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Norwegian Forest Cat

Published on 5 May 2021

Norwegian forest cat front closeup portrait.

Their ancestors were the cats of Vikings, but today they make a striking and intelligent addition to the family. 

The Norwegian Forest cat’s ancestors are thought to have been brought to Norway on Viking ships over a thousand years ago. They likely served to keep ship rats at bay. 

Like many breeds of cat, numbers of Norwegian Forest Cats (locally known as Skogkatt) became dangerously low during World War II. Thankfully they were recovered, and the beautiful Norwegian Forest Cat is a popular companion once again, especially in Northern Europe. 

The Norwegian Forest Cat is a very large cat and can grow up to 40 cm tall and weigh up to 8kgs. They come in a wide array of colours including brown tabby, black and white, tortoiseshell, ginger and so on.

Cat Breed Facts & Characteristics



Also known as



Large, up to 40cm tall, 3.6 to 8kgs   

Weight range

3.6 to 8kgs


White, Black, Blue, Red, Cream, Brown, Silver, Tortoiseshell, Blue cream, Golden

Life expectancy

14 to 16 years


Long, with woolly undercoat, daily brushing required


Intelligent, energetic, friendly  

Exercise requirements


Best suited for 

Singles, couples, families 

Apartment friendly



Norwegian Forest Cats are said to be a gentle cat that enjoys company but retains an independent streak. They aren’t typically lap cats. They are playful and enjoy climbing and jumping, so keep plenty of toys and scratchers available and be ready to enjoy playtime with a Norwegian Forest Cat. They are well suited to apartment living if they have plenty to keep them occupied. 

Keeping your Norwegian Forest Cat indoors or in a cat friendly enclosure helps keep them safe from roads, other cats, snakes as well as helps to keep wildlife safe from your feline friend. 


With medium to long hair with a woolly undercoat, brushing daily or every second day helps keep the coat tangle free as well as helps remove loose hair as the Norwegian Forest Cat does shed. That long coat can make it hard to see nasties like ticks and fleas so year-round flea control is recommended as well as tick control if in a tick area. 


When choosing a food for a Norwegian Forest Cat, select a premium food appropriate to the cat's age and life stage, ideally that is formulated for optimal urinary health. 

Always the recommended feeding guides on the food to help avoid obesity and ensure appropriate nutrition. 

Always ensure cats have constant supply of fresh water available, and consider providing them with a water fountain, as many cats prefer drinking moving water.

Norwegian Forest cat sitting portrait.

Common Health Concerns 

With sensitive stomachs and urinary tracts, nutrition as noted above is very important in the Norwegian Forest Cat. Skin problems were also observed in the top five reasons why they visited the vet across 2019 and 2020, according to PetSure claims data. 

According to PetSure claims data across 2019 and 2020*, the five most common reasons for a Norwegian Forest Cat to visit the vet (excluding for routine visits like vaccinations) were: 

RankConditionAverage cost for single treatment
(average pet insurance claim amount)
Highest cost for single treatment (highest pet insurance claim seen for this condition)
2Gastrointestinal problems, including vomiting and diarrhoea$309$2,052
3Urinary tract disease, including urinary tract infections$185$643
4Skin problems, including dermatitis$109$191
5Cancer $338$1,422

*Disclaimer: Reimbursement for these claims would be subject to limits, such as annual benefit limits or sub-limits, benefit percentage, applicable waiting periods and any applicable excess. Cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording available from the relevant provider

Most popular Norwegian Forest Cat names

According to PetSure data from 2017-2020, the most popular names for Norwegian Forest cats were

Most popular names

  1. Pablo
  2. Cat
  3. Freya
  4. Missy
  5. Asha
  6. Bella
  7. Bowie
  8. Frank
  9. Jaxon
  10. Leo

Most popular female names

  1. Freya
  2. Missy
  3. Asha
  4. Bella
  5. Bowie
  6. Lexi
  7. Molly
  8. Momo
  9. Storm
  10. Tinka

Most popular male names

  1. Pablo
  2. Cat
  3. Frank
  4. Jaxon
  5. Leo
  6. Loki
  7. Lucky
  8. Meeko
  9. Odin
  10. Sir

Did you know?

The Norwegian Forest cat is the national cat of Norway. 

Norwegian Cat standing outdoors in forest looking for birds.

Norwegian Forest Cat FAQs

Are Norwegian Forest Cats expensive?

Norwegian Forest cats are generally priced between $800 to $1500 and depending on the breeder's popularity, the rare breed can range anywhere between $1200 to $5400 in Australia. 

Are Norwegian Forest Cats friendly?

Though they take a little time to get comfortable around people, Norwegian Forest cats are one of the most friendly and gentle breeds around. They love being around company and enjoy showing affection frequently.

Which is the bigger cat, Maine Coon or Norwegian Forest?

Though there isn't much size difference between both breeds of cats, Maine Coon cats generally grow bigger than Norwegian Forest Cats. 

Where a healthy male Maine Coon cat weighs around 5.9 to 8.2 kg and a mature female Maine Coon cat weighs around 3.6 to 5.4 kg; a healthy male Norwegian Forest cat weighs around 5.4 to 7.2 kg and a mature female Norwegian Forest cat weighs around 4 to 5.4 kg.

Can Norwegian Forest cats live in hot weather?

Big cats like the Norwegian Forest breed have thick coats and tough paws allowing them to adapt to freezing temperatures and heavy rain easily. Norwegian Forest cats do not live well in hot climates unless provided with air conditioning throughout the day.

Do Norwegian Forest cats shed?

Norwegian Forest cats are quite the high-maintenance breed when it comes to their grooming. They have dense undercoats that shed heavily and require a lot of combing to keep away knots and maintain their beautiful look.

Where can I get a Norwegian Forest Cat?

Your local animal shelter or rescue organisation is the best place to look for a cat as shelters generally have many cats. It may be possible to find a Norwegian Forest Cat through a breed specific rescue. 


  1. Wikipedia, Norwegian Forest Cat, accessed on 02/03/2021
  2. Cat Fanciers Association, The Norwegian Forest Cat, accessed on 02/03/2021

Terms, conditions, waiting periods, limits and exclusions apply. is issued by The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd ABN 78 090 584 473, AFSL 241436, is arranged and administered by PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 95 075 949 923, AFSL 420183 (PetSure) and is promoted and distributed by PetSure’s Authorised Representatives (AR) Pet Insurance Pty Ltd ABN 38 607 160 930, AR 1234944 and Pet Culture Pty Ltd ABN 69 644 613 098, AR 001284860. Any advice provided is general only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to ensure this product meets your needs before purchasing. PDS and Target Market Determination available at .

Kylie Mitchell

Kylie Mitchell


Kylie Mitchell is a veterinarian with over 17 years experience in animal health and welfare, including in the veterinary and pet insurance industries

She has three rescue cats (Noah, Bei Bei and Meeka), four very old cockatiels and a pond-full of fish.

Kylie Mitchell's Pets

  • MeekaMeeka
  • Bei BeiBei Bei
  • NoahNoah

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