Norwegian Forest Cat

Many breeds have geographically based names that sometimes have nothing whatsoever to do with where the cat originated. The Norwegian Forest Cat—the “wegie,” as fans call them—really did originate in the forests of Norway. (In their homeland, they are known as the Skaukatt. Nearby Sweden’s version is the Rugkatt, while Denmark’s is the Racekatte.) As you might expect, a thick coat and stout body help this cat survive in a cold climate.

This large longhaired cat resembles the Maine Coon, though the two breeds are not related. They do share the need to roam the outdoors, both are good hunters who like a certain amount of independence, and both breeds are very affectionate. Wegies have been known to fish and even to swim.

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