What is the temperament of a Norwegian Forest Cat?

What is the temperament of a Norwegian Forest Cat? People want to know. The terms used to describe the personality of this large, long-haired Norwegian breed are: brave and loving, adventurous, adaptable, independent, responsive, alert, inventive, affectionate, good-natured, playful, athletic, strong, quick, bold, mischievous, calm, confident, intelligent, sturdy, rugged, agile…a great cat basically from the standpoint of personality.

Individual Cats

Let’s be serious though: each individual cat has his or her own personality and it is not that clever really to claim that all cats of one breed have a certain precise personality. There will be a general trend towards a type of personality due to selective breeding over many years but this is a discussion about nature/nurture. Breeding is nature while nurture is how the cat is raised which will vary.


As you can tell, the terms used to describe this cat’s personality are very wide and general. They are more or less describing most domestic cats. And let’s not forget that this cat’s character is dependent upon how well the individual has been socialized when young. There’s almost nothing more important than a high level of socialization during the early formative weeks.

Barn Cat

The Norwegian Forest cat lived in Norway as a random bred, barn cat for hundreds of years without anybody in their country thinking much about it until one day in 1912 they decided to create a purebred cat. The first named Norwegian Forest Cat (NFC) was a male called Gabrielle Scott Solvfaks. He is recorded in the Norwegian Society. Nothing substantial happened until the 1930s when the breed took off and planned breeding programs followed. So this cat breed really started in the 1930s in Norway and is now a very popular internationally recognized cat breed.

Maine Coon

The NFC is similar to the Maine Coon. They’re both large cats although the Maine Coon is larger. The main difference really is in the face. The Maine Coon has a very strong (square) muzzle while the Norwegian Forest Cat has a more conventional face with a more pointed muzzle. They both have shaggy long hair and beautiful tails. Another difference is the flamboyant lynx tipped ears of the Maine Coon compared to the more or less conventional ears of the NFC. The Maine Coon is slightly more popular and better known. The Siberian cat is also similar.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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