The Norwegian Forest Cat, who is also affectionately known as a Wegie or Skogkatt, is one of the few naturally occurring pedigreed cat breeds. They differ from most other breeds in that their development to date has been the result of natural selection and evolution due to the harsh elements and environment that they inhabit.
The exact origin of the Norwegian Forest Cat can never be established. It is, however, a fact that cats matching the characteristics of the Skogkatt are found in Norwegian folklore, which describes them as the family pets of the Vikings. They are also believed to have accompanied the Vikings on their travels to the known and unknown world to keep their ships free of mice. Today, Norwegian Forest Cats are still found living as wild cats in the countryside and forests of Norway, Sweden and Finland.
Although the Forest Cat is an independent creature, she will usually bond with one person in the family, which will become ‘her person’. Other family members will also be loved, but special time will be sought to spend with her chosen owner. They are affectionate and will definitely lie next to you, but are not generally lap cats.
Living with a Wegie
Due to their people-oriented nature, you will find them following you around the house and taking an interest in anything you are taking an interest in, whether that be lying across your papers when working at your desk or lending a helping paw when typing an email. By getting a Norwegian kitten you are not getting a pet, but truly a new member of the family.
The cat for you?
The Norwegian Forest Cat is in essence a healthy and uncomplicated cat. Once your heart has been taken over by a Wegie there is no turning back – they are able to turn even the most unlikely person into an avid fan. Very rarely is only one in a home enough, they are truly addictive.
Text: Sunette Mulder