A brief history
The Norwegian Forest Cat is an ancient breed, originally from Norway. Also known by the name Wegie, Norskogkatt, Skogkatt or Norskskaukatt, this cat is a direct descendant of the cats mentioned in the fairy Norse mythology. According to legend, Freya (Goddess of Love and Fertility) drove a chariot pulled by Norwegian cats.
It 's possible that the ancestors of Norwegian cats, or Skogkatt, are the Turkish longhair, since the Byzantine emperors had Scandinavian guards, the Vaeringer; and some say that the Maine Coon, the Siberian, the Turkish and Norwegian Forest Cats have a common origin.
The discussion to save Norwegian Forest Cats started in Norway in the last century, in 1934, but anything begun until 1938, when the race of Skogkatt was recognized as a special breed Skogkatt. The advent of the Second World War interrupted, however, all activities relating to cats with pedigree. The Skogkatt was almost forgotten until the early Seventies, when Helene Nordane and Edel Runas began a project to restore the Norwegian cat, who was going to extinct. The first pair of Skogkatt been recorded in the book of origins of purebred cats were the Norwegian Pippa Frøken Skogpus and Pan's Truls.
In December 1975 the breeders founded the Norwegian "Norsk Skogkattring" - The Club of the Norwegian Forest Cat - whose purpose is to preserve the breed. In 1976, the breed was officially recognized by the FIFe.
At first, due to the scarcity of subjects recognized in the book of origins, it was not possible to avoid inbreeding. But in time, having more subjects, selected from the forests, breeders took the widest genetic pool to avoid possible bad inheritance due to inbreeding. In 1990, in Scandinavia, it was decided the time had come to close the recognition to other novices.
The first two Norvegian Forest Cats exported were sold in Sweden, the United Kingdom received their first pair in November 1979, while in Italy the first Norwegians arrived in 1988: Sirika and Artax, imported from Elena Scorta.