Pans Truls (Pan’s Truls) is the original Norwegian Forest (NFC) tomcat from which the breed standard was written, and it still applies today. This is the original and the guiding light of the entire breed. An important cat. I find it interesting. It is the first time that I have seen a photograph of the foundation cat of an entire cat breed. It should remind us of how the Norwegian Forest Cat (NFC) should look. And here he is in all his glory. He looks great and still very classic NFC 👍💓. Sometimes cats from some breeds look very different from 50 years ago to the way they look now. Not so for the NFC.
Breeders can sometimes wander from the breed standard. Pans Truls is the target. The quality of the photo is not great. I have enlarged it slightly. It is actually a photograph of a print of a photograph. This accounts for the poorish quality.
Pans Truls was a brown tabby and white. He had a very copious coat. Look how full it is. A Google Scholar abstract (summary) tells us a bit about this handsome tomcat who was so crucial in the creation of the NFC.
Remember that the NFC is somewhat like the Maine Coon in one important respect: they were both farm cat moggies with a long history going back thousands of years it is believed until it was decided that they should become purebred, pedigree cats and join the cat fancy. Selective breeding began to achieve this.
RELATED: Origin of the breed.
The article that provides some detail is “Breed status of the Norwegian forest cat from viewpoint of Eugenics”. Ina Pernille states:
“Pans Truls is the tomcat where the breed standard is taken from. He was born 1st of May 1973 and lived with the Nyland family outside of Oslo. It was the photographs of Pans Truls that got the breeding committee to decide that Pans Truls should be the breed standard for the Norwegian Forest Cat.”
The Norsk Skogskattring (The Norwegian Forest Cat Club) is a club comprising members who are interested in preserving the breed and ensuring that it progresses. It was founded in 1975 and has today around 300 Norwegian members (188 in Norway plus others in sister organisations).
In the late 1970s a pair of NFCs were shipped to the USA. The breed achieved championship status under the CFA in 1993.
I guess there are two main objectives: health and appearance. These two objectives can clash as preserving the original appearance through inbreeding leads to inherited diseases and the NFC is no exception in this regard.
The NFC suffers from the following inherited diseases: Glycogen storage disease IV, Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, hip dysplasia, retinal dysplasia, non-pruritic granuloma and patellar luxation. There should be better screening for Glycogen storage disease IV.
RELATED: Norwegian Forest Cat – plenty of detail.
It is sad to see this. When breeders start with a small gene pool as they must you get these diseases which you find much less often in the random bred population. In combination they shorten lifespan.
Some more on the Norwegian Forest Cat, a breed which has become a little lost because of the success of the similar Maine Coon.