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Norwegian Forest Cat

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Unlike some other cat breeds with a location in their names, the Norwegian Forest Cat truly did originate in Norway. It is a hardy, sturdy cat with a thick, heavy coat, well-equipped to survive in the harsh Scandanavian winters.

They have almond-shaped eyes and sweet expressions. "Wegies" (WEE-jees) are found in most colors and patterns, although most commonly in tabby patterns with white.

Although they bear some superficial resemblance to the Maine Coon, mostly in coloration, they are in fact totally different cats. They have straight profiles, a more compact body, and very sweet expressions. The nose and tips of the ears should form an equilateral triangle. They are a very slow-maturing breed, taking a full five years to reach their full size and development. Males generally grow to between fifteen and eighteen pounds in adulthood, with females somewhat smaller.

The first documented appearance of this breed in the show world was at a cat show in Oslo, Norway in 1938, though the onset of World War II derailed the breed for the next few decades. In the 1970s, Norwegian breeders made a concerted effort to preserve this breed, and by 1977 had standardized the breed in their country, and the first breeding pair were exported to the United States in late 1979.

They are a loving, affectionate, though not overly demonstrative cat. They require regular grooming to maintain their coats, as their full undercoats can mat with inattention.

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