10 Furry Facts About the Norwegian Forest Cat Cats 101 Skogkatt
The Norwegian Forest Cat, the official cat of the Kingdom of Norway, is a much-loved cat breed known for his fluffy coat, large build, and social disposition. He’s tied with the Vikings and may have even sailed to the America’s long before Columbus. Let’s see what other fun facts we can find about these cool cats.
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10. As mysterious as he is beautiful, the Norwegian Forest Cat is a unique breed that has been around since the Vikings took him onboard their longships as mousers in the 1st century. The Norwegian Forest Cat is native to Norway, with a history going back thousands of years. For centuries, the skogcatt—a Norwegian word that translates to “forest cat”—survived by his wits and offered his services as a mouser to farmers and housewives in exchange for shelter in barns, stables or homes.
Today, he may not top the list of most popular cats in America, but he’s big in Europe and especially you guessed it… Norway.
9. Although he is known as the Forest Cat this breed has no problem with staying cozy at home with his humans. But while he might be fond of being around you, don’t think that he will turn into a lap cat so easily. This cat is selective with his affections, choosing to be close to you on his own terms. So if your Norwegian Forest Cat chooses to be close, take that as a huge compliment!
8. It’s believed that due to centuries of survival in the harshest of winters in the Scandinavian region, not much really phases this chill feline. The Wegie, a common nickname for this breed, is great with kids and other animals because of his calm, laid-back temperament.
7. According to Norse mythology, the Skogkatt was beloved by Freya, the Norse goddess of love and beauty, who some say traveled in a kitty-drawn chariot. And in one Norwegian tale, Thor loses a contest of strength to the tricky god Jormungand, who’s disguised as a Skog Katt. Thanks to these legends, some breeders today refer to the Norwegian Forest Cat as the “Norse SkogKatt.”
6. Anyone that owns a Norwegian can agree that this fluffy cat definitely enjoys being in high places. He loves perching himself up high in a tree to take in a good view of his surroundings, even resting there for several minutes on end. The Norwegian is the strong silent type and is very observant, so getting lost in a good view is just his thing.
Ever seen a cat run down a tree headfirst? If you have, it was most likely a Norwegian Forest cat. He has sturdier claws than most breeds, allowing him to achieve impressive climbing feats. If you own a Norwegian, make sure to give him plenty of climbing surfaces to hang out on.
5. This mellow cat isn’t likely to be very loud. If he decides to get vocal, he will do so with chirps and meows. This will most likely occur if his dinner is late. He’s a big boy at up to 22 pounds, so he thinks his dinner should never be late.
4. Although the Norwegian Forest cat can be any color or pattern, you can count on him having a long, double-layered coat that repels water. And he also has tufted ears and toes, which work like built-in earmuffs and boots. These handy physical traits helped him survive snowy Scandinavian winters.
Norwegian Forest Cat vs. Maine Coon
3. It is believed by many that the Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat are linked due to their obvious similarities in appearance. Genetic testing indicates that the Maine Coon is the descendant of both the Norwegian Forest Cat and an unknown—and now-extinct—domestic breed. One main difference? The shape of the head for the Norwegian Forest Cat is a distinct triangle shape that is much different than any other long-haired cat breed. Fun fact: the long tufts of hair in between their toes is intended to protect from frostbite.
2. During World War II, attention paid toward the Norwegian Forest cat wained, and he came dangerously close to becoming extinct thanks to cross-breeding. However, an official breeding program helped preserve the furry cat’s lineage for future generations.
In 1977, the Norwegian Forest cat breed was officially accepted as a recognized breed by the Fédération Internationale Féline. Two years later, the first breeding pair of Norwegian Forest cats arrived in America. And in 1987, the breed was officially accepted by the Cat Fanciers’ Association.
1. He is a busy-minded and athletic cat and has been known to enjoy active games with adults and children, such as fetch, tag or even hide and seek.
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