Article

An Introduction to the Norwegian Forest Cat

Thank you for reading about the Norwegian Forest Cat.

From the wild and beautiful countryside of mountainous Norway there is an ancient breed of cat.  Named the Norsk Skogkatt in Norway, this is now named the Norwegian Forest Cat.

In this harsh land just below the Arctic Circle and the "Land of the Midnight Sun", the cat developed a double-coat, tufted feet, and tufted ears to live in eight months of semi-darkness, cold, icy and wet.  He had no natural enemies except the weather, so he was a relaxed, proud, competent individual with no need to be defensive or aggressive, and quite prepared to be friendly even though he lived in the wild.  He lived like that for centuries, and only the fittest of his kind survived.

Many of his fellow cats sailed with the Vikings, and cats descended from the Norwegian are found in places the Vikings went.

NFCs are friendly, intelligent, gentle giants.  They are naturally inquisitive, playful, full of mischief, and very lovable.  They adjust quickly, learn rapidly, and will happily go on with other pets and children, but they will often bond particularly to one person.  The hind legs are longer than the front legs, and the face is triangular, with a straight profile and tufted ears.

The coat of the "Wegie" (wee-gee) is designed by nature for insulation during winter and summer.   The coat is not fine.   There is a dense undercoat, fibrous yet soft to the touch, like a young lamb.   The long guard hairs, which come in as the cat matures, complete the texture designed for protection from the weather's elements.  The adult cat's coat has a slightly oily texture, which makes it water-repellent.   Barring accidents, the coat is taken care of by the cat.   NFCs should not be washed or their fur would felt.   A few colours and lines may matt a little, but it is at most a weekly grooming matter, except during the main moult in Spring when once every couple of days will help prevent fur balls.

Adorable, eye-catching, perhaps the most intelligent and alert breed of cat in existence. A Norwegian wants to be involved in everything you do. They really appear to understand what you are feeling.

They can be almost human, talking to you and greeting you with soft 'chirrups', purrs and leg-rubs when you come home, and yet, if you need to be left alone, they will often snuggle up close to you, just content to be in your company. Very adaptable and enjoying most forms of company, they are playful and forbearing with children, visitors, other pet cats, and even dogs. Wegies do not like to be left alone for too long. They can be trained to walk on a harness and to fetch and retrieve, and they will do anything for your attention.

Grooming themselves with immaculate pride, their manes and tummies stay smooth and untangled, while their markings stand out in soft or stunning contrast, depending on what colour you choose. Colours can be virtually any combination, except for the Himalayan (Siamese-type) pattern. Eyes can be any shade that coordinates with their coat colour, or even blue and odd-eyed.

WHY A NORWEGIAN FOREST CAT MAKES SUCH A WONDERFUL ADDITION TO ANY FAMILY

  • Beautiful with their long, silky coats, yet easy-care and not requiring much grooming.  Once or twice a week is fine during most of the year.

  • Stress-reducing for you (medically proven to lower blood pressure!)

  • Good with children, dogs or even other cats - although careful supervision is required in the first few weeks and patience is required while some members of the “family” adjust to a new cat in the home

  • Gentle, intelligent and affectionate, yet playful to old age.

Loraine Smith
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