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Norwegian Forest Cat

Norwegian Forest Cat Breed Profile

Weight 7.7-21 lbs (3.5-9.5 kg)
Origin Norway
Color White, black, blue, red, gold; multi-colored
Fur Long, thick, dense, shaggy
Lifespan 10-14 years
Personality Independent, docile, friendly, sporty

Norwegian Forest Cat Photo: Elisa Putti/Shutterstock

Breed Characteristics

The Norwegian Forest Cat looks wild and untamable but is actually a very well-balanced, gentle, loving and friendly cat. No matter how hectic life gets, nothing upsets this unflappable cat. They also deal with change very well (unlike e.g. the Russian Blue), so is the perfect pet for a family where there’s always something going on and no two days are the same.

Together with the Maine Coon and the Ragdoll, the Norwegian Forest Cat is one of the largest and heaviest cats. In Norway, they’re called “skogatt”. That means forest cat. In the USA, the name is sometimes shortened to “Wegie”.


They’re quite independent and capable of keeping themselves occupied. But they should never be left alone for too long - after all, even we humans get awfully lonely if we don’t hear or see anyone for a long time.

Norwegian Forest Cat Photo: Astrid Gast/

Personality and Temperament

Like almost all large cats, the Norwegian Forest Cat doesn’t really like sitting on laps. But they love being tickled and stroked and will thank you with an affectionate headbutt.

Keeping Them Happy

The Norwegian Forest Cat is very playful and just as curious. They love to explore every nook and cranny and will enthusiastically climb on everything and anything. So you’ll often see them high up on bookshelves. A high cat tree is especially important for this cat. If they’re allowed to go outside (which is very much recommended), they’ll run up trees and, unlike other cats, skillfully make their way back down.

The Norwegian Forest Cat gets on very well with other cats and dogs. They are, however, a little reserved with strangers.


Norwegian Forest Cat Photo: Elisa Putti/Shutterstock

Pros and Cons


  • Affectionate
  • Even-tempered
  • Independent
  • Playful
  • Gets along well with other pets


  • Sheds a lot twice a year
  • Not a good choice for keeping as an indoor-only cat

Norwegian Forest Cat Photo: Astrid Gast/Shutterstock


The Norwegian Forest Cat is large and heavy. They’re sometimes mistaken for Maine Coons as the two look quite similar. The Norwegian Forest Cat has a very triangular face, a straight nose and a flat forehead. The Maine Coon’s face is more wedge-shaped with high cheekbones. They always look a little like they’re smiling. Both have lovely, dense, thick fur but the Norwegian Forest Cat’s coat is all the same length. Their eyes are green, gold or copper.


According to Norse legend, two huge cats pulled the goddess Freya’s carriage. This cat breed is said to be over 4,000 years old.

Fun Facts

Norwegian Forest Cats have little tufts of hair on their paws. These are called their “snowshoes”.

Comparable Breeds

Norwegian Forest Cat Photo: Astrid Gast/Shutterstock