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Information About Norwegian Forest Cats - The History of the Breed

The Norwegian Forest Cat (NFC) is a breed of domestic cat which although native to Northern Europe and thus well suited to a cold climate they have adapted to our Australian heat well. In Norway, they are known as skogkatter or the Norsk skogkatt (literally, Norwegian Forest Cat).  They are also known in the USA by their nickname Weggie pron. Weegie

Norse mythology refers to a cat so large that even the God Thor couldn't lift it from the ground and the Goddess of Love and Fertility, Freya had a chariot pulled by two large cats.  It is believed that the Vikings travelled with the cats on their ships and possibly originally introduced them to Norway.  The breed is very old, and seems to have occurred as a natural adaptation to the cold climate of the region. 

NFC's were usually found on farms where they were valued as rodent control and they were not regarded as anything other than a standard house-cat until the late 1930s, when a small number of 'Skogkatts' were shown in Germany.  However, World War II brought an abrupt end to the newly developing Norwegian show cat industry, and the breed was largely forgotten until the 1970s.

The cats are now bred and shown in a number of countries.  The first NFC's were introduced to Australia in the late 1990's and although still not a well-known breed in this country are slowly beginning to make a name for themselves.

Norwegian Forest Cats have a thick fluffy double-layered coat with long tufts of fur in their ears and between their toes, and a long bushy tail all of which serves to protect them against the cold. They also have a 'lion-like' mane.  Their coat is essentially waterproof due to its coarse outer layer and dense underlay. The underlay tends to shed in summer.  Their hind legs are longer than their front legs. NFC's can grow into quite large cats with adult males weighing 6 to 10 kg (13 to 22 lb), whilst females are generally half that size.

NFC's make a chirping sound especially when they are happy which they generally are.  They are very intelligent, playful cats that enjoy human company but can get upset if left alone for long periods of time. Although NFC's are essentially outdoor cats they are equally happy inside the home, however, as they love to climb it is essential that they have something safe on which they can climb if living indoors.  It is also a good idea to provide them with a scratching post.  NFC's like water and are often seen walking through water or dipping their paws into water.  They have a disconcerting habit of coming down off of high objects like trees head-first at a rate of knots - be prepared!

NFC's get on well with other animals, ie cats, dogs, horses but because they are great hunters need to be kept an eye on if they around smaller animals.  They are not easily stressed and are quite patient which makes them a great family cat. They do not need much maintenance and their coat does not matt easily.  A brush at least once a week will keep their coat in order.

Lifespan is usually 14 - 16 years and they are a generally health breed.

Where does our Cattery prefix come from?
Two Hons (pron. huns as in honey) is our business name, adopted because we have always called each other 'hon'.  The prefix of our cattery then reflects this whilst maintaining the memory of GC who started it all.

You may have noticed that the cats bred by us all have Middle Eastern names as their Cattery names.  As members of the Raks Sharki (Belly Dance) community we decided this would be our signature - very appropriate when we remember that the Ancient Egyptians loved and worshipped their cats.