The Norwegian Forest Cat is one of the oldest cat breeds. It is characterized by its large size and its abundant and long fur, to face the extreme cold of its region. He likes to climb, run and play, so he needs to live in wide spaces.
- Scientific name: Felis silvestris catus.
- Other names: (In Norwegian), Norsk skogkatt or Norsk skaukaes. Norwegian Forest cat.
- Country of origin: Norway.
- Recognized by: FIFe – CFA – TICA – WCF.
- Size: Great.
- Eye color: Blue, green, gold, mismatched eyes (all colors are allowed).
- Weight: Between 5 and 9 kilos.
- Character: Intelligent, affectionate and calm.
- Exercise: Half.
- Troublemaker: Moderate.
- Cleanliness: Much.
- Fur loss: High (especially during the moulting season).
- Life expectancy: 8 to 14 years.
Norwegian Forest cats are a very old breed. Its abundant and thick coat is the product of natural evolution, to resist the Scandinavian extreme cold.
The breeding of this breed of cats began to deal with the hunting of mice on Norwegian farms. It is unknown how they appeared in this country, on the one hand, it is believed that some sailors brought persian cats on their boats and these crossed with local cats, while others believe that it is due to a natural genetic mutation of Scandinavian cats.
Breeding of this breed began in 1930 and it was presented for the first time in Oslo in 1938. Although systematic breeding had to stop at the start of the Second World War, it was resumed in the 1970s.
In 1972 it was recognized by the Norwegian cat breeding associations, while the FIFe did so in 1977.
♦ Physical characteristics:
They have a large size, robust bones, and abundant fur in winter, which sheds in summer.
- Torso: Long and robust.
- Paws: Its legs are long and muscular, with hair between the fingers. The rear ones are longer than the front ones.
- Tail: Bushy and long.
- Musculature: defined.
- Structure: Triangular and slightly rounded front.
- Ears: Medium and erect, with hair inside and outside.
- Eyes: Large and almond-shaped, slightly oblique and wide open.
- Nose or snout: Rounded and firm chin.
- Guy: Long and with two layers of hair: the upper one with long hair that acts as a waterproof coat, and the lower one that is thicker. Its texture is fat and heavy.
- Pattern: Solid, tortoiseshell, bicolor, tricolor/calico, tabby, ticking, smoke, shaded.
- Colors: White, black, blue, red, cream, silver, gold, cameo (red chinchilla), tortoise shell, cream blue, brown.
They are known as giant sweets, and despite their size they are docile and calm. They are sociable, extremely curious and very playful. They surrender totally to their owners, while with strangers they are shy and usually shy away from contact.
They are skilled at climbing and jumping. They enjoy running, hiding, playing, and hunting, so it's important to have shelves and space to run, whether it's a garden with trees or a safe balcony, so they can romp, climb, and jump. He is territorial and likes to patrol several times a day to make sure all is well.
♦ Domestic behavior:
The Norwegian Forest Cat is a very sociable, playful, calm cat with great energy. It can live with children, other cats, smaller animals, or even dogs. They are very tolerant and friendly, so they rarely get nervous, as long as they are properly socialized during the breeding period.
Although he enjoys nature, he can live indoors, although it is recommended that he have ample spaces where he can move and play, especially with a feline companion. So it is recommended that it not be the only domestic cat in the house.
One disease to which the Norwegian Forest Cat is predisposed is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Which is the result of an asymmetric thickening in the left ventricle. The method to detect the disease is to perform a cardiac ultrasound on the cats with which the pups are going to be born, in order to detect it at an early stage and prevent the kittens that are born from suffering from it. Its diagnosis offers various treatment possibilities that allow kittens to live a long life.
They may also have glycogen storage disease (glycogenesis type 4). Which is due to a recessive gene. If a kitten inherits the gene from one of its parents, it becomes a carrier and can pass it on to its offspring. Instead, if the cat inherits the gene from both parents, the disease can lead to multiple organ failure, due to disuse and excessive glycogen storage in the liver, muscle, and nerve cells. Therefore, affected kittens have a neuromuscular disorder from 5 months of age and their life expectancy is between 10 and 14 months of age.
He has a tendency to gain weight, and weight gain can lead to hip dysplasia. Regular physical activity and a balanced diet are recommended.
Norwegian Forest cats reach their full growth at three to four years of age. Their fur begins to develop in adulthood, as they are born with short, soft hair.
It is recommended to avoid tangling, brush it at least three times a week. During the molting season, the frequency of this practice should be increased.
All Breeds of Cats 2022 (A - Z)
♦ Curiosities of the Norwegian Forest Cat:
The long-haired gene is recessive, so even if they mate with short-haired cats, the litters will still have long hair.
It is not afraid of water, it is an excellent fisherman and hunter of prey such as lizards, cockroaches, mice and small birds.
There is a story from Norse mythology that tells of Norwegian Forest cats. It is said that two large cats named Trjegul (golden amber tree) and Bygul (golden bee) drove the chariot of the beautiful and powerful goddess Freya. These cats were huge and strong, that not even the thunder god Thor was able to lift them off the ground. These cats that transported the goddess from one side to the other at high speed through the sky, were of the Norwegian Forest breed.
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