In case you are looking for a feline companion with a spectacular look, the Norwegian Forest Cat has everything it needs to charm you on the spot. But, before getting such a cat, there are some interesting facts it is worth knowing about.
So, here is a list with 10 facts that will help you determine whether this breed of cat is right for your lifestyle.
1. They are fearless furry warriors
While it is almost impossible to track the origins of the Norwegian Forest Cat back to where it all began, many think they have something in common with the cats of the Vikings or Crusaders.
The Vikings used short haired cats, with a black and white coat, on their boats, in order to get rid of mice.
It is believed that these cats mixed with the long-coated cats brought by the Crusaders. If this is true, the present day Norwegian cats are the descendants of two types of warrior cats.
2. The cat breed is surrounded by interesting legends
The Nordic people are known for their fascinating legends and, as you can tell their breed of cats was not left on the outside. According to the myths, the Norwegian Forest Cat is supposed to descent from a mountain fairy, which was large and had long hair.
This fairy called the “skogkatt”, which actually means “forest cat”, had the incredible ability to climb steep and sharp rocks that other cats couldn’t. Also, the Norwegian goddess of love and beauty, Freya, traveled in a carriage pulled by such cats.
3. These cats are a national symbol in Norway
The Norwegians are so proud of their native breed of cat that they even made it a national symbol. Yes, since the reign of King Olaf V, who was the one that had this idea, the Norwegian Forest Cat is the national cat of Norway.
As far as we know, there is no other country in the world that actually has an official national cat.
4. This cat breed was on the verge of extinction at one point
The reason this cat breed came to life was that, back in those days, both sailors and farmers needed a cat with good skills in catching mice. Thus, these felines were highly appreciated for their talent in this sector.
But, it nearly went extinct during World War II, when it stopped receiving the attention it used to and began to crossbreed with other cats.
Luckily, efforts in preserving this beautiful cat’s lineage through special breeding programs saved it and, in 1977, it was officially recognized as a breed by the International Feline Federation.
5. It is a large breed of cats
It is worth mentioning that the Norwegian Forest Cat is a large breed of cats, so you should expect to have quite a large specimen around. They grow bigger than the average cat and can weight anywhere between 13 and 22 pounds.
So, if you want to get such a cat, you should be prepared to invest in more cat food and larger cat accessories.
6. They don’t need a coat to go on during cold winter days
This is a cat that was designed to withstand the cold winters of Norway, so it has absolutely no problem exploring the outdoors on cold weather. Besides having a long and thick coat, this cat is naturally equipped with a warm undercoat as well.
Also, its fur is capable of repelling water, keeping the cat warm even when the weather goes bad. And its toes and ears are tufted with soft fur as well, making them more than ready to tackle the cold temperatures.
7. They can be prone to developing certain health problems
Because we are talking about modern cats, there are certain health problems that affect this breed more than other breeds of cats. As a future owner of a Norwegian Forest Cat, you must be well aware of this fact and know the risks.
Thus, hip dysplasia, hereditary heart problem, and a condition that causes glycogen, which is a complex sugar, build-ups in cells of the cat’s body, are among the most common. You need to know about them because you may have to manage the vet bills that will be generated by health problems.
8. The Maine Coon can be considered as their cousins
The Maine Coon is another large cat breed and, although the Norwegian doesn’t grow that large, scientists discovered that there is a genetic connection between these two cat breeds.
Genetic tests have been made and it appears that the Maine Coon descends from the Norwegian Forest Cat and another breed of domestic cat that may have gone extinct meanwhile.
9. They are friendly cats without being too clingy
The cats belonging to this particular breed are quite friendly, so they can be great companions. They will appreciation attention and affection from their human companions and their families, but will still keep a certain degree of freedom.
After all, it’s in their blood to be independent and fend for themselves if needed. Thus, they will appreciate being next to you, but will never become a clingy pet that follows you everywhere. If you are in search of such a pet, this cat can be just what you need.
Just make sure to set a special play area and give it toys to play with if it is going to spend a lot of hours alone at home.
10. It really enjoys climbing
As mentioned earlier, it is highly recommended to create a play area for your Norwegian Forest Cat, as it loves to climb. If it doesn’t have the chance to climb on special cat trees, it may just use anything it will find around the house.
So, if you want to keep your furniture intact, make sure you keep your feline friend busy and equip your house with a proper cat tree. Bear in mind that you’re dealing with a rather smart cat, so try to be innovative and creative when choosing its toys.