Origins of the Norwegian Forest Cat

There is a great deal of interest in the Norwegian Forest Cat. The breed was recognized in Norway in 1973 and then sold in Sweden in 1977. Shortly thereafter it came to the United States. Its history goes back further to the days of the Vikings, who enjoyed them as companions and mousers. In Norway, its name is Norsk Skogkatt and its natural habitat was in the surrounding forests. Yet, this breed is not a cat from the wilds, but lived with the Norwegians in their homes. The Norwegian Forest Cat is not only a hunter, but a loving companion. It gets along with other animals and children. Despite its muscular, large size; it demonstrates a gentle spirit. This gentleness is expresses itself in the almond-shaped green eyes.It is featured in the ancient folk tales of Norway where it was considered a fairy cat. The fairy cats pulled the chariot of the goddess, Freya. She was the goddess of fertility. Forest Cat kittens were given to new brides. TheSkogkatt has been around for centuries and it was told that even the god of Thunder,Thorr, could not lift the cat. The cat was always described as the cat with the big bushytale. Some historians have reported that this breed was given to the Scandinavians by the Turks.It was not until the Second World War the breed became official due to the threat of extinction. A serious breeding of the Norwegian Forest Cat was developed. In 1977 it was officially recognized in Paris, which brought great joy to Norway. Until then, this breed was pretty much left outside on its own, while other breeds were sought to live in Norwegian homes.

The first longest living forest cat belonged to Vibeke Poulsen and died at the age of 16. Its name was Sidser and was well known as Norway’s April Dream. There were three males who gained the same recognition for their age when they died. Their names were Et eller Felis Jubatus, Hedda Gabler Felis Jubatus and Skovhugger Felis Jubatus. These three males were the only recognized World Winners.

This breed has won over the hearts of many American owners. It has the air of enchantment as important character in Norway’s folktales and the history of the Vikings. The breed has also been given the name of “Wegie” and was described as “huge and furry tolls”. The breed has won its place in the cat kingdom. It is the most versatile breed in the world with the characteristics of a strong hunter and the playfulness of a kitten. It is no wonder that this breed is such a delight and so loved by young to old alike.




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