Although in the United States the Norwegian Forest Cat is currently considered a "New Breed," it is indeed centuries old in its native homeland. Norse mythology speaks of a cat so huge that even the god Thor could not lift it from the ground. The goddess of Love and Fertility, Freya, had a carriage pulled by two large cats. National fairy tales by Asbjomsen and Moe mention Troll Cats who were huge and furry; later translations changed Troll into Forest Cat. In 1912, Gabriel Scott, a renowned Norwegian poet, wrote an entire book about a white Forest Cat, "Snowflaks," who was mobbed by the other cats because he was longhaired.
Until 1938, the Forest Cat was just a domestic cat like any other cat in Norway. This lynx-like cat was called the "Skaukatt" by people who knew about its existence. No one really cared about this longhaired stray cat except the farmer, who appreciated this big, beautiful domestic cat. Forest Cats can still be found on farms in Norway.
No one really knows how long Forest Cats have existed in Norway. They may be descendants of shorthaired cats brought in from England by the Vikings and longhaired cats brought in by the Crusaders. They do not look like Persians or like longhaired shorthair cats. They are something very special. The rough Norwegian climate has been hard on humans, but it has been a blessing to the cats. The Norwegian Forest Cat has become what it is today because only the fittest remained alive. As these cats had to feed and defend themselves from enemies in the forests, only the ones who were best at hunting and fast to escape from predators survived. Cats who lived through their first winter were long legged, springy, intelligent and brave. This very special breed evolved without any human interference.
In 1975 an association called "Norsk Skogkattring" was established in order to lead the breeding in the right direction. Strict rules were followed by the breeders. Only genuine Forest Cats were allowed in the breeding program. In order to control this, meetings were arranged and cat owners were invited to come and show their cat before the Breed Committee. Only cats recognized by the Committee could be registered as such.
In describing the Forest Cat the foremost characteristic is disposition. Their purr boxes are constantly working and they continually exhibit their love of people. If they have a fault, it is that they want to be with you and love you all the time. With a Forest Cat in the house you have to close the door to get any privacy. True to their origins in the forests, they are exceedingly alert and very intelligent. A Norwegian Forest Cat is a big and strongly built cat with a medium length body and hind legs higher than the front legs. It is muscular and heavy boned. The head is triangular shaped with all three sides equal. The profile is long and straight with no break, stop, or bump, and the cat has a strong chin. The eyes are extremely expressive, large and almond shaped set at a slight angle with the outer corner slightly higher than the inner corner. All eye colors are accepted, including blue and odd-eyed whites. The ears are medium large, set on the head so that they follow the line of the triangle from the outer base of the ears down to the chin. The ears are well tufted and many of the cats have lynx-like tips. The tail is long and flowing and carried high. The Forest Cat is accepted in all colors and patterns except color-prints.
The breed is known for its long, rich fur with a woollv undercoat covered by long guardhairs. This coat is warm and water-repellant requiring less grooming than some other longhair cats. The ruff in winter is truly magnificent, exhibiting three separate sections: a short back of the neck ruff, side mutton chops, and a full frontal bib. When feeling the coat, one should get the feeling of denseness especially on the tabbies. Solids, bicolors, and tricolors often have a softer coat. The length of the coat is semi-long which means that it should not be as long as a Persian coat.
The development of the coats is very special. As a kitten the Norwegian Forest Cat has a long woolly coat. At the age of three months the kitten coat starts to change, and for a long time (sometimes several months) the kitten looks shorthaired except for a bushy tail. The guardhairs start to grow when the kitten is about five months old, but can take a long time to develop. Some of the cats do not have a fully mature coat until they are two years old. The Forest Cat appears almost shorthaired in the summer. The undercoat drops in the spring, and the new undercoat starts growing in the fall. Indoor cats and outdoor cats have different coats. The outdoor cat develops a much more woolly undercoat than a cat that is kept inside, however the Norwegian Forest Cat is well suited to indoor life.
The overall appearance is of an alert, healthy, firm, muscular, and well proportioned cat. The males are large and imposing (averaging 12 to 15 lbs.) while the females are considerably smaller. It should be noted that this breed is not fully mature until five years of age. The Norwegian females are especially good mothers, keep their offspring in tow as long as you will let them, and have been known to readily adopt other kittens as well.
November 1, 1979 saw the entry of the first breeding pair into the United States. Currently there are over 500 registered Norwegian Forest Cats in the U.S. The Forest Cat has been accepted for registration in six associations: ACA, ACFA, CFA, CFF, CROWN, and TICA. They are accepted for championship competition in ACFA, CFF, CROWN, and TICA.
At Advent Hill Cattery we emphasize health and a loving disposition as well as correct type and size. We handle each kitten with gentleness and love from birth onward to ensure that, whether they are destined for the show ring or to be treasured family pets, they will be loving and confident. We will sell no kitten until it has had sufficient time to develop its personality as a cat and receive its immunizations. We feel that the wait is a small price to pay to ensure that the new owner receive a healthy, well-adjusted cat. For a breed that remains kitten-like its whole life, a few weeks extra is not so important.
We specialize in shipping our cats all over the world. An Advent Hill Norwegian Forest Cat was the first Norwegian Forest Cats in Hong Kong. We have Advent Hill cats living in Japan, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, England and France, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico.
We only sell our kittens by reservation and only to approved homes. If you are interested in acquiring one of our beautiful, happy Norwegian Forest Cats we welcome your inquiry. We encourage anyone interested in Norwegian Forest Cats to contact us and learn more about this wonderful breed. Our cattery specializes in Brown Mackerel Tabbies with or without white, Black and Black with white, Silver Mackerel Tabbies with white.