Norwegian Forest Cat

The Norwegian Forest Cat is an impressive cat breed. Even if you are not a cat lover, you can’t help but appreciate its magnificence. This is a natural breed, which means it occurred naturally over the years through natural selection. It is believed these were the cats Vikings had. They kept them as mousers and vermin controllers. If you want to know more about this impressive cat breed, here’s the most important information about the Norwegian Forest Cat.

Norwegian Forest Cat


12–18 in

Norwegian Forest Cat


13-22 lb

Norwegian Forest Cat



Norwegian Forest Cat

Life Expectancy:

12-16 years

Breed History

The exact history of naturally occurring breeds is nearly always unknown. This breed is several thousand years old, and no one was keeping tabs on cat or dog breeds. It is believed these cats are included in Norse mythology because goddesses Freya’s chariot is pulled by six giant cats. Some theories say these cats are related to Siberian cats, and others say they are descendants of the Turkish Angora. However, we mostly agree with the theory that these cats adapted to the harsh Norwegian climate and developed thick fur.

ginger norwegian forest cat

Cat Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Amount of Shedding
Social Needs
Affection Level
Kid Friendly
Pet Friendly
General Health

The thing that makes a purebred cat breed a “breed” is the ability to pass consistent characteristics to its offspring. Norwegian Forest Cats have impressive characteristics, and they are certainly one of our favorite cat breeds. Here are the crucial characteristics of this breed.


The most dominant characteristic of these cats is their shaggy coat. This breed had to develop thick insulating coats to survive and thrive in the harsh Nordic climate. These cats have a long, water-resistant topcoat and a soft, woolly, isolating undercoat.

norwegian forest cat

Coat colors

Like many other cat breeds, the Norwegian Forest Cat’s coat comes in many different colors and color combinations. However, there are some exceptions - pointed pattern (like the Siamese), chocolate, lilac, and lavender.


The Norwegian Forest Cat is considered a relatively large cat. They can reach 12 - 18 inches and weigh 13 - 22 pounds. These cats eat more food than an average cat, so make sure you don’t over or under-feed them.


Other than passing consistent physical characteristics, a breed will pass temperament as well. One of the most significant advantages pureblooded cats have is - you know what you can expect temperament-wise. The Norwegian Forest Cat is not your typical lap cat. They will enjoy an occasional scratch between the ears, but they will be just fine on their own. You have to make sure they have plenty of places to climb, and they will be happy. These cats appreciate humans, but they are reserved towards strangers. Norwegian Forest Cats are natural hunters, so it’s best not to mix them with other small pets like bunnies or gerbils.

norwegian forest cat on rock


No matter what cat breed you have at home, there are specific health issues they might be prone to. For Norwegian Forest Cats, there are some genetic issues they can develop. However, they are generally healthy and have a lifespan of 12 - 16 years. Some of the potential health issues are;

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - Inherited heart disease, which responsible breeders should test for.
  • Polycystic kidney disease - A genetic progressive kidney disease that can lead to kidney failure.
  • Glycogen Storage Disease IV - A disease that will affect glucose metabolism. Luckily, it is very rare.
  • Retinal dysplasia - An eye defect where cats develop spots on their retinas. Luckily, it doesn’t affect the cat’s vision.

World Cat Finder Team

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Updated at20.12.2021.