10 amazing facts about the Norwegian Forest Cat
Friends of the harsh warriors. The exact origin of the Norwegian forest cat is still a mystery. According to one version, this is a descendant of a black and white shorthair cat, which the Vikings used on their ships as a mousetrap. There is another opinion that the Norwegian cat was descended from the Angora cat, which was brought to Scandinavia by the crusader knights. In any case, the ancient ancestors of the Norwegian forest roamed around Norway, mingling with the local wild and domestic cats. To live comfortably in the Scandinavian forests, cats needed the very fluffy “fur coat” by which we accurately recognize them today. Until today, they have carried at the level of genes both love for the wild and a friendly attitude towards the people with whom they have been neighbors from time immemorial.
Mythical creatures. Norwegian forest cats not only caught mice home, they are praised in the myths and legends of Norway. So, one of the mythical characters is named Skogkatt, which in Norwegian translates as “forest cat” - a fluffy cat that can climb mountains on smooth steep rocks, which other cats absolutely cannot. Perhaps it was the Norwegian forest cats that served as the prototype of the mythical image due to their special skin and dexterity with which they climbed tall trees.
In addition, Freya, the goddess of love and war in German-Scandinavian mythology, according to legend, traveled in a chariot drawn by large fluffy cats. And in one of the legends, the god Thor loses his strength thanks to the cunning Yormugand, who gets close to Thor in the guise of a cat Skogkatt.
Norwegian Forest Cat - a symbol of Norway. King Olav V of Norway, who ruled in the last century, appointed the Norwegian forest cat the official national cat. Not every cat can boast of such a title!
On the verge of extinction. Scandinavian farmers and sailors have valued the Norwegian forest cat as a faithful mouse trap for many centuries. However, international cat experts did not know anything about this breed until 1930 - it was then that the Norwegian forest cat first participated in the international cat show in Germany and caused a sensation there. During World War II, attention to cats weakened, and the Norwegian forest was on the verge of extinction, crossing with other breeds. Then I had to create a special program to protect the Norwegian forest cat. Only in 1977, the International Cat Federation (FIFe) officially recognized the Norwegian Forest as a separate breed. In those same years, King Olav V declared her a national cat and one of the main symbols of the country. This helped preserve the unique breed.
Popularity in Europe. The Norwegian forest cat was brought to America in the eighties, and in the nineties it appeared in Russia. However, in the USA, the Norwegian forest cat is not even included in the top 10 popular breeds. But how many fans of the Norwegian forest in Europe! Separately, it is worth highlighting France and, of course, Norway. Many breeders even call the cat "Veggie", that is, "Wegie", as a derivative of "Norwegian".
Almost a lynx. A Norwegian forest cat is not only larger than cats of other breeds, but also larger than some dog breeds. Think about it: the average male Norwegian forest cat can weigh from 5 to 10 kg. In addition, they are distinguished not only by size, but also by a strong physique. Real fluffy Vikings!
Climbing cats. Norwegian forest cats could be great climbers. Have you ever seen a cat that scoots headlong down a tree? Most likely, it was a Norwegian forest. Unlike other breeds, they have especially strong legs, and this allows them to perform similar tricks.
Winter wardrobe. Despite the variety of colors that exist within the breed, all Norwegian forest cats can boast rich winter “clothes”. This is the main coat with a thick undercoat and long integumentary hair along the ridge and on the tail. Hair has a water repellent property. The long tail reaches the shoulder line, and not only the ears, but also round wide paws (between the fingers) are decorated with a tassel - a kind of “hat” and “boots” for the cat are obtained. Knowing how fierce the Scandinavian climate is in winter, such decoration is not only beautiful, but also reasonable.
Strong but fragile. Alas, Norwegian forest cats cannot boast of the same stamina that their ancient Vikings were famous for. They are prone to heart disease, hip dysplasia, and glycogen accumulation disease (type IV glycogen), which is close to diabetes. So despite the external force, Norwegian forest cats require care and sensitive attention from the owner.
Family Relations with Maine Coon. Large, fluffy - Maine Coon and the Norwegian Forest Cat look like close relatives. Outward resemblance does not deceive you. Genetic tests have shown that Maine Coon, the native breed of cats in the United States, is a descendant of a Norwegian forest cat mixed with some other, now unknown to us, domestic breed. How to distinguish Norwegian Forest from Maine Coon, if you are not an expert? Pay attention to the face. Norwegian forest cats have a triangular face, while Maine Coons have a wedge-shaped with high cheekbones.
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