Are Norwegian Forest Cats Rare: Why This Breed Is Uncommon and Its Characteristics

Norwegian Forest cats are not considered rare, but they are a relatively uncommon breed outside their native Norway. They are quite popular in Norway and are even considered the country’s national cat breed. However, in other parts of the world, such as the United States, they are still considered a less common breed.

If you’re curious about their lifespan, It will take 15 years for a Norwegian Forest Cat to live. That being said, the popularity of Norwegian Forest cats has been growing steadily in recent years, so that they may become more common. While they are not as popular as breeds like the Persian, Siamese, or Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest cats have a dedicated following among cat lovers who appreciate their distinctive features, such as their long, fluffy coats, bushy tails, and charming personalities.

What Makes Norwegian Forest Cats Less Common

One of the reasons that Norwegian Forest cats may be considered rare in some regions is that they are a breed that originated in Norway and have only been actively bred outside of their native country relatively recently. This means they may not be as well-known or readily available as other cat breeds established for longer periods.

Norwegian Forest cats are also known for their long, thick, water-repellent coats, which can be challenging to maintain. This may make them less appealing to some cat owners who prefer low-maintenance breeds.

Norwegian Forest cats have unique appearances and personalities that may differ from everyone’s taste. They are typically large and muscular cats with a wild, rugged appearance and a playful, friendly nature. While these traits make them beloved by their fans, they may be less appealing to those looking for a more traditional-looking or sedate feline companion.

The Characteristics of Norwegian Forest Cats


Norwegian Forest cats are large cats weighing anywhere from 4.5 to 9 kilograms, known for their muscular and sturdy build, which makes them well-suited for life in the wilds of Norway, where they originated. In addition to their weight, Norwegian Forest cats are also known for their height, typically taller than most domestic cat breeds, at 9 to 12 inches.

Despite their large size, Norwegian Forest cats are agile and athletic, with long legs that allow them to easily run, jump, and climb. They are also known for their strong, thick tails, often as long as their bodies and covered in fur.

Not all Norwegian Forest cats will reach their maximum size, as individual cats can vary in their growth rates and overall health. However, these cats are generally considered a large breed with a distinctive appearance and muscular build.


Norwegian Forest cats have thick, long-haired coats, one of their most distinctive features. Their fur is designed to keep them warm in the cold climate of Norway, where the breed originated, and has several unique characteristics.

The coat of a Norwegian Forest cat is typically water-repellent because the outer layer of the fur is made up of long, oily guard hairs that repel moisture and help to keep the cat dry. Underneath the guard hairs is a layer of thick, woolly fur that provides insulation and helps to keep the cat warm.

The fur of a Norwegian Forest cat can come in various colors, including white, black, blue, red, cream, and more. They may also have distinctive patterns, such as tabby stripes or white markings. Another notable feature of a Norwegian Forest cat’s coat is the presence of ear tufts. These tufts of fur on the tips of the ears are characteristic of the breed and help to protect their ears from the cold and wind.

Maintaining the coat of a Norwegian Forest cat can be a challenge, as it requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. However, many owners find the beauty and softness of their cat’s fur to be well worth the effort.

Facial Features

Norwegian Forest cats have distinct and unique facial features that set them apart from other cat breeds. They have triangular-shaped heads with long, straight noses and strong chins. Their heads are medium to large and proportionate with the rest of their bodies.

As mentioned, one of the most distinctive features of Norwegian Forest cats is their tufted ears. These are long, pointed ears with tufts of fur on the tips resembling a Lynx’s ears. The tufts help to protect their ears from the cold and wind in their native Norway.

Norwegian Forest cats have large, almond-shaped eyes that are slightly slanted and set at an angle to their ears. The color of their eyes can vary from green, gold, or copper, depending on the individual cat. These cats have a sweet and friendly expression, with an open and curious look in their eyes. Their gentle and approachable appearance makes them popular among cat lovers.


Norwegian Forest cats are playful and active cats who enjoy toys, climbing, and exploring their surroundings. They are intelligent, curious, and always up for a game or adventure. They are loving and loyal pets who enjoy spending time with their owners and are known for their gentle and affectionate nature and love to cuddle and be petted.

Although they enjoy the company of their owners, Norwegian Forest cats are also independent and self-sufficient. They are happy to entertain themselves and can be left alone for extended periods without becoming anxious or stressed. They are adaptable and can adjust well to different living environments. They can be indoor or outdoor cats and are well-suited to the city and rural life.

Norwegian Forest cats are generally good with children and pets, including dogs. They are patient and gentle and can make great family pets. They are vocal cats, unafraid to let their owners know when they want attention or food. They have various meows and chirps and are known for their expressive vocalizations.

Activity Level

Norwegian Forest cats are an active and energetic breed that enjoys playing, exploring, and engaging in various forms of physical activity. They have a great love of play and are always up for a game. They enjoy chasing toys, climbing furniture and scratching posts, and engaging in interactive play with their owners.

As a breed that originated in the forests of Norway, Norwegian Forest cats have an instinct for climbing. They enjoy scaling tall trees, perching on high shelves, and exploring their surroundings from an elevated perspective. Norwegian Forest cats have a strong prey drive and love to hunt, and they enjoy chasing after toys or small objects; some even like catching insects or small rodents.

Norwegian Forest cats also require regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. In addition, owners should provide them with plenty of opportunities for physical activity, such as playtime, climbing structures, and access to outdoor spaces.

Although Norwegian Forest cats can be kept indoors, they enjoy exploring the outdoors. They are well-suited to rural environments where they can roam and hunt, but they can also adapt to urban environments with access to safe outdoor spaces.