Věra Suková a Helena Suková

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Norwegian Forest Cat History

History:

The Norwegian Forest Cat is adapted to survive Norway's cold weather. Its ancestors may include black and white shorthair cats brought to Norway from Great Britain sometime after 1000 AD by the Vikings and longhaired cats brought to Norway by Crusaders. These cats could have reproduced with farm and feral stock and might have eventually evolved into the modern-day Norwegian Forest Cat. The Siberian and the Turkish Angora, longhaired cats from Russia and Turkey, respectively, are also possible ancestors of the breed. Norse legends refer to the Skogkatt as a "mountain-dwelling fairy cat with an ability to climb sheer rock faces that other cats could not manage." Since the Norwegian Forest Cat is a very adept climber, author Claire Bessant believes that the Skogkatt could be about the Norwegian Forest Cat.

Many people believe that the ancestors of the Norwegian Forest Cat served as mousers on Viking ships. They lived in the Norwegian forests for many centuries but were later prized for their hunting skills and were used on Norwegian farms. Norwegian Forest Cats would continue acting as mousers on Norwegian farms until they were discovered in the early twentieth century by cat enthusiasts.

In 1938 the first Norwegian Forest Cat Club was formed. The club's movement to preserve the breed was interrupted by World War II. Owing to cross-breeding with free-ranging domestic cats during the war, the Norwegian Forest Cat became endangered and nearly extinct until the Norwegian Forest Cat Club helped the breed make a comeback by developing an official breeding program. Since the cat did not leave Norway until the 1970s, it was not registered as a breed in the Fédération Internationale Féline, a European federation of cat registries, until Carl-Fredrik Nordane, a local cat fancier, took notice of the breed, and made efforts to register it. The breed was registered in Europe by the 1970 and officially recognized in 1976. In 1978, it was recognized in Sweden, and in 1989, they were accepted as a breed in the United Kingdom. In the US was not recognized by the American Cat Fanciers Association until 1994.

Description:

The Norwegian Forest Cat is strongly built and larger than an average cat. The breed has a long, sturdy body, long legs and a long bushy tail. The coat consists of a long, glossy, thick and water-repellant top layer and a woolly undercoat and is thickest at the legs, chest and head. The profile of the breed is generally straight.

The head is long, with an over-all shape similar to an equilateral triangle, a strong chin, and a muzzle of medium length;

The eyes are almond shaped and oblique, and may be of any colour. The ears are large, wide at the base, high set, have a tufted top, are placed in the extension of the triangle formed by the head, and end with a tuft of hair like the ears of the lynx.

Since the cats have very strong claws, they are very good climbers, and can even climb rocks.

Females usually weight between 4-6kg with males 5-8kg. Usual life spam is between 14-16 years of age.

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