Norwegian Forest Cat.. orsk skogkatt‏. From the perfect big cat breed

The Norwegian, also known as the Norwegian Forest Cat or Norsk Skogkatt, is a breed of cat with medium-long hair originating from Norway.
This large cat is characterized by its very thick semi-long haired fur and its wild look.
Powerful in appearance, its head is characterized by its straight profile and strong chin.

Perhaps brought back by the Vikings from their journeys to the Caspian Sea, Norwegian is essentially a natural selection from the cold climate of Scandinavian countries.
Development of the breed began in the 1930s, and it was first recognized in 1972.
The breeding is marked by a constant effort of differentiation with the Maine coon and by the appearance of the amber color.

A common breed in Scandinavian countries, it is also common in France and the United Kingdom where it is one of the ten most represented.
Allusions to Norwegian appear in Norse mythology, then later, in writings and tales.

The cats are said to have arrived from southern Europe and were naturally selected by Norway's harsh climatic conditions: only those with the best adaptability by developing the thickest fur survived.
The Norwegian differs from other breeds in that it is not the product of extensive selection but because it is the result of a natural evolution that breeders are content to regulate, hence a certain harmony in its type.
Norwegian is part of the history of Scandinavia.

Some authors assume that the Norwegian was brought back from the Caspian Sea by the Vikings around the 8th century, for rat control purposes.

Breed development:
In 1938, the Norwegian was shown for the first time in an exhibition; the same year, the first purebred cat club was established in Norway.

Breeders establish a selection program in order to safeguard the rustic characteristics of this cat.
Indeed, the survival of this natural breed is then in danger, the proximity of cats to rural areas considerably increasing the chances of survival of subjects with short hairs.

In Oslo, in order to make it known, certain subjects are presented in exhibitions.
It was not until 1972 that the breed was recognized.

Three years later, the first breed club and standard were created based on Pan's Truls, which served as a model for establishing these first physical standards.
In 1976, it was the International Feline Federation (FIFe) which in turn recognized the Norwegian.

In order to diversify the genetic reservoir of the breed, we then seek subjects corresponding to the standard throughout the country.
A jury decides whether or not they deserve the title Norwegian Forest Cat.
It was so until 19901.

The first Norwegians arrived in Germany and the United States in 1979, in Great Britain in 1980, and in France in 1982; moreover, the breed features regularly in cat shows.

Norwegian is very popular in Norway and Sweden.
It is also appreciated in the rest of Europe.
Since 2003, the Norwegian has been among the top ten most popular breeds according to the Official Book of Feline Origins.

The breed is in decline, however, as it slowly fell from fifth place to eighth between 2003 and 2015.
There are approximately four hundred to five hundred births per year on French soil.

In the United States, the Norwegian is ranked fourteenth in the ranking of the most popular breeds according to the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) in 2014.

In the United Kingdom, according to the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF), the Norwegian is the eleventh most popular breed in 20147, with also a slight decline in the popularity of the breed, since it was the ninth breed in 2005.

However, the Norwegian comes up against two types of problem: first of all, it is often confused with the American Maine Coon, and it is to avoid this that Norwegian forest cat breeders modified the standard in 1987, specifying the differences that distinguish their race.

On the other hand, semi-longhaired European cats are sometimes sold as Norwegians.
This is why the novice class was prohibited to only accept individuals with pedigree in competition.

The Norwegian cat, of long and powerful type, is large, solidly built with a strong bone. It gives an impression of robustness and power.

The legs are medium tall with a strong bone structure and powerful musculature; the posterior ones are higher than the anterior ones.
Legs that are too short and ill-proportioned are penalized in competition.

The feet are large and round with significant tufts of hair between the toes.
The tail is long (it should be able to touch the neck), bushy and carried erect. A tail that is too short is considered a fault.

The Norwegian must have an equilateral triangle shaped head, a round or square head is considered a defect.
The profile must be perfectly straight and without stop.

The chin is strong and square, and the nose of medium length.
The eyes, almond-shaped, are placed obliquely and must present an alert and awake expression.
A profile with a break, a receding chin and round eyes are penalizing faults in show.

The ears are large, wide at the base and placed in line with the triangle formed by the head.
They can end in a tuft of hair like the ears of the lynx, which is appreciated without being obligatory.
Ears that are too small or too close together are considered a penalizing fault (but not an eliminatory one).

Coat and fur:
Traditional colors and patterns:
The coat is an important characteristic, it must be double, consisting of a woolly undercoat covered with a semi-long outer coat, falling on the sides, shiny and waterproof.

The undercoat forms breeches, called knickers, on the back of the thighs, and the outer coat forms a thick ruff on the throat.
The lack of undercoat and outer coat in winter as well as too silky or brittle fur are faults.

All colors are accepted except chocolate, lilac, fawn and cinnamon.
The colourpoint pattern is also prohibited.
All eye colors are also accepted.

Silver or smoke cats have the characteristic of having a silver undercoat.
The amber color is recognized in France for the first time by the LOOF on March 12, 2009.