Breed history


The Norwegian Forest Cat Rescue

and Welfare Society (UK)

Rescue and re - homing centre for the Norwegian forest cat  and working together to promote the  preservation and original qualities of the breed



  About the NFC

    Aims of Society



  Membership  Fundraising 


Breeders List

    Kitten List

     Adolescent List

  Show Gallery

      Pet Gallery



Show Standard of points   


Colours of the breed


health of the breed    (not live)



Brief History of the Skaukatt


Wegies, Norwegian Forest Cats, Skaukatt - all names of the medium-haired cat from Northern Europe - Skaukatt' is the Norwegian word meaning literally Forest Cat, Skogkatt and Norwegian Forest Cat is the Official name adopted by FIFe/GCCF and other Cat organisations. Wegies is a popular shortened version.

We do not know how long it has been stalking the Norwegian forests, or even when it first approached people and joined the ancient Vikings in their wanderings. But we do know that it has adapted to the harshest climate on the furthest northern reaches of Europe. Like a small but beautiful version of the lynx, the Norwegian Forest Cat is part of Norway's fauna. For many of us Norwegians, it is the faerie cat we chance upon while out in the wilderness. Proud - yes, of course - and with a good deal in it that is still wild, yet not aggressive and quite prepared to be affectionate.

Yes, there is still something wild in its watchful gaze, alert, all-seeing; its triangular head with the square profile; its elegant ears with the long, lynx-like tufts that seem all of a character with ancient, shaggy spruce and lichen-covered pine; its body, lithe and muscular, ready to meet any challenge that comes its way; its slender legs and strong thighs for the speed to streak away or the strength to climb to the very top of the tallest tree; its bushy tail, waving triumphantly over everything and everyone; and its fur, two layers, thick and warm, at its fullest an impressive sight.

The forest cat's inner fur is covered with a long, smooth, pendent outer coat that can be best compared to a protective shield. It stops water from penetrating to its inner fur and skin and thus enables the cat to shrug off downpours, snow and gales, and to cope with temperatures that may drop to thirty or forty degrees C below zero. A fantastic, natural cat we recognized long ago as Norway's national cat, and our purebred Norwegian Forest Cat.

Back in the thirties, people were already discussing the idea of recognizing the breed. The war put a stop to all that, but, come the fifties and sixties, the idea was dusted off again. With the foundation of the (NRR)  Norske Rasekattklubbers Riksforbund  (Norwegian National Association of Pedigree Cats) in 1963, recognition for the forest cat was a matter of pride for its president, Carl-Fredrik Nordane. The members of the Breeding Council at the time recall how they went out to see two kittens at the Oslo home of Else and Egil Nylund. They had heard of a fine, red forest cat, but the tears nearly came to their eyes when they saw the brown and white tiger striped Truls, a glorious specimen who became the first prototype of the Norwegian Forest Cat breed



(N) Lucy with Truls & siblings © Else Nylund


Gradually, a group of enthusiasts became involved in breeding the cats: the Norsk Skogkattring (Norwegian Forest Cat Circle) was founded in 1975 and the Norwegian Forest Cat was provisionally recognized in 1976. Then came the trial by fire - the general assembly of the FIFe in Paris, November 1977.




FIFe's General Assembly 1977 © L . M. Blythe


While the whole world of Norwegian Forest Cat enthusiasts sat tense and trembling at home, Carl-Fredrik Nordane and Arvid Engh went to Paris as delegates of the NPCA, and showed Tom B. Jensen's splendid pictures of Truls and other forest cats. Hurrying from the spectators' bench, Helen Nordane wired back to Norway and the same evening -the smiling faces and waving Norwegian flags tell the rest of the story.




Carl Fredrik Nordane and Arvid Engh return
to Oslo from Paris - met by Truls himself © Else Nylund


Truls was the main story on the Norwegian Television. The newspapers followed with broad coverage.



The Famous International Premier Pan's Truls © Tom B. Jensen


The Norwegian standard of excellence was recognized from the start and has been the yardstick ever since, with slight modifications in 1987 and a few new characteristics in 1993. The cats are judged by type, not colour, even if sub-divided into groups for show purposes.

The breed has become incredibly popular in recent years. Norwegian Forest Cats are often the main breed shown at Norwegian and Swedish shows, and there is a large and growing interest on the continent. Norwegian Forest Cats have their own associations in most European countries. Finally, today there are Norwegian Forest Cats in most countries around the globe. Not bad for a natural cat from the deep forest - where, despite everything, it still does best!




© Else Nylund

Author - Raymond Saetre from Norway
Translated by Bjørn Steensrud from Norway
Edited by Lorraine Twyman


All registered Norwegian Forest Cats  are descended from Norwegian, Swedish or Finnish cats, with no cross breeding allowed. Some Non-FIFe registries in Germany may also have registered novice NFOs.

Copyright © 2011- 2014  The Norwegian Forest Cat Society - all rights reserved.