Norway is about to lose a living culture- a natural inheritance which doesn’t exist in any other country. The Norwegian Forest Cat is about to become extinct, or rather ‘mixed out’ (i.e. no longer a pure breed).
other countries they have in previous years started campaigns to
save animals which are about to die. In Sweden, currently they
are about to recreate a special type of Swedish pig and a
special type of Swedish hen. Here in Norway, there is a group of
people who have started the difficult task of ‘pure-breeding’
the Norwegian Forest Cat. This breed has become a phenomenon in
this country and is unknown in the rest of Europe. The task of
keeping this breed presents big problems as it is difficult to
find good cats which both have the right coat and type.
Unfortunately, it is a common perception that all cats with a
long coat (with the exception of the Persian) are Forest Cats.
But it isn’t that easy. The Norwegian Forest Cat has a very
particular coat quality, a so-called nature-coat: lightly
‘wooly’ undercoat, just enough to keep the animal warm, in
addition to a long ‘cover-hair’ (more smooth and thick) which
protect the ‘wooly hairs’ against moisture and wetness. Mrs Jack
Bjoennes has characterized the Norwegian Forest Cat, and let me
present some extracts from her story of "Tufsen" , written in
was called the "Norwegian Forest Cat". It should be described
with capital letters and be recognized worldwide. Because the
Forest Cat is a breed in its own right. It is not like other
breeds and it only exists where we are.
knows how long we have had forest cats in Norway. The guess is
that they came from the short-haired cats that came to the
country with the Vikings from England, and from long-haired cats
from the conquerors, but by no means do they look like bad
Persians or other long-haired or short-haired cats.
They have become something in their own right!
The tough Norwegian climate was not kind to the individuals in the breed, but it has become a blessing for them. It has been created through the disappearance of weakest and those who did not have the foundation to survive the winters. The best remained. In a litter, if there were kittens with short, long and medium-long coats respectively, the last mentioned would survive - and they would breed. Those with short coat didn’t go out because of the cold, the long-coated ones became wet and cold and got stuck in bushes and such (just think how a Persian would struggle his way through the forest!).
Since these cats had to find their own food and protect themselves against enemies, it was those who were best equipped for hunting and fleeing who become the oldest. Those who had survived the first winter were those with long legs, strong, intelligent and brave. And they had the opportunity to create families in time. In time, the ‘mixed breed’ became a special breed without the people caring about them as such. No one said, here’s a breed standard, let’s make a cat! No, this breed has been created by the snow, cold rain, hunger and fear.
You can also say that they are a piece of art that we have not yet learned to appreciate.
We don’t have to make a standard or try to make a cat from it.
We’ve got the cat, so let’s make a standard that matches it.
so far Jack.
The committee of breeders standard has been made following Jacks suggestion, with a few more in-depth descriptions. A small group has taken on the task as the Norwegian Forest Cat’s fighters for recognition on an international basis. Let us hope that we achieve this task we have set ourselves, we can expect many tears and hard work, but we hope that our attempt will be crowned with luck, and that the world will come to know this proud breed. It is quite simply something of its own. What we have to do first and foremost is to eliminate the inclusion of other breeds, which is why we must only use the best of them for breeding. It is a very difficult task, so lets create this living culture together. The work with the Norwegian Forest Cat essentially started in 1930s. The forest cat was also shown in Oslo in 1938 before Christmas,
and we cite from the book:
"The Cat, wild animal and friend of the house"
The book was published in 1943, by Raider Alvig and Kalle Lund.