Fast Facts About the Norwegian Forest Cat

PetMD Editorial
Updated: May 16, 2017
Published: May 10, 2010
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Meow Monday

It might sound like the name of a band, but the Norwegian Forest Cat is an actual cat breed, from, you guessed it, Norway. If you’ve never heard of the breed, then read on, and discover some fascinating facts about this rather cool cat.

Robust Family History

This large, hardy cat is smart, playful, and built to withstand nasty weather. Sound like a certain breed you know? If you’re thinking of the Maine Coon, then you’re right. It’s believed the Norwegian Forest Cat may be an ancestor to the Maine Coon.


Part of the Norse Mythos

The Skogkatt, or Norwegian Forest Cat, did indeed come from the Scandinavian forests thousands of years ago. Some accounts even put the cat on the boat of Leif Erikson, a famous Viking explorer, as his traveling companion and as pest control. This breed, therefore, is no fancy breed designed by fancy humans.

She Also Not Jane

Unlike Tarzan, however, who was raised by wolves or bears or some other such undignified creatures of the jungle, the Norwegian Forest Cat is extremely “people oriented.” In fact, she prefers to hang out with her humans rather than hang out in trees almost any day of the week.

Natural Fur Coat

Please, don’t call PETA. This cat grows her own long, soft, and silky winter coats (gorgeous enough to make some of the divas of Fifth Avenue, New York green with envy) to endure the cold Scandinavian winters. And like her lion-brethren, she grows truly impressive manes, too.

Two for the Price of One

This gorgeous cat is like having two cats in one. Because she grows a protective winter coat, along with special hairs that protects her from snow and bitter winds, she likes to “remove” it for the warmer months. The contrast between winter cat and summer cat can be quite startling. The fluffy winter-ready creature becomes sleek and streamlined for the summer.

High Maintenance?

Absolutely not! Unlike certain other cats they know, Norwegian Forest Cats doesn’t require daily brushing. Once a week is pretty much all she needs to stay in show-worthy condition.

So there you have it, some fascinating facts about the Norwegian Forest Cat.

Meow! It’s Monday.