Thriving Cat

Our Awesome Norwegian Forest Cat Rescue

My Regal Norwegian Forest Cat

Our Awesome Norwegian Forest Cat Rescue

The Norwegian Forest Cat is not very common in the United States so how did one end up in the pound? Our boy was rescued from a local pound by a rescue group where we found him. How would an expensive breed of cat end up at the pound? Who knows. I suspect it was because he had severe anxiety and peed around the house. The poor boy was probably dumped because of this problem. With the right treatment of his anxiety he is truly the sweetest cat I have ever seen. He is loyal, calm, gentle and gorgeous as well as being huge at about 16 pounds. He is about 3 feet long and has very long legs. He has a full, white mane, bushy tail and white fluffy leg britches. Most importantly, he truly loves us and appreciates our love.

A Sweet, Loyal, Doglike Cat

Our boy is like a dog. He is 100% loyal to me. He follow me around and likes to be close by though he does not spend a lot of time in my lap. He likes to sleep on the floor near my chair or on the back of the chair where he can reach out and touch my neck and shoulders with his paws as he sleeps. He is extremely gentle and calm as long as he has treatment for his anxiety. He is quiet except for when he wants food. Norwegian Forest Cats are generally quiet, stoic and observant.

Norwegian Forest Cat with green eyes, white and orange fur and pink nose

My Norwegian Forest Cat on International Cat Day

Norwegian Forest Cat Traits

Norwegian Forest Cats are calm and quiet but can be very loud when they want food. They love tall places. Our boy does not climb anything he shouldn’t but he adores his tall cat tree. Norwegian Forest Cats are said to be able to climb down trees head first due to their strong claws and flexible feet. If you have a Forest Cat make sure they have a tall, sturdy cat tree. They will get a ton of use out of it. Here is the brand I found that is tall, and works well for large cats. It is also affordable! You can read my review here and order one for your kitties. Tall Cat Tree for Large Cats. They love to look out windows and watch birds so put your cat tree by a window.

Viking History Of The Norwegian Forest Cat

Norwegian Forest Cats are the official cat of Norway and are popular in Northern Europe. They may be descended from a mix of short hair cats from Northern Europe and long hair cats brought back from the Middle East during the Crusades. They may also be descended from Siberian Cats. Norwegian Forest Cats are found in Norse mythology as a favored cat of Freya and are depicted in paintings pulling Freya on a chariot. Norwegian Forest Cats sailed on the Vikings ships as mousers and spent centuries living in the forests and farms of Norway. They almost went extinct in World War II but were brought back through breeding programs. They are still not common in the United States.

Norwegian Forest Cats and Maine Coon Cats

Norwegian Forest Cats are believed to be an ancestor of the Maine Coon Cat. They share some similarities such as being very large cats. Male Norwegians can be 14-20 pounds and male Maine Coons can be even larger. They also share long fur but their are differences as well such as the shape of the head. The Norwegian has a more slender and triangular shaped head whereas the Maine Coon’s head is more broad and heavy with a short muzzle. Norwegians tend to have a more slender, long legged build overall whereas Maine Coons can be very stocky. Both breeds can come in any color and different pattern such as tabby striped, solid or patched.

Brown Striped Maine Coon Cat Looking At Camera

Maine Coon Cat

From Peeing Everywhere to Perfect Cat

Our boy is wonderful now but he started out as a nervous wreck. He jumped at everything, hid under everything, was scared of my husband, and peed on everything. He peed on clothes, on carpet, on bath mats (his favorite), door mats and furniture! My husband was at his wits end. Pooch also seemed angry at the world. He scowled all the time and acted annoyed. He would pace around the house just looking for something to pee on.

With the proper treatment he is a new cat! We were SO relieved to find solutions to his peeing. We took him to the vet multiple times testing for UTI’s or other health problems that could cause this behavior. The vet never found anything wrong. They prescribed horribly bitter, awful liquid medication that he refused to take. I accidentally had some on my finger and tasted some one day and realized how horribly bitter it was! No wonder he didn’t want to take it since it tasted like poison. Poor boy! I feel so bad for all the cats that are given this since their owners don’t know there is a better way to treat anxiety in cats. I eventually found several products that really work. Here is my number one recommendation for cat anxiety, peeing outside the box and other behavior problems. Put these drops on your cat’s fur and solve behavior problems.

With the drops and these collars that use pheromone technology, he is now a perfect boy. I can’t imagine what might have happened to him if we had not rescued him and put up with years of struggle to determine why he peed everywhere and find solutions for him. He has a wonderful life now with 3 “siblings” to play with, and two kitty parents who love him wet food, dry food, toys and a safe home.

So Happy He Drools!

He gets so relaxed when he sleeps that he drools. It is pretty cute and ads to his doglike demeanor. He stretches his very long legs out to rest on my shoulders when he sleeps on the back of the chair. Unlike many cats he does not mind me touching his feet and he doesn’t mind kisses on the head! I can’t imagine life without him. He is a dear part of our family.

Even Rare Breeds and Mixes Can be Found at a Shelter

If you want a sweet, happy, loyal cat, please check out your local animal shelter. We got all 4 of our cats from local shelters. They are all wonderful pets and family members. They are all loving, calm and sweet. They have their issues from time to time but that is the case with any pet. Our orange, short-hair boy is a wonderful cat but he is prone to health problems like bad teeth. I found a solution for that with this amazing supplement for cats and dogs. Prevent Tooth and Gum Disease in Dogs and Cats.

Our newest kitty is a spunky, sweet, 14 year old calico girl who is even healthier than the other 3! Our French Chartreux girl is gorgeous and incredibly intelligent. How did a very rare breed like a French Chartreux end up in the pound on death row? I suspect a breeder may have sold her cheap to a poor home because she has green eyes. They are gorgeous but considered a fault by breeders! So no matter what kind of cat you want you can find one at a shelter from young to old, short haired tabby to rare breed. We did not even know what our kitties where when we adopted them. They were called simply “domestic medium hair” and “short hair”!

If you want solutions for other cat behavior or health problems please check out my other posts. If you have questions or thoughts, please leave a comment below!


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  1. Simon

    You’re 16 stone, 3 feet long Norwegian cat sounds like one big lad, he looks so healthy too.
    I remember when we moved home, our cat started peeing around the house and like you mention, it smells awful.
    We tried many well-known remedies such as squirting lemon juice in various spots around the house but to no avail.
    Apparently, they become anxious when moving to new surroundings, a change of routine or new household members and start marking their territory by peeing. It took about a year until our boy stopped the habit but I agree with you, it’s extremely frustrating at the time.
    I think our next cat will come from a rescue shelter like you have done, thanks for your story and all your helpful tips,

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Hello Simon,
      I have also found great products for deterring this behavior and products for cleaning cat pee if you are in that unfortunate situation. Check out my other posts here if you want to read about them.
      I hope to get the word out that there are such amazing cats in shelters. They are perfectly great animals and most all of them end up there due to having irresponsible owners. I did not even know what a Norwegian Forest Cat was until long after we had adopted him. The rescue group staff just called him a “medium hair” cat. We did not know our girl was a French Chartreux either, she was a “short hair”.

      Thanks for stopping by and your thoughts,

  2. Brandon

    Wow! Amazing article and these cats look so cute. I’ve never heard of Norwegian Forest Cats before but I’m really liking them after reading through the traits they possess, however, I don’t really like how they’re really loud when they want food, lol. Thanks for the great write-up!

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Hello Brandon,
      They are very regal, dignified looking cats which seems a bit ironic when you get to know them (well at least ours since he is the biggest baby)! They are a very gentle giant breed. Our boy is mostly silent so I don’t mind when he talks. I would not like dealing with a breed like the Siamese which often talk all the time.

      Thanks for stopping by,

  3. Mick

    What a beautiful looking cat and such a big cat at that too. We love cats but the only problem is my other half is allergic to them, and if there was a cat that I would be purchasing then I think this is the one. Never heard of the bread before and just did a quick look and they are quite expensive as far as cats go. £600 here in the UK. I was brought up with 2 cats that were both loving and so different in temperament. One was very placid and the other I have seen hiding in a hedge and waiting for someone to walk past and it’s grabbed them around the legs. It was so comical and to see it just walk past big dogs with its tail in the air not giving a hoot, was impressive. Until we found it dead after someone had kicked the poor thing. A long time ago now but brought back memories reading your article. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Yes, they are pretty rare but we found ours in a shelter! They didn’t even know what he was! Of course we don’t have any papers on him or proof that he is a purebred but he sure does look and act like it. We have a French Chartreux which is really rare as well. She was here in the pound on death row when we found her! There are amazing cats in shelters that ended up there due to bad owners, not because there is anything wrong with them. All 4 of ours were rescued.

      It is interesting to see the different personalities in cats. All of ours are loving but different. I have seen that even the most shy or skittish cat can come around with love and patience. Often they were mistreated or part feral as they lived outside and had to fend for themselves.

      My husband is allergic too but he won’t let anything stop him from having his kitties! He didn’t think he liked cats until we got our orange tabby boy. Now he is madly in love!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Stratos K

    It must have been a huge problem in the beginning with that kind of behavior. Many years ago I had a cat also but I couldn’t stand it so I finally gave up and gave it back to my friend. As much as I love them there are limits to how much you can stand especially if you cannot find any viable solutions. I am happy that you managed to solve your. And I like the background history you provide. it’s always good to learn a few things about their past and how they came to be.

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      It was really hard at the beginning but he is so sweet and loyal and gentle now I can’t imagine being without him! These drops are like a miracle. He is sleeping on the back of my chair right now with his long legs stretched out on my shoulders. He is just a baby now. 

  5. Cathy Cavarzan

    What a wonderful post, I haven’t heard to much on the Norwegian Forest cat except that they were hard to come by as a breed. Is that only the case in the U.S. ? The Maine Coon are beautiful as well my friend has 2 of them and both like your big boy there came from the shelter. Myself I am allergic to cats in general though I did put up with my cat allergy when my son was small,we had found this stray and he fell in love with him so needless to say( Little Jimmy)became a member of the family for a little while.

    It really is sad that we have such pet owners that just dump their pets for whatever reason and the poor pet has to be the victim of irresponsibility. My pup I would never dream of leaving she is my buddy. 

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Hello Cathy,

      Yes, I understand how hard the allergies can be. My Mom was allergic and my husband is allergic. He would never part with our cats though and in fact was begging for a fourth cat this year. So we got our newest addition who is a senior calico girl. She is amazing. No one would ever guess her age. She is spry and very healthy. She is also scary smart! I tell her to drink water and she will! I tell her to go the litter box and she will! 

      My husband got sinus surgery and that fixed most of his problems. It turned out he had a very deviated septum that blocked the air in one side of his nose. He used to take allergy medicine every day but never has to now. 

      I am so glad we have been able to keep our Norwegian boy and give him a loving home. He is the biggest sweetheart now. He is sleeping on the back of my chair as I write this with his long, white legs on my shoulders. 

  6. Kali

    My name is Kali and I also stumbled upon a Norwegian forest cat. His name is Gizmo and I adopted him two years ago from an sweet lady that rescued abandoned cats. He’s such a sweet cat and never has any accidents although he gets very nervous when he goes to the vet and will pee in his carrier. What should I do?

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Hi Kali,

      You can use a calming product to help him feel safe when you put him in the carrier. I would use a calming product with pheromones since they are readily available and easy to find. You can use a collar but for just a trip in the carrier you could get a calming spray. If he only needs help in the carrier then that might be the easiest solution. Here is one of my posts about the calming products. I usually use the Jackson Galaxy Safe Space for Cats drops for everyday use. They are natural and don’t have hardly any smell but they really work. You could try those or the calming spray. There is a text link for the spray in this post as well as links to the drops (those go on the fur).

      If he is really freaked out and that doesn’t work, then you can use a mild, natural sedative. I don’t use this every day since it makes them tired and a bit zonked out but for going to the vet or any other trip this would be good.

      Any of these products should help him feel more secure. I hope he is happy and healthy. Thanks for your question.


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