by Emily Bruer
Do you know about the Norwegian Forest Cat, the Siberian Forest Cat, or the Maine Coon?Each of these breeds is larger than life and full of personality!
Norwegian Forest Cat
This majestic feline has a history shrouded in myth and mystery. It’s said that the Norwegian traveled on ships with the Vikings and even appeared in Norse mythology and legends.
Other names you may hear in reference to these Viking cats are Skogkatt or Norsk Skogkatt. This beloved cat was even made the official cat of Norway by King Olaf in the 1970s.
Early in the 20th century the Norwegian was facing possible extinction. Special breeding programs were founded with the intent of preserving the breed, but WWI and WWII halted their progress. The program started back up in the 1970s and is still going strong today.
The first breeding pair of Norwegians was imported to the U.S. in 1979 and it was granted championship status with The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1984. The breed has grown to be very popular in the states and with fanciers across the globe.
The Norwegian has a beautiful thick coat that it developed during the harsh winters in Norway. Its undercoat is dense and topcoat is water resistant. Grooming is surprisingly easy, as it only requires brushing once or twice a week.
Also notable is the Norwegian’s stocky, yet athletic body. These cats are very athletic and capable hunters that can adapt to almost any situation with ease.
Most fanciers would describe the Forest cat as mild mannered and loving. They enjoy cuddling with their owners, but like to maintain their independence. They are very intelligent and are great at learning tricks and playing games. They are great around other pets and children, and make great additions to just about any cat loving home.
Siberian Forest Cat
The origin of this ancient breed predates written records, though the earliest references to them were made in 1000AD. Russian fanciers began keeping records of the breed in 1980, and it was officially recognized by TICA in 1992.
The Siberian is a large cat with heavy bones and powerful muscles. His back legs are slightly longer than his front, making him a powerful jumper.
In the winter, these fancy felines have a dense triple layer coat, but in the summer it sheds for one much lighter and easier to manage. Daily brushings are required year round to keep their gorgeous coats tangle free and beautiful.
With a personality as big as they are, the Siberian is known for her loving personality and dedication to her owner. She loves playing games and is intelligent enough to learn just about anything you want to teach her.
If you are looking for the perfect family cat, the Siberian is as perfect as it gets. She does well with children and other animals and bonds closely to her family. Be ready for her to greet you with chirps when you walk through the door after a day away from the house.
Maine Coon Cat
This legendary cat breed has a mysterious background, with one myth even stating that it is a mix between raccoons and feral cats. While this is biologically impossible, the actual origins are unknown.
Though many believe they are descendants of cats brought to the states by the Vikings —most likely Norwegian Forest Cats — that mixed with the native cats of the land.
These felines have a thick coat that is water resistant and heavy. It is easy to maintain, requiring only weekly brushings. They come in all colors and patterns, with the most prominent being the brown tabby. Their tails are bushy and long, and are a great indicator of their moods.
Maine Coons are extremely people-oriented and intelligent. They love nothing more than accompanying their owners through the house and curling up with them for snuggle time. These kitties are great with kids and other pets and are a relatively quiet cat breed.
The Maine Coon, Siberian, and Norwegian are all highly intelligent cats that pick up on toilet training and other endeavors rather quickly. If you’d like to adopt a cat that needs a home, check out the listings on a national adoption databases like Petfinder or Adopt-a-pet, or breed-specific rescue websites or social media groups.
Emily Bruer has been penning the adventures of her imagination since she was old enough to hold a pencil. Working at animal shelters for the last five years, she learned an incredible amount about animal care and behavior. She is currently employed at a vet clinic where she continues her animal education. Emily’s love of animals is evident when you step into her home, which she shares with six dogs and six cats, all of whom were rescues.