The Norwegian Forest Cat originated between 1500 and 4,000 years ago, as a result of natural selection.
One theory about their origin is that the Vikings brought short-haired from the British archipelago that mixed with long-haired cats brought by the crusaders. Another theory claims they are a hybrid of Siberian forest cats from Russia and Turkish Angoras.
These cats have been the subject of Norse folklore for millennia.
Breeders from Finland describe the cat as the “mystic wildcat of the fairy tales.”
Norse mythology says forest cats were the favorites of Freyja, goddess of love, fertility and the hearth, who traveled in a chariot drawn by either two white or gray forest cats.
The strong, big cats were almost certainly the cats that traveled on Viking ships, and were kept back in Viking barns, keeping them mouse-and-disease-free.
Weighing up to 16 pounds, their large size is mostly fluff. Up to 75% fur, they are the perfect kitty to cuddle with.
They have a dense double coat, with a down-like layer underneath and a water-resistant layer on top to keep them warm during the long, cold Nordic winters.