The Norway national cat, which goes back to the days of the Vikings.
The big strong cat, with it´s bushy tail and waterresistance, semilong coat, which the Norwegian nature, for centuries, without mercy, created. And nature made sure that only the strongest survived cold, snowstorms, ice and rain and continued to make the breed stronger and better adapted to survive, such as; a special coat with thick underwool to keep them warm, with long water resistant guardhairs on the back, hanging down the sides, to keep them dry.
To protect the most sensitive parts of the body a bit extra, these got longer coat, as collar, eartufts, tufts between their toes, also the cheeks and breast got a longer coat, and the long tail.
Big and strong, on high legs, with the hind legs slightly higher than the frontlegs, the Forest cat moves like an athlete and is extremely good in climbing trees, and in fact, almost as good in getting down again, with their heads first!
The Forestcats head reminds us about the Lynx. With big ears with tufts on, the expression in the eyes, the strong chin and the straight profile, gives a very strong impression of wild cat and wilderness.
Now you are asking yourself -can I really keep these cats as a pet indoors?
The answer is, without any doubts, YES.
The Forest Cat is a social, friendly cat, who likes both humans and other cats. Just like other cats, the Forest Cat has a great personality. They are also very intelligent and "speaks" a lot, without being noisy. (Most Forestcats prefer a catcompanion instead of being a single cat.)
The coat is, inspite of it´s length, quite easy to care for, but in the shedding season they can get some smaller knots. During summer, the cats are almost shorthaired, the only thing that make you realise it´s not, is the tail, and the "knickers" (back of hindlegs), who still have long fur.
The tales about the Forest Cat are many and it´s mentioned in litterature in very early days.
In Oslo 1938 the first Forest Cat was shown and judged by a very excited judge, named Knut Hansen. Then the second World War broke out and the work to preserve this Norwegian nationalbreed didn´t start again until 1972. the year after -1973- the breed was recognized in Norway, after the Norwegian catpeople agreed on a standard.
The cats were given pedigrees as an experimental breed, and 1976, the Norwegians had about 100 cats registered. The same year, on FIFE´s annual meeting in Wiesbaden, the Norwegian Forest Cat got recognized without certificate status.
But the Norwegian people didn´t give up. When FIFE had it´s annual meeting in Paris 1977, Fredrik Nordane and several others where present, bringing with them a lot of photomaterial and pedigree documentation, showing 3 generations of Forest Cats. And this time they succeded, the Norwegian Forest Cat was officially recognised! This event even was covered by the Norwegian TV-news, and the Norwegian people are proud of their National breed, and so they should be!
There have been a big interest for the Forest Cat in Sweden, right from the start, but as the Norwegians first wanted to create a good breedingbase for themselves, only cats from third or fourth generations was allowed to be sold out of Norway. But 1977 the first Forest Cat came to Sweden from Norway and many cats have followed him since then and nowadays the Swedish NFO´s are just as good as the Norwegians.