Updated 16 July
It all began when I saw the
most stunning of cats in a cat magazine. He was a black neutered
male and a very impressive sight. I looked further and saw he was a
natural breed called a Skogkatt and I just had to have one. I
searched and found a breeder in County Durham who indeed did have a
litter and to my delight not only did they have a black female
but the lady was also Norwegian! The names of the breeders are June
and Barry Evans and they used to breed under the GCCF prefix
Of course we purchased
Eventyrkatt Titania initially as a show cat. After lengthy
discussion and learning the history of the breed from June we asked
if we may have Titania as a breeding female providing she developed
a good enough type. We enjoyed her development as a kitten to adult
and stayed in touch with June and Barry - in fact we are the
absolute best of friends from then to now - almost eleven years.
June has been my inspiration and my mentor for this breed and I not
only thank her for that but also for being such a wonderful friend.
We learned very quickly that the Skogkatt was not doing so well of
late - the cats were too small and fine boned and hardly resembled
what they were or should be. Now for the challenge with June's help
and advice we needed to do something about this.
The first 10 years of breeding
for us has taken us on a journey with much enjoyment and passion. We
initially, as many breeders in the UK are still, not treated
so well by other breeders and no one really seemed to what to help
us get started. This was and still is a story many people will tell
which is unfortunate. After applying to a few what we thought good
breeders for a stud service for Titania we were promptly turned down
due to the sire of her - not so popular we found - although we
thought he was a very nice cat. The jealousy and control in some
breeders we found quite ridiculous. On the one hand the breed needed
a lot of work and on the other they all seemed to what to keep the
breed to themselves.
Our first goal we
set for our first 10 years of breeding I have left on this page
below - it will over time build up a type of diary of our time since
the first days of our breeding programme.
Anyway things moved on a pace when we decided
if this is the way the UK breeders were then we would make our own
arrangements and do it alone. This we did. We selected a lovely male
for stud in Denmark whose bloodlines were not so well known here
especially on his fathers side. We contacted the Breeder and secured
now Champion DK Elkington's King of the Road. What a lovely boy he
is too. We then imported Tigra de la Cachouteba from France -
a lovely silver female who has a very old pedigree and to Odin
produces kittens of excellence.
During these past ten years we
have imported a few cats and we have taken the journey to inbreed
and line breed for a few years. This we did not take on board
lightly at all., despite some breeders not liking the way we do
things. Pedigrees of the cats used in this programme were checked
and double checked, ancestors both in reverse and sideways were
researched and as many breeders as we could contact we wrote and
asked about any health issues. Our reason for breeding this way was to selectively breed for the strength of bone and size
with good coats and temperaments - we wanted to fix these
characteristics as size and coat quality is the main characteristics
disappearing fast. Health is very important to us in our cats and in
any progeny produced and to date in all the kittens we have bred,
just seven are not alive today, five of those had been
killed on the roads and two put to sleep, one caught an infectious
disease and the other was put to sleep because he had symptoms of
irritable bowel due to being fed the wrong foods! and when diagnosed
and advised by her vet to place him on a prescription diet she
complained about the cost (not that she was at all financially
constrained!) - I even offered to pay for the food and asked
for him back - but no - she put him to sleep anyway and this is one
I cannot ever forgive or forget. Aside for that we have an
excellent breeding record with people all over the word requesting
our cats to further the breed in their countries. We are also
achieving very good results on the show bench.
Here are three
examples of our breeding programme.
First is Grand
Champion Norgeskaukatt Skvala. Skvala was a result of a father to
daughter mating. Sire: Champion DK* Elkingtons King of the Road and
Dam: Champion Norgeskaukatt Drifa. Skvala is a very large 8 kilo
male who has been regularly heart screened as standard procedure, as
well as all of our cats regularly health checked. Skvala achieved
Grand Champion in 6 straight shows with many best of breeds as well
as a few best in varietiy and best in show semi longhair. We did
start him on the Imperial Grand Champion route, he was much older
and became a little temperamental being placed in show pens next to
and around other entire males. - He did not enjoy their pheromones
too much :-) so for now had retired him from the bench. He
will return this year.
example is Grand Champion Norgeskaukatt Gojenta-Mi. Mi-Mi as she is
known. A daughter of Grand Champion Norgeskaukatt Skvala who was
outcrossed to (N) Lotte Menotte's Presious, Presious. Presious is a
very small Norwegian Forest cat whom we imported from Bergen
in Norway. However, despite her small size she does have an
excellent coat quality and lovely temperament and expression, in
fact she has in her breeding time produced some outstanding
kittens to all males she has been mated in combination with. Gojenta-Mi
has followed in her fathers footsteps on the show bench. Achieving
many best of breeds and best in variety as well as best semi
longhair and before the age of 2 she became Grand Champion in 6
straight shows and has at this moment of writing 4 Imperial Grand
Challenge certificates - needing just one more. Mi-mi also has her
first Supreme UK Grand Challenge as we await the supreme next year
to hope for her second and final.
in size for a female has an outstanding type and excellent boning
and coat quality - she is to be mated in the spring.
Our third example
is one whom we are very proud of. Years ago a 10 kilos cat was the
norm for males but the size has sadly gone in many lines now. In
fact it is quite common to hear people say " if a breeder says 10
kilos they are either over exaggerating - or their scales are
reading incorrectly or the cat is fat", well here is a boy at just 3
years of age who was weighed at the vets at 9.9 kilos and not an
ounce of fat on him - he is solid and still growing. His name is
Norgeskaukatt Esbjørn. Isn't he gorgeous. His father is Grand
Champion Norgeskaukatt Skvala who was outcrossed to Tigra De
La Cachouteba, a very fine breeding queen we imported from France
with exeptionally old pedigree lines. Hopefully we will repeat this
combination soon. Esbjørn is a neutered male who was homed as a
kitten. He returned to us not so long ago for very good reasons,
he has been looked after extremely well in fact he was totally
adored, circumstances change and we are very happy to have this boy
back. His previous owners will stay in contact with him which is
lovely. Now we can produce cats of the old original type and size
which has taken many years to get to this point we now have
our initial goal achieved. We now move on to the next breeding
We have now finished
breeding programme and achieved what we set out to do - to breed
good size and coat quality and bring back the boning. Moving forward
into our eleventh year ( now 2011) we will now concentrate
on our new breeding programme with the next generations of breeding
cats. At the time of writing we will be running on a few kittens in
order to select the correct balance and breed from the best
types we have. This will be an exciting next few years for us.
Our passion and determination
to retain the original qualities of this breed has never waned in
fact we are even more dedicated now.
Below were our goals for the first 10 years of
breeding ( which we have achieved now) and why -
Ten years ago
In the early days the Norwegian Forest Cat was in a very serious predicament and facing extinction. Norwegian cat fanciers in Norway worked very hard to preserve this breed by introducing a very strict breeding programme. Very proud of their "National Cat" their efforts have been rewarded. Their goal to preserve and promote this natural breed of cat has been attained since the 1970's.
Sadly - the breed is changing, the size has been lost in many pedigree lines together with the all important coat texture and length and if this were not bad enough - we have seen the active promotion via some breeders and judges
worldwide of the extreme long heads and other " fashionable traits". These cats are not supposed to have long heads at all and in some cases they are starting to resemble an oriental type in appearance - .
The breed standard calls for an equilateral triangular head so where
does the long extreme heads come from - also a concern is with a
long and narrow head what is this actually doing to the inner
This is one of the changes that has profoundly upset the pioneers of this breed - and quite rightly so.
After seeing a picture of a Black Norwegian Forest cat in a cat magazine Lorraine was almost overwhelmed by its sheer beauty. There is nothing nicer than seeing a mature black forest cat, the blacks tend to have a much wilder look about them which of course is the opposite of their nature.
When we first became involved with this breed in 1999 our main priority was to breed from the old bloodlines as close to the original novice stock as possible. We have had the "real honour" of having contact and meeting with some of the original pioneer's (in Norway) of this breed to include Else Nylund of the Pan's Cattery and Helene Nordana a founder promoter of this breed as well as Gill Hart - ( now a great friend ) who actually bred these cats in Norway herself and introduced them to the UK in 1986 when she returned here to live, It has subsequently been confirmed that our initial opinions and reasons for breeding our way is in fact very much, now a need, to try and keep the original type and look of this majestic cat before it is lost completely which will not be very long the way things are going.
The true and natural type of the Norwegian Forest Cat is
diminishing. It concerns us greatly that in a few years time we may not see the
Forest Cat as it should be and considering that the breeding
and preservation of this natural cat was a conservation programme we feel that
this must continue before they are lost forever and breeders across
the world end up breeding semi longhair cats under the umbrella of
"The Norwegian Forest Cat"
This has happened
to other breeds over time.
not sit back and watch this happen to the forest cats.
to type forest cat is a large cat with substantial bone,
with good length, texture and density of coat. These are two of the main
characteristics that have evolved in the forest cat to allow its innate ability to
survive the harsh climatic conditions of the Scandinavian forests.
Another important characteristic of the Norwegian Forest Cat
is the "Wild Expression" this too is becoming far removed and being replaced by
the "sweet look".
A great many of the forest cats seen today are too
small and fine boned, this combined with poor coat quality does not lead one to
imagine they would survive well in their natural environment.
import and breed from the older pedigree lines close to the initial foundation
breeding stock that originated in Norway. Our aim is to breed cats with more
substance, try and get the correct size back into the breed and produce cats
with good quality coats along with the all important good temperaments.
and not to mention the wild expression that these cats are renown for.
11 years on we have now
achieved this - it has taken much effort and planning and now we are
embarking on our second stage of the breeding programme. We have
bred from our initial imported foundation cats and the time is
coming soon to neuter these and continue with the next generation
hopefully improving from these too. Breeding is a very exciting
hobby especially when there is a long term plan to work to and every
day this hobby gets more interesting and joyful and I am more
enthusiastic today and more determined than ever to keep these cats
We have the original breed standard translated and
taken from a meeting in Norway in the 1970's
to view the original translated
article and the cat that set the breed standard click below
THE ORIGINAL BREED STANDARD
Our Breeding Program
In the first instance
we do not have any association with other UK
breeders that import identical pedigree
lines as ours unless they have cats of our breeding.
We breed Norwegian
Forest Cats for two reasons. Firstly, because of the background history of
this breed, being a naturally evolved cat who were so very close to extinction.
We take our breeding very
seriously and if honest - we are very protective of our cats and kittens.
because they are such wonderful majestic animals who love to be around people.
Making lovely companions, we want to promote the breed, enabling other people to
have as much pleasure from owning these cats as we do
breed only from our imported bloodlines.
programme does contribute in many ways to produce what we believe is a
true type Norwegian Forest Cat. However, this breed is still
in its infancy and of course will take many years of dedication by breeders
worldwide to secure the real type of this cat. We should all be able to
work together as an international group to monitor the overall health of the
breed in general and it will be some years yet before one can relax in the know
that all is well and this breed is no longer in danger of becoming extinct in
We have been very
selective in our choice of breeding cats.
November 2001 we visited
an excellent dedicated breeder Lone Elkington ( DK*Elkington's) in Denmark where we selected and imported a stud
DK*Elkington's King of the Road,
a Black Classic Tabby and White whom we call
Odin. Odin is a 5th generation
with excellent boning and size.
He is the product of an old Norwegian and Danish bloodline that has not been
widely used. Much of his pedigree was new to the UK at the time of import.
Many of his sons are attaining 5kilos at the tender age of
just 6 months.
Odin produces very good
kittens that excel in size and type no matter which queen he
is in combination with.
We achieved our
aim from the very first litter from Odin. We decided to keep one of this
litter, a Blue - eyed White male named
who, as a 6 month old kitten attained Best In Show Semi Longhair December
2002 and at 2.5 years of age attained 8 kilos.
another trip abroad the
same month to view another forest cat, this time to (N) Lotte Menotte's in
Norway. A beautiful country. We selected and imported an excellent typed female
(N) Lotte Menotte's Presious.
Presious is a
Black Tortie. Another, mostly new bloodline to the UK. She is a great asset to our breeding program by contributing
the important qualities of correct coat length and texture
as well as the lynx
ear tips, a really good profile, chin, head shape, good
length of tail. She also has the
wonderful wild expression.
Her temperament is one of
the most affectionate and charming I have ever seen in a cat.
Tigra De La Cachouteba
a Silver Mackerel Tabby female from France. A very important 3rd generation female who
excels very much so in size. When fully mature, she will be a very large girl
indeed. Her temperament is very sweet and affectionate and she has lovely type.
Two of the important qualities she does have is coat quality and boning.
Many of the males have achieved 9 kilos
or more at the young age of 18 months old and the
females are also very good size.
(N) Isrenna's Darkstar
second stud boy who is a lovely boy. He is a 4th generation male with a stunningly affectionate
and talkative temperament. He follows me around all day chatting away and he
loves to help no matter what I do. He is a black smoke, very tall on his rear
legs which along with his great temperament is an asset to our breeding program.
We love him with a real passion. His silver is vvery clean and white
Selteteigen's Magnhildr -
a female of stunning quality and temperament. Magnhildr
is a 5th generation Forest cat and 2 further generation back is Truls -
the original Forest cat who set the standard of the breed. Her coat quality is
one to be envied. Magnhildr came from a very knowledgeable breeder named Ina
Selte of Jessheim in Oslo Norway. Her breeding is from well bred lines including
the infamous Pan's cattery from Norway. To say we are thrilled with her is an
understatement. A great asset to our breeding program and her very old
bloodlines will be preserved for years to come. Progeny from Magnhildr will be
only sold for breeding to selected breeders worldwide who take seriously
preservation of the old original bloodlines and type of this breed.
two other queen's now neutered are mother and daughter.
a Green - eyed White who is a 4th generation female.
from the UK, Her father is a very handsome White Danish Import, Hakon Rein Felis Jubatus
imported by the Kyrrekatt Cattery (UK).
whom we call
Titania is a 5th generation
from lovely breeders in the UK
of whom are very close and supportive friends - June being Norwegian herself is
our mentor for the breed - what could be better !
How we keep our cats.
live together and underfoot with us all the time.
Our Cats are not caged or permanently separated in different rooms in the house!
They are not shut out in cat runs to live their lives
with little or no real exercise, stimulation or the important socialisation with
other animals and people.
In our opinion it does not matter how
large cat runs are, or how well furnished, cats are meant to be free roaming
animals that cover a good sized area and territory gaining stimulation from
It is bad enough not allowing pedigree
cats to go out and do what they would naturally do without confining them and
suppressing their personalities further in having to live in a what amounts to a
It is a mark of the Forest
Cat that they chose to be around people.
There must not be anything worse
for a cat especially a people orientated Norwegian Forest Cat
than being kept in a small run all their lives with little or no
stimulation or change of surroundings, some only seeing their owners for a short
time - how can this be right? Cats need exercise for a good
muscle tone and healthy heart and circulation I fail to see how this can be
achieved if a cat cannot run. Socialisation is very important in the first few
weeks of life, however, it does not stop there - as an adult these cats love to
be around people - they behave much like a dog and love to help and follow their
human around. Living their life in a cat run is not fair in our opinion.
WE have cat runs (pics
below show they are not quite finished) and they are used as an extension of our
home, the cats are not shut out in these runs for their entire life. The cats
have plenty of fresh air and they love it out there in the summer months -
sometimes they choose to stay out sometimes they choose to come in - the point
is they choose!
Our cat runs are built to
CIEH (Chartered Institute of Environmental Health) conditions and size
Our cats are
free from Felv and FIV, Chlamydia, Feline Herpes Virus and Feline Calici Virus.
We are not afraid of testing our cats to
make sure they are fit and healthy before breeding.
They have a virology
test for Feline Leukaemia Virus and FIV antibodies.
As with all female mammals their quota of
eggs are already produced before the female is born - so from a genetic point of
view we feel that any older than 8 years of age may not produce top quality
We feel it is very important to do a blood chemistry profile on the queens
from the age of 3 years prior to being mated.
This is to ascertain that physiologically she will be in peak condition to carry
and produce good strong and healthy kittens.
We feel they are an important part
of keeping cats and their subsequent kittens fit and well. Ill health can
be as a result of many things and sadly, not all illnesses show outward symptoms
until the problem is well underway - a good example of this is liver / kidney
failure and diabetes along with many other disorders.
There are many conditions that can affect
felines and apart from the infectious diseases, some illnesses can be regarded
at being genetically predisposed or inherited.
Having blood profiles
taken can alert one that all is not well at a much earlier stage rather
than wait for outward symptoms by which time its usually too late!!
We breed the
Norwegian Forest Cat with a commitment that will last for many many years to
do not re home our cats after they have served their breeding purpose they stay
with us for life.
We expect the
same life time commitment to our kittens from any new owners.
We will only
deal with breeders who practise similar permanent homing policies.
Buying a kitten
When buying a kitten find out how the cats are kept ! this will
reflect their temperament and subsequent temperaments of the
We are told by every kitten owner that they cannot believe how well
socialised and affectionate our kittens are. This makes all the hard
Our cats including our males all live happily together. They enjoy
the freedom of our home, combined with having a well furnished runs
that are attached to the house, enjoying free access day and night,
having plenty of exercise and stimulation and of course being around
us continually they have loads of love!! They are also harness
trained and they like nothing more than to go out for walks in the
summer evenings catching moths and insects!
We are a small breeding cattery compared to many others.
We feel it is important to be able to have the time to give the
deserved attention to the adult cats as well as the kittens.
I am at home all day every day in order that I can do this.
We do not know how some catteries can have such a large quantity of
breeding animals and be able to give each one the important
individual attention that each one needs and deserves.
Our cats and kittens are raised in a loving home environment and
much attention is devoted to the very important socialisation period
for the kittens the most important time being 0 - 7 weeks of age.
This ensures that the kittens develop with very sweet and
affectionate temperaments. They are brought up with dogs and the
other cats and are pretty well "bomb proof" by the time they go to
their new homes.
All of our kittens go
to their new homes with a kitten contract that stipulate these two points.