Norwegian Forest Cat

Did You Know?

The Norwegian Forest cat has been recently introduced in the United States, though it is an old breed in Norway. The cat breed has featured in several folk tales and mythology. According to the tales of mythological, the “forest cat” accompanied the Viking explorers on their ships. The goal was to prevent rodents from entering their ships. They are believed to have first arrived in North America with Leif Erickson in the late 900s.


A male Norwegian Forest cat weighs 12-16 pounds and a female 9-12 pounds


Long, thick


The cat breed is bred in multiple colors, except lilac, lavender, and chocolate

Life Span

12-16 years

Also named as Wegie or Skogkatt, the Norwegian Forest is a large, longhaired cat with tufted ears, long coat, and a plumed tail. The friendly cat loves being around his favorite people in the house. He lives up to 12-16 years.

Physical Characteristics

The large, sturdy cat has a well-balanced body structure with a double coat and significant boning. His bright almond-shaped emerald eyes and heavily furnished ears tucked in his equilateral triangle-shaped head finish the triangular look.  His muscular body supports his broad chest, displaying the kitty’s immense power and strength. The long, dense hair on his insulated, waterproof double coat provides him with protection from the Scandinavian winters. Some other features that make this Wegie unique are his tufted paws, bushy tail, and full frontal ruff, which help him withstand the severest weather. Long, flowing hair on thighs covers the cat’s hind legs.

The weatherproof double cat adapts to the weather and changes its coat accordingly. The Norwegian Forest cat sheds his summer coat in the fall and molts his heavy winter coat during spring. A Wegie looks naked in summer in contrast to his winter glory.

Surprisingly, the double coat does not require as much care as other longhair breeds. All they need is weekly combing to keep the coat clean. The cat comes in a range of colors and patterns, with brown tabby and white being the most popular.

Norwegian Forest Pictures

Personality and Temperament

A born athlete, the Norwegian cat is playful and active. He is keen to explore every nook and cranny of your house. Do not be surprised to find your tabby searching cupboards and bookcases.

The active cat loves to spend time with his favorite humans, displaying his sweet disposition and affection. He prefers to cuddle and shower all his love on you in a low-key Norwegian style. He would not hesitate to be vocal and can continue to talk with you in chirps and meows.

Although he will follow you wherever you go, the Forest Cat will not harass you for attention. He does not get easily upset. But he wants his meals in time.

The breed does not display aggression despite their connection with the wilderness. The tabby can quickly adjust to new environments, though he is a little reserved with visitors.

Thanks to his mellow temperament, the Weggie is a good choice for a family with kids and other cat-friendly pets. Teach your children to treat the Skogkatt with respect. He is active and capable of scaling heights. He will appreciate if you can bring him a tall cat tree to perch on.

Wegies are smart and enjoy attention, though he is capable of entertaining himself if he is alone. It is a good idea to challenge his brain with puzzle toys. You may want to teach him tricks and reward him with treats when he responds positively.

Health and Care

All cats can develop genetic health. Norwegian Forest cats are prone to health problems, such as hip dysplasia, polycystic kidney disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, retinal dysplasia, and glycogen storage disease. Although they are active, they are not super active and have a low level of energy. He needs plenty of exercises to prevent him from becoming a couch potato. So it is a good idea to keep him active and playing.

He needs little grooming. However, when the cat sheds his coat during the changing season, he needs a thorough combing.

The cat lives for 12-16 years.

History and Background

The breed’s Norwegian lineage is no secret. He figures in legendary tales. For centuries, the Skogkatt or “forest cat” is known to have worked as a mouser to farmers. Even some housewives preferred to keep the forest cat as a mouser.

The cats were exhibited in Oslo. Unfortunately, they could not be developed as a breed due to World War II. Fortunately, their survival in the war ensured that the breed was developed later in 1977, when they were registered with Europe’s Federation Internationale Feline.

In 1979, the United States welcomed its first pair of forest cats. Ever since, the cat breed has become popular all across Europe and the United States.