctive double coat. It is native to Norway, apparently with a long history as several mentions of large, long-haired cats can be found in various Norse Mythology. According to a Norse myth, the Norse Goddess Freya’s chariot was pulled by six large cats.
Norwegian forest cats are big, muscular cats with a robust appearance. Males are larger than females and more imposing. This cat breed has a distinguishing double coat with a dense undercoat covered by long, glossy, smooth, water-resistant hair hanging by the sides.
Facts about The Norwegian Forest Cat
The Norwegian forest cat is known for its muscular built, fluffy coat and social dispositions. However, there are several other facts that you should know about this cat breed.
- The Norwegian forest cat is the national cat of Norway. This giant cat breed was designated as the national cat of Norway by King Olaf V.
- This large cat breed was prized by sailors and farmers for its mouse hunting skills.
- The Norwegian forest cat came dangerously close to becoming extinct due to cross-breeding. It was finally accepted as a recognized breed in 1977 by the Fédération Internationale Féline.
- The Norwegian forest cat first arrived in America in 1979. The Cat Fanciers’ Association of the US officially recognized it in 1987.
- An average male Norwegian forest cat can weigh anywhere between 13 to 22 pounds. That is bigger than most cats, and also some small dogs.
- They have water-resistant fur. Thanks to an outercourse layer of hair and a thick underlay, Norwegian forest cats are practically waterproof.
- Due to strong legs and thick claws, these cats are excellent tree climbers. It is pretty standard for these cats to descend tree trunks headfirst.
Black Norwegian Forest Cat
Black Norwegian forest cats are an immensely popular animal. However, if the cat has a solid black coat, it is known as self or non-agouti. The solid black colour is because of a recessive gene mutation. These cats lack alternating pigments in their fur and appear trustworthy or self-coloured. It suppresses the marking of the tabby pattern. As a result, there is consistent pigmentation throughout their coat.
The most common solid-coloured Norwegian forest cats include black, ranging from deep coal-black, greyish-black, to brownish-black.
Another standard solid colour among these cats is blue, including dark slate blue to pale gray.
The Norwegian forest cat comes in a wide variety of colours like black, white, red, cream, blue, silver, and golden hues. This fluffy cat’s coat can also have various patterns such as solid, bicolor, calico, tortoiseshell, and tabby.
They have almond-shaped eyes that may be shades of copper, gold, green, or a combination of all three.
These cats are athletic and muscular with large bodies. Their coats are thick, shiny, and water-resistant, very well suited to the harsh Norwegian winters. They also have a dense undercoat that helps keep them warm during the cold winters.
Maine Coon Norwegian Forest Cat
Maine Coon cats look very similar to Norwegian forest cats. The similarity is striking that some experts believe the Maine Coon has descended from the Norwegian forest cat. They are both large cats with silky, shiny coats.
Despite the similarities, there are quite a few differences between the two cat breeds.
First, the shape of the head is the easiest way to tell the two breeds apart. The Maine Coon has a wedge-shaped head with high cheekbones, whereas the Norwegian forest cat has a triangular head with a flat forehead and a straight nose.
Both cats may be fluffy, but the Norwegian forest cat has long hair at an even length. The tail of a Norwegian is long and sweeping, while the Maine Coon’s tail is a big fluff with no particular direction.
How big do Norwegian Forest cats get?
The Norwegian forest cat is a large cat breed, bigger than most average house cats. A male Norwegian forest cat can weigh anywhere between 13 to 22 pounds. Females, on the other hand, are slightly smaller, weighing anywhere between 10 to 18 pounds.
It takes Norwegian forest cats nearly five years to grow to their full size.
Initially living in forests and mountaintops, these cats have become one of the most popular domesticated cats globally.