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Norwegian Forest Cat - Fearless Vikings

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Vladimir is a former champion ratter (retired). His hobbies are bushwalking, birdwatching and nature studies

Norwegian Forest Cat

Norwegian Forest Cat

The Totally Natural Norwegian Forest Cat

In Norway, these fluffy cats are known as skogkatter or Norsk skogkatt - literally, Norwegian Forest Cat.

The name has a real ring to it. So much more thrilling than my own Domestic short hair, and these cats are thrilling in themselves with their fabulous furry coats, green eyes, impressive feathery tails and the magnicent mane of the snow-dweller.

I live in a much warmer climate and don't need the thick layers of padding but I dream of those splendid coats. Oh well, you can't have everything, can you.

Long fur for the snow

Long fur for the snow

Norwegian Forest Cats were Vikings

Their Descendants are Maine Coon Cats

The first thing you should know about the Norwegian Forest Cat is that it's truly a natural breed and really does originate from Norway.

The skogkatt came out of the Scandinavian forests some time in the last 4,000 years to move in with people.

Norwegian Forest Cats explored the world with the Vikings, striking poses on the prows of a thousand longboats, protecting the grain stores on land and sea, and leaving their legacy on the shores of North America in the form of the Maine Coon cats.

Cats like this pulled Freya's Chariot

Handsome Norwegian Forest Cat

Handsome Norwegian Forest Cat

Direct Descendants of the Otherworld

Norwegian Forest Cats are direct descendants of the Otherworld, the cats who are mentioned in Norse Mythology. Cats just like this pulled Freya's chariot.

Norwegian Forest Cats are fearless with water

Norwegian Forest Cats can fish in freezing water

Norwegian Forest Cats can fish in freezing water

Fish is on the Menu for Dinner

These Forest Cats appear in Scandinavian legend, where they often show a particular liking for water. I found this hard to believe but, when you need fish for dinner, you have to get out into the icy lakes and streams. After all, a cat do anything.

Fairies or Trolls?


No fairies, but still some trolls

To be honest, I made up the bit about the fairies, there are no fairies in Norway. Not at all.

What you'll find instead are Elves (don't mistake these species) and the occasional Troll still lurking in the mountains.

Plush coat on a Norwegian Forest Cat

Plush coat on a Norwegian Forest Cat

Coats of many Colours

Coats can change with the Seasons

Norwegian cats haven't been 'bred' to achieve their unique look, they're completely natural cats, designed by Mother Nature herself.

Their beautiful coats come in many colours, from pure white to deepest rich black, with every possible coat pattern and colour combination in between.

Darker-coloured cats require less coat to keep warm since they absorb more heat from the sun and the lighter -coloured cats tend to have fuller coats with more undercoat.

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Some cats will have coats in colours which change from light to darker tones with the change of the seasons.

Mother Nature has produced a fine furry cat, perfect for colder climes.

Check out that Winter Underwear! - Keeps a Cat nice and warm

Furry belly to keep the Norwegian Forest Cat warm

Furry belly to keep the Norwegian Forest Cat warm

Norwegian Forest Cats need a FURminator

Any long-haired cat needs a FURminator and especially one of the fabulously furry Forest Cats.

I have a FURminator myself and in no way can I be described as having long hair. My very description, banal though it sounds, speaks for itself "Domestic Short Hair". That's me.

However, when Spring arrives, I need to get rid of the extra layer of fur I've grown over the colder months.

Portraits of Norwegian Forest Cats

Norwegian Forest Cats 101 Video

Fearsome Fur can disappear in Spring,

A fascinating side to the Norwegian Cat is the way many of them can differ so greatly in looks from summer to winter.

Some time in the spring they take off their "winter underwear," the downy undercoat that provides warmth, and the long non-tangling outer guardhairs that act as protection from rain and snow. The contrast can be quite extreme.

The inner-ear hair that deflects the wind and snow (and can be three to four inches long, curving out and around the ear like flexible racing stripes) remains all year.

The tail is always magnificent, being as much as twelve inches or more when fanned to its fullest.

Perhaps the most impressive part of the coat is the mane. On a fully mature cat over five years of age and living in adverse cold weather, the mane is nothing less than spectacular. It's long, dense and very, very impressive!

This excellent and almost fearsome mane may disappear in the spring, but it will begin to grow in magnificence again as the days become shorter.

More Norwegian Forest Cats

Norwegian Cats are Family Cat Companions

Norwegian Cats are Patient with Children

Norwegian Forest Cats are an intelligent, robust and playful breed. They like the outdoors, are well suited to cold conditions and are great hunters. Despite their great affection for the outdoors, they also enjoy the company of humans and other pets and will sometimes go looking for company if left alone by their owners.

They're not easily stressed and are quite patient, which makes them great for a family with children. They appreciate high vantage points and enjoy climbing trees or, if they are indoor cats, climbing on bookshelves and other high places in the home.

Grooming your Norwegian Forest Cat

No worries about grooming! Norwegian Forest cats are a natural breed and don't need a lot of grooming as do other longhaired cats who have been bred for their looks.

Very little, if any, combing is required, they're low maintenance and need only a brush about once a week.

Waiting for the Fire to be lit

Norwegian Forest Cat waiting in the woodpile

Norwegian Forest Cat waiting in the woodpile

Any pawprint, furry or otherwise, is welcome. Stamp your hoof, drag your claw, rake your talon, or leave your mark in any style you choose.

© 2009 Vladimir

Make your furry pawprint

anonymous on February 27, 2013:

these Norwegians remind me of Scottish wildcats with those little tufts - gorgeous.

traveller27 on February 27, 2013:

Did't know about these cats - very nice!

anonymous on September 05, 2012:

We rescued a beautiful white long haired cat, with just a hint of orange. He looked like he was kissed by the sun, the first time I saw him. I'm sure he isn't pure, but he is definitely a Norwegian Forest Cat. Not only is he the most patient with people we've seen, but he likes to 'herd' the other cats! The vet told us Norwegians have something of a dog personality. And Newman certainly has that. Along with the prettiest clear blue eyes.

Thank you for such in depth information on the breed.

RockyMountain on August 04, 2012:

I think we have a Norwegian Forest Cat. (He adopted Us). But he might have some Ragdoll in him too. A very interesting pet to say the least!

JimDickens on March 11, 2012:

We have an adopted cat that may be one of these weegies. The most distinctive feature is that big bushy tail that appears to be 2 inches wide

seegreen on February 19, 2012:

Beautiful! I don't read a lot of online pages from start to finish but I certainly did with this one. What gorgeous cats.

cmadden on February 17, 2012:

Would love to pet one of these gorgeous creatures!

intermarks on February 09, 2012:

Meow! Meow! Wonderful lens and beautiful cat. This is the most beautiful cat I ever seen in my life.

Helene-Malmsio on January 09, 2012:

hmmmm... my feral adopted teenage Hooligan cat Sookie Bum looks a lot like the intro pic... but her brother is black Persian... her feet are like snowshoes... I swear she is meant to live in the snow! Maybe she has some of the Norwegian cat in here genes.

David Dove on July 18, 2011:

Magnificent, thank you, had no idea they existed. Wonderful

jlshernandez on June 24, 2011:

Reminds me of my Maine Coon cat, Fluffy. Norwegian Forest cats are just so gorgeous. Thanks for the treat.

ForestBear LM on May 16, 2011:

Great lens, I love cats. Just became your fan!

Heather Burns from Wexford, Ireland on April 20, 2011:

Beautiful cat, beautiful lens!

creativedreams on March 22, 2011:

We have one, and she's gorgeous. A bit crazy and with more energy than any other cat I've ever seen. I wonder how this breed isn't more popular, they are really beautiful cats and aren't engineered to look like that.

LaurieKristensen on March 09, 2011:

I adore cats, and this is a beautiful lens about some gorgeous cats! Having about half Norwegian blood, myself, I appreciate their beauty even more. :o)

anonymous on February 14, 2011:

Very interesting and informative lens, Vladi. Blessed :)

Frankie Kangas from California on February 14, 2011:

Another wonderful cat lens. I have a cat I swear is a Norwegian Forest Cat. Blessed!

anonymous on February 14, 2011:

~ Cupid Kisses by a Squidoo Angel ~

Bambi Watson on January 02, 2011:

As a Maine Coon Cat Mommy ~ I love these kitties, do they get as big as Maine Coons?

My Maine Coon, Scrapper weighs 23 pound and is still basically just a kitten with 2 years of growing still ahead of him...Maine Coons also love water, so they must originate from these cool cats! ~ Blessed! >*

KokoTravel on January 02, 2011:

Oh my, I think I just found my next cat... thanks for the introduction.

Paul from Liverpool, England on December 27, 2010:

Gorgeous cats! I've only ever had black and white moggies but I'm tempted, if I move somewhere suitable.

MoonShrine on December 26, 2010:

Gorgeous kitties!

Indigo Janson from UK on November 09, 2010:

What magnificent animals and so perfectly adapted to their environment. I can see why you enjoy them their coat although yours is of course very handsome too and just right for warmer climes. Cats are certainly a diverse and wonderful species.

emmaklarkins on October 18, 2010:

I love cats, and these ones are beautiful! Blessed by a Squidoo Angel!

sallemange on September 15, 2010:

i thought I knew all about cats and this is brand new to me!

Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on July 07, 2010:

They are all so beautiful! I love the big fluffy tails. In they photos, they look like they know they are lovely :)

Delia on April 06, 2010:

what a gorgeous breed of cat!!! lovely lens...5*

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on January 14, 2010:

The Norwegian Forest Cat is so beautiful and it was fun to read this lens and learn more about them. I had never heard of the Norwegian Forest Cat so this lens was a real education. Thank you.

anonymous on June 10, 2009:

What beautiful cats - but I bet you are pleased you dont have all that fur as I understand from the woman in the cottage that your summers get mighty hot!

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