Believed to date back to Viking times, the Norwegian Forest Cat is an ancient breed. References to this type of cat can be found in Norse mythology and Norwegian fairy tales, but the true origins of its breed are unknown. The domestic breeding of the Norwegian forest cat, known as ‘skogkatt’ in Scandinavia, began in 1930 by farmers, but was not recognized as a breed until the 1970s, when the breeding of ‘Wegies’ (a nickname derived from the word ‘Norwegian’) became popular.

Norwegian Forest Cats lived in a harsh and cold climate for most of the year, so their coats are adapted to this environment. It’s long and thick to protect them from hash winters and virtually waterproof. They get a summer coat in spring, resulting in shedding that must be attended to. Some say that grooming is not necessary, regular grooming of a Norwegian Forest Cat is a useful tool to combat shedding, although they shed much less than other long hairs. They require regular brushing to help deal with tangles and mats and may sometimes require a bath if they become too greasy (oil is what makes the coat waterproof). The coats themselves appear in many colors and patterns.

Adult male Norwegian Forest Cats will average thirteen to twenty-two pounds and females will be about half that size. They will live between fifteen and twenty years. Norwegian Forest Cats are intelligent, friendly, and patient, making them a good family pet for those with children. They are also friendly and gentle, so they get along well with other pets in the family. This breed loves to climb, so a cat condo is a must.

If a Norwegian Forest Cat is not allowed to climb regularly, it can become irritable or bored, which can result in destructive behaviors to alleviate boredom. The meow of a Norwegian forest cat is not described as a meow, but rather as the singing of a soft melody. This is a hearty breed, although some may be prone to glycogen storage disease.

There is a website that has excellent information on Norwegian Forest Cats and most other cat breeds. It has details related to health, grooming, living conditions, the best food options and more of the cat breeds; the website is called: Facts About Cats and Dogs, and can be found at this URL:

http://www.dogandcatfacts.com

By Robert W. Benjamin

Copyright © 2007

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